Country of Manufacture:USA
Release dates:1950 - 1953
Original Price: $985
Speeds: 7 1/2, 15
Max Reel Size("): 7"
Number of heads: 3
Head Composition: Permalloy
Head Configuration: Mono - Full Track
# Motors: 3
Frequency Response:(all 2 dB): 15 ips: 30 to 15kHz
Wow and Flutter:less than 0.2% at 15 ips, less than 0.25% at 7½ ips
Signal-to-Noise Ratio:over 65 dB maximum recording level to unweighted noise over 55 dB as defined by NARTB standards
Sound quality rating:4 / 10
Long-term reliability rating: 4/ 10
Released in the Fall of 1950, the Model 400 audio recorder was a ‘lower priced professional quality’
alternative to the model 200 developed specifically for independent broadcast stations.
Judged by many to be the worst Ampex, hands down, it was universally considered a catastrophe.
Featuring two motors and a capstan to the left of the heads, the electronics were very similar to those of the later 350. This was a full track, 10½ inch reel capacity two speed (7½ and 15 ips) machine with a (claimed) frequency response of 30 – 15kHz at 15 ips and a s/n ratio better than 55dB.
Price in the early 1950s was $985 and the recorder weighed in at 90 lbs (41 kg)
Playing time accuracy: 0.2% or 3.6 seconds in a 30 minute program / Rewind speed: approximately 1½ minutes for a full 2400 ft NARTB reel / Stopping time: less than 2 inches of tape movement after stop button pressed (15 ips) / Starting time: 0.5 seconds to stable playing speed at 15 ips / Weight: 90 lbs (41 kg) / two – track mono or stereo