Studer A80 history
1970 "A new generation of the series A80 professional studio tape recorders is introduced in the Spring of this year." * 1971 "A new studio tape recorder, the model A80/R "Broadcasting Version" complements the A80 series. * 1972 "The versatile concept of the professional studio recorder A80 permits its conversion into a quadraphonic model, which is called A80RT-Quadra." * 1975 Studer Canada launched the A80/VU-16-2" at WABE '75 Hotel Vancouver. Bruno Hochstrasser loaned it to Little Mountain Sound (LMS) Vancouver where I worked 1975 Studer Canada A80/VU price list shows "Mk I" 8T-1" and 16T-2" transportable versions 1977 LMS installed the first Studer A80/VU-24-2" Mk II in Western Canada; I worked on this project 1980s A80 Mk III and Mk IV multi-tracks with faster punch-in with a single erase head closer to record head, transformerless I/O, Dolby HX (Mk IV), etc 1989 A80 End of Production ** 1998 A80 End of Maintenance Support by audiohouse.ch GmbH **
I'm unable to find the changeover date from A80/VU Mk I to Mk II, estimate early to mid 1970s as technology and designs improved. Others in this forum might provide more details. I believe serial numbers starting from "10,000" were assigned to Mk II machines to distinguish them from Mk I. A80 VU Mark I has centre-tapped repro heads, black frame VU meters, no removable EQ cards for Rec/Sync/Repro cards as Mk II, etc.
Re: A80 sales volume: "The fundamental corporate policy of Studer is to manufacture and market only well-engineered products with a long service life. With over 10,000 sales, the series A80 proves that Studer customers appreciate this policy." ***
I'll add that a source of confusion is that the A80 was originally introduced as simply the A80, but was then later re-named the A80/VU. This was done to try to better differentiate it from the subsequently introduced, lower-cost A80/R and A80/RC versions that were developed for the broadcast market.
As most readers here know, the A80/R and RC borrowed the earlier developed audio channel electronics from the B62. This was done to make the A80/R and RC versions available at lower cost.