I started putting a studio together in the late 1970s. I wanted to create a commercial studio that could pay its own way and permit me to record my own stuff when time allowed. It started with a Scully 284 1" 8-track and ended with a Scully Model 100 2" 16-track. By 1982 I had amassed a bunch of Neumann and Sony tube mics, RCA ribbons, Sennheiser, Sony, Altec and AKG solid state condensors, and the typical Shure and EV dynamics, as well as various professional quality limiters, compressors, reverb and delay units. I got so busy recording bands and TV commercials that I seldom had time to record my own songs. After running the studio for 25 years I decided to call it quits. I sold off the only assets that were worth anything (a pretty amazing collection of microphones) to pay off the bank loans. I ended up with everything else. The 16-track spent two decades in storage, mostly in my living room. The other stuff was packed in boxes and Rubbermaid containers stuffed into every available space I could find.
Fast forward to today. I built a new studio space in 2008 to house what was left of the commercial studio. It has a 20' by 21' studio, a 20' by 12' control room and a trapezoidal iso-booth that is approximately 7' by 10' by 8'. The 16-track still works, as do a lot of the processing equipment (Lexicon, AKG, Valley People). I kept all of the mics that weren't considered 'valuable' when I liquidated and have some great ones, including a pair of C414EBs, Sennheiser MKH404s and a few old RCA ribbons. I even have the KM84 I bought 35 years ago, although I'm not sure how it survived the purge. I still have the Altecs and some oddballs (a pair of consecutively numbered Syncron AU7a mics). I have picked up some additional tube mics (Neumann & AKG) in the past 20 years to round out my collection, but I REALLY miss the U47 and U67 mics I used to have during the studio years. I've also picked up some API 500 series stuff and other 'high end' outboard pieces that I have mixed feelings about.
I have always enjoyed working with analog machines and I continue to do so. In addition to the 16-track I have two 1/4" 2-track machines that I mix down to. I had to take parts from three different machines to get a usable second mix down recorder, but everything works. Tape is expensive, but I am frugal. I have a lot of old Scotch 2" tape that I continue to use and it has held up admirably. The Ampex 456 tape I have has proven to be pretty much useless. I have been having pretty good luck with the newer RMGI 1/4" tape for stereo reduction.
I have recorded a few tunes of my own as well as dozens of different song ideas with this set up. I've recorded a few solo artists and a few friends. I haven't opened things up for mass consumption, I haven't even told all my old colleagues that I have built a facility. I spend quite a lot of time dubbing old 2-track masters to CD, sometime for friends and past customers who lost their cassette dub or 1/4' safety. Sometimes I just make CD copies to reminisce.
While others may wish for an HD Pro Tools rig or a Trident A Range board, I have chosen a different path. It may be relatively humble, but I am truly in my glory. It is the ultimate set up for me.