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Reel to reel questions

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

So, fool that I am, I was looking at a reel to reel machine today.

 

High quality analog source!  Plenty of selections used.  Unusual equipment in the audio stack!

 

Interesting.  Maybe I should look into it.

 

Today, I was in a repair shop, and they had a TEAC 3340S, serviced and with a warranty for $500.  I also found a Pioneer RT-1050 on an auction site for less than $200.  Not serviced but well kept and local to me so I can pick it up and not destroy it in shipping.

 

Looking at what tapes are, there seem to be three things to be concerned with:

 

Tape Speed: 3 3/4, 7 1/2 and 15 inches per second.

Reel Size: 7", 10"

 

EQ: There's "IAC" and "NAB" at least, possibly more.

Tracks: 2-channel half-tracks, or 4-channel quarter tracks
 

There's more speeds, and larger reel sizes, but those two should handle the bulk of common tapes.

 

The Tape Project apparently has fabulous tapes, if you have a 10", 15ips, half-track, IEC machine.

 

Lots of commercial recordings are NAB, and both 3 3/4 and 7 1/2 ips.

 

I can't tell if most tapes are half or quarter track.  I think most prerecorded tapes are half-track.

 

Now, most machines are pretty clearly labelled or you can guess for speed and reel size.  Nobody seems to describe the EQ in descriptions.

 

Question: Are there any other key features I've missed?

 

Question: Are all of these really important?

 

Question: Is there a single machine that can handle all the options?  Better yet, a common, affordable machine?

 

Question: Is there a more appropriate place to discuss this?  Should I finally break down and get an account over at AK?

 

Any information you can point me at would be valuable.

post #2 of 7
+1
Plus, is the best practical use for these only with prerecorded music?
Maybe ripped vinyl?
post #3 of 7

Hey bud,

 

I'm obsessed with Open reel.. :) so can add this...

 

Go here for lots of people way better informed than I..

 

http://www.tapeheads.net/forums.php

 

Question: Are there any other key features I've missed?

Nearly there!!

 

Question: Are all of these really important?

64 million dollar question!

 

Question: Is there a single machine that can handle all the options? Better yet, a common, affordable machine?

Yes, my Studer A812 is a studio machine and can output pretty much anything but isn't cheap, even if you find one!

 

Question: Is there a more appropriate place to discuss this? Should I finally break down and get an account over at AK?

http://www.tapeheads.net/forums.php

 

Any information you can point me at would be valuable.

 

EQ - NAB / IEC, the basics are, NAB was an older std when tape was poorer quality! IEC is a similiar system applied to newer tapes that had better performance. Both boost low and high end, I believe. Most domestic machines are NAB.

 

2/4 track / pre-recorded. 2 track has the best bandwidth, suggest you think about those first. Pre-recorded tape, doesn't really matter whether it was 2 or 4 track, imho as most of that stock is very old and sticky now so I suspect you would not buy/enjoy much of that.

 

Technics RS1500/1700 had both 2 and 4 track playback heads but sparce and expensive.

 

Only two manufacturers of tape currently, most seem to use RMG tape, LPR35 is longer play, google it! :)

approx 50USD per NAB reel. ( LPR35 gives 80 minutes at 7.5 in/s )

 

I'm a big Revox fan so have an A77, A700 and B77.

Later B77 with 7.5/15 inch/sec speeds would not be a bad choice but there are lots of other alternatives.

Beware, these machines are 30+ years old now and all need the capacitors all replacing as a minimum.

If you have a local electronics guy to do minor repairs that is useful.

 

Personally, I rip FLAC from my Macbook to my studio machine and play on the Revox's. There is something special about listening to music with the reels going round!! :) it's addictive! :)

 

Anyway, get over to tapeheads to access a vast amount of data. hope this helps!

 

Have fun :)

 

Martin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #4 of 7

I sold all of my reel to reel equipment when Sony introduced their PCM-7010F. I've been using a pair of them connected to a Sony RM-D7200 edit controller for most all of my recording needs since 1992. I have no interest in ever revisiting reel to reel. Nevertheless, I understand the passion some have for tape recorders.PCM7010-Timecode-Color[1].jpg


Edited by sterling1 - 4/23/12 at 4:21pm
post #5 of 7

You're right, there is no good reason to use reel to reel now.

Only reason is I never had one first time round and am at an age...lol where I enjoy them! :)

post #6 of 7

You don't need a reason. If reel to reel is what you want, what does it matter what anyone else thinks. Interestingly, today, reel to reel and DAT are excellent for making recordings of material streamed to computer which cannot be easily downloaded. I use my recorders for nature recording--thunder showers mostly.

post #7 of 7

Very cool buddy!

 

I do have a portable Nagra IV-S but have not got any decent mics to try it for real! :)

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