how to increase volume from tape deck?


I need to archive some cassette recordings onto cd or dvd. Some of the tapes are great perfomances but imperfect bootlegs, and were under-recorded, have insufficient output, even with Nak Dragon output vol at max. Using an M-audio delta 1010 a/d converter and software mixer which has no gain. What is the best way (within somewhat sane cost limits), to increase the signal into the d/a converter and mixer? use a preamp but use the output and set the volume control (rather than tape outputs which have no gain)? Or perhaps, line transformers (e.g., Altec Peerless 15095)? or an inexpensive mixer? thanks in advance.
lloydc
Step-up transformer.
Hi Lloyd -

I think you're on the right track. You can pickup a used Mackie mixer (like a 1202VLZ) quite inexpensively, and this would give you some EQ to play with, as well. A decent preamp would likely cost a bit more and might not have EQ, but it could be argued that it would give you better quality. Given your source material, I don't see this as a big issue - and having the EQ option might really enhance the result. I am not familiar with the transformer you mention, but it's unlikely that you will get more than +6dB of gain from a transformer without running into impedance matching problems, and +6 really isn't all that much.

Have fun!

Best regards,

Steve McCormack
www.SMcAudio.com
You got me curious about the Altec Peerless 15095, so I did a little digging. It looks like they would do the job if you are willing to deal with creating a wiring harness and perhaps mounting them in a small chassis. And they appear to be fairly inexpensive.

Given your source material, I still find the mixer option tempting because of the EQ options and easily controlled gain, but the transformers are the purist way to go.

Best regards,

Steve McCormack