Outputs, Technics 1520 Reel to Reel.

I just purchased a Technics 1520 open reel tape deck.

Have any of you compared the signal from both the balanced and single ended jacks and determined which provides best performance? My understanding is the balanced outputs are transformer coupled.

Also, has anyone fitted a 1520 with a IEC plug and benefited from aftermarket power cable?
I had a Technic 1500. This was single-ended only so I'm afraid I'm not much help. Technics sourced their heads for these machines from Otari....thus still available.

Not much else in the way of repair part are available though. I hope you didn't pay a lot. If it quits it will make a dandy doorstop. ;-)


Paul :-)
I know that is true, however it is difficult to find a machine that will play 3.75, 7.5 And 15 IPS in quarter and half track with single ended and balanced in and out.

Other options were a highly modified Studer from Filmco in Canada for quadruple the price.

I need to play with this awhile before I decide if this will remain as a long term format for my system. The main reason I did this was to access a stack of master dupes of great artists on 10 inch reels, 15 IPS, half track that were given to me for free.

Given the cost per hour of super premium phono cartridges, tape may be less expensive, even if the machine "dies."
Albert, considering what you have for source material, you will enjoy the 1520 immensely.

LOL I sold my 1500 some years ago on Ebay while they were "hot". You spiked my memory as indeed the machines played all 3 speeds like very few others.

I have about 400+ prerecorded reels myself going back to the 50's. Lots of classical early 1/2 track stuff. Some is wonderful, some ghastly.

These days I'm down to 5 reel decks. Akai GX747dbx, TEAC X-1000R w/dbx, 2 Otari MX5050's, one half-tracker and one 4 track. Reel to reel analog has a special place in my heart and head. Being into the music for almost 40 years, I can remember even SEARS selling prerecorded reels.

Being an old-timer two channel guy is wonderful....so many great memories.


Paul :-)
OOPs, forget the Sony TC-765, that makes 5!


Paul :-)
Too bad you don't "hate" all those half track tapes, what a nice library that would be.......400 tapes. It would take awhile to spin those.
I drilled, filed and installed an IEC male in place of the convenience outlet on the Technics 1520 power and ground panel and then auditioned three power cords.

The first was the original cord with a IEC female added, the second was a Belden that came with my strobe lighting power pack (photo gear) and the third was an Omega Mikro Red from Lloyd Walker.

The results, Belden better than the "lamp" cord originally supplied with my deck, and the Omega Mikro clearly better than the other two. The differences between these three cords was not as spectacular as experienced with my Aesthetix preamp or the VTL 750's and Air Tight ATM-3's, but certainly a nice improvement.

Initial tests with two pair of Purist Venustas interconnect (SE and BAL) produced slightly better dynamics with lower noise from the XLR than the RCA's, without any negatives, at least not that I have noticed during the short listening session.

Hope this helps someone else with their deck, the Technics 1520 is an extremely good source and I am enjoying it's strengths and personality along with my reference turntable.
Albert, have you seen the latest news about recording tape becoming obsolete? The last American plant making tapes is going to cease operation. Details can be found over at AA in a thread that Ray Kimber started. Sean
I am primarily listening, buying tape at EBAY and where ever I can find it.

Calling around today to several suppliers I found out Quantegy will resume operations after they get their finances reorganized. Stock is supposed to resume by the end of this month, so if I decide to record, I can probably get what I need.

Even if Quantegy fails, I don’t' think much time will pass before someone sets up operation in China, Russia or Mexico and make money on whatever market is left. At one time it was predicted tube would cease to exist. I think more people are building them now than in the 1950's.

Never underestimate the power of Capitalism (free market).
Well, as I can see, I am not the only one with the TAPE disease...I have been in the music industry since 1965 and have a huge collection of pro masters fron the greatest in the industry. I have 6 machines altogether; a Sony 765, an Akai ???, a Tascam 38 ( 8 track hald inch ), my technics 1520 in mint condition, a Revox...
I also have a Tascam da88 that I have used for my bands recordings, but always go back to analog tapes for the best sound, just as my old friend Eric Clapton does.
Any chance of us trading copies of 15 IPS open reel tapes? I don't have as many as you but am about ready to install my restored Ampex 351 into my system.

I have one original safety (NOT a copy) and a few master dubs.