I use mine all the time, Technics 1520, you can view a photo of it at my system thread. Great machine and inexpensive to buy and maintain.
26 responses Add your response
I've got a Tandberg 9241X. I've mainly used it the past couple of years to convert my open reels to digital. I had to recently get my rubber rollers rebuilt and one always worries about the availability of parts to repair or maintain a 30 year old machine. I'd have a hard time justifying day to day use.
I have two sony's, one the TC-580 is used all the time with pre-recorded tapes. It has an autoreverse that automatically senses the end of one side and does the reverse. Many of the r2r tiles I have, I also have the vinyl and cd versions. R2R, does sound best. I also have some dolby b tapes and its processor, sounds even better. For classical stuff, the Barclay and Croker tapes will best vinyl, especially the Vanguard tapes.
not to brag (i don't even have two of them hooked up to anything) but i have FIVE, including a teac A-6100 two-track master recorder, a teac x-2000R, a teac x-2000M, a tascam br-20, and an otari MX-55N.
almost bought a nagra-D-II on e-bay but chickened out as i do not have enough knowledge to use a 4-track machine that can be interfaced with a win-tel computer. true-24 bit resolution and tons of knobs and switches, 4 VU meters, a rotating digital head- nowadays nagra uses a hard-drive instead of tape, but that's not as much fun to look at...
I use the Pioneer 1020L which has switchable heads from 4 to two track and the two speeds 3.75 & 7.5 IPS respectfully. Let me take this opportunity to tell you that nothing sounds better than factory prerecorded tapes especially if they are the faster speed and from Ampex or Magtec. The only way to top this incrediable sound is with the actual masters. So throw away those turntables and thread up those take up reels. LOLOLOL
dear jsman, i compared the transports on the otari 5050 and the otari mx-55n, and there is no comparison. the mx55 ff- rew- and plays and comes to a gentle stop "on a dime". the 5050 i saw had jerky starts and stops. not bad enough to cause any problems of course- it is still much better than teacs and entry-level tascams. compares nicely with studer decks (although people do get emotional over which is better, german or japanese engineering and sound quality). BTW, an mx-55 in good shape will cost you some major money.
as for AMPEX, PLEASE! that stuff is for recording engineers!
i bow in humility before anyone with the ability to set up and use ampex's, scully's, MCI's (sony's professional line), etc.
Well- OK, I have used the very same machine to record LPs and CDs that I or others have released. Its not any harder to set up than other machines are though- and sooner or later they all need it- you either do it yourself or have someone do it regardless of the machine.
What's nice about it is that you get nice record/play all vacuum-tube electronics. They have so much output that you can drive your power amplifiers directly while driving 30 feet of interconnect. The result is... even more transparency.
Whatever machine you go with make sure that it is still servicable. My Pioneer 1020L needed a new solaniod switch so I found a authorized Pioneer dealer and he told me about a repair shop that fixes vintage R2Rs and overhauls them. Remember the used machine you buy is at least 20+ years old and needs a good internal cleaning.
What would you suggest for a first reel to reel, 1/2 track or 1/4 track?
Half-track machines are primarily professional use. The extra tape width per track gives a slightly better S/N ratio and also helps reduce the chance of signal drop-out due to imperfections in the tape's oxide surface. The drawback is that any reel of tape on a half-track gives you only half the recording time.
Quarter-track machines are far more the rule in the home environment. As as others have noted, most commercially available prerecorded tapes are this format. I'd go with this format unless you have a specific reason to do otherwise. Note that the tapes recorded in quarter-track are not compatible with a half-track machine. However, a quarter-track machine will play a half-track tape.