Tape-in and Tape-out ports


Why do so many preamp manufacturers still provide Tape-in and Tape-out ports? I doubt if they expect folks use them for hooking up a tape player. Some even still have a tape monitor switch on the front panel. How do you guys use these ports and has anyone noticed a difference in sound quality if the tape-in port is used for something else like a CD player, etc.? If the tape-out port is just like another output, e.g., drive a separate amp or a powered subwoofer, etc., why not just call it Output?
Been meaning to ask this question, albeit it might sound rudimentary.
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Tape-out jacks are very useful for those who sometimes want to record LP to digital. And analog tape is enjoying a bit of a resurgence - especially reel-to-reel - so I'm not sure why you doubt that those jacks are being used.

kalali---For one thing, the tape out jacks are fixed in level, not variable like the mains, so they can’t be used to feed a power amp (unless your amp has level pots). Also, they are taken from before the final stage of amplification in a pre, and their output impedance is often different from that of the mains.

But as cleeds said, those outputs are also used as the source for digital recorders, as well as surround sound processors and digital room correction devices (DSPeaker Anti-Mode, for instance).

bdp24

For one thing, the tape out jacks are ... taken from before the final stage of amplification in a pre, and their output impedance is often different from that of the main

Not necessarily. On some ARC preamps, for example, the tape out is just a "pass-through."


Thank you. So technically with a unity gain I suppose one could also drive a powered subwoofer using this output, assuming the subwoofer has volume and frequency cutoff controls. I hadn't considered the other usecases mentioned.
Not very practical.  You would have to separately adjusted the subwoofer volume every time you change the preamp volume.
To point out another obvious one - the tape loop (with monitor switch on/off) is also useful for connecting an EQ in the signal path on any source.  Would apply to any effects processing actually.  I haven't used them this way in years, but have used them that way with a spectral analyzer with no EQ in the past and it can be at least interesting.

Not suggesting that most people are using tape decks these days, but it still has its utility for some.

Greg
I use the tape out connections on my preamp to feed a Stax Driver amp for my Stax electrostatic headphones.

It is a "must have" in a preamp for me!
works great with 8-track recorders
Me too Don, for my Stax headphone amp. The old tube version of the amp had a pair of output jacks, for returning the signal to the pre. 
I have a question that I'm told pertains to tape in and tape ports: I was advised that I should try to use tone controls in my system and see if I like the results. I have an Adcom pre and was told it could be inserted into my system, and "play" along with my existing Audible Illusions Modulus 3B preamp. As I understand it, the Adcom preamp would only be used for its tone controls and the way to accomplish this is to use its tape out ports.

Is anyone familiar with how to do this, i.e., how do I set the signal path? Is it source to Adcom to AI to amp? Or souce to AI to Adcom to pre?