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Lamont Sanford
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Suggestions for reel to reel players

Trying to cut down on some research time. What are some good vintage reel to reel tape machines to look for.

bobedaone
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players

I'm by no means an expert, but I believe Tandberg made some nice decks.

jackfish
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players

The upper end TEAC and AKAI decks were good. They are also relatively easy to restore. I can remember some of those 10 1/2" long party tapes at 3 3/4 ips and the fidelity at 15 ips was incredible. Sorry I got rid of mine in the 80s.

stereophillips
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players

Tandberg did indeed make fabulous tape decks, but getting parts for them these days is all but impossible.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players

Tascam and Teac for sure along with a Revox machine if you can find one. As WP mentioned, Tandberg machines were nice as well.

Check the pro audio dealers in your area as they usually have some decent used R2R mahcines from studios that are usually fairly well taken care of.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players

Thanks all,

The link below shows the rear panel of my receiver. It already has a cassette deck, CD player, and turntable hooked up. How does a reel-to-reel fit in? If it all.

http://manuals.harman.com/HK/QuickStart%20Guide/HK3380RearPanel.pdf

bobedaone
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players

Audioquest (and probably other companies) makes a single male-double female adapter. You could get a few of them and then run the cassette deck and the reel-to-reel through the same tape loop.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players

God, I hope I didn't screw up and got a piece of junk...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...N:IT&ih=020

I just want to occasionally play older reel to reel tapes like Sly & The Family Stone and so forth.

CECE
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players

In this land of audio perfection, without proper tape machine buffering, the connected unused machine WILL cause anomolies in the ckt. Hooking two machines parallel in the tape puts will just make things bad to worse. And I thought everyone here was such an expert...guess not. AVA does make his pre amps with optional TAPE BUFFERING ckts. But then what does he know? and this is teh land of $100K TT's and now we hook 2 tape machines unbuffered into the same conenctions!!! Holy Moly.

CECE
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players

Actually that Akai looks NEAT!!!!!! I had an Akai years ago, CrossField head and all, it had problems, but it was slick. Roberts name was used at one time for Akai before they became known here in teh U.S. I have a 30+ year old Philips ree-reel. Pristine shape, new belts, reel-reel WAS THE high end method in it's time. The difference was easily audible, no need for specail LISTENING abiltys!!! MF loves old technologies, he should start reviewing old reel-reel machines, and try to bring back that obsolete format. He keeps trying to bring back the LP. It's not gonna happen. car companies bring back replicas VW Bug, Ford Mustand, ThunderBird(man that flopped) It is just a sales blip then it fades. Maybe NASA will redo a Mercury 7 trip and tell us it had a much better thrill to it!!!! Any John Glen wannabe's? If teh SACD is a dead format, what does that make LP? SACD ain't dead it actually uses modern technology, what a concept.

59mga
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players

Lamont,

The brands that Jack, Wes and Jim mention are all good...some models better than others but all worth having.
You may also consider Crown and Revox (as someone mentioned).
I worked on all of these brands, except for Revox, over the years and rarely was there an electronics or mechanical problem. Probably 90% of the work was standard maintenance; i.e., replacing belts and pinch rollers, lubing, tweeking levels, de-maging and an occasional head replacement.
The Akai you show is a nice deck. It has the same electronics as the next level up. The only difference was the the speed (7 1/2-15 ips as compared to 3 3/4-7 1/2, on your model) and mechanical instead of electro-mech engagements. If you have pre-recorded tapes (from the various record labels) they'll, most likely be 3 3/4 ips but they will sound excellent.
As for having an input, on your HK; you should be able to use the VD1 or VD2 in/out. The jack impedance should be the same as that of the tape in/out jacks.

Enjoy.

Mike

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players

It looks like a pretty nice machine as long as the seller packs it well. Usually on something like this I try and find one within driving distance, especially turntables, but this looks nice and hope it works out for you. Sometimes you can work it out if you and the seller split the driving distance and expense if he is closer. This beats broken merchandise. You probably know you can sort categories on EBay by "nearest first" to let you know if one is close by.

The hook up for this is just like your cassette deck. If you have no interest in recording then any "line in" on your receiver will work, just not the phono in.

Good luck.

jackfish
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players

Wow! If that really is an AKAI GX4000D in mint condition you made a great deal for $128. A restored one will cost about $300.

CECE
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players

Sometimes tape in/out is before any tone ckts on the pre amp side. Tape in is usually also hi level in like tuner etc...but some ckts have tape/ in/out not going through gain or tone ckts of teh pre amp...subtle difrferences, may not matter at all...it's a $180 tape machine....hundred years old, as long as it plays, then it's fine. Finding some tapes that are not flaking will be teh next challenge....reel-reel always sounded better than LP of the same stuff. More signal, no noise, no pop, no scratch....bring back reel reel, just make it digital and optical...OH,first Philips replaced reel-reel with compact cassette in like 1962 for ease of use, Dolby made it sound better for music(original comapct cassette was mostly for speech actually) Philips did then improve everything called CD. Too bad we can't find some 15 IPS studio tapes, and machines to play them on 2" tapes or so, well there are some Ampex on E-bay, but probably a nightmare, not working etc Studer stuido machines? Never mind

59mga
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players


Quote:
Sometimes tape in/out is before any tone ckts on the pre amp side. Tape in is usually also hi level in like tuner etc...but some ckts have tape/ in/out not going through gain or tone ckts of teh pre amp

Good points, DUP. I made my comments, however, with the thought that on a "standard" device the tape in/out will be before any gain or tone circuits.


Quote:
....reel-reel always sounded better than LP of the same stuff. More signal, no noise, no pop, no scratch

How true...just make sure the heads are clean and de-maged.


Quote:
Too bad we can't find some 15 IPS studio tapes, and machines to play them on 2" tapes or so, well there are some Ampex on E-bay, but probably a nightmare, not working etc Studer stuido machines? Never mind

Dream on DUP.

deckeda
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players


Quote:

Quote:
....reel-reel always sounded better than LP of the same stuff. More signal, no noise, no pop, no scratch

How true...just make sure the heads are clean and de-maged.

Over the years I'd often heard that open reel, even with its faults, was the finest format available to consumers for pre-recorded playback, even though most of it was naturally done on high-speed duplication machines and for 3 3/4ips playback. And quarter-track, natch.

Perhaps it was because the availability of new music on open reel dried up long ago, and the players somewhat later --- but it always surprised me to not see this topic broached by the Stereophile staff, given the potential ramifications, if only for a small subset of available music.

On the other hand in recent times we've seen fascinating Fisher, Bozak and Quad reviews ... maybe it's time for one of the columnists to scrape together say, $500 or so from the editorial budget and snag a player and some vintage tapes from eBay and compare them to vinyl copies? ( I promise not to then ask for an Elcaset comparo ...)

59mga
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players


Quote:

Over the years I'd often heard that open reel, even with its faults, was the finest format available to consumers for pre-recorded playback,

I have to agree with you. After all, weren't the master recordings done on magnetic tape? (Granted it wasn't 1/4" tape.)


Quote:
Perhaps it was because the availability of new music on open reel dried up long ago, and the players somewhat later

Even at its' peak the sale of reel-to-reel never can near that of vinyl. Most likely because so few people owned r-r decks, for a variety of reasons. And the truth is, other than playback of professionaly recorded tapes what good were these units...copying vinyl to tape never resulted in the best of sound. Even if one had all the proper electronics getting a good copy from vinyl was not possible. To me, the open reel was just a play toy. But with the advent of CDs...well, buy this point in time how many folks had open reel devices. Cassette decks were on their way out, buy this time.


Quote:
On the other hand in recent times we've seen fascinating Fisher, Bozak and Quad reviews ...

Yes, but these are exceptional items and may be considered "landmarks" in the audio world that all of us would like to have, in our audiophile collection.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players

You'll believe this story. The idiot I bought this from didn't understand what he sold. He packed it in a Frito Lay box with bullshit for packing material and sent it USPS like it was a box of dried fruit or something. The unit looks brand new. Like it has been in storage for 30 years. Not a spot on it. Except for the corners on the side that got damaged in the shipping. I gave the f*ck a negative rating and sent him an email and told him to stick to selling toys and Coleman lamps because this one was way out of his league. Anyway, I got some new sides for it to replace the ones that were damaged. I mean this unit still has the warning stickers on the sides and top. This is one hell of a machine. It weighs a ton and plays just fine even with the f*cked up shipping idiot. The sides are still press board. My cousin owns and operates a cabinet shop. I think some solid black walnut custom sides will look awesome. The old lumber yard here as some black walnut that is older than my grandmother just waiting up in the rafters for me to go and fetch. Black walnut is so cool that you don't need to put a finish on it. Sand it down real smooth and leave it alone.

CECE
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players

Cool, sounds like a real deal. There is enough material in them older machines to build hundreds of iPODS. I see Akai "profecssional" now advertised, they gave up on teh consumer market. I had one of them old "crossfield" head units way way way back. Replaced it with a Philips Reel-Reel which I still have, last time i used it it worked fine, just replaced some old rubber belts etc. That where stretched loose. From time. www.mcminone.com has every friggin rubber drive belt you could think of, they also sell a measurement device to do it eaiser. Even my Blose wave machine needed a belt replaced on it's cassette drive, the thing is over 20 years old, still kicking, with them no highs no lows, but it is actually rather heavy made, one stretched old drive belt put it out of commision. cool how that cam apart, like a car, all secret snaps a snap here, screw here, entire cassette assy pops out of top, and easy to swap belt. So on this Akai you should probably check out teh belts etc. Find a service manual and you will find it much easier to look at stuff since they should have diagrams showing all the secret screws, clips etc. Get some new blank tape Quantegy? the last one making 1/4" R-R? Wonder what a R-R sounds compared to a $100K TT? Bet teh old R-R wins. So much more signal, so much less surface noise. Now you need to find some really good r-r tapes. Columbia House used to sell that stuff remember

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players

Thanks. I've already obtained a copy of the service manual. Its like over 60 pages. Complete instructions on servicing the unit all the way through. I also got the owner's manual as well. An Akai pro wants about $400 to service one of these units. I think I can do it based on the fact it is playing fine right now as well as your own suggestions above.

This Sunday I'm going through the morning paper and join every record club I can!

absolutepitch
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players

I have not looked recently. Have anyone here tried to buy blank R-to-R tapes? I also have a R-to-R machine that needs lube and maintenance, but worked the last time I used it several years ago.

59mga
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players

Go to www.musiciansfriend.com (reel-to-reel, in Search window).

There is also www.totalmedia.com (I'm not sure if they sell to the individual.)

There is plenty on ebay. Your can also try an audiophile store. (Forget any of the mass-market chain stores.)

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players


Quote:
I have not looked recently. Have anyone here tried to buy blank R-to-R tapes? I also have a R-to-R machine that needs lube and maintenance, but worked the last time I used it several years ago.

Plenty on Ebay still sealed.

CECE
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players

Quantegy is selling off at discounts lotsa obsolte tapes...they remain the last U.S. maker, they went out came back again... http://www.quantegy.com/index2.html

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Suggestions for reel to reel players

Again, another positive and productive post by DUP. I rest my case.

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