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  • Tape Machine Choice

    Ok. now that you've got me curious, what are the consumer based machines that you would recommend that would be a good choice in 2017 to try in a home based audio system.

    No way that I'd be interested in studio quality decks as I just don't have the software and wouldn't make that kind of investment for this diversion if it happens. An old friend has a top of the line Tandberg that has probably sat for years. In perusing the local audio mart I see decks from Technics (1500 I believe), Revox B77 versions I &II that are reasonable. I know all about service and the pitfalls of this old electro-mechanical stuff -it could be a jackpot in the end.

    So what are some solid recommendations outside of spending $20K to re-live this tape thing in 2017 as an experiment? What features would you look for regardless of brand?

    I have been heavily invested in vinyl so this just has not been something on my radar... thanks.
    Front end: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
    Brinkmann Balance & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
    Amps: Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2
    Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
    Speakers: Quad ESL 57, Beveridge Model 3 DD amps, REL S/2 x 2
    Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222

  • #2
    Kcin,

    There are a NUMBER of excellent quality consumer and "prosumer" decks out there. Suggest you start by looking at the Tape Project site where there are a number of Doc B suggestions and other posts relating to prosumer recommendations.

    In the prosumer world, I personally think that the Technics 1500 series is tops, but a number of others like the Otari MX5050 and others. In the consumer world, I do love the Tandberg TD20 - great sounding machine "stock". Get your friend's if you can. And the various Revox(es) from the A77 on thru the PR99 - they do a decent job of tape handling and have very good heads but the playback electronics should be "updated" (new caps). As you know you need "high speed" (7-1/2 and 15ips) and 2-track (stereo) capability. Look for a transport that senses tape motion and won't allow the tape to go (for example) into PLAY from FAST FORWARD or REWIND until the tape has COMPLETELY STOPPED. Most pro machines add gentler tape handling (constant tension).

    I do advise newbies on a limited budget NOT to spend a lot of money on the deck to start - get something decent and try finding/stating a tape collection. If "successful", then decide how much "further" you may want to go. Outboard playback electronics do make a difference.

    Above all, HAVE FUN!

    Charles

    Comment


    • #3
      Buy Larry's Otari. It's a great deal and it comes with some tapes.
      Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mep View Post
        Buy Larry's Otari. It's a great deal and it comes with some tapes.
        Sorry, it was sold on Monday. I am down to my two ATR-102's, definitely not starter machines. :-) Larry
        Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0,Merrill Trident Master Tape Pre,Herron VTPH-2A
        Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,Mykerinos,PacMicroModel2
        Dig Play-mchNADAC, LampiPac, Roon, HQP, Oppo105
        Electronics-Doshi Pre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
        Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
        Other-2x512Engineer/Marutani Symmetrical Power, AudioDiskVinylCleaner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects,
        Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1.3KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by astrotoy View Post

          Sorry, it was sold on Monday. I am down to my two ATR-102's, definitely not starter machines. :-) Larry
          Somebody got a great deal!
          Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

          Comment


          • #6
            I just started my first foray into tape. I bought a fully restored (with New Nortronics heads) Crown SX 722 from the Crowndoc, Chuck Ziska. Should arrive Friday.
            Magnepan 1.7i, VMPS Large Sub, Belden 5000 Speaker Cable, Synthesis 510 AC Integrated Amplifier, Celtic Dragon & Grover EX+ Interconnects, Crown SX 722 R/R, Nakamichi RX 202 Cassette Deck, PS Audio Stellar Phono Preamplifier, Clearaudio Solution Turntable, Clearaudio Satisfy Tone Arm, Clearaudio Concerto V2 Cartridge, Clearaudio Smart Syncro, Belkin AP41300 Power Conditioner/Surge Protector, Transparent Power Cables

            Comment


            • MylesBAstor
              MylesBAstor commented
              Editing a comment
              Congrats, there's no looking back!

          • #7
            Originally posted by stellavox View Post
            Kcin,

            There are a NUMBER of excellent quality consumer and "prosumer" decks out there. Suggest you start by looking at the Tape Project site where there are a number of Doc B suggestions and other posts relating to prosumer recommendations.

            In the prosumer world, I personally think that the Technics 1500 series is tops, but a number of others like the Otari MX5050 and others. In the consumer world, I do love the Tandberg TD20 - great sounding machine "stock". Get your friend's if you can. And the various Revox(es) from the A77 on thru the PR99 - they do a decent job of tape handling and have very good heads but the playback electronics should be "updated" (new caps). As you know you need "high speed" (7-1/2 and 15ips) and 2-track (stereo) capability. Look for a transport that senses tape motion and won't allow the tape to go (for example) into PLAY from FAST FORWARD or REWIND until the tape has COMPLETELY STOPPED. Most pro machines add gentler tape handling (constant tension).

            I do advise newbies on a limited budget NOT to spend a lot of money on the deck to start - get something decent and try finding/stating a tape collection. If "successful", then decide how much "further" you may want to go. Outboard playback electronics do make a difference.

            Above all, HAVE FUN!

            Charles
            Thank you, this is very useful information -my hunt is on and will reach out to my friend.
            Front end: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
            Brinkmann Balance & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
            Amps: Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2
            Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
            Speakers: Quad ESL 57, Beveridge Model 3 DD amps, REL S/2 x 2
            Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by kcin View Post

              Thank you, this is very useful information -my hunt is on and will reach out to my friend.
              Just make sure the Tandberg will play both NAB and IEC EQs. Most of the new 15 ips tapes being released use save for Groove Note IEC EQ. That's in contrast to most of the early prerecorded 7-1/2 ips tapes being NAB in the US.
              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
              ________________________________________

              -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
              -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
              -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
              -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
              -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

              Comment


              • #9
                Greg's UHA machines start at $6500 and come with a warranty. You can always upgrade the machine as funds become available!!

                Comment


                • #10
                  My go to sleeper R2R has to be the Sony APR 5003. You should be able to find one for USD1k or less. It was Sony's first and last studio R2R machine,coming out in the late 80s, after Sony bought MCI. Great tape handling, super build, good sounding stock electronics, 4 speeds (3.75 through to 30 IPS) software driven calibration and line up. You would need to get a Studer A80 to beat it.

                  There is a great Sony APR users group set up by Richard Hess. Look for a later machine with ceramic tape lifters, but the older machines with steel tape lifters are fine. I have one of both. In fact for the cost a consumer Technics 1500 machine or a third of the cast of an UHA, you could have two Sony APRs just like I do. That way, you don't mind buying master tapes, as you can duplicate them to new 15 IPS tape stock, just like in this picture.



                  PS - sorry about the clutter and the wires everywhere! I had to hook up my Macbook Air, so that I could feed the 1k and 10 k test tones to line up the tape and the machines

                  Charlie

                  Comment


                  • Rob
                    Rob commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I think there's another thread on this site speaking to the APR 5003, maybe it was Jonathan Horwich. Anyways a few top tape techs in LA told me to keep an eye open for this machine too as its a real sleeper.

                • #11
                  Wow ! nice set up.. I will add this one to my list!
                  Front end: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
                  Brinkmann Balance & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
                  Amps: Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2
                  Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
                  Speakers: Quad ESL 57, Beveridge Model 3 DD amps, REL S/2 x 2
                  Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222

                  Comment


                  • topoxforddoc
                    topoxforddoc commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thank you. Now I've got into R2R, I hardly play my Platine Verdier any more. It's not that my PV is poor (It has a Schroeder Model 2 Allaerts MC1B and a rewired Hadcock 228 & John Wright rebuilt Decca FFSS MkIV C4E, both fed into TRON phono stages), it's just that 15 IPS master tape just blows everything else out of the water!

                  • kcin
                    kcin commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I let a PV slip away - one of my favorite turntables. I will reacquire one some day.
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