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Author Topic: No love for the Pioneer RT-707?  (Read 30412 times)

Offline powermatic

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No love for the Pioneer RT-707?
« on: April 10, 2008, 07:43:56 PM »
Granted, it doesn't have the sonics of my Technics 1500 through the Seduction, but there's a lot to be said for this deck (I use mine for playback only):

-Built like the proverbial brick shithouse. The physical size gives no indication of how heavy this thing is when you pick it up.

-Auto-reverse for ee-zz listenin'. I love playing my 7" pre-recorded tapes through this when I'm doing other stuff in the vicinity. It provides analog sound without the constant need to pay attention to what's going on with the machine (I'm thinking especially of LPs)

-User friendly. The tape-guide lock feature makes tape threading a breeze.

-Small footprint. It's not so overbearing when you've got more than one deck in the system.

Anyway, nothing is perfect, and I'd love to modify the ouput amp. If any others here have done so it'd be great to know what you've done. I've even thought of looking for a 'beater' to pull the boards out of and use as test mules.

My first post here, hope this provides some food for thought, thanks for all the info I've accrued through lurking.

vaya con dios

Offline cam3xl

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Re: No love for the Pioneer RT-707?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2008, 09:26:10 PM »
problem with the 707 is that it does not take a 10.5" reel, nor will it play at 15ips.  Just not a compliant machine.  I had a tech working on moding the 909, but realized a little too late that it did not have a 2 track head.  No dice there either.  Worth just getting a spec machine and enjoying the music.
Whatever sounds good,  Do that!

Peace,
Bhek

Pro-Ject Xpression 1, Denon DL-160 MC cart., Sony DVP-555ES SACD, Maple Tree Audio Ultra 4+ Pre, Audio Research D100 power, Onkyo Tuner, Otari 5050 IIB 2speed 2/4 track R2R.  Mirage OM-9.

Offline rbwtapeinterlink-Bob

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Re: No love for the Pioneer RT-707?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2008, 11:27:47 AM »
Welcome Powermatic,

We're happy to have you as part of this growing family of music lovers and lovers of the the tape recorder especially Studers (smile). The Pioneer 707 and 909 are beautiful machines and once shined up presents a fabulous look. And both had good but not great sound. However, as Bek noted, the 707 does not take the 10inch reels. Though the 909 does, neither will run tape at 15ips. I also don't think either can be set to the IEC standard used by the Tape Project for playback. You've got a lovely machine in the Technics 1500 and with the mods you have a wonderful playback system. So, you're cool for now. Again, welcome sir.

Bob W.
Bob W. (African American) VPI, Ref Standard Grado, Denon 103r, Threshold, DecWare tube pre and Classe pre amp, Jolida tube phono pre amp, (Peter Gunn) modified Magnapan 1.6, Tascam 32-2B & 42B tape decks, Parasound belt drive CD transport, Pacific Valve tube DAC, VPI  TT, various upscale cables.

Offline Studer Fool

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Re: No love for the Pioneer RT-707?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2008, 06:40:10 PM »
Well, I love mine!  When Barclay-Crocker moved into Poughkeepsie in the '80s, I would go to visit and select tapes to buy, and guess what machine they had on hand for a quick dupe-lab back room check of a tape?  Yep, you guessed it, a Pioneer RT-707!  It was hooked up to a pair of Infinity consumer bookshelf speakers, and sounded a little bright to me, but then I was running a modified Dynaco Stereo 70 into Magnaplaner MG-1s myself back then.  There is something symbiotic about the BC tapes and the 707.  Somehow the slightly soft top end of the 707 balanced nicely against the Dolby encoding of the BC tapes and made listening with out a Dolby unit the best sonic arrangement (I tried two different TEAC units).  It didn't beat a good tube phono vinyl front end but was a pleasure anyway particularly with endless autoreverse; put a nice music for two harps tape on before dinner with friends and I always got a complement.  I was told that the chief BC mastering engineer used at home, yep you coulda guessed it, a Technics 1700!

So plenty of love for the 707, but as other replies above have no doubt made you well aware, the Tape Project is not about that format.  The overwhelming goal here is to ferret out the machines that will do 10 1/2 inch 15ips 2-track with IEC eq.
Christopher D. Wait
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Offline powermatic

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Re: No love for the Pioneer RT-707?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2008, 08:33:36 AM »
Oddly, I've found the same to be true with my BCs. I've tried a couple of outboard Dolby machines, and the sound degradation is far worse than any possible positives from the Dolby encoding, so I just run them straight through with very positive results. And as you say, with a bit of foil tape you've got the nice analog sound for less 'physically involved' listening.

BTW, I'm aware that the small Pioneer is unsuitable for the Tape Project tapes, but I thought this particular category offered analysis of other-than-DocB-project-suitable machines. And frankly, not that many RTR blogs out there. And you guys seemed the most knowledgeable. And I spend lots of time over at AA, including Tape, and very little ever said about the Pioneer decks. So desperation ensued. How's that for a litany of excuses?  (-:

Thanks......

Offline ironbut

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Re: No love for the Pioneer RT-707?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2008, 10:37:09 AM »
Hey powermatic, that's not such a bad idea to have a dedicated machine for 7" tapes. I always love the look of the 707 and while not cheap, they aren't expensive either. You might try contacting Stellavox or tubes n tapes to see if you could get some mods done to the stock playback electronics. I think that anytime that you start to talk about modifying stock ss amps in any consumer machines of that era, you really have to consider if it might be better to just bypassing the whole shebang and outputting the heads to a modified Seduction. At this point the only reservation I'd have about that is the gain is pretty low. I used the Seduction with my Technics for quite a while but I happened to have an old preamp sitting around collecting dust so I used it to pick up the extra gain (8-10 dB). The reason I said "at this this point" is that a Seduction ll is in the works that will have higher gain. Doc can fill in the details since I've just seen a few posts over on the Bottlehead forum. There's also the added advantage of being able to tube roll the sound that you like. The Seduction is very cheap and a fun kit to put together. Lots of folks have successfully built it as their first kit too. And when you're done and do the very slight mods to make it a tape preamp, you'll have picked up some new skills. Win-win if you ask me.
StuderFool, do you think it's the heads on the 707 that result in the roll off? I have an old Sony that I use for cleaning tapes and tape compression and it has a pleasant roll off as well but I'm not sure if it's the heads or the playback gear.
steve koto
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Offline Studer Fool

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Re: No love for the Pioneer RT-707?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2008, 05:04:24 PM »
Steve asks:
"StuderFool, do you think it's the heads on the 707 that result in the roll off?"

Well Steve, my bet is all the electrolytic capacitors in the playback electronics, and NOT the heads.  And probably if we searched we could find some old glossy magazine review that proves the frequency response is flat from whatever-to-whatever, ho-hum, ho-hum, snore.  I originally wrote "rolled off" and fearing reproach I changed it to "soft top end" which better states the perceived sound quality anyway.

By the way I did pick up an Advent outboard 100A Dolby B unit a while back to try upgrading.  With all discrete device circuits it looks like the best hope, after modification that is.  Scanned the schematic and have it around here somewhere.  No time to do the modification work though.  I don't seem to have a life, just work.  Besides, I have two Studer A-80s to attend and worship!
Christopher D. Wait
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Studer A80-VU & Studer A80-RC (and Doc's lovingly modified Ampex 934 with Seduction Tape Head Preamp Combo!)

Offline powermatic

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hey ironbut....
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2008, 03:40:59 PM »
I've read with interest your reports on BCs, Dolby units, general tape knowledge and/or etc. Thanks for all the previous info.

As regards using the Seduction with the the 707, I've considered that already (I'm currently using one with my Technics). However, the problem I'm having is that connecting the Seduction directly to the heads, ala the Technics, would eliminate the auto-reverse feature of the Pioneer, which, frankly, I enjoy the hell out of with my 4 track tapes. Looking at the schematics shows that the possibility of hooking it up and still using the stock switching circuits is beyond my (modest) ee capabilities. Thus the thought to perhaps do some mods to the stock playback amp (new caps, etc).

FWIW, the 707 is a fun deck to use (as you say) as an exclusive 7" deck, and is readily available at around 250.00+/- in decent-to-good shape.

I have schematics available 'twould anyone like to take a gander and advise. (-: 






Offline Studer Fool

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Re: No love for the Pioneer RT-707?
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2008, 06:20:19 AM »
Correct, connection directly at the heads is out if you want to retain auto-reverse (I would).  However, achievable in theory at least, the optimum signal takeoff would be just after the switch that picks the correct head depending upon the tape direction.  Opening up the guts and finding, and connecting to that spot inside is another reality entirely.  Another question would be whether the signal could just be picked-off or if the signal path at that point would need to be opened-up to prevent the players downstream electronics from receiving the signal.  Achieving outboard playback electronic hookup would clearly be the cat's meow for playback of BC tapes though.

-cdw
Christopher D. Wait
Charter Subscriber SN# 026
Studer A80-VU & Studer A80-RC (and Doc's lovingly modified Ampex 934 with Seduction Tape Head Preamp Combo!)

Offline ironbut

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Re: No love for the Pioneer RT-707?
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2008, 05:51:35 PM »
It may be a lot easier than you might think. The signal path should be able to be found by working backwards from the playback board. Just like in the Technics, the connection is more than likely just made with a multi-pin connector that's plugged into the board. If any of you guys have a service manual take a look at the connections for the playback board and it should be easy (unless the connection is made with fingers on the board).
Anyway, you'll need a manual to find out the output of the heads (in mhy) to know how to mod the Seduction.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2008, 05:53:19 PM by ironbut »
steve koto
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Offline zandor57

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Pioneer RT-707?
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2013, 12:11:43 PM »
Does anybody have a users manual I can get a coppy of Just got machine need to know how to operate

Offline ironbut

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Re: No love for the Pioneer RT-707?
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2013, 12:24:44 PM »
Hey zandor (btw we use our real names here, please read Forum Rules),

You can download the manuals from HiFi Engine. You just need to register there and it's free.

http://www.hifiengine.com/library.shtml
steve koto
 Sony scd 777es(R. Kern mods)> Vpi Aires>Dynavector XX-2mkll>Bent mu>CAT ultimate>CJ premeir 140>Magnepan 1.6qr(Jensen xover)Headphone Eddie Current Zana Deux>AT ad2000,HD800 ,Metric Halo ULN-2 (battery powered),
 HE Audio Jades