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Author Topic: Tape Machine Compatibility Database Project  (Read 44949 times)

Offline docb

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Tape Machine Compatibility Database Project
« on: January 17, 2007, 01:22:41 PM »
I am happily getting deluged with emails asking whether machine XYZ will work with Tape Project tapes. This is something we expected, and our desire is to build a database of compatible and incompatible but adaptable machines.

The basic requirements of a reel to reel machine for Tape Project tape playback are:

  • handles 10.5" reels
  • plays at 15 ips
  • has 1/4" half track stereo (a.k.a. two track) playback head
  • has IEC (a.k.a. CCIR) playback equalization

Some machines have all of this right out of the box. One example would be the high speed version of the Otari MX-5050BII. Another is the Technics RS1520. Others are adaptable - for example a low speed MX-5050BII can be reset internally for 7.5/15 ips, and it may be possible to activate the IEC EQ on NAB type RS1500s.

So what we would like to see posted to this thread is info that you have determined by looking at any  machines you have in your possession. A simple post naming the brand and model and listing whether it meets or does not meet each of the the above criteria is all that is necessary. Please be as specific as possible about the model number as there are a lot of variants of some classic machines like Revox, Technics, Otari, etc. when it come to tape speed, head complement, EQ settings, etc. Info from brochures, websites, etc., is welcome too, but please be very clear to state that it's from a second hand source rather than from a machine that's sitting in front of you. Believe it or not, some info on the Web is wrong...
« Last Edit: December 06, 2007, 09:10:57 AM by docb »
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline docb

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Otari MX-5050BII low speed
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2007, 04:20:19 PM »
I happen to have one of these sitting here, so I'll start the database:

Otari MX-5050BII low speed version ( 3.75 ips and 7.5 ips)

10.5" reel capable with Otari hub adapters

IEC EQ switch on rear panel, below power cord.

no 15 ips on this low speed version as delivered, but this is switchable internally.
Extracted from Otari tech bulletin TB-5050-001:

1) Remove the six screws attaching the rear panel to the tape deck
2) Remove the 4 Allen screws that hold the right side panel to the frame. Remove the panel.
3) The Speed Selection Switch is located on the control PCB assembly (labeled SW701)
4) Slide the switch from the L position to the H position. This will now allow switching on the front of the machine between 7.5ips and 15ips.
To fine tune the setup you can use a speed reference tape and measure the frequency of the output signal from the tape. There are three adjustment pots (L,H,M) on the Capstan Servo Control PCB. The H pot will adjust the 15 ips speed.

The MX-5050BII comes with both 1/2 track and quarter track playback heads, reputed to be the same heads as those used on the Technics RS1500 and some other machines. These are very soft heads so check carefully for head wear when evaluating a machine.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline heideana

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Technics RS 1520
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2007, 05:51:36 PM »
I've got a Technics RS-1520 that meets the Tape Project criteria.  It is a 2-track record/repro machine with quarter-track play back capability.  It plays at 3.75"/7.5"/15" ips and is 10.5" reel capable with either Technics or Teac NAB hub adaptors.  There is an IEC switch on front panel. 

The RS-1520 also has 3 eq and bias settings and a built in tone generator for fine-tuning bias.

Doc, you're just interested in machines that meet the criteria, correct?



« Last Edit: December 06, 2007, 04:12:03 PM by docb »
Studer A810 and Otari MTR-15...Klipsch CWIII's, KG2's & RF7's

Truth is a kind of error, so vaporize it to find your way to heaven, or at least to a smile...

Offline AZ_Gary

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Re: Tape Machine Compatibility Database Project
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2007, 12:31:44 AM »
I have the MX-5050BII-2 mentioned above. I have switched it back to 7.5/15 IPS. I also have a Technics RS-1506 which would require an outboard IEC equalization unit (read Seduction). The 1506 has the requisite speed and 2 track playback capability. I'm still trying to decide which to use as I plan to go with the tube-based seduction in place of the built-in SS amps in either case.

My question is which of the 15 IPS IEC alignment tapes from MRL is the proper one to select for this project?

Gary Marklund
Sun City, AZ - USA

Offline stellavox

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Re: MRL tape
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2007, 06:49:03 AM »
AZ_Gary,

According to my info for a Reference Fluxitivity of 250 nWb/m, then it is the 15ips IEC tape #21J203.  Cost is up around $100 now.

They do have 3 other tapes depending on the ref flux. - from 200 to 355.  Doc/Paul - what tape will you be using?

If you're not going to be recording withthe deck, then the actual ref. flux. is not that critical - the azimuth and frequency response tones are what you really need.

Charles


Offline Cosmic

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Studer 807 mkII
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2007, 01:34:11 PM »
I have a Studer 807, mkII, and that is good to go. It is 1/4-inch, 2-track, with 7.5/15/30IPS and the NAB/IEC is switchable on the front of the machine using a menu button.

Claus.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2007, 04:12:41 PM by docb »
Claus Harding, Washington DC.

Offline High and Outside

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Re: MRL tape
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2007, 04:36:45 PM »
According to my info for a Reference Fluxitivity of 250 nWb/m, then it is the 15ips IEC tape #21J203.  Cost is up around $100 now.

They do have 3 other tapes depending on the ref flux. - from 200 to 355.  Doc/Paul - what tape will you be using?

Charles,

We use the 21J203, as well as an older STL tape, also at 250 nWb/m.
Paul Stubblebine
Managing Director, The TapeProject

Offline AZ_Gary

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Re: Tape Machine Compatibility Database Project
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2007, 11:55:31 AM »
Didn't see this response as I was on vacation when it was posted. That is good news because it is what I bought.

Gary

Gary Marklund
Sun City, AZ - USA

Offline TommyTunes

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TEAC X-2000M
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2007, 02:08:29 PM »
Teac X-2000M 10 1/2, 15ips, 1/4" half track and IEC/NAB selectable on a back panel switch.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2007, 04:13:20 PM by docb »
Thomas Caselli

Offline docb

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Revox (Studer) PR-99
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2007, 09:26:43 AM »
People love these "fancy B-77s" for their Studeresque looks. But be very careful when choosing one, as there are a lot of variants!

Make sure it is a high speed (7.5ips and 15ips) version. There are slow speed variants (3.75ips and 7.5ips) and even logging recorders that run a 15/16ips!

Make sure it is stereo. There are mono ones out there. A stock stereo unit will have the proper 1/2 track stereo playback head and there will be two outputs on the back. By the way, the PR-99 has balanced XLR outputs, which is something to consider if your system is wired with RCA cables.

US machines tend to have NAB record/playback electronics. Euro machines tend to be IEC/CCIR. You can get a plug in card that will convert an NAB machine to IEC.

Some machines are playback only. This is not a limitation if you are just playing back Tape Project tapes, and might even be considered a safety feature...
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline jdcolombo

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Tascam BR-20
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2007, 07:42:25 PM »
I'll add another.

Tascam BR-20.  7.5/15 ips, half-track, with switchable NAB/IEC eq.  This machine was manufactured by Tascam up until 2003 or 2004.  Has both unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR input/output and a host of pro features, including digital autolocator.  I think it was built primarily for broadcast use (hence, the "BR" designation), and weighs a ton.  Excellent tape handling.

John C.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2007, 04:13:51 PM by docb »
John Colombo
Savoy, IL

Offline ppeterso2

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Pioneer RT-1050
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2007, 06:25:12 PM »
i have an 10.5 inch oldie that will work:  The old Pioneer RT-1050 in stock form (high speed 15/7.5, with the original 2 track head block (the original owner bought it with both plug-in head blocks--but the 2 track is stock)).  The deck has a front panel tape selector knobs that will play and record IEC at 15ips only).  The old 1974 manual says that this will give you a better S/N ratio...  If set in any other tape position or speed this is a NAB machine.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2007, 04:14:36 PM by docb »

Offline phytoport

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Revox A77 HS
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2007, 07:39:39 AM »
I own a ReVox A-77 HS 2track having 15ips/front panel IEC switching.

Summarizing:

handles 10.5" reels
plays at 15 ips
has 1/4" half track (a.k.a. two track) playback head
has IEC (a.k.a. CCIR) playback equalization

Regards to all,
Eric
« Last Edit: December 06, 2007, 04:15:15 PM by docb »
Eric Porter

Offline mnjaws

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Re: Tape Machine Compatibility Database Project
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2007, 12:03:09 PM »
I have a Denon DH-510. 7 1/2 and 15 IPS speeds, 10" reel capacity, 1/4" two track record/playback, and I'm not sure about the IEC EQ. There are two EQ knobs on the front panel, but no where does it say IEC in the manual or on the machine. The manual states that the knobs are for adjusting the EQ on certain types of tape, and it lists the tapes and their respective settings. I'm not sure if this deck is a dinosaur or a diamond in the rough. If anyone knows more, I'd apreciate hearing what they have to say.

Offline docb

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useful link
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2007, 02:16:38 PM »
http://www.obsoletemedia.com/geeklog/index.php?topic=tdinfo

Unfortunately no playback eq info in these charts, but a good place to check for necessary reel size, tape speed and playback head configuration.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project