Check out the new Tape Project website at tapeproject.com, now with online ordering. Inventory is updated every week, so stop by often to see what we have in stock.

Author Topic: Flexible Good Machine Help Please  (Read 2037 times)

Offline dfel

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Flexible Good Machine Help Please
« on: July 23, 2014, 05:02:42 PM »
Hi,

I am new to tape and very interested to get into it. I am no stranger to analog and have a high end phono kit, but I am looking forward to exploring a new analog source. After doing some research I am confused, and I was hoping that you guys can help me out so I can select a flexible machine, which will be used mostly for playback only. The focus is on playback, but I will be doing some recording as well, so it can't be a total clunker for recording.

1. Does 1/4 and 1/2 mean: (1/4 inch tape and 1/2 inch tape) OR (4 track and 2 track)?

2. Can you play 2 track tapes on 4 track heads?

3. Are there machines that have both 2 track and 4 track playback heads ?

4. Is it possible to get machines with both IEC and NAB equalization (push button) ?

5. Are most commercial tapes IEC or NAB?

6. Some commercial tapes have Dolby encoding, and different types of dolby Do you need a special machine/repro/head for these tapes, are these formats common  and worth accommodating for?

7. What are the accessories that are absolutely essential to running a tape machine demagnetizer, Alignment tape, etc.?

8. Do all tape machines need a step up transformer when fed into a regular hifi preamp ?

9. Do most machines have the capability to handle 7" and 10" reels, what is most common for commercial tapes?     

10. Is it necessary to have a machine that does 7.5, 15, and 30 IPS, or are most tapes out there 15 IPS or lower ?



Those are the FAQ type questions that I do not completely understand at present, I would greatly appreciate some help.


My last question is: What tape machines provide the flexibility of being able to play most of the common formats (speed, size, track count, and equalization type). I am looking machines that come with "decent" sound reproduction/playback electronics and "good" stock heads, that would be good enough to get my feet wet in reel to reel tape (both commercially pre-recorded and  tape project).   

Offline docb

  • Administrator
  • leader in spreading disinformation
  • *****
  • Posts: 1345
    • View Profile
    • Bottlehead Corp.
Re: Flexible Good Machine Help Please
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2014, 05:10:30 PM »
The short answer is buy an Otari MX-5050BII-2 or BIII. That will do all of the things you are looking for except play Dolby encoded tapes. There aren't that many Dolby tapes around, but you can buy an outboard Dolby B processor when you find some.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline ironbut

  • Global Moderator
  • leader in spreading disinformation
  • *****
  • Posts: 2503
  • rs1500>repro amp#1
    • View Profile
Re: Flexible Good Machine Help Please
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2014, 11:56:53 AM »
Hey dfel, (btw, we use our real names here)

Welcome to the forum.
Regarding your search for faq's,
Take a look at the "Beginners Guide" sticky located above the General Forum.
You might just skim it now and really dive into it when you have a machine.
Have fun!
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