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Topics - xcortes

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Reel to Reel Tape Machines / My new ATR / Tube Repro
« on: January 04, 2010, 06:29:36 PM »
Soon to start its travel South

Prerecorded Tapes / What do you do when a reel is so warped...
« on: October 12, 2009, 10:49:08 PM »
that the tape rubs against it? I'm specifically referring to 7" plastic reels from old prerecorded tapes. I guess the options are either to replace it and loose the sticker or live with the rubbing noise. Just would like to know what others do.

General Discussion / Thanks Ironbut
« on: October 08, 2009, 04:53:50 PM »
I've thanked you privately but I'd like to make public my appreciation of all your help.

Four month ago my Technics deck died or at least became unusable. After dozens of mails, circuit boards going from one country to another and tons of Patience Steve not only managed to restore my machine to a working condition but also taught me how to adjust, clean and set up every part of it (even parts he hadn't opened before such as the reel motors!). The machine finally became operational on Monday. If you allow me to quote from my last two mails to him:

"I tried the machine first with a 4 track DG tape, all well (although I still don?t like the sonics of those that much), then a 7 ? 2 track and finally a 15ips tape (one of the Quintons, I?m saving the TP ones for when I?m 99% positive that the machine is working OK). I had started to forget how good this machine sounds. Compared to the Tascam via SUTs the sound is much more refined, I?d even say warmer"

"I tried the machine again on Tuesday ... Again yesterday and all fine. So off TP-010 went: S#*t man, that sax is nothing short of spectacular! The ATR/Repro will have a hard time beating the Technics/Seduction combo!"

Thanks again Steve and keep up with the good work!

If anyone here happens to be in posession of a broken/for parts Technics RS-1500 I'm in need of one. Please PM me.

Note to the "Global Moderator" aka Steve aka Ironbut: Post approved (actually suggested) by Doc. B


Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Stupid Question
« on: July 10, 2009, 03:41:45 PM »
I've seen recommendations never to ff or rewind old acetate tapes because they break easily. Why not? Is the tension when ff or rewinding higher than when playing? I don't have specific specs in front of me but I don't recall that being the case with my Tascam (not sure with the Technics).

I don't have many of these tapes but the ones I have I have rewound them using the Spool funtion on the Tascam without any issues as long as I rewind all the reel (I did brake one when pushing the stop button during spooling) .

Any thoughts?

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / ATR-102
« on: July 06, 2009, 02:16:45 PM »
I'm about to order an ATR-102 from Mike Spitz from ATR. I plan to use it with Bottlehead Electronics (Eros or Seduction, I love my BH kits). Mike will build the machine with RCA Jacks unbalanced to make it a better match with the rest of my system. And he'll add two sets of outputs, one directly from the heads and the other from the internal electronics with a silver contact switch.

Any advice or opinions before ordering will be appreciated.


Prerecorded Tapes / 2 Track prerecorded tapes
« on: June 19, 2009, 12:29:21 PM »
I'm curious as to what other members' experiences are with 50s two track prerecorded tapes soundwise.

They have been going for "very high" prices on ebay and I'd like opinions on whether people here think they're worth it.

These tapes have been going for an average of maybe $80 a piece with some outliers up to $250. How does that compare to other media? (note: many of the reissues or lp's have twice the content of an original two track tape so take comparisons with a grain of salt):

TP single tape: $500: 0.16 times
45 rpm lp reissue: $50 1.6 times
33 rpm "audiophile" reissue $30 2.7 times

Also if you consider that these tapes cost $15 in the late 50s inflation makes that around $215 in 2009 dollars.

So I guess based on the TP and original prices $80 looks cheap and even $250 sounds OKish. That is, of course, if they are as good as many people say they are. There's always a crapshoot factor on these tapes but even with a 1 to 2 hit ratio prices would make sense?

Yes, I know that a few years ago probably you could get these tapes for substantially lower prices but I'm thinking ahead, not backwards.

And I guess that those crazy guys buying these tapes and driving the prices up are some of the same guys that buy TP subscriptions, have invested heavily in tape decks and need mo' music to play on them. Anyone here willing to confess?

I've already bid on a couple to have my own opinion and that will come in time.

Your thoughts?

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Tascam BR-20 direct head wiring
« on: June 11, 2009, 09:19:18 PM »
My Technics Deck is going to the workbench for a while. In the meantime I plan to use a Tascam BR-20 that I purchased some weeks ago. It is actually my second. I sold the first because it had some issues but came across this pristine, cheap and local one.

I've been using it and it seems to be a very good machine but it's electronics didn't sound as good (of course). So tonight I bypasssed and I'm listening to it right now through the Seduction. Too early to make any judgement except that it sounds miles better than stock and that it seems to work very well with a 100k load. After connecting it's chassis to the the Seduction ground post it's completely noiseless. Volume seems to be a tad lower than that of the technics. The rewiring was very easy (after figuring out what to do, of course). And since it has two 1/2 track heads you can use one for the outside repro and keep the other connected in case you want to listen through the internal electronics (or record since it's a record / playback head).

It runs very smoothly and handles tape spectacularly. It has a "spool" option that rewinds/ff tape at about 1/3 the regular rewind speed and very smoothly. In that aspect it's much better than the Technics. The bearings and guides look less refined though. And I don't think the heads have anything to do with the Technics heads, much less with my extended response head. But as a spare and for the occasional bedroom listening I'm pretty sure it will provide with lots of enjoyment.

Tape Project Albums - general / A recommendation and a question
« on: May 18, 2009, 09:25:16 AM »
One think that I tried just recently is to have two take up reels and rewind both reels of the TP album you're intending to listen to. That way you don't have to rewind side B in between sides and you can play the whole album almost continuously.

A related question. Let's assume you rewind one tape and for one reason or another you don't play it immediately. Is it OK to leave it that way for a couple of days. How stringent is the play-speed-tension/tails-out storing rule?

I should have asked before but yesterday, while cleaning my machine I figured I wasn't sure if isopropyl is ok for the new parts added/replaced by the hot rodding. I use Fantastic (or watever is called - the one that Doc recommended -) for the rubber and 99.9% isopropyl for the rest.


Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Vibration
« on: April 16, 2009, 05:40:30 PM »
My Technics machine vibrates a lot when rewinding tapes. So much that I cannot push the rewind button and leave it or it would probably jump off the shelf. The level of vibration, however, seems to be tape dependant. Some tapes vibrate much more than others. My guess is that the center od the reels on the offender tapes is far from being a perfect circle and that naturally causes the vibration.

Experiences and opinions are, as always, appreciated.

Tape Project Machines / My Technics went TAC, TAC, TAC
« on: March 18, 2009, 10:47:05 PM »
My modded machine started doing a tac tac tac noise. Very annoying. I have not been able to locate where it's coming from yet. Apparently it is not there when rewinding (although it might just be concealed by the speed). It is definitely not there when "playing" without tape. You can feel some impacts when touching or slightly pressing the reversing roller although the sound doesn't come from there.

Just what I needed. When my system was sounding the best ever! A friend who is the leader clarinetist from one of the most important symphonic orchestras in the country as well as a bottlehead and amp designer heard my system last week (TP 006) and  today sent me an email saying "I think the only comparison I can think of for your analog system is that its like a Porsche 911 GT2".

Well, time to start debugging. Where would you start? (No I won't buy a new Otari and send it to Doc -not yet at least-)


Suite Espanola / Typo
« on: March 01, 2009, 10:09:44 PM »
The third piece of tape 2 should be Catalu?a (or Cataluna) but it is written as Cantaluna in the leaflet. Not to be picky :>)

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