Reel 2 Reel suggestions please !!

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I have just come back from CES 2005, and heard some fantastic sound
where the source was vintage 60-70's reel2reel decks. The music was so
lifelike, and so much more information than CD's/SACD/DVD-A's.,

I have no knowledge of what reel2reel I should purchase, nor the
differences between 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch, and multi tracks. Reading some
of the forum posts, spare parts could be a problem......so ANY
suggestions and recommendations would be appreciated.
What I am looking for is that "live music" sound with all the magic,
that seems to be missing from the current formats.

My budget I wish to spend, that I suppose will have to include an
amount for post purchase adjustment can be up to $500.

Thanks
 
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Frankie739 wrote:
> I have just come back from CES 2005, and heard some fantastic sound
> where the source was vintage 60-70's reel2reel decks. The music was
so
> lifelike, and so much more information than CD's/SACD/DVD-A's.,
>
> I have no knowledge of what reel2reel I should purchase, nor the
> differences between 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch, and multi tracks. Reading
some
> of the forum posts, spare parts could be a problem......so ANY
> suggestions and recommendations would be appreciated.
> What I am looking for is that "live music" sound with all the magic,
> that seems to be missing from the current formats.
>
> My budget I wish to spend, that I suppose will have to include an
> amount for post purchase adjustment can be up to $500.
>
> Thanks


Frankie,

There are reel-to-reel decks still available both used and new (Tascam
still makes a 'broadcast' grade machine), but tape will soon be
difficult to buy new. It is rumored that Quantegy, the last tape
manufacturer, closed its doors in the past month. Still, I find it hard
to believe that with so many analog tape lovers out there that tape
will disappear altogether; it will probably just get more expensive.
Tom
 
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Thanks for response
I need to add that I will be using the Reel2Reel for playback only, and
using tapes that I can purchase from private collectors and on sites
such as EBay.
I have been told that the tapes are not all of good quality. This I
accept, so I will purchase, and only keep those that pass the "great
sound" test.
The tape deck will be connected to a very high end two channel audio
system, so great playback is essential.
Does this make my search easier or more difficult, and does this
change any of your recommendations.

Thanks
 
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Frankie739 wrote:
> Thanks for response
> I need to add that I will be using the Reel2Reel for playback only,
and
> using tapes that I can purchase from private collectors and on
sites
> such as EBay.
> I have been told that the tapes are not all of good quality. This I
> accept, so I will purchase, and only keep those that pass the "great
> sound" test.
> The tape deck will be connected to a very high end two channel audio
> system, so great playback is essential.
> Does this make my search easier or more difficult, and does this
> change any of your recommendations.
>
> Thanks

Be aware of the various formats.
Any prerecorded tapes you buy from ebay will likely be
1/4" 4track stereo, either 7.5 ips or even 3.75 ips.
A pro machine (broadcast or mixdown) will be some other format.
1/4" mono 7.5ips was the standard in newsrooms and for AM broadcast.
1/4" 2 track stereo at 7.5ips for radio production and FM braodcast.
1/4" 2 track stereo at 7.5 or 15 ips (is still) standard for
studio mixdown/ mastering. 1/2" 2 track is also used for this.

I have a Pioneer RT701 for playing back 4track stereo tapes.
It is a well made unit (3 motor/direct drive?) but it's really
just a consumer home 'hifi' machine.
eBay may not be the best source for recorded tapes, you will
likely have better results recording new stuff, assuming there
will continue to be a source of blank media available.
Many of us here are waiting to see what happens, most likely
higher prices and limited availability.

good luck
rd
 
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Thanks again for your informative replies.

I have been at my audio hobby over 30 years.

But hearing the music from the "tapes" again, and listening to the
music on a really high end audio system, made me realize that I agreed
with the reviewer who said ..... ' Sure there is boatloads of new
gear at THE Show, yet hearing music on the Ampex 351-2 was a joy. Guess
it proves that newer technology is not always better. There was also
another tape deck in the deHavilland room, that had been modified so
that it had tube output.

The music was glorious, warm and real. It was the sound that I
remember growing up with, and I must admit that I have "stayed"
from the path, and adopted the modern formats, but there was that
"inner drive" that was yearning for the "real" sound.
Upgrading CD players, has been the path that I took....but hearing the
sound from the tapes, has re convinced me that is still a excellent
format, (so be it with limited tapes available) and connected to my
present two channel system should give me the sound I am looking for.

So what I want is to add is a very good " playback" tape deck to my
personal system.

Here are two links that link to the system I was listening to.

http://forum.audiogon.com/i/ces04/f/1073837256.jpg

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/theexpo2005/saturday/

We live in a world that is consumer driven, and even though the
recording studio engineers all agree that the modern formats do not
deliver the best sounding music, music formats are created so that one
can fit 10,000 songs on a I-Pod. But as long as there are these decks
and tapes available, and an enthusiastic (but alas an older) group such
as you guys...I feel rejuvinated.
Tomorrow will be a good day.


Thanks

Frankie
 
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Paul,

You are correct, but one cannot "sip of the nectar of good music",
without trying.

Our hobby is one that we try to make forward progress in the sound, and
if it does not work, we just move on...isn't that what make a
hobby....trial and error.

When I look back, at my many tries at upgrading..and the cost over
time, the tape deck and tapes are a no brainer....maybe one of the
least expensive.

But good advice, like I am getting on this forum, will not only benefit
me, but I will post my results of this adventure on other forums,
(where I also roam) and if the adventure is successful, there will be
many who will be able to enjoy the music like I hope to.


Thanks

Frank
 
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How many tracks?

In that price range, an overhauled Revox could be a nice unit to have
around.
A77 or B77... both 1/4" stereo (avoid the other formats and make sure you
get a 7.5/15 ips version, not 3.75/7.5 ).

JP

"Frankie739" <frank@mrtwochannel.com> a écrit dans le message de
news:1105397637.434111.196800@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> I have just come back from CES 2005, and heard some fantastic sound
> where the source was vintage 60-70's reel2reel decks. The music was so
> lifelike, and so much more information than CD's/SACD/DVD-A's.,
>
> I have no knowledge of what reel2reel I should purchase, nor the
> differences between 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch, and multi tracks. Reading some
> of the forum posts, spare parts could be a problem......so ANY
> suggestions and recommendations would be appreciated.
> What I am looking for is that "live music" sound with all the magic,
> that seems to be missing from the current formats.
>
> My budget I wish to spend, that I suppose will have to include an
> amount for post purchase adjustment can be up to $500.
>
> Thanks
>
 
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On Tue, 11 Jan 2005 00:14:21 +0100, "JP Gerard" <jpgerard@skynet.be>
wrote:

>How many tracks?
>
>In that price range, an overhauled Revox could be a nice unit to have
>around.
>A77 or B77... both 1/4" stereo (avoid the other formats and make sure you
>get a 7.5/15 ips version, not 3.75/7.5 ). <snip>

Good choice for home, or even a source deck in the studio when
transcribing ¼" masters. Parts are around, but problematic to get in
short order. That's going to be a problem, more or less, with ANY
analog RTR these days. Avoid "consumer" decks from Sony or Akai and
their ilk.

dB
 
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While I'm definitely a huge fan of Revox's heads, I think the ideal machine for the OP's
intended purpose is the Technics RS-1500/1506. It's got an absolutely phenomenal
mechanism(bettered only by my RCA RT-21B), 3 speeds (3.75, 7.5, 15) and has two playback heads,
one a half track & the other a quarter track. It's also an excellent sounding machine, lacking
only a tiny bit of low bass extension versus a Revox. But I think it's vastly superior
mechanism(the cap motor alone weighs 15lbs) and good looks make up for that slight sacrifice.
I do actually have a really nice RS1506 available for sale, if you want to email me about it.
Well within your budget.

--
Stephen Sank, Owner & Ribbon Mic Restorer
Talking Dog Transducer Company
http://stephensank.com
5517 Carmelita Drive N.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico [87111]
505-332-0336
Auth. Nakamichi & McIntosh servicer
Payments preferred through Paypal.com
"Frankie739" <frank@mrtwochannel.com> wrote in message
news:1105426139.800136.61470@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Paul,
>
> You are correct, but one cannot "sip of the nectar of good music",
> without trying.
>
> Our hobby is one that we try to make forward progress in the sound, and
> if it does not work, we just move on...isn't that what make a
> hobby....trial and error.
>
> When I look back, at my many tries at upgrading..and the cost over
> time, the tape deck and tapes are a no brainer....maybe one of the
> least expensive.
>
> But good advice, like I am getting on this forum, will not only benefit
> me, but I will post my results of this adventure on other forums,
> (where I also roam) and if the adventure is successful, there will be
> many who will be able to enjoy the music like I hope to.
>
>
> Thanks
>
> Frank
>
 
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Consider these machines currently on eBay:
Ampex AG440C
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=15199&item=3775103421
&rd=1
MCI JH110B
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=67812&item=5743066997
&rd=1
Studer A807
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=15199&item=3775103976
&rd=1
Don't buy any used recorder without having it tested by your technician.
Also consider that there is no current manufacturer of analog tape.
 
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On 10 Jan 2005 20:08:12 -0800, "Frankie739" <frank@mrtwochannel.com>
wrote:

>I need to add that I will be using the Reel2Reel for playback only, and
>using tapes that I can purchase from private collectors and on sites
>such as EBay.

If you're wanting to play commercial tapes like the Barclay-Crocker's
you'll want a quarter track machine with medium speeds and probably
a choice of Dolby and dbx noise reductions.

They can sound really great, but musical selection is going to be
relatively limited. I suspect that if you're expecting to find
Bruno Walter, Szell, Reiner, Munsch, etc. you might be disappointed.

But Hey! Everybody needs a hobby. "To dream, the Impossible Dream.."
etc.

Chris Hornbeck
"Conscious that we must have sprung from somewhere, we are
lured to the riddle of our origins." -Malcolm W. Browne
 
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In article <1105397637.434111.196800@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com> frank@mrtwochannel.com writes:

> I have just come back from CES 2005, and heard some fantastic sound
> where the source was vintage 60-70's reel2reel decks. The music was so
> lifelike, and so much more information than CD's/SACD/DVD-A's.,

What, exactly, did you see? Some of the demo rooms over at the Alexis
Park were playing tapes?

> I have no knowledge of what reel2reel I should purchase, nor the
> differences between 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch, and multi tracks. Reading some
> of the forum posts, spare parts could be a problem......so ANY
> suggestions and recommendations would be appreciated.

All you read is true.

> What I am looking for is that "live music" sound with all the magic,
> that seems to be missing from the current formats.

Do you expect to buy pre-recorded tapes? Or are you planning to make
recordings yourself? Did you see vendors of pre-recorded analog tape
at CES? If there are any (and I doubt that) that would be where you'd
find them.

> My budget I wish to spend, that I suppose will have to include an
> amount for post purchase adjustment can be up to $500.

Pardon me, but I'm laughing.

Actually, you can get an Ampex AG440 for around that, in decent shape.
But as hopped up as you seem to be on the fabulous sound, you probably
should buy a fully overhauled Ampex or Studer, which will cost you
considerably more than your budget.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
 
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Frankie739 <frank@mrtwochannel.com> wrote:
>
>I need to add that I will be using the Reel2Reel for playback only, and
>using tapes that I can purchase from private collectors and on sites
>such as EBay.

You will find that most of those tapes are going to be quarter-track consumer
tapes.

>I have been told that the tapes are not all of good quality. This I
>accept, so I will purchase, and only keep those that pass the "great
>sound" test.

An _awful_ lot of those tapes were duplicated on high-speed duplication
lines that sound pretty terrible, and many of them are many generations
down. There are some good prerecorded open reel tapes out there, but they
are few and far between.

There used to be a few companies that specialized in high grade tapes on
open reel, like DTR in New Jersey. They're all gone now, though.

>The tape deck will be connected to a very high end two channel audio
>system, so great playback is essential.

I would suggest looking into one of the Technics isoloop machines, which
can play back both half and quarter track tapes and have very low flutter.
The electronics aren't as good as the transport, but life is just that way.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
 
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The Technics "isoloop" decks were the RS-1500 series machines I mentioned, which give dual
capstan operation with a single capstan. Only a really new condition B77/PR99 Revox gives
nearly as precise tape to head contact uniformity. I disagree on the electronics. I think the
stock circuitry is easily as good as Revox, and is quite easy to upgrade into seriously
excellent. Were it not forthe stated purpose of playing prerecorded tapes, I'd just as easily
recommend a B77, but the Technics becomes the clear choice, thanks to the 1/2trk & 1/4trk
playback heads & three speeds.

--
Stephen Sank, Owner & Ribbon Mic Restorer
Talking Dog Transducer Company
http://stephensank.com
5517 Carmelita Drive N.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico [87111]
505-332-0336
Auth. Nakamichi & McIntosh servicer
Payments preferred through Paypal.com
"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message news:cs0oa7$rqd$1@panix2.panix.com...
> Frankie739 <frank@mrtwochannel.com> wrote:
> >
> >I need to add that I will be using the Reel2Reel for playback only, and
> >using tapes that I can purchase from private collectors and on sites
> >such as EBay.
>
> You will find that most of those tapes are going to be quarter-track consumer
> tapes.
>
> >I have been told that the tapes are not all of good quality. This I
> >accept, so I will purchase, and only keep those that pass the "great
> >sound" test.
>
> An _awful_ lot of those tapes were duplicated on high-speed duplication
> lines that sound pretty terrible, and many of them are many generations
> down. There are some good prerecorded open reel tapes out there, but they
> are few and far between.
>
> There used to be a few companies that specialized in high grade tapes on
> open reel, like DTR in New Jersey. They're all gone now, though.
>
> >The tape deck will be connected to a very high end two channel audio
> >system, so great playback is essential.
>
> I would suggest looking into one of the Technics isoloop machines, which
> can play back both half and quarter track tapes and have very low flutter.
> The electronics aren't as good as the transport, but life is just that way.
> --scott
> --
> "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
 
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In article <1105416492.075708.247910@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com> frank@mrtwochannel.com writes:

> I need to add that I will be using the Reel2Reel for playback only, and
> using tapes that I can purchase from private collectors and on sites
> such as EBay.
> I have been told that the tapes are not all of good quality. This I
> accept, so I will purchase, and only keep those that pass the "great
> sound" test.

That being the case, I'll go with the suggestions for a used Revox.
Either that or get Mike Spitz at ATR Service to find you an Ampex
ATR100, overhaul it, and put Dave Hill's electronics on it. But don't
even think about that on a $500 budget.

I suspect that the tapes that you purchase on eBay will not be even
close to what you heard at CES from the high end audio exhibitors. You
might have a different kind of fun, but ultimately you'll be
disappointed with the sound quality unless you find someeone who has
stolen master tapes from a really good record company.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
 
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<powerst@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
news:1105410887.044471.87900@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Still, I find it hard
> to believe that with so many analog tape lovers out there that tape
> will disappear altogether; it will probably just get more expensive.

Effectively much the same thing when you consider how expensive it is
already.

MrT.
 
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Mr. T wrote:

> Effectively much the same thing when you consider how expensive it is
> already.

Actually tape prices haven't risen that much over the years. Look into
how much a roll of 2" was back in the early 80's.
 
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In article <34h87eF3da99hU1@individual.net>,
Joe Sensor <crabcakes@emagic.net> wrote:
>Mr. T wrote:
>
>> Effectively much the same thing when you consider how expensive it is
>> already.
>
>Actually tape prices haven't risen that much over the years. Look into
>how much a roll of 2" was back in the early 80's.

Yes, but the music is cheaper.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
 
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Scott Dorsey wrote:

> Yes, but the music is cheaper.

If I transfer MP3's to my Studer, will a one hour reel of tape then last
five hours?

--
ha
 
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In article <1gq7pqf.xr4c771keqqzvN%walkinay@thegrid.net> walkinay@thegrid.net writes:

> If I transfer MP3's to my Studer, will a one hour reel of tape then last
> five hours?

It depends on how long the one-hour reel is.

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
 
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