[Table of Contents]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [ARSCLIST] Cassette players

Hi, Alec,

This is a major challenge that we all face. Where did you get a $2000 estimate and did you get any other estimates? At that point, it may be preferable to get another couple of ePay machines and for less money you may have working machines or at least parts.

The pool of good machines is getting smaller and we're all pressing the machines we have into heavy transfer service.

So far, my six Dragons are holding up, but because I have six, I'm only running a few hundred tapes a year through each. I'm not running them every day as there is editing and reel transfers as well.

One thing that I've written about on this list are USB devices, some even high speed which may (and I repeat MAY) offer adequate transfer capability. The real time or double speed ones from Ion and others may be an answer for spoken word archives while we leave the premium Naks for music.

Alas, no machines of the quality that used-to-be-made are now made. We either have to keep the old machines running at peak level or settle for the best of the current crop. I've obviously not invested in reviewing the current crop.

The two professional manufacturers that immediately come to mind are Tascam and Marantz, with Tascam probably being better across the board. OOOPS! Nigel Champion from NZ is here with me and said WRONG...so I looked it up. Marantz has discontinued all of their cassette decks and Tascam is offering one, the dual-well 202
http://www.tascam.com/catalogue;40,20.html and some combo CD/cassette decks

I've heard mixed reviews of the Ion
and the U.K-based high-speed system I mentioned a while ago is definitely voice-only as it outputs 22.5 ks/s files. That one appears to be aimed at churches that have 5000 sermons on cassettes and want to do them in four minutes each.
All I know of this was from the review in TWFM magazine which I read these days so I stay current for my local church. Wow--what churches are doing!

(2) The reasons that repairs are so high are:
--parts are unavailable and people who have caches want top dollar
--the machines were built with quality and do require knowledgeable
  technicians to service = $
--the few technicians who have the knowledge, skill, and parts are in
  demand = $$$

(3) As to outsourcing to others, would it be too self serving to say that's an option?

So, as I said, it's a mess. I don't know what I'll do when the magic smoke is let out of my Dragons!

One thing to consider: Do you really need to preserve everything ? ? ? Not my area of expertise, but I've been in some profound discussions with the church leadership on this matter and I'm seeing at least that there are other perspectives. This is even a more difficult question than the one asked, but helps solve that one, perhaps.

Good luck!



At 05:52 PM 2008-10-09, McLane, Alexander wrote:
Hello list,

We have in our archive 2 Nakamichi Cassette Deck 1's and an MR-1, and of the 3 only one of the former is now functioning. They've had an enormous amount of use, we haven't kept up with regular maintenance, and we are now suffering for it. The estimate to replace the playback head and capstan drive motor assembly on the MR-1 alone is slightly under $2000.

Anticipating that we have many cassettes down the road that need preserving, and that all we will ever need on a cassette player is playback, we're looking for advice:

1. Is there anything being sold today (new) that costs considerably less than this, and can make reliable archival-quality transfers?

2. Is the high cost of repairs on these legendary recorders partly due to the fact that they were designed as much more complicated machines, with record and playback capabilities at variable speeds, when now we need playback only, at a single speed?

3. Have we perhaps reached the point where it would be more cost effective to trust the maintenance of equipment like this to professionals and outsource transfers like this?

Any and all advice welcome. Thanks.

Alec McLane

Alec McLane
Scores & Recordings/
 World Music Archives       Phone: (860) 685-3899
Olin Library                       Fax: (860) 685-2661
Wesleyan University          mailto:amclane@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Middletown, CT  06459       http://www.wesleyan.edu/libr/srhome/srdir.htm

Richard L. Hess email: richard@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.

[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents]