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Re: [ARSCLIST] Cassette players

Hi Alec:

I have an MR-1 also and I agree it's an overly-complex and somewhat machine, especially when compared to tank-like professional decks like the original Tascam 122. It does sound good, though, and the variable speed is helpful but not essential since software can fix those problems quite well nowadays, particularly with the quality of content likely to be on a cassette.

Richard makes a typically great point. Given finite resources, the first consideration of a preservationist should be prioritizing what to preserve. Low-priority stuff should go to the bottom of the heap and may well never get transferred.

If you are dealing only with Dolby B NR, I recommend you hunt down a refurbished Tascam 122. I believe the 122MkII also has Dolby C. One place to check for Nak repairs, too, is NJ Factory Service:
Russ is a good guy, he'll give you straight answers. You should call him first and discuss your problem. He may have a refurb'd Tascam kicking around or he may give you a better estimate on your Nak or he may recommend someone who will give you a better estimate on your Nak.

Hope something in here is helpful to you. Good luck.

-- Tom Fine

PS -- given the fragility of the Nak MR-1, I only use it for high-quality content now. Voice-grade and most music-grade content goes through my refurb'd Tascam 122, which is a tank. The 122 also will playback at 3.75IPS for double-speed transfers, which is just fine for voice-grade stuff and saved one client a substantial amount of money.

----- Original Message ----- From: "McLane, Alexander" <amclane@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, October 09, 2008 5:52 PM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Cassette players

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

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