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Subject: Playback equipment

Playback equipment

From: Jim Lindner <vidipax>
Date: Tuesday, March 12, 1996
Jacob McMurray <jacobm [at] vnw__com> writes

>I need to buy a reel-to-reel tape recorder we can use to listen to
>tapes we acquire for the collection. Are good, versatile machines
>(that can play various kinds and speeds of tape on reels) hard to
>find these days?

There are several professional machines that are still being
manufactured in very small quantities.  Tascam and Otari are two of
the vendors which still make these products.  The products that you
are looking for cost approximately $3000.  There are other vendors
like Studer and Nagra that sell them as well, but these are studio
or specific purpose machines that are extremely expensive (how
expensive??? well if you have to ask, you can't afford them!)
Tascam and Otari products can be purchased at most good audio and
video professional equipment supply houses.  In New York, for
instance Steadi-Systems sells them as well as other video and audio
equipment dealers like Sam Ash.  It is not likely that this
situation will get much better, as most studio machines are digital
these days, and you can buy a DAT machine with better performance
for much less money.  For Archival applications most people agree
that 1/4" analog reel to reel is still the preferred way to go if
you can afford only to make 1 copy.  For most of our customers, we
make 2 copies, one is DAT and one is 1/4".

Consider a used machine.  Many "home studios" used to have these
machines and have moved on.  If your goal is only to playback and
not record, you might get lucky and save a great deal of money.  On
the other hand, you might go the other extreme like we did.  We had
a custom machine built for us that plays back from 15/16 ips to 15
ips variable speed and full track, two track, and four track with
all the heads permanently mounted and wired to their own pre-amps.
VERY expensive (in fact I believe it is unique) but it WILL play
back most 1/4" tapes without having several machines that you need
to be able to accommodate the many speeds and formats.

Jim Lindner
The Magnetic Media Restoration Company

                  Conservation DistList Instance 9:65
                  Distributed: Monday, March 18, 1996
                        Message Id: cdl-9-65-001
Received on Tuesday, 12 March, 1996

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