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|REEL TO REEL
T I P
S & T R I C K S
is money. Money is money. Trying don't waste both and
use our reel to reel recorder at its best.
first let me doubt every people buying a reel to reel recorder
know what they are doing really! Keep in mind i.e. the Revox
been produced in 36 different models with the same outside look (see
models reference table)
Recently I was stun by an ebay transaction. A B77 recorder with no pics
and few informations, super low speed model (absolutely
useless today) sold at very high no
sense price. I guess the buyer will have a bad surprise!
First step read carefully
these full of news web pages. They will help you to choose
the right tape recorder for your needs avoiding waste time and money
for something useless.
please don't dream. If you think you will find an
used recorder "as new" or "NOS" perfectly working, you are dreaming. Depending on its condition every
used recorder needs at least a full cleaning and alignment till to
expensive repair to meets again the manufacturer specification (see the
page too). A tough apart about NOS devices.
I resume my opinion with a question: would you buy a
new 25 years
old car laid in the manufacturer store paying it double
to a same aged, less used and properly serviced one? Give
Third watch carefully the
seller description. Often
there is some confusion about the terms "as new", "looks new"
"new". Recently I saw a Revox sold as "NOS" because it had the
original packaging only (!). Really the recorder was not
NOS but fully serviced.
Fourth be careful.
Lately there is some clamor
about reel to reel recorders and
accessories (especially Revox here in Europe). This means you will find
on the market used recorders in very different conditions
and some astute seller. Keep in mind
everything called "Revox" means it is REALLY a Revox and not everything
is really Revox has to be necessarily bought! Be alert when
a seller looks like he doesn't know what he has in its hands
Sometimes is a great way to make you believe you are outsmarting
and making a good business. It is exactly the opposite.
Fifth: ask, ask, ask!
you can't see the recorder before paying and buying it don't scare to
pics, news, serial number, and so on. If the answer is: "sorry I don't
have the digital camera" or "I just packed the device and I can't read
the number and take a pic" or "I don't have the device here because it
is not mine, it is of a friend of my (why the friend doesn't sell the
device by itself ??) " or "believe me it is PERFECT condition (but no
pic)" etc. don't persist in and wait the next chance unless it is a
very rare or special item.
Last but not least "watch the
Heads are the most expensive part of a tape recorder and their
remaining life is very important. Changing an heads block can
cost as buying another used recorder!! Usually you can
easily access and check the heads. The following pics show a brand
new head (A),
an used but at 80% still very good condition head (B), a
totally worn head in regular way (C) and a totally
worn one in wrong way due to zenith angle problem (D).
Some AKAI and TEAC TASCAM hard permalloy and/or glass ferrite heads
usually don't show this sign of wear on the surface but a kind of
black blots or spots. This equally means the are hardly used and need
to be changed.
U S E
I report briefly the main tips you can find in
depth into RECORDERS, TAPES and SERVICING pages.
Before buying a
tape recorder think seriously what are your needs. 2
and 4 tracks standards and different speeds are not compatible.
Keep always the
recorder well cleaned (as per DIY servicing page)
and mechanical and electronic aligned to have best playback and
record results and to avoid tape damages.
different kind (metal and plastic) and diameter (i.e. 7" and 10.1/2") reels together at the
same time or professional pancakes on domestic reel to reel recorder to
avoid serious recorder and tape
Avoid to touch the
tape magnetic side with fingers, expose the tape to
magnetic field, smoke, dust and direct sun light. Store in vertical
position, wound on the right reel with the
recording start inside and at relative
humidity not more than 60%.
to tamper with heads and tape guide calibration screws!
Usually they don't need any modification from the original manufacturer
setting. If you make some change don't think bringing them
back in original position resolve the situation. You need an
expensive full alignment of the recorder by a qualified
the recorder if not required by the
factory. I.e. Revox, Studer and Telefunken
reel to reel recorders don't need lubrication.
Oil could be dangerous if non requested.
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