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I Thought I'd Heard Open Reel Until........

Discussion in 'Tape' started by Ozric, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. Ozric

    Ozric Active Member

    Messages:
    437
    Location:
    South Lyon, Michigan
    Over the years I have owned A Teac X-2000R, an Akia GX-747, 635D, A Teac A2300, A4300, 6300 and even a Technics RS-1700. I thought the Technics to be the best of them all sound wise until I got a Revox B-77 MkII recently. Mine is a High Speed 2 track version. After a good cleaning and a new pinch roller from Terry Witt, I made my first two track recording. I recorded the CD layer of Dark Side Of The Moon (SACD) direct from a Denon 2910 at 15 IPS I then went to listen to the recording on my main system (Pioneer Elite & Klipsch Legends) and wow, this the best I have ever heard open reel sound. Hard do describe how perfect it sounded as compared to my other machines. If you get a Revox in good shape, you will not be disappointed.
     
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  2. TerryO

    TerryO Super Member

    Messages:
    4,158
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    Now that you've scratched the surface, you're ready to move on to even more revealing musical experiences.
    Recording CDs is ok for practice, but there's a whole new world waiting for you.
    Try these: http://www.tapeproject.com/

    Best Regards,
    TerryO
     
  3. Ozric

    Ozric Active Member

    Messages:
    437
    Location:
    South Lyon, Michigan
    I have seen these and read about them. I do not think my Revox is set up to play those and I can not afford one or their modified Technics machines. Great stuff though, I would really like to hear a Tape Project tape someday.
     
  4. jan_stevns

    jan_stevns Super Member

    Messages:
    3,867
    Location:
    Denmark
    Being a PR99 user i fully understand you'r discovery :)

    [​IMG]

    PR99 are the Pro version of the B77, and even if the balanced output's are told to be a little bit inferior compared to the normal outputs, nothing has yet beaten that deck sonically - specially running on High Speed.

    One thing though - you have to adjust those decks very carefully to the tape in use - Maxell's are really nice - Basf LPR35 or AGFA PEM are a nothch better
     
  5. TerryO

    TerryO Super Member

    Messages:
    4,158
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    The Tape Project recordings are very nice sounding.
    Why don't you contact them and find out what you might actually have to do to your deck. It may not be much at all.

    Best Regards,
    TerryO
     
  6. vinyldavid

    vinyldavid Proud Jaguar Owner!

    Messages:
    16,464
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Welcome to 2 track :)
     

     

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  7. Ozric

    Ozric Active Member

    Messages:
    437
    Location:
    South Lyon, Michigan
    Here some pics of my new toy. I like two track a lot, but what I don't like is how fast it eats tape especially at 15 IPS and only able to use one side. I'll just have to find more tape before I use up my stash.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. goldear

    goldear Certifiable Audio Junkie

    Messages:
    8,431
    Location:
    Seattle
    Welcome to the dark side.
     
  9. guiller

    guiller Toscaninichus Australis

    Messages:
    21,669
    Location:
    Buenos Aires (Argentina)
    I sold all my previous R2R decks (Akai, Teac, Sony) and kept my three Revoxes (1 B77 and 2 A77 for different tracks and speed combinations) for the same reasons that are the subject of the OP.
     
  10. Karma16

    Karma16 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,439
    Location:
    White Rock, New Mexico
    HI Ozric,
    Your experience demonstrates the way we tend to grow with audio. Before, with your previous machines, you just couldn't imagine better sound even if others were telling you great things about better machines. Some of this is due to loyalty to our buying decisions which we will defend at all costs. But, mostly it has to do with experience. We tend to live in denial until we actually hear something better.

    For example, I have learned to say, "never buy new speakers unless you are prepared to dump your whole system". Why? Because the new speakers can show possibilities we never imagined. But, then we find that the remainder of our system is not up to the task of fully supporting the new possibilities. So, off the hi fi toy store where we end up upgrading everything. This has happened to me several times to the point of me not being surprised anymore.

    You have now jumped into the world of truly fine pro/semi-pro recorders from the world of good consumer recorders. There is a huge difference. As good as the various Teac's, Akai's, Pioneer's, etc, etc, machines are in the consumer world, the really high end Sony's (just the high end ones), Revox's, and Tandburg's are on a different planet. And remember, the B77 is really the bottom of the Revox line. Don't let that discourage you. The B77 is excellent. The higher you go from the B77, what you get is not necessarilly better audio, but more sophisticated features and deck mechanisms that border on magical. And these things are important to those who want them and, in professional applications, become essential.

    Now you know and I am happy for you.

    Sparky
     
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  11. WhiteSE

    WhiteSE Is Lute Gluten Free?? Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,895
    Location:
    North Bergen, NJ
    thats the one thing that keeps me from going to a 10" machine..the cost of tape.
     

     

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  12. JonL

    JonL Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    13,098
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Reel to reel seems to be a slippery slope to me... It's a good thing (for my wallet and my space, not for my audio desires) that it really is as close to an obsolete format as still exists. Why do I say this? I've got a 1/4 track Teac A3300S which is nice for playing pre-recorded tapes and with it's 10 inch capacity it's good for making mix tapes or extended taping off the radio. But I've also got about a dozen tapes that are wonderful home recordings of folk music taped off of WQXR beginning in 1958 and continuing through the early '70s I believe. I got these at a rummage sale, but they still bring back wonderful memories because my parents used to listen to those same radio broadcasts at home. Now these tapes are 1/2 track mono... so I need a second deck to play them properly (I don't think my little old Wollensak will really cut it, but I haven't tried.) Then, last week I was at my friend/bandmates house and he had an unmarked 10" Ampex reel laying out. He didn't know if it was a project of his from college or a master that our band had recorded 20 years ago. I told him I could play it on my Teac, but then I realized that it was almost certainly recorded at 15 ips, and it's probably a 2 track recording. So now I'd need a third deck. And so on. (Now I did try to play the Ampex, thinking I could probably figure out what was on it even with the wrong speed and track layout. Unfortunately the tape is really sticky, but fortunately it's unmarked because it appears to be totally blank. At least I'll get another nice metal take-up reel out of it, but now I have to clean my heads.) If tapes continued to be widely in use in all these formats, I might be "forced" to have four or five machines here!
     
  13. Karma16

    Karma16 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,439
    Location:
    White Rock, New Mexico
    HI,
    As far as I can tell, the link you proviced sells only pre-recorded tape. NO blank tape.

    Sparky
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
  14. Karma16

    Karma16 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,439
    Location:
    White Rock, New Mexico
    HI Jon,
    My slope is even more slippery. I have no use for a reel to reel tape machine. The last R to R I had was a Revox A77 30 years ago coupled to an Advent outboard Dolby B noise reducer. I do have a Teac 3340 that I have used for a few live recordings but mostly it just sits in my garage unused. I have no recorded tapes. I have no prospects of doing any live recording. I have no mic's. And if I did, I would not haul my Revox A700 to do live nature and general sound recording. I would use either DAT or a Nagra. And my Nakamichi Dragon does wonderful service for my numerous self recorded cassettes.

    For everyday use, R to R's just are not as practical as a great cassette machine. Further, great cassette machines equaled the audio performance of R to R's a long time ago except in the most demanding professional applications. Plus, they take up a lot of space and tape is close to unobtanium. Currently, tape is a dead format. There are a lot of good reasons to not persue R to R's.

    So, why am I spending a significant amount of time and money refurbishing a Revox A700? BTW, this machine was given to me because the owner did not want to replace the worn heads and it had major electronics problems. One obvious answer is I am crazy! If someone accused me of being crazy, I could accept that. But, there is another truth. I have always loved tape technology. When I had my repair shop, I specialized in tape machines of all kinds. I love to work on them. So, my A700 project is a labor of love which is closely related to crazy.

    Tape machines are the most complex gadgets in the world of audio. Just because I have not owned one in 30 years does not mean I don't love them. It just means that I had acceptable alternatives - great vinyl playback and a series of great cassette machines.

    My A700 will be eye candy. I think it is beautiful. It will be mounted in my rack which I have to modify to accomodate it. When I am finished it should perform as well as, or better than, when it was new. I'm making modifications to the electronics and I have replaced the head block with quarter track heads. I may have the original half track heads reconditioned. I haven't decided.

    Oh, I will make a few tapes and I will enjoy them. But, in truth, it's not needed and will be eye candy; really nice eye candy.

    Crazy? Yes, but fun.

    Sparky
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
  15. Tinman

    Tinman AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,087
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California.
    That probably explains why I own an A77, B77, a Pr99, 2 A700's, a B67 and an A810. :banana: .... and there's a Pear tree in there someplace..... :scratch2:

    After many machines, I have settled on Studer/Revox as "keepers". Not only because they sound good, but they are nearly infinitely repairable. :thmbsp:

    See my B77 in my complete restored "B" setup. :yes:

    Marc
     

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  16. WhiteSE

    WhiteSE Is Lute Gluten Free?? Subscriber

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    Tinman, that is an awesome system!!!
     

     

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  17. Sam Cogley

    Sam Cogley Last of the Time Lords Subscriber

    Messages:
    30,636
    Location:
    SW Missouri
    This is why I'm building my "one size fits all" Otari. With some quick switching, it will be capable of 3.75, 7.5 and 15 ips, along with both 1/2 and 1/4 track recording. The only thing it won't do is reverse playback.
     
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  18. Karma16

    Karma16 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,439
    Location:
    White Rock, New Mexico
    HI Marc,
    What do you use your R to R's for? That is, other than toys. I mean from a really practical point of view. See my post above for my practical issues with my soon to be on line A700.

    Sparky
     
  19. goldear

    goldear Certifiable Audio Junkie

    Messages:
    8,431
    Location:
    Seattle
    Frankly my old A77 embarrassed my old X-2000R, GX-747DBX. Those machines both looked pretty, but they never really impressed my ears. It was nice to sell those machines off at a nice profit.

    Revox is one of only a handful of relatively compact R2R that are worth bothering with IMO (at least if you care about the sound). In that select group I would include the 10.5" F&F Sonys, Tandbergs, and Otaris. Teac has the parts availability advantage over all the rest, and had some really cool features. But the sound is simply not in the same league as the others IMO.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
  20. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
    21,223
    Location:
    SE PA
    There is good reason the OP likes his new machine. First he is pushing 4 times as much tape through it than using the 7½ ips and quarter-track of the other machines but more importantly he is using one of the two sonically superior home audio RTR machines, Tandberg and Revox, which are in a class by themselves. Otari is a pro machine so...

    Anyway, back in the day, Tom came in to pick up his party-damaged Tandberg 9100. It did a face plant from the table and needed some work. He asked about a better "party" machine. No one is critically listening during a party, they are dancing, drinking and knocking gear off the table. So Tom listened to the 9100 and a Teac machine. Probably an auto-reverse. 7" reel machine (same size as the 9100) but maybe a big reel machine. With the sound room door closed and me 35 feet from that door I could tell the difference when they switched. The sonic clarity of the 9100 was obvious.

    Although I always wanted a Revox the store I worked in sold Tandberg so I bought a 10X I still use today. Great machine even though the 20SE is the one to have. That or a Revox and for the best quality, a high-speed. half-track machine. The OP has a great machine for the format.

    Based on my reading of a Teac White Paper on tape decks, there is limited improvement gained by going to 15 ips for archiving already recorded material, broadcasts, records, CDs, other tapes and such so maybe using that Revox at the slower speed will save a lot of tape and give results you can live with. Let us know if you try this test. I'd like to know how the Revox performs at the two speeds. I know I only have one tape that I recorded at 15 ips and it was a direct-to-disc record. Everything else is 7½ ips in my collection, except that one live recording I did.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011

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