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Thread: Which analog multi-track?

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    Which analog multi-track?

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    Hi, i use to have the Tascam 244 (basically a 4 track analog multi-track) and I miss that little unit's simplicity and nice warm sound. I've gone over to digital now, but of late I have fancied getting another analog multi-track. Can anyone reccomend a decent set-up, for a cheap as possible please.

    I've heard of the Tascam 488 Mk2, or there's the 424 mk3. But which is best? Any alternatives? or is it worth getting a reel-to-reel set-up? They're more expensive but are they worth it for just simple 6 to 8 track home-recordings?

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    Hey there!

    Think about how many tracks you want. If 4 is good, I think you would love a 424 mkII or mkIII.

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    For the price of a decent 424MKIII, you might find a good Tascam 22-4.

    I found one that was practically new for $200. My 424MKIII was about $175.

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    As sweetbeats said, If 4 tracks is enough a 424 would be great...

    In terms of price though it's real difficult to say, since anything your looking at is gonna be used it's real tough to predict what sort of deal your gonna find. I recently almost came up on a 424mkII for 30 bucks but decided against it for some stupid reason (kicking myself.... repeatedly). I wouldn't rule out either one but keep shopping around until you find something acceptable in your budget.

    The nice things about the portastudio's are the built in mixers, so if you do start looking reel-to-reel just be aware that if you don't all ready have one suitable for multi-track work your gonna have to pick up a board too.

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    Four trackers are fun, but I think you'd be better off with an 8 track machine, even if that means 8 track cassette. Tascam made a few 8 track cassette machines, the best of which was the 238, but it requires an external mixer. They all made 8 track Portastudios, including the 688 (which I believe was every bit as good, in terms of being a recorder, as the 238) and the 488 and 488 mkii.

    I used to own a 488 and regret that I ever sold it. I believe the fidelity is great, particularly when you consider that you're getting 8 tracks on a cassette. The advantage that the 238 and 688 have over the 488's is that they can record on all 8 tracks simultaneously, where as the 488's can record on up to 4 tracks at a time. If you are recording just yourself, then you'll probably never need to record on more than 2-4 track simultaneously anyways.

    In Boston there's a small-chain of music stores called Daddy's Junky Music. Very often they have some great prices on cassette multitrackers, and the benefit of buying through them is the offer a warranty on the gear and you can purchase an additional warranty for the gear. Whenever possible I try to buy my gear from them, I've never had a bad experience with them over the past 10 years. They now sell gear online as well.

    http://www.daddys.com/detail.php?ite...Number=TAS0569

    This is a link to a Tascam 488 that they are selling for $139 including shipping. You could always give the store a call to inquire about their equipment.

    The next step up from a cassette portastudio is the mighty Tascam 388, which is an 8 track, self-contained recorder and mixer 1/4" reel to reel machine. These are excellent machines that generally sell for under $500, but I would advise only in purchasing one locally, as they are very large, extremely heavy, and likely to be damaged during shipping.

    Best wishes,
    -MD

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    great info guys. I will consider all your suggestions in my search for a nice little analog multitracker. 4 tracks may not be enough, but it depends what type of music I want to record with them - if I find a 4 track 'minter' then I'll so-be-it! Otherwise, I'll keep my peepers peeled for an 8. Thanks again. Say, has anyone done a like-for-like comparison of music recorded simultaneously on both a digital and analog formats, then posted them online?

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