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Thread: Help Assessing Fostex R8 Heads! (Need your two cents)

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    Help Assessing Fostex R8 Heads! (Need your two cents)

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    Hey all - I'm considering buying this R8. I've owned a few before and always regretted letting them go. Excited to have an opportunity to get another one, but I'd like some opinions on the condition of the heads here. Obviously pictures never do the reality justice - but if you had to make a judgement, what would it be?

    Thanks and I really appreciate any input!fostexhead-jpgfostexhead2-jpg

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    Might be OK for awhile. run a tape through it

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    Thing is - It's being shipped to me so I can't run tape through. I trust the guy and he's demo'd the transport to my satisfaction and the machine is otherwise clean - just wondering about the life of these heads as that'll be the deal-deciding factor for me.

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    Ya, it is the same for everybody. But, no one defines OK for what : )

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    When I had the head lapped on one long ago I was told 'we'd get one lap and that the heads metal wasn't particularly hard 'as heads go I guess.
    So take all this with a grain of salt-- They look worn, but I can't tell from the photos.
    Have they been done before?
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    So you are right...you can't really know anything for sure from a picture...you really can't even know anything for sure looking at a headstack with the naked eye.

    What I *can* tell you is the assembly looks clean, there is no keystoning or hourglass wear pattern to the face of the record/play stack, the lifters appear to have no more than nominal wear, and what wear i can see on the guides corroborates with what I see on the lifters, though guides can typically be rotated...lifters are much harder if not impossible to rotate, so I use their condition to reinforce what I'm seeing with other aspects.

    Overall it *appears* to be a well-maintained tape path with no more than average miles.

    Take my opinion with a grain of salt, please, because it's formulated using nothing but two pictures. But if I was in the market for an R8 I'm not seeing anything that would prompt me to keep walking.

    But the ONLY way to know if the condition is okay is to align the machine and see if the specified frequency response can be achieved, and the ONLY way to know the wear percentage is to have the assembly analyzed and evaluated by somebody like John French.

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    Thanks sweetbeats, that's really helpful information and I'll use it with a grain of salt as you suggested.
    I don't want to wear out my advice-welcome - but here's another contender to make it an either / or decision. Details to keep in mind - this one is obviously dirtier - but it's also a good deal cheaper.

    img_0789-jpgimg_0794-jpg

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    Unfortunately I can't constructively comment on that second machine...the seller would *have* to clean the sticky shed off the heads and guides and retake the pictures with better light and focus.

    If it were me I'd walk away just based on the fact the seller has not maintained the machine and didn't take care of basic tasks to send you pictures that tell you anything.

    If the price is stupid low then maybe buy it with the idea it is a parts machine and maybe you get lucky and it is fully functional once cleaned up, but I wouldn't buy it settled on the idea it is 100%. That make sense?

    What are the sellers asking for these machines?

    The first machine, at least by looking at the headblock assembly, appears lovingly maintained.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    Unfortunately I can't constructively comment on that second machine...the seller would *have* to clean the sticky shed off the heads and guides and retake the pictures with better light and focus.

    If it were me I'd walk away just based on the fact the seller has not maintained the machine and didn't take care of basic tasks to send you pictures that tell you anything.

    If the price is stupid low then maybe buy it with the idea it is a parts machine and maybe you get lucky and it is fully functional once cleaned up, but I wouldn't buy it settled on the idea it is 100%. That make sense?

    What are the sellers asking for these machines?

    The first machine, at least by looking at the headblock assembly, appears lovingly maintained.
    350 for the clean looking one - 250 for the dirty one.

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    That's a no brainer IMO. The disparity of the clean condition of $350 machine (and video verifying transport functions) compared to the neglected state of $250 is worth more than $100. $350 seems like a very reasonable price.

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