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Thread: Options for playing 1/4" 8-track reels recorded on a Fostex E8...

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    Question Options for playing 1/4" 8-track reels recorded on a Fostex E8...

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    ...When I don't have an E8 handy?

    I've been a long time silent member of this form and enjoyed learning a great deal about digital recording from these threads. I've done as much research as I could on this topic and now I would like to tap into the knowledge here - thank you in advance for your suggestions and advice!

    I have a half dozen 1/4" 8-track reels with recordings from my first band back in the late 80's. I'd like to digitize these tracks so that I can spend my twilight years tweaking mixes from my youth. Fully realize this could become a blessing or a curse... ;-)

    They were recorded on a Fostex E8. Do I need to play them back on an E8 when dumping them to a digital format or are there any other machines that would play these tapes back? E8s seem very rare and expensive and I haven't found any studios in my area (Hamilton, Ontario) that have one.

    The E8 has a tape speed of 15IPS. The only other 1/4" 8-track machine I'm aware of is the Tascam 388 (even pricier, but there seems to be more out there) but it has a tape speed of 7.5IPS. Sounds like an issue to me.

    Are there any other 1/4" 8-track reel-to-reel recorders that might be compatible with these tapes?

    Thanks again!

    -Derek.

    P.S I'm aware I'll have to bake these tapes...my shopping list currently includes an E8 and a food dehydrator...

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    The smaller Fostex 8 tracks (A8, M80 and R8) will play the tapes BUT you will have to cut them in half and wind them onto smaller reels as the smaller machines will only take 7" reels. You could probably use any working machine capable of taking 10.5" reels to find a suitable place to cut the tape and wind them onto smaller reels. How many tapes do you want to transfer?
    JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration
    http://www.jrpmusic.co.uk

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    I've got 5 Apex 457 and 2 BASF LP35 tapes. They are all on 7" reels, so this gives me some more options - thanks!

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    Looks like one of the small Fostex machines would be ideal for those but it may be worth trying to find someone with a working machine rather than buying one yourself as you probably have less than 3 hours worth of material to transfer.
    JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration
    http://www.jrpmusic.co.uk

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    Yes, that makes sense - I'm going to see if anyone near me can do this sort of thing and for what price vs. me renting/buying to undertake this myself. I suppose I could always re-sell the machine when I'm done if I had to buy one. In the end it'll come down to cost and level of confidence in the person doing it.

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    I see you're not that far from Toronto so it would probably be worth getting in touch with Richard Hess - I'm not sure if he does 8 track quarter inch tapes but he would almost certainly know someone who can.

    0.25" reel tape – Richard L Hess—Audio Tape Restoration Tips & Notes
    JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration
    http://www.jrpmusic.co.uk

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