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Thread: Which RTR machine for me?

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    Which RTR machine for me?

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    Hello All,

    I'm new to the RTR thing..I would like to get a really great sounding RTR. Which is recommended? I've heard the Otari, Teac and ATR are great. Which one and where is the "best" source for one?


    Thanks.

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    First of all, and others will agree, be less concerned about brand and more concerned about:

    1. condition
    2. proximity


    In other words, you want to find the best condition deck that is closest to you so you can go and see it before you buy it and personally transport it. You'll find all sorts of opinions on what the "best" or "better" or "preferred" uits are, but it is worth nothing if it won't function properly or needs $$$ to get it up-to-snuff or gets completely obliterated in transport. I'm not being dramatic here either. I would say you're much more likely to find a deck that needs a little work than one that needs nothing done, and anytime you load a 50-100lb chunk of gear into a box and hand it off to the shipper of your choice you are potentially signing a death warrant. Se the sticky at the top of this forum on packing 101.

    Questions:

    1. How many tracks do you want/what will you be doing with it?
    2. how much do you want to spend
    3. Do you plan on maintaining it yourself or having somebody else do that? If it is the former be prepared to spend some money on the tools end gear needed to maintain it properly yourself...if it is the latter then I suggest you find somebody you trust and who is reputable before sinking your money into an atr.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    First of all, and others will agree, be less concerned about brand and more concerned about:

    1. condition
    2. proximity


    In other words, you want to find the best condition deck that is closest to you so you can go and see it before you buy it and personally transport it. You'll find all sorts of opinions on what the "best" or "better" or "preferred" uits are, but it is worth nothing if it won't function properly or needs $$$ to get it up-to-snuff or gets completely obliterated in transport. I'm not being dramatic here either. I would say you're much more likely to find a deck that needs a little work than one that needs nothing done, and anytime you load a 50-100lb chunk of gear into a box and hand it off to the shipper of your choice you are potentially signing a death warrant. Se the sticky at the top of this forum on packing 101.

    Questions:

    1. How many tracks do you want/what will you be doing with it?
    2. how much do you want to spend
    3. Do you plan on maintaining it yourself or having somebody else do that? If it is the former be prepared to spend some money on the tools end gear needed to maintain it properly yourself...if it is the latter then I suggest you find somebody you trust and who is reputable before sinking your money into an atr.
    Yes, all makes very good sense to me. I've just had a somewhat difficult time finding someone in the NC area. I'm in Charlotte to be exact.

    To answer your questions:
    four tracks would be great (play and record right) I'm going to use it to listen to music in my stereo

    Um. I think the question is what do I really need to spend to get a great unit? $1k? more?

    I would prefer someone to get it right then I can slowly learn to maintain it. That's what I originally did with my turntable. Now it's not an issue. Hopefully I can do the same. The key is that the unit is very good sonically as it will be a main source.

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    So do you want to be able to play back consumer reel-to-reel tapes or will you only be using it to record and play back your own programs? If its the former then yes you need a four-track "quarter track" deck (stereo in one direction, stereo in the other...like the way cassettes work). If you are solely going to use it to record and playback your own programs or material then I'd look for a 1/4" "half-track"...that means 2 tracks in one direction only. The head element width is roughly twice that as a 1/4" quarter-track (because your stereo program is recorded/reproduced from the full head-height) and you are still taking advantage of the relative affordability of 1/4" tape. The downside is you don't get as much program length per tape because you can't flip it over and use the "other side" of the tape. Does that make sense?

    Might want to check this one out...call the guy and ask what kind of condition its in...this is a 1/4" quarter track. Many folks on this forum will know more about the quarter track decks, but I believe the Pioneer 707 to be a good one...well-built...the RT909 is a well regarded deck as well: http://charlotte.craigslist.org/msg/1008927927.html

    They don't come up often but if you are really wanting to spend that much you could look for a Technics 1500/1700/1800...they are a very well-built deck. One of the most professionally-built consumer decks I've ever seen, but it'll likely cost every bit of the $1K.

    Here's a couple 1/4" half-tracks: http://charlotte.craigslist.org/ele/981113325.html. You could call and inquire about price and condition. Both are late 70's vintage likely, but good units for the day.

    Here is an auto-reverse Teac X-2000R (so its a 1/4" quarter track), but its overpriced IMHO: http://cgi.ebay.com/Beautiful-Teac-X...QQcmdZViewItem

    What other decks guys? I know there are lots of options...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    So do you want to be able to play back consumer reel-to-reel tapes or will you only be using it to record and play back your own programs? If its the former then yes you need a four-track "quarter track" deck (stereo in one direction, stereo in the other...like the way cassettes work). If you are solely going to use it to record and playback your own programs or material then I'd look for a 1/4" "half-track"...that means 2 tracks in one direction only. The head element width is roughly twice that as a 1/4" quarter-track (because your stereo program is recorded/reproduced from the full head-height) and you are still taking advantage of the relative affordability of 1/4" tape. The downside is you don't get as much program length per tape because you can't flip it over and use the "other side" of the tape. Does that make sense?
    Sweetbeats-

    My purpose will be to purchase tape from the tape project and also record some of my vinyl to tape. Thanks for the links..

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    What is the "tape project"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    What is the "tape project"?
    http://www.tapeproject.com/

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    Ah! I wondered if that was what you were talking about...then you're already familiar with the Technics 1500.

    Okay. You are definitely wanting a stereo 1/4" quarter track deck then if you are wanting to playback tapeproject tapes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    Ah! I wondered if that was what you were talking about...then you're already familiar with the Technics 1500.

    Okay. You are definitely wanting a stereo 1/4" quarter track deck then if you are wanting to playback tapeproject tapes.
    OK. I'm "familiar" with them...

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    First of all, and others will agree, be less concerned about brand and more concerned about:

    1. condition
    2. proximity


    In other words, you want to find the best condition deck that is closest to you so you can go and see it before you buy it and personally transport it. You'll find all sorts of opinions on what the "best" or "better" or "preferred" uits are, but it is worth nothing if it won't function properly or needs $$$ to get it up-to-snuff or gets completely obliterated in transport. I'm not being dramatic here either. I would say you're much more likely to find a deck that needs a little work than one that needs nothing done, and anytime you load a 50-100lb chunk of gear into a box and hand it off to the shipper of your choice you are potentially signing a death warrant. Se the sticky at the top of this forum on packing 101.

    Questions:

    1. How many tracks do you want/what will you be doing with it?
    2. how much do you want to spend
    3. Do you plan on maintaining it yourself or having somebody else do that? If it is the former be prepared to spend some money on the tools end gear needed to maintain it properly yourself...if it is the latter then I suggest you find somebody you trust and who is reputable before sinking your money into an atr.
    The above is especially important piece of advice that I wish all would follow when looking for a tape machine. Great advice, as always, Cory.

    --

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