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Thread: Someone sell me a Tascam 388!!

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    Someone sell me a Tascam 388!!

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    I've been looking to buy one of these for a while now, I'm trying to find one somewhat close so I can pick it up and won't have to pay shipping. What's with people asking insane amounts of money for a 1980's 1/4 inch reel to reel machine??? There's one on ebay with a $995 buy it now price! Now if thats not completely ridiculous , then I don't know what is.

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    Before I start let me just say I am a big tascam fan and still own alot of tascam gear.
    Now I would have to ask why do you or would you want a 388?
    There are so many othere tascam recorders that will do a better job like the 38 48 58 or tsr8. You can get a 38 and a 30 series mixer that is so much better and cost so much less. The 30 series is much simpler to move for one person. Parts are available all over the place. They are much easier to ship.
    You are not restricted to one mixer there is the m30 m35 m300 series or the 1500 series. So many better choices.

    If you are lucky enough to find a good 388 more power to you but until you have picked up a 388 and moved it or had a problem with it and cant find anyone to work on it I would look else where.
    Just do a search on this forum and see how many people have had huge problems with the 388.

    As for the prices of a 388 being high. They where 4000.00 new so for a nice unit that works and hasnt had the crap worked out of it thats not bad.

    I also would have to ask does the Black keys have anything to do with it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herm View Post
    I also would have to ask does the Black keys have anything to do with it?
    Did the black keys use a 388? I've been using a 388 for the past month, and have been floored by the sound quality...just amazing.

    Herm: I can't speak to the Tascam 38s, etc., but the 388 rules. It could be easier to use a separate board and transport, but I'm damn happy.

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    Arrow The 388...

    The 388 is an awkward & heavy lift, true. It's a b!tch to pack & ship, and a big risk, (heh: pun). The self-contained design has both advantages and limitations. The 388's purchase price vs. the 38/M30 mixers, it's about even on a "normal" day. It's also a matter of running cost,... that the 388 is technically a "budget" format, 1/4", that will only set you back about 1/4 of the cost of 1/2" tape. Don't let me get on a tangent that the price of tape is outrageous these days. The 388 fits a niche for those who don't want to spend a fortune on tape, BTW who might also look at a Fostex R8 or similar deck as an alternative. Just speaking about the 1/4" 8-track format as a class of alternative to expen$ive 1/2" tape formats. Sure, the 1/2" system would sound bigger.

    I don't know if a popular group is driving up the buzz on this item, or what the case may be. Nor would I care. I've seen the 388's price fluctuate greatly over the years. I've driven up the buzz on this unit a couple times myself over the years. The price fluctuates and spikes from time to time, as well as bottoming out occasionally. $450~$500 is fair for a nice one in 100% working order, tho' I've seen them for much more or less at times. I'd not pay more, preferrably less, and I'd prefer to find local pickup deals vs. pack/ship methods.

    Not to minimize at all the real world downsides of the 388 that Herm's experienced.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Bob
    ... subtleties of sound make a difference to those who really listen.

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    Some of the Black Keys' Thickfreakness album was recorded on a 388.

    If I'm not mistaken, their next album, Rubber Factory, was recorded on a Tascam MS-16.

    They have a new album, Attack and Release, but I don't know what that was recorded on. Danger Mouse was involved in the production of their latest album, but all of the other albums were recorded by the duo's drummer.

    -MD
    Last edited by themaddog; 02-24-2009 at 05:23. Reason: Misinformation

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    Quote Originally Posted by HUMANSareANALOG View Post
    There's one on ebay with a $995 buy it now price! Now if thats not completely ridiculous , then I don't know what is.
    No, what's ridiculous is that those machines are going for 10cents on the dollar. 1K for a good condition, low use 388 is not a bad deal, especially that there's really nothing much that can go wrong with a machine of this age, other than rubber parts replacement, if it has been well taken care of. The 388, in today's money, would actually be closer to 10K.

    While I do agree that there are pros and cons, as it relates to the 388, it's still a super machine and I'm not surprised it's getting a cult like following.

    In closing I'd like to reiterate the importance of local pickup or crating if one wishes to have this, or any other of this kind, delivered.

    ---

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    Case in point, here's an ad from 1985. Note the price $3495. That's $7000 in todays money, excluding taxes. That's even higher in my currency, close or at around 10,000CND $. That puts it into perspective, doesn't it? Makes one think that for the original retail cost of one 388, you can buy 2 or 3 of each of 388's, 38's, 32's, M520's, outboard gear, mics, with dollars to spare, in todays market.
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