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Thread: Tascam 22-2 or Revox A77?

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    Tascam 22-2 or Revox A77?

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    Hello, as my intro into R2R recorders, I'd like to get a 1/4'' half-track mixdown deck. I'll be mixing down from either my Tascam 246, 144, digital, or live right off of my console.

    I've narrowed it down to either the Tascam 22-2 or the Revox A77 (probably a mkI since it's cheaper, and not sure if I'll be able to find a high speed one).

    I like these two because they are relatively small, pretty popular (easy to find, easy to find parts etc) come in 1/2 track, high speed flavors. Also, they are cheap! I have very little money.

    Any recommendations?

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    Tascam 22-2 wins for mutiple reasons:

    1) - 15 ips/2T A77s are hard to come by
    2) - any A77 in working order are going to be more expensive (it's a real popular deck with audiophile/home hobbyist types)
    3) - 22-2s sound better (in my opinion)
    4) - support for tascam stuff is more readily available, as are parts (and cheaper - revox uses all kinds of weird little sensitive swiss made parts)

    that said, you could probably find some kind of old ampex or something in the price range of a revox, which would be my recommendation overall. but they are BIG !

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    yea I don't have a ton of space at the moment for a big Ampex machine - but if i did, any recommendations?

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    btw just found another thread that asks same question - sorry for posting this. but i'd be curious to hear about good Ampex mixdown decks...

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    I think my Tascam 22 is the perfect balance of fidelity and tape vibe. Not crunchy or noisy, but not too subtle either. A +6 tape like LPR35 at 15 ips with conservative levels will be pretty hiss-free and clean. Slow it to 7.5 or use a +3 tape like Scotch 207 and you can make it gritty.

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    im leaning 22-2........are they relatively easy to maintain? I have a lot of experience with cassette recording (cleaning heads, rubber, tape path and demag) but no real r2r experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xxmangoosexx View Post
    im leaning 22-2........are they relatively easy to maintain? I have a lot of experience with cassette recording (cleaning heads, rubber, tape path and demag) but no real r2r experience.
    You can't really get at the adjustments like you can on a "pro" deck (I think the 22 sounds pro, and I have a pro deck to compare it to). If you are recording and playing back on the same Tascam 22, fine. I would not plan on playing back tapes recorded on other decks regularly, as calibrating/aligning is much more of a headache.

    Belts are easily found, and pretty easy to change. Brakes are easy to adjust. I recently had one of mine in the shop for some IC's that were bad on the preamp card, but they were readily available from Tascam. I have three 22's (one 22-4 and two 22-2's). No serious issues yet.

    You will eventually need a tech or have to do your own diagnosis & repair with any deck. I have a tech near me, which is good since I have little experience with electronics. I bought a parts deck to mess with, but it turns out to be in great shape. Got lucky.

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    well, i personally believe that an ampex deck sounds very different than a tascam in general, a lot more "meat" and character, you can overdrive it without it getting too muddy/bass heavy ...

    ampex 440 is the all-around best value, the most common deck, but be warned: all except the "C" series don't have auto sensors, you have to manually shuttle between FF & RW before stopping. you'll get used to it but it pre-dates tascam-era stuff, which is more user-friendly and "prosumer" oriented ... i'm not knocking it, but it's a different approach.

    keep your eyes on craigslist, even eBay sometimes. you can see real good deals on 440s.

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    If you live in teh USA, I think Tascam wins for parts support, and the 22 series represent a decent compromise of space and feature. (I have a 22-4)

    Depending on what you are doing you might find the 7" reels to be a limiting factor though. ALso, they are recommended for 1 mil tape, so you're limited to LPR-35 or NOS 457 for new tape. (I think Zonal has a 1mil tape if you live in Europe)

    1mil is a recommendation and you'll find differing opinions here as to whether or not you can use 1.5 mil tape. At 15ips you're looking at ~16 minutes for 1.5 mil or ~24 minutes for 1.0 mil.

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    7'' reels are fine for me, most of what ill be mixing down won't' ever breach the 6 min mark...i'd just like a good deck to serve as my intro into this fabulous world of r2r. I'm no audiophile. Just need something that vibes with the workflow I envision for myself right now, and i believe that's mixing down to 1/4'' tape.

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