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Thread: Tascam 38 - is it worth.......

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    Tascam 38 - is it worth.......

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    ........$250 and a 7 hour round trip and probably 3 tanks of gas?

    I know the 38 is an 8 track 1/2" machine that's built to withstand everything just shy of a nuclear blast, but that is about as much as I know about them. Should I hold out for a TSR-8 or jump on this one? What is parts availability like for the 38? Sorry for the questions which are probably redundant as they have probably been answered a few times already on here, but I'm on a tight schedule at the moment and don't have too much time to google around and sort out the info. Thanks!
    The interface said to use "Windows XP or higher"...

    ... I used tape...

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    SO.....$400 plus or minus for a 38? I'd do it if I had 7 hours to spare. I owned one before I bumped up to 16 tracks. My only complaint is the rca I/Os.

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    Yes I think it would be worth it; the RCA outs are not that big a liability. Much is made of balanced XLRs, but the truth of the matter is that most patch bays don't use the shield, even in many professional studios. The 38 is a rock solid machine and you will likely be able to find spares fairly easy.


    AK

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talldog View Post
    SO.....$400 plus or minus for a 38? I'd do it if I had 7 hours to spare. I owned one before I bumped up to 16 tracks. My only complaint is the rca I/Os.
    There is one catch to the 7 hour trip.................I would be doing this right after work...................and I have to work tomorrow.........yeow.

    Forgive the ignorant question, but which units would have either 1/4" or XLR I/Os?
    The interface said to use "Windows XP or higher"...

    ... I used tape...

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    the Tascam 48 would, and I believe the 58 does as well, Sweetbeats would know.


    AK

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    Yeah the 48 has XLR ins and outs as well as the rca's. I'm sure the 58 has balanced in's and out's as well.

    I wouldn't let the rca's be a deal-breaker for the 38. Sounded just fine when I had to use the rca's on my 48. Unless your doing a long cable run it shouldn't be an issue.

    $250 + gas + 7 hour drive after work in my mind would just about equal the current market value from what I've seen. If it's in decent condition then it's a good deal. I'm not sure if it'd be entirely worth it if it needed work. It'd be a very good deal for someone local.

    38s are from what seemed apparant to me when I was shopping around, to be the most prevalent in this format. I believe parts would probably be easiest to find for this machine.

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    You nailed all the important points Rufer - the real question is the condition and whether it is worth the drive to possibly pass if the thing isn't up to snuff.



    AK

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    Another question is what comes with it??? Takeup reel? Tape? Manual? A couple DX-4D's?? An RC-71? Any of these with it if it is in good condition is in the market, and figure you'd spend over a $100 to have it shipped to you and that's a crap-shoot.

    I agree on the whole RCA unabalanced I/O thing...consider this:

    • My 58 manual shows that the response specs are actually better when using the unbalanced I/O.
    • If you plan on using noise reduction with it and choose to use the DX-4D's (which I would recommend), the I/O is all RCA unbalanced anyway.
    • The only reason I've determined that you would need to use balanced I/O would be if your cable run is in excess of 30' or so. Balanced I/O wasn't put on the 58 and 48 (and many others) because it sounds better, it is because those decks were geared for a more professional environment (particularly the 58 for video production) where there would be a greater likelihood of a sizeable control room with a separate isolated machine room. If the cable runs were in-wall that could easily go over 30'. Take it from me...I have a 48 and a 58 and I'm swimming in balanced I/O dbx 150X's with unnecessary level calibration trimmers...and now with my M-520 console literally covered with RCA I/O...I'm looking for a couple DX-4D's...I bought the hype.
    • RCA connectors are actually a good style of connection which, in most cases, have a better contact surface area than a TS or TRS plug, and IMO, by looking at the design, have the potential to last longer. That's IMO.


    My 2p.

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    yep, its all about the condition of the deck. chances are there are few things wrong with it:

    1- at the very least, I'm willing to bet that its gonna need a new pinch roller, capstan belt, and the brake solenoids are prolly gonna be all gummed up. all the rubber has probably turned to goo.

    2- its probably due for an alignment and calibration too. you might be satisfied with the deck as is, even if its not at factory spec. I have been told by a few techs that these decks are pretty hard to get spot on, and they are a pain in the ass to work on cuz you have to take them apart to get to stuff. my point is, unless its WAY out of calibration, you might live with it as-is and be fine.

    the rubber stuff is almost to be expected, and I wouldn't let that turn into a deal breaker.

    on the other hand, if the heads are badly worn or the reel motors are slow, or there are dead channels, then I would pass, or try to talk the seller down (way down).

    as already mentioned, RCA ins/outs shouldn't be much of a factor in your decision.

    if you pass, do you think a better opportunity will come up soon?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hi_Flyer View Post
    yep, its all about the condition of the deck. chances are there are few things wrong with it:

    1- at the very least, I'm willing to bet that its gonna need a new pinch roller, capstan belt, and the brake solenoids are prolly gonna be all gummed up. all the rubber has probably turned to goo.

    2- its probably due for an alignment and calibration too. you might be satisfied with the deck as is, even if its not at factory spec. I have been told by a few techs that these decks are pretty hard to get spot on, and they are a pain in the ass to work on cuz you have to take them apart to get to stuff. my point is, unless its WAY out of calibration, you might live with it as-is and be fine.

    the rubber stuff is almost to be expected, and I wouldn't let that turn into a deal breaker.

    on the other hand, if the heads are badly worn or the reel motors are slow, or there are dead channels, then I would pass, or try to talk the seller down (way down).

    as already mentioned, RCA ins/outs shouldn't be much of a factor in your decision.

    if you pass, do you think a better opportunity will come up soon?
    I think I might pass on it. That is a hell of a drive for something that might or might not be questionable. I'd love to have a 38, but I'll wait until I truly do have the funds to let go on it without starving myself for a few weeks. From what I've seen, something usually pops up every few weeks somewhere in Texas, usually Dallas area though, which is a further drive. Guess I'll stick to my 424mkII for the meantime.
    The interface said to use "Windows XP or higher"...

    ... I used tape...

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