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Thread: Tascam 388 Help/Suggestions.....For the Dreaded Nooooooob

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    Tascam 388 Help/Suggestions.....For the Dreaded Nooooooob

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    Howdy Folks

    Introduced myself over at the newbie forum and had some questions, but was told to head on over here for better help. Sorry for the length, i'll try to be as quick as possible.

    I am a total noob to the world of recording. Been in the studio many times, but always on the musician side of things. But I am eager & willing to learn the ways of analog....

    Anyway, some info i'm asking for is available here but I get conflicting stories so i'll ask. I just bought a Tascam 388. First, I cleaned the entire tape path (metal parts) with 91% alcohol and q-tips. Then, i wiped down the pinch roller and the part after it (that has rubber as a middle strip)with a light, non-alcohol cleaner. I assume next is demag-ing the beast. Questions:

    1)I am apprehensive about demagnetizing....seems like it could be disastrous if you're not paying attention. I see these SV808's on Ebay for $12.95.....are these any good ? I'd rather have something with no switch as I know one day i'll forget and screw my heads up turning it on too close. Do you have to follow the tape path? Do you touch all of the metal parts except the 2 heads? Slow in, slow out....clockwise motion, etc.

    2)Seems like the heads have some wear but nothing bad...i've enclosed a couple of pics so if anyone can give me their opinion, tips, pointers, good tape to use, etc it would be MUCH appreciated!!!!!

    Thanks
    -Nick-




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    Hi Nick,
    I'm in the same boat as you with demagnetizing. I've read many opposing opinions on its value and I haven't owned my 388 long enough to know what demagging has done for it.

    As far as tape though, I've tried out MANY different kinds in the past year. Mostly NOS and used reels, until recently I decided to try out some brand new reels made by RMG. They sound amazing. Way better than the older reels I've been using. They make a few different formulas, but the one you want for a 388 is LPR35. You won't be sorry. Hope that helps!

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    Hey PS


    Thanks for the reply. Could you tell me the exact steps you took while demag-ing it ? Approach slowly with mojo bracelet and chicken foot.....do 2 step voodoo dance while spinning in a perfect circle....chant in unknown dialect......etc

    Seriously, could you go step by step for me ? did you pull back after going in to each metal part? Or do you just go from part to part then pull back when you're finished? Did you touch the metal or no?

    As for tape, I was going to do the LPR35 but all that's on Ebay right now is a case of 20 for like $470 or something like that. Couldn't afford it. So I bought one reel of Quantegy 457 & one reel of sealed Maxell UD 35-90. When some LPR35 becomes available, I will try and grab some.

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    Welcome to the wonderful world of 388!
    Here is a video demonstrating the degaussing of a 4 track reel to reel.
    Hope it helps.

    YouTube - Reel-to-Reel Recorders : Demagnetize Heads of Reel-to-Reel Recorder
    We've got bush,We've got bush!!!

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    Also,you would be better of getting a quality demagger instead of one of those cheap red tipped ones.A lot of people on here
    suggest a Hand-D-Mag.They're a bit more expensive,but worth it from what I have heard.
    I use a Teac E-3 that I bought used off ebay for about $25.This model is actually the one mentioned in the 388 user manual.
    We've got bush,We've got bush!!!

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    j.harv


    Great vid, bro....thanks. That was a big help.

    Guess there's nothing left for me to do but buy one and man up and just do the damn thing already.

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    Yeah!!!
    Just make sure your aware of what you're doing.And dont do it if you you're all hung over and shit.
    We've got bush,We've got bush!!!

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    I have the Han D Mag and its great! I figure it was worth the exta money for a good one, it would probably add to the value of the machine whenever you sold it.

    And I second on the RMG, it really sounds great and at 20 bux a reel it's worth it. I don't get why people mess around with NOS tape...

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    JD

    I still haven't gotten around to buying a demagnetizer yet....
    Kind of putting it off because i'm worried i'll screw something up. Stupid? You bet!

    There are cheap $12.95 ones on Ebay that I was thinking about getting. Then i've been told don't get the cheap ones...they're no good. Then you read that you shouldn't demag at all. Then you should ONLY demag with a Han-D-Mag because it's the only one that's strong enough.

    Well, there's a guy on Ebay selling a Han-D-Mag now for like $60.00 with best offer. I offered what the last 2 went for ($27.00) and he counter-offered for $57.50 It's a bit disheartening but I am not going to let this brain-jam put me off my goal of learning analog recording. If demag-ing is not that important, then why buy a $60-70 demagger?!?! And I want one without a switch.

    Also, how hard is it to get the tape wound on the take up reel? I can't hold the tape with my finger to get it wound because the space is too small. I worry it won't be tight enough if I just let it wind itself. And then once it is wound, how much room should I give myself before I start recording? The 388 has a function that prevents the tape from coming off correct? So does that mean I can record right at the very beginning of the tape?

    Sorry for all the questions, but still seeking some help

    Thanks
    -Nick-

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    To wind the tape on the reel,just wrap the tape around the take up reel and slide it in the slot of the take up reel.
    You can pull enough tap out of this slot,enough so that you can pinch it with your fingers.Then manually spin the reel until the tape
    is wrapped around once.Then just push the load button on your 388 and the machine will wind the tape automatically and stop.It might seem like alot of tape gets wound when you do this.Im not sure why this much tape gets used during the load function.
    Other than that you should be good to go.
    We've got bush,We've got bush!!!

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