488 users- Tell me the truth - Please!


New member
I asked this in the Tascam forum, but this spot may be more appropriate. I want an 8-track deck and the 488 mk2 looks good to me. I had an old 4-track cassette deck and
loved the sound. But now I'm being told by a lot of musicians "in the know" that digital is the way to
go, 8-tracks on cassette is too thin, high speeds cause the tape to stretch and skip, tracks 1 and 8
are weak, etc. I love the old analog sound, but there isn't much of a difference in price anymore,
and the lure of virtual tracks is strong...Please- Is there a full warm sound to the 488? (I mean by cassette standards, like I said, I loved the sound of my old 4-track). Does the higher speed make up for the extra tracks? Are you
satisfied with it?
I owned a 488mk11, a great deck,i sold it and bought a tascam 238.the 238 is better than the 488. whats nice about the 238 is it can record on all 8 tracks at once, great for gigs, and because of digital popularity, you can get one at giveaway prices,compared to what they originally sold for. i paid 335.00 for mine, its practicly new,and got the remote too. this unit sold for about 1500.00 4 years ago. 1900.00 when it came out in 1989,i love the sound, it sounds almost as good as my 388, which you might consider if you want to stay anolog, that uses 1/4 inch tape and is an incredible full featured mixer/ recorder. that can be had on ebay for around 550.00 for a nice one. that 238 though,i get a real kick how fantastic a recording can sound on a cassette
So Hot Rocks- Is the 238 better than the 488 because you can record 8 tracks at once, or because it actually has better sound? Also, I'm unfamiliar with the 238- would I need to get a patch bay for it, or can I plug mics and instruments directly into it? Does it take xlr or just 1/4 inch plugs? What would I need to mix down from it?
Thanks! zman
Both,This unit was made for pro applications,tascam claims it's performance rivals 8 track reel to reels. i believe them. i did own a 488mk11, a nice deck,but now that i own a 238,there's no going back. you do need a mixer, all the inputs,8 in,8, out, are rca type.I love this deck and as i mentioned earlier,go to ebay like i did,wait, and a 238 will show up. expect to pay 350.00 to 450.00 for the dbx version, a bit more for the dolby s version, which i hear sounds a little better. i own the dbx and am very very happy with it. they are all metal construction and built to be worked.if you decide to go anolog cassette, this is the the deck
Hey Hot Rocks- Thanks! I'm now checking out a 238 on ebay. It doesn't have the remote- Is that necessary? What would be a good cheap mixer for it?
The remote is great to have but what you really want is the best possible condition deck,1st priority,When you are ready to bid,read the persons "feedack", you will be sending this person a good chunk of money, so if he/she has a great record, and a sizeable number of positives, it's safe to say that if it's described as "mint" "ex.cond." or "Low hours" it will be true. as far as a mixer, I don't know. i use my tascam 388 recorder/mixer with it at home, and when used "Live," I've hooked it up to the sound mans board, using 8 rca to 1/4 inch cables/wires. awesome sound. I would get somthing that has "direct track outs" or "cue out" per channel if you want to record all the tracks at once, or if you record treack by track, main stereo outs would do. good luck on ebay, this deck has a warm anolog sound/feel, overlooked by many,and a real bargain today
I forgot to mention, spend the extra money and get a mixer that has "phantom power" so when the time comes, you can use condensor mics. Is this a great site or what!
I also forgot to mention that it's fully operational without the remote, the remote does what the deck does, and what you would expect/suspect it would, let you play/record, ff, rewind, ect from a distance, they come up for bid on ebay too