Evaluating used 8 track?

El Barto

New member
Alright, here's the thing. I have a chance to buy a used Tascam 688 8-track recorder for $660 (that's with shipping included). This looks like a great unit, it even comes in a hard case. I am able to purchase it through iescrow.com, which allows me to evaluate the product before the money is sent to the person. Now, I really want this unit, but I don't know what I should do to make sure it's worth $660. What should I look for/do to make sure everything works right, and is in good shape. I should probably replace the heads when I get it, how much would this cost? What else should I get replaced? And how much does it usually cost for a tech to take a look at it all and fix what needs fixing (rough estimate)?
Is this a cassette based recorder?

Record a sustained note on each track. (test tones are the best, but an organ or synth note will work)....

Then play back each track listening for levels and noise...(Distortion, crackles pops etc.)

You decide if levels are good and signal is clean...?

You could go with a digital unit for just a few more bucks, and it will record very clean!


Dom Franco
Yes, it's a cassette based unit. Are there any digital 8 tracks around this much? I've never seen one...plus, I really dig analog.
Check out the Boss, Roland and Fostex units. I would not go with a cassette based unit. The tape hiss and crackles and pops will outweigh any "analog" quality that you get with tape! Just my oppinion....

You can add analog warmth with a tube compressor or pre-amp, but you can't make up for lost signal strength or get rid off tape hiss once it's there.

Dom Franco
The Fostex has only 2 XLRS but It is a great unit. I don't know about the others. I use a mixer so I have 12 XLR inputs available.

You might consider the ADAT studio pack...with mixer and 8 tracks of digital audio. ADAT's are compatable with every professional studio in the world. You will never regret puting one of your songs on ADAT!


Dom Franco

[This message has been edited by Dom Franco (edited 07-11-2000).]