Old(er) casette 4 track cheap

James HE

a spoonfull weighs a ton
At a local music store, ther is this rackmount 4 track cassete recorder for $140.
I can't remember the brand name, it started with an A (something I don't think I'd ever heard of before) It looks kinda beat up. It has four inputs with just a trim control and volume. I'm thinking it might be good to make cassette masters on (like I could fade in one song from another- cool!) also for doing external bounces (read my thread "my externals are bouncing" in the Mixing topic)
The price scares me and intrests me at the same time. Any one got any clue as to what this machine is? (I'll go back tomorrow to get the brand I'll write it down this time!) I figure that a casette recording at high speed is probably as good or better than Hi-Fi VHS which is what I'm using now. Maybe? I'm thinking this might be a good purchase cause it's going to be a while before I can afford something really nice. (I don't think I'd go digital unless it's an ADAT and really I lust for 2-in. tape- the thought of it just seems so...)
Was it a Vestax? They made rack mountable four tracks. I haven't used one but Weird Paul used one. If you've heard his stuff than you heard one of those machines.
Actually, It's an ARIA. I think it's Austrailian or British. The power cord is on of those two... Luckily it come with a trasformer. I checked it out more today. I think it's a definite buy for me- will certainly come in handy. I can make my masters at two times normal speed and also cut out one generation in an external bounce. I took a tape in today and recorded a little bit off of a CD to see if the speed was compatable with the TASCAM. It is but track 1 is 4 and 2 is 3 etc... Maybe it is from down under!
Ok I took it home and am trying it out. Guess what- it's going back to the store- total crap.

I ended up keeping the thing. I'm just a little nuts about having some screwball thing lying around. The thing that is so bad about it is that it dosen't have noise reduction (and it's very noisy). So far in my sessions I've used it as a sub group mixer- (the preamps are ok- just that there is'nt an EQ- which is'nt necessarily a bad thing just for getting a signal to line level, and it's got VU meters -attractive and fun!) I also have used it to pwer two more sets of headphones- wasen't able to do that before. So I'm getting some use out of it- I'll probably part with it soon enough- There's a shop here that would probably take it off my hands for a decent price. If I lose a little money in the deal it'll be ok cause I will have gotten some use out of it. So yeah I'm the guy who bought the lemon.
James, I know what you mean about vu meters, I have a tascam 246,I think it was the biggest 4 track cassette recorder they made. I'll bet you would like this model.I think it was built from 1986 to 1989 4 big teac vu track meters with peak lights, 2 stereo main vu meters,2 band sweepable eq, direct track outs, dbx, 2 speeds, built in japan and more,It's a great sounding cassette 4 track. I was lucky and got one from a guy who recorded a few songs and put it in a closet. I don't ever see this deck mentioned. they do show up on ebay,but not very often.