Teac A-2300S

ledhed

New member
One of my co-workers brought one of these reel-to-reel units in today and he wants to sell it. I've never had a reel-to-reel before and may buy it just because they're old and cool. Is this a regular 2-track stereo machine? If my studio is Tascam 488 analog and I usually mixdown to cassette, what could I use this for...anything besides just set it up in the corner for visual effect and playing around with? How much should I pay for this if it's in decent condition with the bearings recently replaced? Anything specific about this model I should know about?
 

Dom Franco

New member
I think that unit is a stereo reel to reel.(Two tracks in each direction). It might be useful for mixing down to, but being that old the heads are probably worn. I would bet that a Hi-Fi VCR or minidisc would give you a much better S/N ratio.

If you can get it for $25 to $50 it might be a cool addition to your studio decor....

one more thing; you could make a loop of tape and rig it up as a tape echo unit.

Dom Franco
 

aarowsmith

New member
Why don't you wait and see if it is in good condition before judgement ?

Oops sorry a very old post, but it still applies...........

I would if I were you check it out first to see the condition of the heads, or ask a friend who knows about reel machines to check it out for you and play a reel tape on it and hear it yourself.

What you should pay for it depends on the condition, I would say it is worth easily $100 and worth more if it is fully Serviced by a Tech and with a Warrantee.

I just love people here on this form jumping to conclusions about reel machines they have never seen or heard in real life.

Before you go assuming that this reel machine is worn out and no good, try it out first in person and listen to it perform.......

I happen to own a Teac 2300s and it is a very good sounding and reliable and fairly compact reel machine, and is built to last a lifetime. With proper maintenance care, lubing and cleaning.

Even if the heads are slightly worn down, with proper maintenance it will sound even better than a CD player or VHS HiFi machine with the right bias reel tape in it. I use Quantey 480 and 406, 407 with good results.

What is nice about Teac is that they give you bias switches on the front face to adjust for tape bias levels for recording and playback of nearly any tape you throw at it. With Teac you can use a wider base of brands of reel tapes with this adjustable machine.

Most Reel to Reel machines are known for their dynamics, great analog full rich sound, and a slight pleasant analog compression at higher recording levels.

A good condition Teac 2300s will sound better and have a higher dynamic range and frequency response of even the best CD players.

Signal to noise ratio is not a problem on most recordings, because analog reel tape sweetens the sound, you will not notice it really. And who cares if there is a little tiny back ground hiss, you can use DBX or Dolby noise reduction, but I don't, because I think it sounds better with out it.

Why don't you hear it first before jumping to conclusions ?!? :spank::D :cool:
 
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lonewhitefly

New member
the 2300s is a fine machine, designed for consumer use but can certainly be used for anything. the going rate for one in great condition running properly would be $100-$125. this is technically a 4-track (2-channels at a time) machine, designed to play and record standard 1/4" tapes and it runs 7.5 and 3.75 ips. they sound good, in the ballpark of the 3340 series etc. for a studio, you could certainly mix to it but it would not be ideal. i have used it for tape delay and i actually used this model to play prerecorded backtracks for live shows in the past since its fairly portable.

if one came up, i would not pay more than $50 for it myself.

hope this helps.
 

Blue Jinn

Rider of the ARPocalypse
Old thread yes. I think there is also a more recent thread regarding using VHS HiFi as a mix down option and cons associated, although apparently this was in fashion in the early 90s. And minidisc, isn't that a lossy format?
 

Lance Lawson

New member
I have the A 2300S but with Dolby. Teac called it A 2300SD. I bought mine new in 1979. It's 100% original, not a single component has ever failed. It weighs a ton and its built like a brick house. Parts for it are more readily available than a lot of other makes too. It sounds great, no wait better than great. For an RTR with max speed of 7.5ips there's precious little that sounds better and precious little that's better made. I use mine for live mixed down recording and for running pure digital mixed through it to add analog sound.

I've turned down $500+ for mine as recently as this year.
 

LANDMAN666

New member
wait so I bought I mint condition well taken care of A2300S from a daughter of a father that passed away and I was planning to use it to record my demos and to mix the demos on a Tascam M30.. Please simplify or dumb down the answer to my question.. Can I record any original demos on an A2300S?
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
The A2300S is a stereo machine, not a "4 channel" recorder. It is designed for stereo playback, not multitrack recording. While there are 4 tracks, they are arranged as as stereo pairs going in opposite directions.
L>
<R
R>
<L

You can record to it but only stereo and both channels will be recorded at the same time.
 
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LANDMAN666

New member
huh so I guess I would have to record a live band rather than multi track recording.. there has to be a some sort of loop hole to record my demos on this machine
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
Not really... the machine isn't designed for it. To do multitracking, you really need the 2340 or 3340. They have what Teac dubbed Simul-Sync. This allowed the record head to be used in playback mode. Playback fidelity wasn't as good as the actual playback head, but you could select which tracks were recording and which was playing. You could record on 1, play 1 and record 2, play 1&2 and record 3. Or record 1&2, then play 1&2 and record 3&4. Since everything was done on a single head, all track would be in sync. Once you dropped out of Simul-sync, everything would be played back on the playback head with full fidelity.

With the A2300, the record head only records and the playback head only plays. Since they are physically separated by about 3/4 inch, the two will never be synchronized. If you look closely, you will see that on the A2300, there are only 2 recording tracks per head, not the 4 that you have on a real 4 track machine. So there's no way to record more than two tracks...


s-l1000.jpg
 

LANDMAN666

New member
Not really... the machine isn't designed for it. To do multitracking, you really need the 2340 or 3340. They have what Teac dubbed Simul-Sync. This allowed the record head to be used in playback mode. Playback fidelity wasn't as good as the actual playback head, but you could select which tracks were recording and which was playing. You could record on 1, play 1 and record 2, play 1&2 and record 3. Or record 1&2, then play 1&2 and record 3&4. Since everything was done on a single head, all track would be in sync. Once you dropped out of Simul-sync, everything would be played back on the playback head with full fidelity.

With the A2300, the record head only records and the playback head only plays. Since they are physically separated by about 3/4 inch, the two will never be synchronized. If you look closely, you will see that on the A2300, there are only 2 recording tracks per head, not the 4 that you have on a real 4 track machine. So there's no way to record more than two tracks...


View attachment 109681
hmmm okay so since I can't record more than two tracks, then I can surely connect a mic on the L infront of the machine, use that for Guitar and vocals, and connect a mic on R for bass or anyother small percussion instrument... it's not 4 track but it's still away to record something, cause I went over the 2300s manual and it says it can perform "excellent" live recording with any type of high quality dynamic mic... i'm allowed to connect the two dynamic mics I have to the L and R mic input jacks, and use headphones for monitoring... so although it's not 4 track recording... I can record 2 instruments on L and 2 instruments on R... it also says something about sound on sound recording, which I guess it sounds to me that I can record sound over sound (maybe I'm wrong or have the wrong idea about sound on sound recording)
 

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TalismanRich

Well-known member
Sound on Sound is a very basic/crude way of doing multitrack. You record on one track, then play that back and record it plus whatever else you want on the second track. You end up with a single mono track, and will find that each time you do it, it increases the tape hiss. You could do 3 or 4 passes, but you will find quality will decrease and noise will be very apparent. You end up with a single mono track. If you make a mistake or don't like the balance, you have to redo the take, as there is no way to adjust the recording afterwards.

A used Zoom H4n for 100 bucks would be infinitely easier to use and give much better results. You can always dump it down to the A2300 to get that "tape sound".

And yes, you can record live to a reel machine. That's exactly the way many of us started many years ago. You could hook up to 8 mics into your M30 mixer and feed a stereo output to the two channels of the A2300. I think you have to use dynamic mics, as the M30 doesn't have phantom power. You would have to add an external power feed for any condensers.
 
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Chilljam

transitional phase
If it has separate record and playback heads you can record to tape then record the monitor off the playback head into your DAW. That way you can get infinite number of multitracks in the DAW while still recording to tape for the sound and they all line up exactly as you are monitoring off the tape as you are recording (just account for the fixed time delay for the distance between the record and playback heads).

Only limitation is the two tracks at a time.
 

LANDMAN666

New member
huh maybe thats where the m30 mixer comes in if I do happen to go more than 2 passes, even on the L and R recordings to make the quality more bearable...
Sound on Sound is a very basic/crude way of doing multitrack. You record on one track, then play that back and record it plus whatever else you want on the second track. You end up with a single mono track, and will find that each time you do it, it increases the tape hiss. You could do 3 or 4 passes, but you will find quality will decrease and noise will be very apparent. You end up with a single mono track. If you make a mistake or don't like the balance, you have to redo the take, as there is no way to adjust the recording afterwards.

A used Zoom H4n for 100 bucks would be infinitely easier to use and give much better results. You can always dump it down to the A2300 to get that "tape sound".

And yes, you can record live to a reel machine. That's exactly the way many of us started many years ago.
 

LANDMAN666

New member
If it has separate record and playback heads you can record to tape then record the monitor off the playback head into your DAW. That way you can get infinite number of multitracks in the DAW while still recording to tape for the sound and they all line up exactly as you are monitoring off the tape as you are recording (just account for the fixed time delay for the distance between the record and playback heads).

Only limitation is the two tracks at a time.
oh man i'm not even using a daw or computer hahaha all that protools stuff is too complicated and overwhelming for me.. but thats not a bad idea.. too bad I don't have $$$ to buy a computer, program, and other digital stuff for it.. i'm going straight analog, it's worth the headache hahaha
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
With sound on sound, you record track 1 on Left, then play track 1 and add track 2 on Right, then play track 1+2 and add 3 on Left, then play track 1+2+3 and add 4 on Right. You end up with a mono recording because each time, the track physically moves down away from the previous track. After about 4 passes, your track has moved about 1/4 to 1/2 of a second.

If you think using tape is going to save you money, you better start pricing audio tape. A 1200 ft 7" reel of 1/4" tape runs about $20-25 each. For that you get about 35 minutes of recording. Be careful of some older tape formulas, as many have an issue called "sticky shed". The adhesive used will degrade over the years, which causes the coating to come off on your tape head, rollers, guides, etc. Buying used tape cheap might yield a box of useless material.
 

LANDMAN666

New member
nah using tape is going to be the opposite of saving money lol I bought a single 7 inch phillips tape from ebay for $28.99 and shipping was $20 bucks more reaching a total of 50 bucks and some change... that's why i'm trying to carefully figure out how I can make most of this tape I have with the machine I thought was a 4 track multi (it's fine if I sacrfice this tape to experiement on these ideas) .. i'm trying to gather all information of experience I can and figure out how I can record a demo EP on this 2300s.. I don't wanna get rid of it at all
With sound on sound, you record track 1 on Left, then play track 1 and add track 2 on Right, then play track 1+2 and add 3 on Left, then play track 1+2+3 and add 4 on Right. You end up with a mono recording because each time, the track physically moves down away from the previous track. After about 4 passes, your track has moved about 1/4 to 1/2 of a second.

If you think using tape is going to save you money, you better start pricing audio tape. A 1200 ft 7" reel of 1/4" tape runs about $20-25 each. For that you get about 35 minutes of recording. Be careful of some older tape formulas, as many have an issue called "sticky shed". The adhesive used will degrade over the years, which causes the coating to come off on your tape head, rollers, guides, etc. Buying used tape cheap might yield a box of useless material.
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
I just wanted to warn you about stuff like tape costs. Some people are totally unaware of the current situation. They see a tape deck that sold for $1000 in 1980 selling for $100 and think "wow that's cheap". Then they spend $100 to get some tape and the bloom falls off the rose pretty fast.

Just play with the machine. Nothing is permanent on audio tape unless you decide it is. Its not like a CDR. You can record it 10 times over, hit it with the bulk eraser and it's just like new.. Experiment with it.

I've got two reel machine and a cassette deck. They never get used. I think the Dokorder needs belts and the heads redone. The Sony has been in a box for at least 15 years, maybe 20. I have played a few cassettes, but the reverse belt turned to jello. It goes forward, not backwards. I have boxes of old cassettes, and 3 reels of tape that I found, not counting the ones I got from my dad's house from the 50s and 60s. I'm hoping the Sony still works, so I can try transferring those tapes. I have no clue what's on them (except for the one marked JFK funeral.. I bet he put the crystal mic in front of the TV to record it.)

Any recording I do now is digital, I'll never go back to tape. But to each his own. Enjoy what you have. Have fun.
 
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