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Thread: 388 Reel to Reel , circa 1985???

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    Hello,
    I am fairly new to recording...did some on a tascam 4-track porta studio some years back. However I am getting back into it and I really dont want to start at the bottom and work my way up.

    Came across an older tascam...reel to reel set into a board...I think it was 16 tracks and I think it was a 388, but everything on the net about a 388 seems to mention 8 tracks and I cant seem to find a picture of a 388 to confirm what this is. Is a 388 a 16 track reel to reel set into a board?

    Next; do I want this? I want to move up to better performance than a portastudio, but I still like the idea of analog recording. Will I get much better performance out of this unit than the porta? Since it is from 85, has todays technology made it obsolete( meaning, could I get a modern peice of equip for the same price or cheaper, and achieve the same or better results?).its going for $1200 and looks in great condition ...hows that price?

    Since it is 15 years old and reel to reel, how can I tell if everything is in good shape (It looked good..couple knobs off kilter, but thats not the important stuff..)?
    Do I have to worry about motors failing or heads or what?

    Thansk for your time.

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    I'm a proud owner of a 388. And just so you know, it is 8 tracks, not 16.

    First of all, this is an exceptional piece of gear! It will put any, and I mean ANY analog "porta" studio to shame. In my opinion, the learning curve was too high with regard to this unit; when it came out, it was a step UP from the 4 trk unit in a serious way, but the complexity of this machine can't be appreciated from someone upgrading from a 4 trk cassette without a lot of research.

    $1200 is too much for this machine. Granted, back in '86 (with the finance charges) I paid about $5,000 for it, today a $1200 hundred investment can get you a lot further than a 388. Analog was awesome, but it is time to give way to digital...

    I can't believe I just said that!

    Anyway, I see the 388 selling for just under $700 ususally, and that is because most music stores don't even know the capabilities of it. $1200 is too much, though.

    Brad

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    Thanks for the info Brad... upon further research I did find a few 388s for sale, and yes, they were all at least $300 cheaper.

    Couple more quick one... I have seen some of these that list ips and I am assumeing that the Higher the ips # the better the sound quality?

    Ok, heres the sitch; I got $1000 to spend...will I do better to get a good 8 track digital ( even with an analog recorder I do plan to mix to dat.) or too spend it on a exc condition 388? If I ge the 388 with I be spending half my life trouble shooting and breaking out the screw driver?

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    Cool

    Masala;
    IMHO (in my humble opinion), I'd suggest that you invest in the tascam 488 MkII since it'll give you 8 analog tracks, like the 388 you're looking at. I bought mine from Musician's Friend last May for about $900 (it was on sale), and feel that it is an excellent machine. I originally bought a Roland digital 8-track with a 100 MB Zip drive and found that too limiting. An aver-age album (12 songs) requires about 3 GIGA-BITS(!) for all the info that makes it up (an average of 250-300 MB's per finished track!). Also, again IMHO, unless you know something (or know someone who does) about old reel to reels, I believe you'll find the 388 you looked at as a liability, not an asset. I hope this has beeen of help.

    Chipper

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    I think if you found an 8-track digital, even a minidisc, you'd be happier in the long run. If you really wanted the quality inherent in a "big tape" analog system, I think you might be disappointed with 8-track cassette.

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