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Thread: Should I replace my 12-year-old 4-track?

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    I have a Porta 1 that I bought new in 1986 that still works great. I only replaced one belt on mine, also. Although presently it's not my primary recording setup, I still use it as a backup and for taking on the road. It's reliable and it serves me well. I wouldn't think of getting rid of it.

    Sounds like your pretty much happy with what you have and you don't need something new in a hurry. So take your time, use your ears and go check out some of the newer recording technology.

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    Hi all,

    Since 1988 I have happily used a TASCAM Porta04 4-track cassette recorder. Apart from having to replace one belt, I've experienced no significant problems with it and have been quite pleased with its performance.

    I was wondering, though, if any of the newer 4-track models offer superior sound quality. The Porta04 offers pretty good sound, but it's not as crisp as the sound I dream of. Can I expect much better sound if I invest in a new machine?

    Any thoughts/answers would be appreciated. Thanks!
    -- Jeff

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    The crisp sound you are after? If that crisp sound is on a CD, tape, radio, or record, hook up the source to your Tascam and record it. If it still sounds crisp, minus one track bounce, then I would say your Tascam is capable. Then you have to find the weak links in your studio setup. Garbage in - garbage out.

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    partyka....This is really bizare, but I just got home with a porta 05 that I found at a second hand store for $10. It seems to work fine. It seems to record better if I leave the Dolby in. The headphone amp seems a bit noisy but maybe that's how they all are. If I monitor through a stereo from the lines out it is quiet which is all I care about.
    Maybe I'll be able to give you a better opinion regarding your original post after I've had time to mess with it. I have some better things to record with but I've been wanting something like this for sketching and because it is very portable. The heads have no sign of wear at all. They just didn't realize what they were selling I guess.

    [This message has been edited by monty (edited 02-24-2000).]

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    Wow, $10! That's amazing. It is a good machine ... I do still use it all the time and in general it performs well. If yours is in good shape then it should make an above-average sketchpad.

    I guess I was just thinking that, since it's been my main machine for 12 years, it might be about time to look into a newer one, if they've made any progress since '88. But I guess as long as mine's working fine, I'll keep going with it.

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    Hi, partyka;
    IMHO (in my humble opinion), you'd be wise to hang on to the Porta-04 for a while, as suggested above by hixmix. As long as you're happy with it's results, why go into debt? If, at some point, you feel you need more tracks to work with, then I'd look at a new (read 8-track) machine. I hope this has been of help to you.

    chipper

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    Thanks so much for the replies. (How embarassed was I to discover, though, that I had typed Porta04 ... it's actually the long-out-of-production Porta05!)

    I think I'm going to take the advice about testing it by plugging a CD into it and seeing how it records. Sounds like a good test.

    It is true that if I were to look into a new recorder, I'd want to check out the possibility of more tracks, perhaps with one of the 8-track cassette models. I don't know how well those work, but I'm intrigued by the possibility.

    Thanks one and all!

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    Wow Monty,Thats a find,That unit is argueably the best portable 4 track they made.If we start a post for "BestDeal on gear"You might take top honors!

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    Hot Rocks...Ya I luck out like that every once in awhile. But I do put a lot of time into searching. Flea markets, yard sales, second hand stores, local classifieds, etc. Some recent stuff would include a Rockman Sustainer for $5. A Fender Blender for $20. A big Standel combo amp with 4 speakers for $25. A big Ampeg tube bass amp for $10. An Art x-15 midi controller for $30. A couple of Casio CZ-101 synths for $10. There's more, but you get the point. But yes, I'd be willing to take top honors.

    [This message has been edited by monty (edited 02-26-2000).]

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    Hell, and volume TOO!! You got my vote!I love all that sh#t too,garage sales,Flea markets ect, I went to my first and last "estate sale" once,I felt like a vulture. But yes, Nobody I know will go with me. Do you have a wife,girlfriend,or somebody who goes with you? It's good clean fun and as you pointed out can be profitable and you get to acurire great gear cheap

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