On Tue, 7 Jun 2005, Richard L. Hess wrote:
> For auditioning, you could also do worse than a ReVox A77 or B77. I think
> the Technics is probably a better machine--it is certainly newer--but I
> have no complaints with the ReVoxes I've used over the years. If you're
> getting an A77, get one of the later models -- not one with the brushed
> aluminum lower panel.
On the A77 make sure the tape guides spin. The early
machines (bought my first one in 1968 or 9) the tape guides would not spin
and over time, no matter how much I fiddled with the pressure roller
and/or the supply reel tension, the tape would slow down towards the end
of the reel. Placing tape on a large hub would reduce the problem reducing
the length of time the tape would be in contact with the guide on the
supply reel side.
I have found the A77 to be reliable. I have several of them. The first one
I bought still works and have replaced (on several occasions) only
pressure roller, heads, capstan and bulbs. On the down side, due to the
design, the heads are not easy to get to for cleaning, plus, if the
machine is mounted vertically, shedding oxide will fall into the machine.
If you can find a good condition working Otari 5050...go for it. I used
Otari's for over 25 years and rarely did anything more than replace heads
and bulbs and pressure rollers. Also worked with the Technics 1500 and
found it to be a fine deck. It was easy to get to the head alignment
screws. Just noticed one for sale online for $249.99.