You'd be amazed how often I see reels where at some point there's a
crease/fold and *whoops* the tape is now oxide-out! This can happen without
Also, do you know the details of your deck? Is it quarter track? Half track?
Your recordings on the Nagra were either half or full track, and those made
on the B77 could have been half or quarter track (likely half). So, playing
these back on an A77 that's not got the right head configuration could
result in you thinking the tapes don't sound as they should.
Also, some A77s had selectable NAB/CCIR(IEC) EQ. NAB EQ has a high-end boost
that CCIR does not. If your tapes were made with NAB, playing them back with
CCIR EQ would make them sound rather dull. The clear dial behind the Balance
control on some A77s is the EQ switch. If it's on IEC, that may be the
Finally, not sure what he did to the machine but the A77 is old enough to
have componentry going bad (capacitors drying up, etc). Something could've
failed in the interim. If the repair gent is still there, you'd be well
served to return for a visit to check that all's in good shape
electronically. Take a non-critical tape with you and tell him what you're
not hearing that you should be.
If you don't want to invest any more into the deck, sell it on and look for
an Otari MX5050BII. It's half/quarter track switchable and is easily
switched to work at either 15/7.5IPS or 7.5/3.75IPS. They're also tough as
nails, quite common, and very cheap in the used market.
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Paul Tyler
Sent: Saturday, April 07, 2007 1:08 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Need help with a Revox A77 [?] in Chicago
Dumb answer #1: I clean them after every hour or two
of playing time.
Dumb answer #2: I don't know, but alignment is the
kind of smart word I was looking for..
Dumb answer#3: I was very careful 25 years ago to
splice on white and yellow leader with the markings
on the outside so I wouldn't ever make that dumb
--- David Lennick <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Dumb question #1: Have you cleaned the heads?
> Dumb question #2: Did Herr Gefixmann replace the
> heads? May be just an
> alignmnent problem.
> Dumb question #3: Any chance that the tapes (or some
> of them) are being
> threaded with the oxide out instead of in?
> Paul Tyler wrote:
> > Hello,
> > I'm hoping someone can help an electronic
> ignoramus. Here's the story. I have a hundred and
> fifty open reel tapes I recorded twenty five years
> ago that I've been trying to digitize. Most are
> field recordings I made on a Nagra on loan from the
> American Folklife Center or on a Revox B77 (I'm
> unsure of the exact model number) owned by a then
> brand new public radio station in Fort Wayne. The
> restof the tapes are the 26 one-hour radio shows I
> produced using my field recordings. After that gig
> ran it's course, I was left with the tapes and no
> machine. The original field recordings are in the
> Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University,
> and what I have are earliest copies dubbed on the
> ATM's Ampex decks.
> > Fast forward twenty years and I bought a Revox A77
> on eBay and started dubbing my field tapes in my
> spare time. Somewhere along the way my preschool
> daughter filched a light bulb out the Revox--I don't
> know what you call it but it was for a light
> activated shutoff. I took the Revox to 20th Century
> Stereo on the north side. The elderly
> European-accented proprietor ended doing $300 worth
> of repairs and adjustments. This was two years ago,
> and I'm just now getting back to dubbing my tapes.
> > But they don't sound the same. I don't have the
> technical vocabulary to describe the sound
> difference. The clarity is gone. It sounds like my
> recordings have gone through some sort of filter
> that distances the sound. Another description:
> > the loss of clarity sounds like what happens when
> you dub cassettes on cheap portable decks from 1980.
> > Can anybody offer any help? Like what kind of
> words I should use if I take it back to the old
> German guy. Or do you know any other good repairman
> (or woman) in the Chicago area I could consult.
> > Thank you
> > Paul Tyler