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ARSCLIST  October 2009

ARSCLIST October 2009

Subject:

Re: perfect cassette deck?

From:

"Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 21 Oct 2009 15:32:15 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (99 lines)

Hi, David,

I think you should buy one of the Sony machines and have you and your 
tech evaluate it.

Then you should figure out the number of hours of cassettes you have 
to transfer (or the quantity of cassettes--this is not an exact 
science), divide by 1000 and that will give you an approximate number 
of the Sony machines to purchase assuming that your tech likes them 
somewhat. I would buy an additional 10% of machines (minimum five 
extra) to cover yourself.

I do have some concerns about the machine which I think is really a 
Sony TC-WE475, no? It seems to be street-priced in the U.S.A. at $150.

--plentiful/inexpensive used supply
Buying enough machines to make each machine essentially disposable 
obviates the need to buy more later.

--available parts
Sony is not that great in this area, especially after the machine is 
discontinued seven years.

--ease of repair
This become moot if the machine is disposable. I suspect the TC_WE475 
is not designed to be repairable, but even a Nak is not easy to 
repair like a Studer A80.

--balanced outputs
Aphex 124A balance boxes can solve this problem in no time and they 
have no moving parts and will last for a long time.

--auto reverse
I have severe reservations about this as I find most auto-reverse 
machines don't fully match azimuth in forward as compared to reverse. 
This is especially true of the machines which rotate the head 180 
degrees about an axis perpendicular to the centre of the tape's long 
axis. If the head has four tracks and switches, that is better.

It all depends on what is on the tapes and how well they are 
recorded. If I recall correctly, you are using a very high-end 
cylinder player and Studer A807s for open reels. I don't think any 
consumer cassette deck will be in that league.

I currently own seven Nakamichi Dragons and they are lovely, but I 
fear for getting them repaired down the road. The CR-7A is approximately equal.

Does one need a high-end deck? It all depends on what the goals of 
the digitization are and what is recorded on the tapes. If the tapes 
contain music, then one can argue that the best possible deck should 
be used. If these are your standard oral-history tapes, I'll agree 
with Tom that almost any good consumer deck can do a credible job.

There is no one correct answer other than "it depends".

Good luck!

Cheers,

Richard


At 02:42 PM 2009-10-21, David Seubert wrote:
>I currently have five Marantz PMD### cassette decks but with the 
>large number of cassettes in our collection, I'm concerned about 
>having enough decks around. My repair tech tells me these aren't 
>very well made (pot metal parts), are difficult to repair, and spare 
>parts are almost non-existent now. I'd been planning on purchasing 
>more used decks for spares and parts to keep us in business for the 
>next few years, but I'm reconsidering my decision now. I'm wondering 
>if I should shift over to another deck that's better and easier to 
>repair, or stick with Marantz? My ideal requirements:
>
>plentiful/inexpensive used supply
>available parts
>ease of repair
>balanced outputs
>auto reverse
>
>Anything else that should be on this list? It seems the only pro 
>deck still available new is the Tascam 202mkV (no balanced outputs) 
>and Sony still makes the TCWE47 which is an inexpensive consumer 
>deck. Should I just buy lots of the consumer decks, wear them out 
>and toss them or should I try to maintain an inventory of working 
>professional decks? I'm not particularly interested in high-end 
>consumer gear like Nakamichis, but there must have been an era of 
>well made decks that are still cheap and plentiful and have good 
>service records. Maybe a flavor of the Tascam 122? Anybody have 
>suggestions on what might be a good choice moving forward?
>
>David Seubert
>UCSB
>

Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada       (905) 713 6733     1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes. 

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