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.
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.
Aphex 124A balance boxes can solve this problem in no time and they
have no moving parts and will last for a long time.
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".
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
>ease of repair
>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?
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.