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There have been many suggestions here that are great. Steve's recent post
about sharing resources with other evaluation organizations was a good one.
The reason that the government does research and doesn't publish names is
they don't want to interfere with the commercial marketplace as that might
not even be legal. It certainly would bring a test of the legality.

On the other hand, however, I'd like to suggest that a polling of the
experts here on this list is about as valuable as you're going to get, in
reality.

One of the items in the mix is familiarity. I suspect, for example, that
Graham Newton gets better results out of his Ampex ATR-800s than I would
AND I suspect that I get better results out of my Sony APR-5003Vs than
perhaps Graham would--at least initially.

Especially in reel-to-reel, each machine has its idiosyncrasies and when
those are understood by the operator, and worked around, then the results
can be stupendous.

I think we had pretty good unanimity on the cassette deck of choice for
restoration--I'll admit to being the odd outlier on this, but I took the
route of recommending an out-of-production machine because for my purposes,
it is superior--but there is an overhead to maintaining them.

I know that many of you cannot take that route and must buy items that are
new and available from the usual source. There is nothing wrong with the
Tascam 122 MKIII and it is also, in my opinion, probably the best cassette
machine available new today. I've designed them into many projects although
I don't have hands-on experience with them.

Perhaps the easy thing for people to do would be for someone (not me) to
volunteer to tally the postings and put up a Web page something like:
   ARSC Member Equipment Preferences

That's really what it is...it's not a rating system.

The pages could look like:

CASSETTE REPRODUCER
====================
Tascam 122B MK III: John, Sally, Joe ...
Nakamichi Dragon: Richard

REEL TO REEL REPRODUCER
=======================
Ampex ATR-800: Graham
Sony APR-5003V: Richard
Studer A820 2CH: Parker, Richard, Fred
Studer A810: Richard, John, Sam
Studer A807: Richard, David
Otari MTR-10/12: Richard (with reservations), Dave

Not scientific, but a way for someone to get an idea of what some of us
think without having to have the thread over and over. We could probably
even put email links in there...although we should ask which email address
(not necessarily the list address) we'd want...me: [log in to unmask]
for this kind of stuff.

Cheers,

Richard