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At 06:06 AM 6/7/2005 -0700, RA Friedman wrote:
>A few hundred dollars has become available to purchase a ree-to-reel tape
>deck so that we can audition what I believe are mostly 1/2 track and
>possibly 1/4 track stereo reels playing at
>3 3/4 or 7 1/2 ips. It's conceivable there are some 15 ips, but most
>likely not. I'm assuming we will need two decks, one for each head
>configuration.
>
>Any recommendations as far as units, dealers, re-builds, etc?  We are not
>planning on using the deck for transfers, but we'd like something that
>will have a long useful life and won't be a huge maintenance headache.
>
>With any luck, transfers will be done by an outside specialist. We need a
>unit that can give us some indication of what's on the tapes and will have
>minimal impact. Luckily the tapes have been stored under cool, dry
>conditions and none appears to have sticky-shed or surface/support
>breakdown even though some are acetate rather than polyester.
>
>RA Friedman
>Assistant Project Archivist
>Historical Society of Pennsylvania

I took advantage of an opportunity offered here a year or so ago which
would serve your needs perfectly - except possibly for running over your
budget. I purchased a Studer A807 refurbished by Studer Canada and equipped
with a second (quarter-track) playback head rather than the record head of
the half-track suite. A three-speed machine (3 3/4, 7 1/2, 15 ips), the
tape handling is superb, speed control admirable and other than the $1K
price, it would match your needs perfectly. In fact, I can think of no
better machine for effecting the transfer after the initial audition.

Having been spoiled by the Studer, I would not readily return to a home
deck if only for the tape handling. One possibility is to find a deck such
as a Uher with dual head blocks; in that way, you are not spending for two
drive assemblies just to have two play heads. Another is to dig up a quad
machine and to adapt to quarter- or half-track operation by selecting the
appropriate configuration in playback.


Mike
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