At 01:54 PM 2009-11-01, A. F. Thal wrote: >The notion (championed by persons whom I would characterize as being >mis-informed) that archival audio transfer technicians might now collect a >number of such worn-out machines for spare parts, in order to re-assemble >enough working units to go forward with the transfer work, is one I find >preposterous if any (even bare minimum) technical standards are to be met. I would have to agree with Fred here. Having obtained some other decks, sight unseen, thinking they would be useful for parts, has been a very hit-or-miss affair and I now no longer collect parts machines as the same parts seem to be broken on many of them. That is not to say that I'm getting rid of any parts or parts machines, but I see it counter-productive to acquire any more. There comes a time where the most-likely-to-fail part will have to be re-sourced or re-manufactured in one way or another. With that said, the A80 appears to be the most easy to maintain deck available due to its use of standard (but very high quality) ball bearings. I am sure that Fred returns these machines to the finest "Swiss Watch" precision possible. We are seeing fewer and fewer "cream puff" versions of any tape machine and a beat-to-a-pulp machine is a sad thing to try and put right. With that said, I do spend a fair amount of my time in machine maintenance, but the most annoying formats are the oddball cassette formats. My four-track Tascam cassette just died and it sounds better (though is not as flexible) than my CMS unit. Sigh. The real annoyance here is that I do about two to four tapes a year in this format. As a broad caveat, I am not aware of anyone doing what Fred is doing for DAT and other dedicated digital audio tape machines (maybe Manhattan Sound Technicians in Minneapolis) so I think that these dedicated digital formats are even more at risk than the older open reel. Thanks Jim and Fred for highlighting these issues. I feel comfortable that I'll be able to transfer tapes as long as I want to with the parts that I have and are still available, but I'm not encouraging my sons to continue with it (thankfully, one is thinking about being a doctor). Cheers, Richard 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.