Thanks Tim!

You've provided the detail that I was hesitant to add. Over the years, 
I've noticed the eyes of recipients glazing over when I get deep into 
the weeds. So, these days, I try and keep it as simple as possible 
(plus, I'm getting lazier in my old age). ;-)



Corey Bailey Audio Engineering

On 5/6/2019 8:03 PM, Tim Gillett wrote:
> Hi Corey,
> On a dual capstan deck, the reason it's better for azimuth stability 
> is its uniform back tension. In a standard single capstan deck, back 
> tension from the supply reel tends to increase as the tape plays from 
> start to finish. Changing back tension can change azimuth. An 
> interesting complication in our situation is that the deck which 
> originally recorded the cassette we are now playing, may not have been 
> dual capstan, meaning its recorded azimuth may well change from start 
> to end of tape side.
> I was in a team digitising thousands of Oral History cassettes mostly 
> recorded on simple single capstan cassette decks. We used Tascam Mk 
> III playback machines which, like Naks have a constant back tension, 
> but controlled electronically, not by dual capstan. Often the azimuth 
> alignment would slowly drift from start to end of the tape side, 
> seemingly always in the same direction.  If we'd used Naks I suspect 
> the result would have been similar.
> Ideally, such tapes would be played in a similar deck with similar 
> back tension changes! Or on a model such as a Dragon, but I wonder how 
> many of us have access to one of those?
> The other thing is that it's the constant back tension which *allows* 
> removal or lifting of the pressure pad. This means that many otherwise 
> fine dual capstan cassette decks would potentially benefit from the 
> adding of a pressure pad lifter, as per the Naks. I've modded a few 
> such dual capstan decks (Pioneer, Tandberg, Sony) with a custom made 
> pressure pad lifter with good results. It's not always appreciated 
> that the absence of the pressure pad greatly improves  head life, 
> which is one of the main reasons I like Naks myself.
> The Tascam 122 MkIII retains the pressure pad but it mostly works 
> againt the record head, not the play, but has a role to play in 
> maintaining the back tension across the play head downstream of it. 
> The pressure pad on the record head causes quite a bad wear groove  
> after not too long a time, but in even the worst wear cases I've never 
> seen a play head - sitting right next to the record head- worn nearly 
> as badly or unsalvageable.( The Tascam 122 head is a beautiful piece 
> of engineering IMO, which unusually allows full adjustment of the 
> record head independently of the play head. They're not locked 
> together).  In my view the 122 record/play head assembly should be 
> replaced not when straight line playback performance suffers, but 
> earlier when the record head becomes grooved due to the wear from the 
> pressure pad.. This is especially so when azimuth is routinely 
> adjusted and the tape is forced to distort inside the "tramline track" 
> of the worn record head as the head twists with azimuth adjustments. 
> Of course this applies to any tape head in any machine.
> I noticed on a  head from a later model Nak deck, relief slots were 
> factory cut into the head faces. A nice feature, especially in a 
> transfer situation where azimuth is regularly being adjusted.
> Tim Gillett
> Perth,
> Western Australia
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Corey Bailey" 
> <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Monday, May 06, 2019 11:06 AM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Tascam 122n MK models
>> Hi John,
>> I prefer cassette decks with a dual capstan mechanism for playback. 
>> The reason is that cassettes, particularly old ones, tend to skew and 
>> a dual capstan deck will hold azimuth better throughout the length to 
>> the tape. Some Nakamichi's also have the added feature of a pressure 
>> pad lifter. If you are going to consider a NAK, be sure and buy one 
>> that was built post 1982. Dual capstan decks are expensive, even used 
>> which, I think, is the only way you will find one. The Tascam that 
>> you mention is current but a good used dual capstan machine will out 
>> perform it, hands down.
>> My $0.02
>> Corey
>> Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
>> On 5/5/2019 7:19 AM, John Schroth wrote:
>>> Hoping to get some input from everyone.
>>> I'd like to add a Tascam 122 cassette deck to our inventory. I've 
>>> been studying up on the different models, reading conflicting 
>>> reports. Does anyone have recommendations on which of the models 
>>> they prefer - the original 122, MK-II or MK-III?
>>> Thanks in advance for any input.
>>> Kind Regards,
>>> John Schroth
> ---
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