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Just Bought a Tascam 38, Any Tips/Tricks?
Old 11th February 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
aermotor's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Just Bought a Tascam 38, Any Tips/Tricks?

I just bought a Tascam 38 for cheap to add to my Teac 1/4" – pretty stoked on it. Anyone else use/used one have any tips/tricks for better quality, alignment etc? Good thing is it came with the original manual and all schems, pretty sweet. Anyway, thanks!
Old 11th February 2009
  #2
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Hey, seeing as you are in Los Angeles (as I am) my best advice is for you to connect with and have it checked it out at Tascam/TEAC. They do an incredible job there. Jim is the main man for decks. He just serviced all three of my machines: a 48 which I love dearly, a TSR-8 which I found out I liked a lot for some recordings as a playback machine (different sound from the 48 due to the built in Dolby which has some expansion in playback), plus my two track 42 mixdown deck which I also really love. They treated me really well and are reasonable. Figure out what kind of tape you are going to use and get it aligned/calibrated for that, plus let them do a once over on your unit to make sure all is good.

It's not far. It's located on Telegraph just off the 5 freeway in Montebello. You get off at Slauson, take a left and go back under the freeway and take another left on Telegraph. It's right there. You can see the big blue TEAC sign from the freeway.

Ideally you'd probably like to use 456 but it really is getting harder to find the non-sticky shed reels (stay with 1995 -2005 ampex or quantegy). You'll probably want to try out ATR. It's good stuff as far as I've had experience with it. I don't really trust the RMGI because I've heard it's had some shedding problems, but you'll find some other people swear by it and have never had issues. It's a little cheaper than ATR but a little more than NOS Ampex.

Be sure to store your tape with tails out. That is . . . after you've tracked or listened, let the tape play through all the way and run off the first reel onto the take up reel. That will eliminate the chance of print through. Also makes for a better wind for storage. Not sure whether the 38 has a spooling function to rewind the tape back when you put it back on. 48 has spooling which is engaged by hitting rewind or fast forward twice - that lights up the LED. Spooling rules. It gets the reel going at a speed between play and fast forward and delivers a pretty damn good wind while doing it.

Make sure to clean your heads. Buy some head cleaning solution from a specialty store or get some 91% or more isopropyl alcohol.

What are you going to use for a mixer?

Stoked to see another 8 track Tascam user. They are great machines. Tape rules!
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
mamm7215's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I love my TSR-8. If I don't use it for tracking, I always run a stereo master to it to see if the song likes that medium better. Sometimes no, but sometimes absolutely!
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
I always wondered if anything official happened near that giant TEAC sign! So vintage looking! I get excited everytime i drive by it.

My friends just don't get it...
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
wirenut's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Back in the early 80’s I had a Tascam 38 and also a 52. I loved both decks. Back then I also had (2) 4 track DBX units (DX-4D’s) they made all the difference. Gave the 38 around 95 DB signal to noise. Also there is nothing like tape compression. Ampex Grand Master 456 tape was the only way to go. Do yourself a favor and get the 38 calibrated by a reputable Tascam service company. You will be pleasantly surprised with the difference after calibration. I used to have the 38 calibrated 3 times a year during the busy season. Now I do everything in the digital world and I sure miss the analog world. Lots of luck with your new deck. I think I might have a few old rolls of 456 tape stashed around in one of my studio cabinets.
Wirenut
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
aermotor's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Great thanks, I'll definitely get it calibrated ad looked over. Haha yea, I always wondered if that was just an old sign too and if there was an actual biz there.

wirenut: Let me know if you have any extra tape like you said.
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
uncle duncan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
No advice on the 38, since I sold mine years ago. Right before I sold it, I got a bunch of empty tape boxes for 10" 1/2" tape. If anyone wants them, I have around 20. Pay shipping from Arizona and they're yours.
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