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Reel to Reels
Old 18th January 2003
Gear Maniac
Cape's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Reel to Reels

Looking into getting one of these (Revox B77?), but have'nt got the faintest idea what to look out for. How do you test reel to reels for tape alignment problems and know the machines a gooden?.

Read about some guy creating a vertical line in photoshop, turning the pic into a raw file then opening it up in a sound edit program, record that onto the reel, play it back of reel2reel and record the reel2reel, turn back into a raw file open in photoshop and if it wonky it's a no go.

Problem with this is I can't excactly go round someones house and carry out this kind of experiment.

Mmmmm........any solutions or should I save myself hassle and turn down jobs involving re-mastering old spools?
Old 18th January 2003
Lives for gear
gyraf's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
No, I dont know of any easy way to do this.

But clean the machine and have a look at it: Check that the tape guides aren't worn, or that the heads aren't looking like they're unsymmetrically worn.

You will not be able to detect (symmetrically) worn heads without specialized equipment.

Neither will you be able to detect tape alignment errors. There's no way around getting an alignment tape, if you want to be sure. You'll need an alignment tape for setting up the machine anyway if you decide to buy it...

Put on a known good tape, and listen to it. Maybe record a piece of known music to it. Use your ears.

Let it play for half an hour, and check that no tape residue has been scraped off the tape, and is collecting around the tape guides and heads.

Or simply get a money-back gurantee, and have the machine checked by an authorized dealer..

Hope this helps,

Jakob Erland
Gyraf Audio
Old 19th January 2003
Gear Maniac
Cape's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Cheers dude, I'm kinda thinking by what you've said that this is not a good move, basically I'm not comfy with reels (new era digi boy),
I did at age 10 start my journey in audio/music playing around with an old Akai 2 track, I would love to be able to do this job but I guess it's out of my league.

And I've got that avatar!!! Mmmm...I like em.
Old 19th January 2003
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Tape is fun and pretty easy to work with IF you know what to look at and watch out for when buying a deck. You should also be at least a little handy so you can do some PM which is something I'm getting better at. I've been using tape for a long time but bought my first 2" deck almost a year and a half ago and it's been a ride.

Revox is the consumer Studer, not bad decks but not terribly amazing either. A search of rec.audio.pro at Google will turn up more then you want to know about the specific models of each. Generally you want to make sure that the deck can record and play back a reel without pitch or speed problems. If it can do that and the audio quality is good (expect some hiss digital-boy, it's normal) then go ahead and plunk down the tacos for the deck. Then be prepared to sink a bit more into it. Unless it's been gone over by a pro and given a clean bill of health most decks are probably going to need some work to get them to 100%. You might need caps or some other audio electronic work.

The bulk of it is making sure the transport and heads are in good shape. Places like JRF will go over the heads and give you a report so you know how much life is left on them. Anyone buying or selling an analog deck should get this done since if it's not the first question to ask it should damn well be the second.
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