Reel to reel vs. cassette type recorder

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Jennifer, Feb 9, 2001.

  1. Jennifer


    Jul 31, 2000
    Erie, Illinois
    What is the difference between reel to reel 4 track recorders vs. a cassette type recorder? Is there a difference in recording quality due to tape thickness?
  2. virtual.ray


    Oct 25, 2000
    Although cassettes got better than anyone probably expected them to near the end (Tascam even made a few 8 track cassette recorders!),they still suffered from high frequency saturation due to narrow track width and low tape speed,and were and always will be more fragile than reel tape.Many creative solutions were implemented to try and overcome the above problems but anyone who's heard the same material recorded both on cassette and a pro reel multitrack can tell the difference right away.That said,for knocking around with rough ideas cassettes are still a handy cost effective medium as long as you stay below $500, 'cause over that you might as well get a used digital machine which will sound better as well.
  3. I had a Tascam 8 track cassette deck, and was quite satisfied with it. It was easy to operate, and the mixer section was well laid out. And I think you can pick them up fairly cheap.
    That is, I think, going to be the big difference in equipment- the price. An 8 track RtoR is going to be A LOT more expensive. But, if you only need two or four tracks the extra $ might be worth it. You also need to consider the cost of tape. If you go with 1/2" it can get pricey.
    Right now I am using a Yamaha 4trk cassette for demos, and it has great sound and seperation of tracks (and it's easy to carry around to plug into the back of a mixer).
  4. dcrowe


    Feb 20, 2001
    boulder, co
    i got a fostex 8 track with no head wear at all through ebay for way under $500! its 1/2 inch tape, so its only about 12 bucks a reel, and sounds surprisingly good. i record the bass/drums as loud as i can, (even distorting the bass a tiny bit)to "hit the tape" hard so they say, and it comes out pretty pro. goofy to say, but unlike with digital, its cool to see the reels rolling-you know its time to perform. i don't have anything against digital mind you-i mix down to a minidisc recorder through a little rnc compressor and even my top 40-listening friends like the sound of it...
  5. Mark Russell

    Mark Russell

    Sep 2, 2000
    For overall sound quality reel to reel beats cassette hands down, better bandwidth, better signal to noise ratio, better dynamic range, but if you've got a PC or Mac with a soundcard, there's software out there that will do anything tape can do, at CD quality or above, for the price of a few reels of tape, failing that, minidisc is marvellous for the money. I've used or still use all of the above, my Revox B77 reel to reel hasn't been switched on for months, but my PC and Minidisc get used every day....nuff said!