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reel to reel?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by negative57, May 21, 2002.

  1. ok i dont know much about reel to reel recorders but i am thinking about picking one up for afew bucks off ebay, i was think that everyone always says analog is warmer but i have never recorded analog. Well, anyways i was thinking about buying one and probably cleaning it up alot. What should i do to clean it? and should i even waste my time? and if i should are there any brands i should look for? and how much do tapes cost, do they even still make them? sorry for my ignorence.
  2. mthoople


    Nov 1, 2001
    Denver, CO
    Clean the cabinet with mild detergent and a damp cloth. Rubber parts and rollers should be cleaned with dish soap and water. DO NOT USE RUBBER CLEANER!! Most rubber cleaners are solvents that degrade the rubber. Clean the heads with head cleaner or pure isopropyl alcohol and lint-free wipes. Most hardware stores carry isopropyl, do not use rubbing alcohol: it has a very high water content. Radio Shack carries lint-free cleaning materials.

    Tape is still being made, and cost depends on the width and formulation. Stick with Quantegy 456 or BASF 911. These are cheaper and gentler on your tape path than high output tapes. Prices for 2500' on 10.5" reels are about $25 for 1/4", $45 for 1/2", and $80 for 1". Most multitracks that use these widths run at 15IPS, which is about 30 minutes of recording on 2500'.

    Analog multitracks do require a fair amount of cleaning, alignment, and setup. If you buy, make sure that the heads are in good shape. Lapping the heads on a 1/2" machine will run about $250, but replacing a worn-out headstack will cost much more!
  3. any specific brands? and what a DIN jack/plug?
  4. Blux


    Feb 5, 2002
    Philadelphia, Pa.
    mthople's advice is good.
    For the less expensive route;

    Tanberg, Revox or the higher end TEAC, Akia or Sony are good brands. 1/4" tape size are less expensive but get a great sound. Be certain you have good microphones and a mixer would be helpful. And be aware if the max size reel that the deck will use. 10.5 inch is my favorite size. Record speed for these high end 1/4" tape is usually 7.5 ips. This speed is fine for this level.

    Be sure you have a very good shop in your area for service. In Philadelphia, the better shops charge $175 an hour. So if you find a reel-to-reel that is not in perfect condition prepare to spend some money.
    I hope this is helpful.
  5. i'm in the process of setting up for home recording too. I have an Akai 280D-SS 4-track reel to reel recorder.
    I was told that i can go from the effects loop(ampeg B2-R)out to a mixer then to the reel to reel, then back to the mixer, then to my pc.
    Behringer(sp?) make an affordable mixer for about $70.
    I got the owner manual off of ebay (Akai), but it still doesn't explain things quite well. I'm gonna have to play around with it.
    My buddy used it for some recordings in his living room and it sounds great. Running it to the pc gives you a warm tone you are looking for, and you have 2 copies, one on the reel to reel and one on the pc.

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