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    not quite tube gear....but its analog....

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    MontanaWay

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    not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by MontanaWay on Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:22 pm

    I know this is not tube gear, but it is analog, so lets call it a cousin....and hopefully admin will agree.... Smile
    After decades of not owning one, I finally took the plunge and got myself a reel to reel deck. I used to own a few in the 70's and 80's, and always liked the idea of having hours of music. Mind you, it takes ours to record them, but thats fun too.
    Surprisingly, one can still buy new blank tape media. Like tube gear, reel to reel is making somewhat of a comeback.
    This Pioneer unit, RT-1020H, was one of the high end units, and I am looking forward to hours, of listening, and recording, pleasure!

     photo Pioneer_zpsfdqcmvju.jpg

    deepee99

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    Re: not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by deepee99 on Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:21 pm

    Here's an excellent source for new mag-tape.
    https://atrtape.com/

    MontanaWay

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    Re: not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by MontanaWay on Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:13 pm

    yes, thanks. Them as well as another manufacturer of new tapes.
    R2R is making a very big comeback, just like vinyl and record players!

    deepee99

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    Re: not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:26 pm

    Check out Jeff Jacobs at j-corder.com. He's located somewhere on Puget Sound.
    Nice guy; definitely one of US Smile
    His specialities are the Pioneer RT-707 and the Technics 1500-series. So he knows Pioneer architecture well. I would kill for one of his rehabbed 1500s and is a nice guy to chat with.
    He basically rebuilds them from the shadow up. Steve Hoffman uses his gear in his recording studio.


    Doctor Hugocat

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    Re: not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by Doctor Hugocat on Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:30 pm

    Very nice! I've never had one of these units, but they have a reputation as extremely well-built, good-sounding decks. I can't quite see form the pic: what speeds is is? 15 ips and 7.5 ips? Or 7.5 ips and 3.75 ips?


    MontanaWay

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    Re: not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by MontanaWay on Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:12 pm

    Doctor Hugocat wrote:Very nice! I've never had one of these units, but they have a reputation as extremely well-built, good-sounding decks. I can't quite see form the pic: what speeds is is? 15 ips and 7.5 ips? Or 7.5 ips and 3.75 ips?


    it is 15 & 7.5ips. I believe most decks that can use 10.5" reels use those two speeds. 3.5ips was more for the consumer market and used max 7" reels, hence cheaper to produce and sell, as the slower speed did not re produce as well a sound as 7.5 or 15. The more sound gets crammed into less tape space, the worse the resulting recording.
    The RT-1000 series r2r decks were starting to move more into the pro user market, or the serious audiophile who strived for better sound. Their cost at time of release was more than double than most of the 7" r2r's.
    Yes, the Japanese really knew how to build good r2r decks, they are indeed a marvel of engineering, both mechanical and electronic/electrical.

    deepee99

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    Re: not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by deepee99 on Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:50 am

    MontanaWay wrote:
    Doctor Hugocat wrote:Very nice! I've never had one of these units, but they have a reputation as extremely well-built, good-sounding decks. I can't quite see form the pic: what speeds is is? 15 ips and 7.5 ips? Or 7.5 ips and 3.75 ips?


    it is 15 & 7.5ips. I believe most decks that can use 10.5" reels use those two speeds. 3.5ips was more for the consumer market and used max 7" reels, hence cheaper to produce and sell, as the slower speed did not re produce as well a sound as 7.5 or 15. The more sound gets crammed into less tape space, the worse the resulting recording.
    The RT-1000 series r2r decks were starting to move more into the pro user market, or the serious audiophile who strived for better sound. Their cost at time of release was more than double than most of the 7" r2r's.
    Yes, the Japanese really knew how to build good r2r decks, they are indeed a marvel of engineering, both mechanical and electronic/electrical.
    Another beauty of the RT series was that they were available in two or four tracks, the two-track being for mastering. No dolby or any of that other junk, best run at 15 IPS. They also made an auto-reverse in that series, quite rare.
    I would settle for one of his Pioneer 707s, big reel, much smaller frame. You can buy a thrashed-out 707 or RT1500 and he will rehab it for you, or buy one off his shelf. One of these days ...

    Doctor Hugocat

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    Re: not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by Doctor Hugocat on Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:16 am

    MontanaWay wrote:
    Doctor Hugocat wrote:Very nice! I've never had one of these units, but they have a reputation as extremely well-built, good-sounding decks. I can't quite see form the pic: what speeds is is? 15 ips and 7.5 ips? Or 7.5 ips and 3.75 ips?


    it is 15 & 7.5ips. I believe most decks that can use 10.5" reels use those two speeds. 3.5ips was more for the consumer market and used max 7" reels, hence cheaper to produce and sell, as the slower speed did not re produce as well a sound as 7.5 or 15.

    Yes, I never heard of a 7" reel deck that could manage 15ips: quite few 'prosumer' decks were built for 10.5" reels and 7.5/3.75 ips, including many version of the famous Revox A77 (although hi-speed versions ran at 15ips and 7.5ips: I've had both versions). In fact I think the 'H' in the RT-1020H denotes the High speed (15/7.5ips) model: Pioneer also did a 7.5/3.75ips version. You have the better of the two, to be sure!!

    I only have a couple of reel to reel decks these days, but my 'big' guy is an MCI JH110B 1/4" which runs at 30ips or 15ips. I'd best never forget to lock the reels down to rewind the tape, there's a lot of torque in those motors Twisted Evil

    deepee99

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    Re: not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by deepee99 on Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:44 pm

    Doctor Hugocat wrote:
    MontanaWay wrote:
    Doctor Hugocat wrote:Very nice! I've never had one of these units, but they have a reputation as extremely well-built, good-sounding decks. I can't quite see form the pic: what speeds is is? 15 ips and 7.5 ips? Or 7.5 ips and 3.75 ips?


    it is 15 & 7.5ips. I believe most decks that can use 10.5" reels use those two speeds. 3.5ips was more for the consumer market and used max 7" reels, hence cheaper to produce and sell, as the slower speed did not re produce as well a sound as 7.5 or 15.

    Yes, I never heard of a 7" reel deck that could manage 15ips: quite few 'prosumer' decks were built for 10.5" reels and 7.5/3.75 ips, including many version of the famous Revox A77 (although hi-speed versions ran at 15ips and 7.5ips: I've had both versions). In fact I think the 'H' in the RT-1020H denotes the High speed (15/7.5ips) model: Pioneer also did a 7.5/3.75ips version. You have the better of the two, to be sure!!

    I only have a couple of reel to reel decks these days, but my 'big' guy is an MCI JH110B 1/4" which runs at 30ips or 15ips. I'd best never forget to lock the reels down to rewind the tape, there's a lot of torque in those motors Twisted Evil
    Our local a.m. station has a pair of Revox A77s they haven't used in 20 years since they went to cassettes and digital board they'd probably give away. They're just sitting in a corner by the studio. They are fairly well saturated with cigarette smoke and cob-webs. The A77 was the creme de la creme at the time. You'd probably have to tear them down to the shadows and rebuild but lapping heads is beyond my skill-set. I'm sure somebody sells belts for them, dunno what other moving parts (gear trains, solenoids, switches, lifters, brakes, etc) would be needed. Be a fun project for somebody into that stuff. Me, I'd rather mortgage the house and get one of Jeff Jacobs' machines.

    Doctor Hugocat

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    Re: not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by Doctor Hugocat on Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:22 pm

    [quote="deepee99"]
    Doctor Hugocat wrote:
    MontanaWay wrote:
    Doctor Hugocat wrote:Very nice! I've never had one of these units, but they have a reputation as extremely well-built, good-sounding decks. I can't quite see form the pic: what speeds is is? 15 ips and 7.5 ips? Or 7.5 ips and 3.75 ips?

    Our local a.m. station has a pair of Revox A77s they haven't used in 20 years since they went to cassettes and digital board they'd probably give away. They're just sitting in a corner by the studio. They are fairly well saturated with cigarette smoke and cob-webs. The A77 was the creme de la creme at the time. You'd probably have to tear them down to the shadows and rebuild but lapping heads is beyond my skill-set. I'm sure somebody sells belts for them, dunno what other moving parts (gear trains, solenoids, switches, lifters, brakes, etc) would be needed. Be a fun project for somebody into that stuff. Me, I'd rather mortgage the house and get one of Jeff Jacobs' machines.

    You'd be surprised at how long these decks last without major work and they're easy to work on. It's possible they have severe head wear, but more likely the head just need de-magnetizing and cleaning. There are no belts in the main drive chain (only for the tape counter IIRC). All the service manuals are freely available on the internet. The A77 isn't my favorite machine of the period, but it is amazingly reliable and sounds pretty good. They're also easy to set up. A 2-track 15ips A77 is a nice sounding machine. Might be worth you investigating your local lead.......

    Doctor Hugocat

    Posts : 75
    Join date : 2015-08-19
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    Re: not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by Doctor Hugocat on Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:23 pm

    Doctor Hugocat wrote:
    deepee99 wrote:
    Doctor Hugocat wrote:
    MontanaWay wrote:
    Doctor Hugocat wrote:Very nice! I've never had one of these units, but they have a reputation as extremely well-built, good-sounding decks. I can't quite see form the pic: what speeds is is? 15 ips and 7.5 ips? Or 7.5 ips and 3.75 ips?

    Our local a.m. station has a pair of Revox A77s they haven't used in 20 years since they went to cassettes and digital board they'd probably give away. They're just sitting in a corner by the studio. They are fairly well saturated with cigarette smoke and cob-webs. The A77 was the creme de la creme at the time. You'd probably have to tear them down to the shadows and rebuild but lapping heads is beyond my skill-set. I'm sure somebody sells belts for them, dunno what other moving parts (gear trains, solenoids, switches, lifters, brakes, etc) would be needed. Be a fun project for somebody into that stuff. Me, I'd rather mortgage the house and get one of Jeff Jacobs' machines.

    You'd be surprised at how long these decks last without major work and they're easy to work on. It's possible they have severe head wear, but more likely the heads just need de-magnetizing and cleaning. There are no belts in the main drive chain (only for the tape counter IIRC). All the service manuals are freely available on the internet. The A77 isn't my favorite machine of the period, but it is amazingly reliable and sounds pretty good. They're also easy to set up. A 2-track 15ips A77 is a nice sounding machine. Might be worth you investigating your local lead.......

    MontanaWay

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    Re: not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by MontanaWay on Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:26 pm

    speaking of J Corder...I am working on it...even though my wife will probably kill me!!! affraid

    like fly fishing rods...one can never have enough r2r's!!!

    Doctor Hugocat

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    Re: not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by Doctor Hugocat on Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:53 pm

    MontanaWay wrote:

    like fly fishing rods...one can never have enough r2r's!!!

    Quite right!! Laughing

    deepee99

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    Re: not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by deepee99 on Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:22 pm

    Doctor Hugocat wrote:
    MontanaWay wrote:

    like fly fishing rods...one can never have enough r2r's!!!

    Quite right!! Laughing
    Or rifles, or 6SN7s.

    GP49

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    Re: not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by GP49 on Fri Feb 19, 2016 1:50 am

    My R-to-R (actually this is a picture of the same model, unabashedly filched from the Interwebs).

    Ampex F-44.  All tubes.


    bluemeanies

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    Re: not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by bluemeanies on Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:32 pm

    How would you rate the tape sound compared to vinyl?

    deepee99

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    Re: not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by deepee99 on Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:46 pm

    bluemeanies wrote:How would you rate the tape sound compared to vinyl?

    Blue, that's a very loaded question, fraught with variables. I think most of us, unless we're actual musicians like AudioBill, use tape for archiving purposes, i.e., to preserve your vinyl or even CDs. So the job of a good tape machine is to preserve and reproduce the source material as faithfully as possible.
    Assuming you've got a good machine, the variables are as follows: tape quality, tape width (1/8th inch for casettes, 1/4 up to 1 inch for R2R), tape speed 1-7/8th up through 30 inches/second), and tape bias or type. Generally, the more tape you've got going over the heads in a given second is going to result in better sound -- although the Nakamichi Dragon and RX-505 cassette machines gave R2Rs a run for their money in that department.
    Your targets are tape hiss and dynamic range, against influenced by many factors. All cassette machines use some form of Dolby to get rid of the hiss. High-bias as opposed to regular bias cassettes worked better in those players.
    Problem with cassettes is nobody makes new hi-fi tape anymore, so anything you buy off one of the auction sites is going to be 20 years old and brittle. There are, however, makers of new R2R tape (ATR Magnetics is one), but you're looking at $70 for a 3600-foot roll on standard NAD 10.5 inch reel, which at 15 IPS gives you 48 minutes per side, about the same length of time as a quality cassette, or double that at at 7.5 IPS. Going down to 3-3/4 IPS you'll get 192 minutes, or more than 3 hours per side. But you'll get more hiss, though probably not noticeably more than you get off a vinyl record that was tape-mastered and still far greater dynamic range than the best of the cassette machines ever made because even at that very slow speed four times as much tape is going over the heads at any given point.








    Doctor Hugocat

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    Re: not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by Doctor Hugocat on Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:52 pm

    GP49 wrote:My R-to-R (actually this is a picture of the same model, unabashedly filched from the Interwebs).

    Ampex F-44.  All tubes.


    Nice! I checked out some pics of the insides: looks beautifully made - no surprise there of course! Very Happy

    peterh

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    Re: not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by peterh on Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:15 pm

    Sorry to disappoint you but:
    I chucked my braun tg502 and revox g36 a few years ago and uses audacity & a mac to "record" and save stuff. It's simply better and needs less ( zero) maintenance ( a tape drive needs continously
    cleaning and de-magnitizing + periodic adjusting of bias and levels, not to mention mechanical
    adjustments for correct azimuth. Availability of tape ( scotch was my favorite brand) is also a concern
    just as storage ( tape does not like storage without spooling, and each spooling eats some of
    the media).


    MontanaWay

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    Re: not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by MontanaWay on Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:28 pm

    peterh wrote:Sorry to disappoint you but:
    I chucked my braun tg502 and revox g36 a few years ago and uses audacity & a mac to "record" and save stuff.  It's simply better and needs less ( zero) maintenance ( a tape drive needs continously
    cleaning and de-magnitizing + periodic adjusting of bias and levels, not to mention mechanical
    adjustments for correct azimuth. Availability of tape ( scotch was my favorite brand) is also a concern
    just as storage ( tape does not like storage without spooling, and each spooling eats some of
    the media).


    well I guess each to their own ey.
    I have always loved reel to reel, and the maintenance side of things is all part of owning such a beast! You either enjoy looking after such gear or you don't.
    Sure, there are perhaps better ways of recording media, but thats not the point for r2r enthusiasts!  Very Happy
    Availability of tape is no issue at all. There are now two manufacturers of ¼" r2r tape in the States, with many choices of different grades to suit all needs, from the pro to the home enthusiasts! cheers


    Last edited by MontanaWay on Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:52 pm; edited 1 time in total

    MontanaWay

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    Re: not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by MontanaWay on Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:34 pm

    well...it has arrived!
    Duly unpacked and plugged in....works and sounds a charm!
    I put on a commercially pre recorded tape album of Nancy Sinatra...These Boots Are Made For Walking, and I spontaneously broke into a Go Go dance...not a pretty sight!...wife and dog were giving me very funny and worrying looks!! What a Face

    Now, hours upon hours of recording and listening fun!!

     photo RT 2_zpsqedz3uie.jpg

     photo RT 1_zpsuuqxtkxq.jpg

    kevinmi

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    Re: not quite tube gear....but its analog....

    Post by kevinmi on Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:20 pm

    I've got 2 Pioneer RT-1050 decks, which are the same as yours except they are 2 track (1/2 track) decks which play at 7.5 and 15 ips. They also have irc biasing so you can play Tape Project tapes if you wish (and have $450.00 to spend on a tape!)
     I also have 2 Ampex ATR-700 decks, one which is a high speed 2 track deck and one which is a low speed 2 track deck. Both have 4 track playback heads as well.

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