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Real analogic sound from new R2R generations

Mihail

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Jan 22, 2021
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Hello,

This post idea might be redundant, anyhow I did not find former similar posts, but I consider it is worth to analize the high quality analog sounds issued by the new advanced R2R machine types, e.g.: Ballfinger tape machines from http://www.ballfinger.de , Metaxas & SIns T-RX from www.metaxas.com, as well as the high quality albums available on magnetic tapes recorded by different recording houses.

Sincerely,
Mihail
 

Earsome

Active member
Dec 10, 2020
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Not redundant at all! Just looking now.. but I would be wary of new boys on the block. You must know the big names in tape? I was making music with a Tascam 34 until quite recently.
 
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Earsome

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Dec 10, 2020
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S/N ratio 68dB on the Ballfinger isn't stunning. The tascam did 86dB I think - 'semi-pro' 4 track machine.
 

Mihail

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Jan 22, 2021
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Not redundant at all! Just looking now.. but I would be wary of new boys on the block. You must know the big names in tape? I was making music with a Tascam 34 until quite recently.
Hi,
Glad to hear that. I am running two Revox (B77, PR99; and an A77 for spare parts) and a Technics RS 1506US, plus a lot of other HiFi devices. Being old machines, it is necessary to take a lot of continuous care about their components. Fortunately, there are available on eBay. About the big names, for professional/studio machines there were Studer/Revox, Nagra Kudelski, Tascam/Teac Technics, Ampex, Telefunken, then for high-level audiophiles the list may continue with Philips, SONY, AKAI/Roberts, and a lot of producers dated back in the '50s-60s-70s of the last century.
There are many professional machines of the mentioned brands on eBay but purchasing such devices, produced more than 30 years ago, assumes a lot of risks.
Regards
 

Mihail

Member
Jan 22, 2021
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Some figures of the golden R2R machines
I).-STUDER A 820 :
  • Signal-to-Noise NAB (1/4-inch two-track 2.0 mm track, RMS, A-weighted)
    • 30 ips - 75 dB
    • 15 ips - 72 dB
    • 7.5 ips - 73 dB
    • 3.75 ips - 64 dB
  • Signal-to-Noise NAB (1/2-inch, two-track, 5.0 mm track width, RMS A-weighted)
    • 30 ips - 77 dB
    • 15 ips - 75 dB
    • 7.5 ips - 76 dB
II).-STUDER A 810 and A 812:
  • Signal-to-Noise NAB (1/4-inch two-track 2.0 mm track, RMS, A-weighted)
    • 30 ips - 74 dB
    • 15 ips - 70 dB
    • 7.5 ips - 72 dB
    • 3.75 ips - 61 dB
III).-TASCAM 34 and 34 B 4 Channel:
Signal-to-Noise Ratio, using AMPEX #456 Tape
15 ips 68 dB A weighted (NAB), 60 dB unweighted
7-1/2 ips 66 dB A weighted (NAB), 58 dB unweighted
92 dB A weighted (NAB), with dbx*
82 dB unweighted, with dbx
 

Earsome

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Dec 10, 2020
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Ok! That's good to see, thanks. I was quoting from memory and was thinking of the dbx figure - and isn't it staggering to see 92dB. But the Ballfinger is a very good looking machine at a very high price which is why I said the S/N ratio wasn't 'stunning' - you'd expect better from the looks and price. I still think I would be looking at vintage machines rather than these despite the obvious drawbacks. I bought the Tascam 34 with dbx in 2010 and was able to buy brand new heads and belts from a shop in London, which was pleasantly surprising. I'm interested because I had wondered if new R2R was happening anywhere. Tape is simply the best audio medium we have. IMHO of course!
 

Earsome

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Dec 10, 2020
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Yes, but still impressive. This thread is a dialogue! I can't believe there is no-one interested in tape. It is great to see that Metaxas say 'there is no argument' about tape being the best there is - scientific fact. So where are all the audiophiles? (it took me a moment to get 'R2R'..)

I'll close out my contribution by saying that I think it is a little sad that Ballfinger and Metaxas seem to be the only two companies making tape recorders and, as bespoke 'crafted' items, they are beyond most people's pockets. Music on tape was never meant to be elite or exclusive - it was industry standard. Let's hope someone runs with the idea and starts to make an affordable domestic machine that could match the ubiquitous Akai 4000DX (come on Tascam!). Here's a useful bunch of links for music: https://www.recordingthemasters.com/music-on-tapes/
 

Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
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I've got (at least) 3 R2R recorders in the loft, including a little "this tape will self destruct in 5 seconds", Mission Impossible one.
None of them can be regarded as hi-fi.
Did used to play with the nice Pioneer RT-707 when I worked in a cabaret venue though.
It was mainly used (for its auto-reverse function) to play background music!!......but it did get to bootleg a famous American soul group / orchestra direct from the live mixer. Now that is one excellent, unique tape somewhere.

If you haven't already seen this Mihail and Earsome, I think you might find it interesting:
 
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Earsome

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Dec 10, 2020
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I would love to know what the Mission Impossible tape recorder was.. great to see the Akai top of your list. Look where all this has got me:CRIM0040 1.JPG That's a GX 4000D and it's working great. Now listening to a jam session from 2012 recorded on my Tascam 34, thoughtfully to tracks 1 and 3 at 7.5 ips so I can hear it on a quarter track machine. Sounds amazing.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
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