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Old 29th December 2012, 06:02 AM   #1
freax is offline freax  Australia
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Default vacuum tube reel2reel for HQ vinyl copies for under $1,000?

I'm looking to spend about $1,000 on a r2r that is the apsolute best (edited) looking and most reliable tube transport so I don't wear out my brand new vinyls and instead wear out my tapes, I have a strong preference to tube based units.

Can I please have some suggestions on what I should be looking for, the obvious are too expensive and transistor based, but if someone can direct me to some tube based models that would help me out a great degree.

Thank you for your time.
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Last edited by freax; 29th December 2012 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 29th December 2012, 08:12 AM   #2
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cheap, transparent and valve driven.

Pick two...
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Old 29th December 2012, 09:43 AM   #3
SY is offline SY  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freax View Post
I'm looking to spend about $1,000 on a r2r that is the apsolute best reference or transparent transport...

Can I please have some suggestions on what I should be looking for....
El Dorado and the Fountain of Youth.

Drop another zero at the end of your cost target and you MIGHT get something which works 95% as well as a $200 sound card.
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Old 29th December 2012, 10:07 AM   #4
freax is offline freax  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SY View Post
El Dorado and the Fountain of Youth.

Drop another zero at the end of your cost target and you MIGHT get something which works 95% as well as a $200 sound card.
Done, but reduced my expectations a little.
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Old 29th December 2012, 10:17 AM   #5
SY is offline SY  United States
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OK, once you're up to five figures, you can start looking at a rebuilt Ampex (I have restored several 350/351s over the years). A half-track 15 or 30 ips transport with heads in good condition (or replace with something like an ATR800 headstack) can be bought for ~$4-5k, then rebuild the electronics (which were nothing special). If you want something reasonably transparent, don't even consider lower speeds or 1/4 track.

Tape cost will also be staggering. I sold off my last tube RTR over twenty years ago and never looked back. No way I'd even consider one today.
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Old 29th December 2012, 10:32 AM   #6
freax is offline freax  Australia
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Ok thanks heaps for that observation SY, I will consider the options.
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Old 29th December 2012, 09:43 PM   #7
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Default Hello freax

I know you asked for tube based equipment but in case you should change your mind, I can make the solid state circuits of the various Scully machines available to you, that is, the erase, record, bias and play-back circuit diagrams.

Sincerely,

Ralf
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Old 29th December 2012, 10:19 PM   #8
olddog is offline olddog  Canada
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Try the TAPE PROJECT FORUM

Bob
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Old 29th December 2012, 11:44 PM   #9
AuroraB is offline AuroraB  Norway
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Somehow I'd expect tape wear to be conciderably higher than the wear of the vinyl, using a HQ TT and PU, of course.....
Add to that, the fact that tape is going the way of the dodo, and what is left may be of dubious quality from improper storage..........
or is there still any production left???
Instrumentation tape is no more, I think..... we still have one large 14 track B&H left in our lab..... mostly for nostalgic reasons IMO......
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Last edited by AuroraB; 29th December 2012 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 30th December 2012, 12:22 AM   #10
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I've got a Roberts RtR from very early sixties, that is so heavy it has to be tubes. You need one of those, then rebuild the electronics to eliminate the compromises. Of course, it is probably only 1/2 track 1/4" tape. I picked it up at the flea market, $25.
There are some 1" and 1/2" x 12" reels of tape going surplus out of Nashville, TN on craigslist, but who knows how many passes across the head those had. In 1/4" I found a shrink wrapped AFEES price tagged 7" reel of Scotch black box at Goodwill, last month, $2. With the rarety of that media, I think I will reserve it for arranging of music, where I record it at 7 1/2" and play back at 3 3/4" so I can figure out what the artist on the record is doing. Liz Story"s Greensleeves on Windham Hill is my next project, for next winter.
Then there is the guy on Bowling Green, KY Craigslist, trying to sell an entire studio: wide reel to reel, hundreds of boxes of tape, preamps, mikes etc. All obsolete stuff; I think the price was $38000 no guarentee.
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