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Converting a 4/2 reel deck to a 4/4 reel deck
Converting a 4/2 reel deck to a 4/4 reel deck
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Old 5th June 2003, 02:18 AM   #1
purplepeople is offline purplepeople  Canada
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Default Converting a 4/2 reel deck to a 4/4 reel deck

Any ideas how one would go about converting a 4-track 2-channel reel-to-reel tape deck into a 4-track 4-channel machine that can be used for multi-tracking?

Is it as "simple"as adding 4-channel heads and the related electronics? Could I just use the transport units and add my own head/pre-amp system? I keep checking Ebay and anything that can be used for bounce-track recording goes for at least $400US.

Any comparable digital options costs so much more money. this way, instead of a multi-channel digital solution, I can get a decent 2-channel sound card like a Midiman Sonica (or better) and digitize after the fact.

I've been thinking about getting my vintage sax over-hauled, stealing back my old analog synth, and putting some musical ideas down on media and this seems both fun and workable in a retro kind of way.

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Old 5th June 2003, 03:34 AM   #2
Da5id4Vz is offline Da5id4Vz  United States
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Default Yup, its that simple

Change the head, ad two play record amps, buffer the bias oscillator and feed it to the new amps and your all set.

What kind of machine is it?

A lot of transports were built with several different configurations and modular electronics. The whole project could be as simple as finding a box of spares on E-Bay.

Ive heard of people building their own R/P amps based on MCI and ampex electronics.

Aligning the heads and calibrating the amps... That is its own kettle of fish, again not tough, but it takes some determination.

On the other hand there are a lot of affordable USB and fire wire things out there... I hear great things about the MOTU software.

This thing looks like it would be great fun for no you much money, of course then you loose that magical tape compression.

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Old 5th June 2003, 11:57 PM   #3
purplepeople is offline purplepeople  Canada
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Thanks Da5id4Vz.

My dad still has a reel deck circa mid-80s from Radio Shack. I recall checking the specs years ago and discovering it was a re-pack of a Teac deck of the time.

Some of the solenoid/servos aren't working so it currently won't RW, but only FF, PL and REC. Plus, it hasn't been turned on in years. I don't mind. There will be some repair work as well as the mods but as I said it could be fun.

If I can get the transport working again and bolt in quad rec, play and erase heads, I'd have a chance.

Couldn't I just use matching RIAA phono preamps on each of the play heads, some kind of line amp on the rec heads and switch them in/out as necessary? What about the erase heads? Do I just duplicate the circuit in one of the bulk erasing units, only at a lower power output?

I remember that as a teen I was flabbergasted by the freq resp ceiling at 30Khz. I thought, that's beyond hearing, why in the world would they do that? Of course, only years later did I find out why.

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