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    Building, troubleshooting and testing of these amplifiers should only be
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About tube tape recorder heads

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Head alignment couldn't have anything to do with it.

I'm no expert but there are the impedances to be concerned with. And, the bias current and voltage for the erase and record heads.

Hang around, some tape expert might show up. If not, do an internet search for companies that supply tape head or repair decks.
diyAudio Senior Member
Joined 2002

Head alignment couldn't have anything to do with it.

Amongst other things I'd say it has got a lot to do with it?
As I said it is just one of the factors to account with?
Knowing a little bit about USSR will show that they do know how to recycle tube stuff into semi conductor gear.
No need for an expert to understand the intracies here??

fully agreed, head alignment hasn't got ot do with it. I am no expert either, but accorgin to my comprehension, the tape head's properties create a reality the feeding or receiving circuit has to deal with, no matter if it is SS or tube driven.

A play head hands out a certain maximum signal amplitude, located somewhere between the one of a MM and MC phono cartridge, the following amp has to amplify that with sufficient S/N ratio.

A record head is an inductive load needing a certain amplitude to magnetize the tape, the feeding amp has to provide that.

Same for the erase head.

The mean thing with a tape recorder is that for recording as well as for playback, it needs EQ, just the EQ for record and play is not the exactly inverse one. EQ is located in the amp, not in the head.

But to record linearly, you must hassle out the EQ in iterative steps until finally you are happy with it, no way to calculate it, so i was informed. In fact, EQ must be matched to the head used, maybe not for the sample but for the head model and on final test, a finetuning adjustment ensures that the tape recorder runs linear with one single tape brand.
I was not willing to follow that procedure.
diyAudio Senior Member
Joined 2002

Hi guys,

Just to remind you:

Can ss (reel to reel)tape recorder heads be used in tube circuit?

That is the question at hand here?

And as I said head alignment is just one of those factors.
Seems to me none have any studio maintenance experience?
And EQ will still remain the same be that tapehead sourced from a tube or solid state device?

The tape heads all have a set of characteristics that will interact with the circuit to produce a net performance result for the machine. A skilled tech, with the right tools would be able to compensate (probably) if the difference between the factory and other heads were not too great. Because of different impedances and drive levels, at least, between VT and SS electronics, I doubt they would interchange at all.

When I spoke with JRF last year, enquiring about a set of 1" 2 track heads for one of my machines, I mentioned I wanted to radically change the electronics, a la de Paravicini. John told me to build and test the circuitry, and then have the heads built to match. The standard issue ones would not have worked properly with my modifications. This was an SS - tube change.

Alignment will significantly affect the performance of the machine, but unless you know what you are doing, and have an alignment tape, I doubt you'll get it right. I speak from experience.

Find another machine to canabalise, easy to do as R2Rs are cheap as dirt at the moment, or find another quality running machine in the same format. The latter would be the better decision possibly.

diyAudio Senior Member
Joined 2002


About tube tape recorder heads

Before we go overboard on this one:
The short answer in my book is: no not likely.
The longer answer is: knowing a bit on how the USSR operates,yes you have a chance.
Russian economics are very much down to earth (they would recycle your granny given a chance) and NO I never said it would all depend on head alignment or did I??

Relax pls,;)
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