Matt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 44 Posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 8312 times:
My favorite deck ever made. And of course, lots of different reel styles available. Mix-n-match to your taste or stay with matching sets. Either way, a great deck, great sounds, and a reel (har!) neat looking piece of décor for your room as well.
Theredbaron From Mexico, joined Mar 2005, 2733 posts, RR: 24
Reply 3, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 8295 times:
I used to have a TEAC 3440 I sold it and bought a Pioneer Rt707 just for my bach and mozart transfer from vinyl to tape.....awesome technology . even my CD era Kid tells me it sounds better than cds....
I think, however, that you're suffering from a misunderstanding.
I've never ever said that I had anything against reel-to-reel technology. The only point of contention is in your claims about digital technology which are somewhat off.
I actually enjoy the classic mechanical design of those heavy-duty machines. The one above does indeed look very nice - proper dual capstan autoreverse with a fully symmetric discrete head array and apparently proper dynamic reel servo control for tension stability, digital drive control and a real-time counter... If I had had the kind of money way, way back when I bought my last RTR deck (and if it had already existed), this would have been my dream machine, no doubt!
Matt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 44
Reply 8, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 8258 times:
Klaus: I still think you had some kind of bad experience with tape that really soured your outlook on it. I'd be curious to know what it was. You never really went into much detail.
And likewise, I believe you have misunderstood my stance on digital.
I believe that digital does have its place: Portable MP3 players and Ipods, convenience of listening on a PC while surfing the Web, as a FIRST GENERATION backup. I will concede that for CONVENIENCE (as well as piracy and theft), digital wins hands down. Likewise, the lack of any mechanical parts on those players gives a certain advantage. However, the fact that they were built cheaply and for the masses means that the life expectancy, or rather, the lack of it, of those devices (assuming away the requisite software updates) means that a precision built analong machine complete with motors, belts, chassis, bearings, and drive shafts will probably still outlive them. A Teac X-2000R as shown above, was meant to provide decades of service. Most Ipod and MP3 players had a service life of mere MONTHS in mind when they were made.
However, I still maintain that for *HIGH FIDELITY* listening AND recording, analog is still much better. Analog has so much more depth and richness to the sound that digital just can't capture. Ever listen to an overloaded and distorted digital signal? It makes the "monolith screech on the moon" scene in "2001" sound like elevator music.
And both mediums have their drawbacks: digital files must be "updated" and "backed up" and are susceptible to hard drive crashes and viral corruptions. Analogs primary weakness is of course multi-generational copying....you know...the copy of a copy of a copy. And of course, tapes must be properly stored and handled.
Klaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21592 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 8202 times:
Quoting Matt D (Reply 8): I still think you had some kind of bad experience with tape that really soured your outlook on it. I'd be curious to know what it was. You never really went into much detail.
I've never made a secret of my experiences - which stretch way back into the 1970s, including intimate acquaintance with the actual electronics and conceptual principles involved, from ancient analog electron tube reel-to-reel decks and record players up to highly integrated digital audio components and signal processing software.
My outlook on tape is not really "soured" - my open-reel tapes have simply disintegrated for the most part. And even before that the degradation of the material was noticeable.
When the CD format began to become available, I examined the pros and cons of digital audio quite thoroughly, including some rather detailed research about CD technology on every level. Digital audio was a revelation - and it only got better from its sometimes troubled beginnings. Today it's simply no contest between the two fundamental reproduction principles.
At about that time I switched to cassette tapes for multiple reasons; Portable and mobile use simply required the change and with more modern equipment the quality was actually quite good (portable or car CD players came only later).
The advent of computer-based audio meant a quantum leap in accessibility of my CD collection and the iPod again added to that.
I think I do have quite a bit of experience with and knowledge about both the analog and the digital side of things; And I can only say that I'm glad the analog era is mostly over.
But as I've said: I do appreciate the museal efforts of enthusiasts to preserve historical equipment for posterity. Somebody does have to do that!
Quoting Matt D (Reply 8): And likewise, I believe you have misunderstood my stance on digital.
No, we've discussed about this repeatedly, and I have understood your position quite well, you just never really substantiated it.
Quoting Matt D (Reply 8): I believe that digital does have its place: Portable MP3 players and Ipods, convenience of listening on a PC while surfing the Web, as a FIRST GENERATION backup.
One of the points of the digital format is that you can make as many serial copies as you like and every single one of them will be exactly identical to the original!
The number of generations is completely irrelevant in the digital domain!
Quoting Matt D (Reply 8): I will concede that for CONVENIENCE (as well as piracy and theft), digital wins hands down.
Sure. It couldn't be more obvious.
Quoting Matt D (Reply 8): Likewise, the lack of any mechanical parts on those players gives a certain advantage.
Incorrect. Harddisk-based players and computer harddisks do have mechanical moving parts which are also susceptible to mechanical damage. You just won't hear any difference until the damage exceeds the error-correction capabilities of the system. In the analog domain almost every mechanical and electronic mis-adjustment will compromise the signal quality right away.
Quoting Matt D (Reply 8): However, the fact that they were built cheaply and for the masses means that the life expectancy, or rather, the lack of it, of those devices (assuming away the requisite software updates) means that a precision built analong machine complete with motors, belts, chassis, bearings, and drive shafts will probably still outlive them. A Teac X-2000R as shown above, was meant to provide decades of service. Most Ipod and MP3 players had a service life of mere MONTHS in mind when they were made.
You're confusing the conceptual difference between analog and digital audio reproduction with specific and extremely disparate incarnations of either concept.
Comparing an expensive heavy-duty reel-to-reel deck with the cheapest iPod ripoff is as nonsensical as comparing a high-end stationary digital harddisk player with a bargain-bin walkman copy!
When we're talking about portable players I do have a good comparison between a high-end walkman from the heyday of cassette tape and my current iPod nano.
Rechargeable batteries have always aged and died eventually - it is a fact of life. But apart from that, the digital player is completely in a league of its own by comparison; The walkman can't remotely touch it in any respect, especially not regarding audio quality but also regarding mechanical build quality.
With stationary devices the differences aren't always quite as pronounced, but the direction is still the same: The digital format provides the quality reference.
Quoting Matt D (Reply 8): However, I still maintain that for *HIGH FIDELITY* listening AND recording, analog is still much better. Analog has so much more depth and richness to the sound that digital just can't capture.
Hogwash - sorry. Blind tests keep demonstrating that analog reproduction can at best hope to match but never exceed the digital one.
If you compare an iPod with its crappy standard headphones against an analog high-end setup including high-end speakers you don't need to wonder that the latter will sound better; But that's due to the entirely analog part of the chain in both cases.
The ultimate reference is the original signal. And there is simply no contest that digital reproduction will stay extremely precisely and constantly true to the original master while the analog recording will already deviate from it in the beginning and get only worse over time on top of that.
You may subjectively find this deviation pleasant to listen to which is you right, but please realize the difference between "nice" reproduction and "high fidelity" reproduction.
When I'm listening to a losslessly-compressed title on my iPod (with proper headphones, of course!), I'm actually getting an exact reproduction of the original master recording - no analog reproduction could ever come closer than that!
Quoting Matt D (Reply 8): Ever listen to an overloaded and distorted digital signal? It makes the "monolith screech on the moon" scene in "2001" sound like elevator music.
Clipped signals are always distorted - which is why any halfway decent recording engineer will simply avoid saturation/clipping.
Analog tape recording additionally requires very precise bias calibration in order to compensate for the magnetic threshold of the specific material. Any calibration error (which is inevitable and can only be reduced to a certain point) will introduce an additional distortion at the other end of the dynamic envelope - it especially degrades the most critical very soft segments of a recording. And variation in the material and any de-calibration will inevitably increase the distortion.
Modern digital A/D and D/A converters need a lot less calibration and provide a much greater level of stability and dynamic range by comparison. Completely eliminating the need for calibration is one of the constant goals of technological development, especially where reliability and quality are of greatest concern.
This was and is one of the main reasons why digital audio (and by now video) reproduction have won out over their analog predecessors.
Quoting Matt D (Reply 8): And both mediums have their drawbacks: digital files must be "updated" and "backed up" and are susceptible to hard drive crashes and viral corruptions.
Nonsense. Digital recordings can be backed up identically, contrary to analog ones. But none of what you describe applies to CD recordings which are the reference here. "Even" computer-based recordings are quite safe when backed up properly.
Your Windows woes are tainting your perspective, but you're wrong on the fundamentals.
You should specify what exactly your experiences are and what the basis for your conclusions about the relative merits of the two fundamental reproduction principles is.
It has helped me to relentlessly expose the weaknesses in amplifiers, tape decks and especially speakers which I was interested in.
Track #1 already kicked out all the bass-reflex speakers since none of them managed to cope with the ultra-brutal bass without ugly resonances and distortions, especially not at higher volume. The ones I ultimately selected were only marginally surpassed in treble clarity by another pair but those other ones had been far out of my price range so the Revox ones were an excellent compromise. And they are still working very well to this day.
The test signal section came in handy for tape bias calibration and other special purposes.
In addition to this or a similar disk, I'd use good classical recordings for checking out overall tonal balance and clarity.
A very good CD player and excellent headphones would be the reference against which to compare all other components.
Tape decks with separate recording/playback heads allowed for quick and easy comparison (CD direct / tape source / tape playback).
Many amplifiers back then were incapable of reproducing the dynamic range of a CD (especially of the one above) so this was one of several criteria there. By now it should not be as problematic as it had been back then.
I listen to all kinds of (Current and historical) Pop/Rock/Jazz/Soundtracks/Classical/World Music normally, and my systems will have to cope with all of them without audible deficiencies. And due to careful selection, they do.
Most of my components are quite a few years old by now, but as long as the quality is still there I don't see a need to replace them (although occasional repairs are a fact of life).
Superfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40298 posts, RR: 74
Reply 16, posted (8 years 7 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 8159 times:
Quoting Klaus (Reply 15): Many amplifiers back then were incapable of reproducing the dynamic range of a CD (especially of the one above) so this was one of several criteria there. By now it should not be as problematic as it had been back then.
Hmmm, I've heard plenty of older tube and early solid state particularly Marantz power amps that reproduce the dynamic range of a CD and the more superior LP and reel to reel formats very well.
One of my favorites is the Marantz 510.
RMS Power Per Channel 250 @ 8 ohms, 500 @ 4 ohms
Damping Factor @ Load Impedance >400
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) 0.1%
Power Bandwidth 20Hz to 20 KHz
Frequency Response 2 Hz to 100KHz at +/- 1.5 dB
Hum and Noise >106 dB below 250 watts
Signal to Noise Ratio 110 dB
Intermodulation Distortion (IM) 0.1%
Input Sensitivity for Full Output 2.25 volts
Gain Control(s) Yes
Output Meter(s) 2, precision moving coil, jeweled bearings
Cooling Fan(s) Yes
Klaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21592 posts, RR: 53
Reply 18, posted (8 years 7 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 8150 times:
Quoting Superfly (Reply 16): Hmmm, I've heard plenty of older tube and early solid state particularly Marantz power amps that reproduce the dynamic range of a CD and the more superior LP and reel to reel formats very well.
One of my favorites is the Marantz 510.
Well, although I've never put a Marantz amplifier through the tests, I'd guess from reputation that at least most of them were quite good.
You're unfortunatelys mistaken about the relative dynamic ranges of CD, LP and analog tape, I'm afraid.
The 96dB of the CD format are not attainable by any commercially available analog medium (if by any analog medium at all). Both LP and magnetic tape come with a noise floor which is already significantly higher than -96dB.
It doesn't matter all that much if you're mainly listening to relatively compressed signals, but especially classical recordings do reveal the difference. And it was no accident that classical recordings were prominently represented in the early CD lineups. Herbert von Karajan was an avid promoter of the then-new digital audio medium since it removed the previously inescapable noise floor which had limited the possible dynamic range he could use in a recording.
Both pianissimi and fortissimi in the same piece are much more important in classical music than they are in pop or other styles, hence the much bigger emphasis on dynamic range.
I've come across a nice and compact introduction to digital audio, by the way:
Superfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40298 posts, RR: 74
Reply 21, posted (8 years 7 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 8125 times:
What is your assement of vaccum tube amplifiers?
Even audiophiles that prefer CDs still like tubes over solid state.
You mentioned that you had reel to reel tape that stick together over time. The raises some serious question as to how serious of an audiophile you were. I haven't had that problem and I am sure when/if am to visit Matt D 30 years from now, none the tapes he has today will be sticking togther like a jackmag.
I have some old pre-recorded industry released reel tape of jazz, James Bond soundtracks, lounge/exotica from the early 1960s on reel tape and they don't stick. Some are somewhat brittle (these are always the cheapest tape quality) and none have the 'sticky' quality you mentioned. These were owned by audiophiles that have passed away and there belongings sold off at estate sales, record stores. etc.
It was 1974 and he went to prison. I remember his name and would recognize him through the window of an opposite direction Concorde. Perhaps it is better that I don't meet him again. Imagine his surprise!
It was a great turntable but mine had a bar code, of sorts around the perimeter of the turntable. Under incandescent lights powered by 60Hz electrics the bars would "stand still" at precisely the correct RPM.
I mostly used it to get my own LPs and borrowed ones onto R2R tapes.
Very elclectic tastes, from Chet Atkins to Sergio Mendes to Edith Piaf to Eric Clapton to vintage Belafonte to a semi-pro but very good Carolinas bluegrass band you never heard of. My wife just inadvertently tossed a bunch of it. Most sad about that.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
: It's a good thing he went off to prison. Sounds like this had a strobe light. Was this a direct-drive or belt drive? I prefer direct-drive. Sounds lik
: Some of them do. Tube amplifiers have their own specific characteristics, and if they fit your personal preferences (and, almost more importantly, yo
27 Matt D
: No. My tapes (bought in the late 1970s to early 1980s) began to disintegrate sometime in the 1990s (don't remember when it started exactly). The binde
: Yeah, the symptoms you've described above match my experiences pretty closely. But at that point reel-to-reel tape had become rather impractical for m
: The only encounters I've had with SSS was with a used Audia blank tape. It was only 25 cents at a thrift shop and I bought because it was a mix tape f
: You either have a severely substandard CD player or the mixes are extremely different (provided your tape deck is at least halfway decent). Differenc
: Klaus: Well the TEAC A3340 and A2340 are superb decks. I'll admit that my CD players aren't of the same quality but everything is ran through my Maran
: Quite possible - the digital and analog signal processing stages can vary in quality. But it's a bit difficult making fundamental judgments based on
: Klaus, while your devotion to digital signal sources is commendable, you're partially wrong. While the low-end digital appliances are way better than
: With an analog medium you have a much higher noise floor which adds distortion to lower signals as well, just at much higher intensity - there is no