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perth_artist

Akai gx-630d reel to reel query

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Ive just been given a Akai gx-630d reel to reel player.  From the looks of it seems to be in top notch condition, but I am yet to have a listen.

Reel to reel is a little before my time so Im new to it, so have a few questions.

Where is the best place to buy albums on tape ?

What do people mainly use them for, copying albums etc....or should i say what is the best way to use them.

Cheers

  

 

 

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Guest guru

Wherever you find them to buy, they will be right next to the Elcasset and the 8 track cartridges.

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...Maybe Bryan, but R2R for playback is still the next best thing to the REAL thing!

 

I've heard some really good vinyl setups, but then when you hear a good Otari or Studer playing master tapes or 2nd generation from that copy of a copy tape at either 15ips or even better 30ips...

 

Game over!  They slaughter even the best vinyl.  The density in the soundstage is just something else.  The sound just fills the room.  And they have the added bonus of that mystical thing called "tape saturation"

 

What about tape hiss I hear you ask?  Forget it.  You are so far inside the music its existence is masked.

 

Getting tapes are really difficult too and the prices of master tapes now are pure crazy.

 

Not too sure your Akai will achieve such results, but have fun playing. 

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I have a gx636 and I just record my best cds to it- You can buy new blank tape from cassette tape supplies over east' www.casstape.com.au .

 

The price for a empty metal reel is quite high at around $70 so I get them from fleabay for around $30 with shipping. I have had no luck with used tape so 

I get new pancakes from the place mentioned above, you then mount the tape onto the reel, yes you have to be a bit obsesed to go through this but there is something very special and alluring watching those reels spin! 

 

The hayday for r2r was the 50s and 60s so a lot of the prerecorded music is from then, newer stuff is very expensive.

 

 

Oh and you were "given" the deck ? I must hang out with the wrong people!!

Edited by walker1000

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Thanks guys for the advice.  I will have to have a look at casstape and maybe get a couple of tapes.

Roughly how long does the tape go for or would it just take one album or a few ?

Cheers

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Depending on speed ,a 10inch reel  full of tape ( 3600 feet) is good for 1.5hours per side at 7.5ips or double at 3.75ips so a minimum of 3 hours per reel.

 

I find it easier to put one cd on each side and cut the tape to length using a splicing kit. The remaining tape can always be spliced to another that you have ie two 30 min offcuts can make a 60 min reel.

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Pre-recorded tapes come up on ebay and gumtree.  Sometimes in op shops, and these tend to be the World Record Club classical or easy listening.  Anything by name artists tends to be in collections or asking bigger prices on ebay.  The quality depends on a lot of factors, esp. how well the tape has been cared for, generally the stock of prerecorded r-r tapes was OK to excellent (as compared to the generally poor-very poor quality of prerecorded cassettes).  A big factor in the sound quality is the speed the tape was recorded at.  A tape recorded at a slow 3.75ips won't have fantastic quality.  Most consumer tapes were at this speed or the more respectable 7.5ips.  A 15ips tape should sound wonderful, but it will also be a bigger reel of tape. 

 

You also need to be mindful of the heads your machine has, which also determine the quality of the recordings and compatibility with prerecorded tapes.  A "quarter track" stereo head records similar to a cassette tape - l+r stereo channels are recorded on 1/4 of the width of the tape, when you flip the tape over you can record "on the other side".  A "half track" stereo head records the  l+r stereo channels each on half the width of the tape, so is much better quality.  Flip the tape over and what you have recorded will be played back in reverse. 

 

So if you have a half-track stereo head and play a quarter track stereo recording, you will hear one stereo channel forwards of one "side" of the tape and one stereo channel from the other "side" of the tape in reverse. 

 

Here's a pic of those (and other formats) of r-r playback:

image.png.f620c20124fbbad3e529168463409812.png

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Thanks audiofeline, very useful info.

 

So as far as recording can I plug any external source into the player and record ?  

Could i record from a computer/dac ?

 

Or does it need to run through something else first 

 

cheers

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They will record any analogue output.........usually at 'line' level.

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@perth_artist  Let us know how you get on, and enjoy your r-r!

 

Another suggestion, make sure your record/playback heads are clean (a cotton bud with some alcohol on it will do OK), be careful not to get any alcohol on the rubber rollers.  You can buy rubber cleaner (or at least I had some when cassette decks were essential).  Demagnetizing the heads is another good bit of periodic maintenance to get the best quality out of your machine.  A demag wand shouldn't be too expensive.

 

 

Edited by audiofeline

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