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In Reply to: RE: Want a RTR;Recommendations posted by Jareb on October 16, 2015 at 07:20:31
Yep, forgot to mention the reel holders, the one thing about the Otari I dislike. The Otari reel holders do work, but I use them only on the large, NAB-type reels. (actually, I mostly use similar but more sensibly-designed (IMHO) reel holders that came with certain Akai decks). For 7-inch reels, I use Teac push-on rubber dohickeys (technical term).
The model subsequent to mine -- actually, new ones are still available in the $8-9K range -- did away with the need for the cumbersome Otari reel holders, but most of these do not offer 4-track playback. I think this model was called the MX5050 Mk. III, but I could be wrong.
I have a 5050 BIII and it has a much better set of reel holders than the older models. I looked at a BII, and the reel holders were very difficult to use. I was lucky to get my BIII a few years back from a fellow who had bought out the inventory of an old radio station, including a bunch of different decks. I would definitely look for one that can play 1/2 track, 15ips, in addition to 1/4 track 7.5ips and both NAB and CCIR EQ, so you can play both older 1/4 track 7.5ips commercial prerecorded tapes that use NAB EQ and the new 15ips 1/2 track tapes that almost all feature CCIR EQ. The Otari 5050 BIII does that. If you bypass the electronics for a new pre pro (which I have for my other machine a Technics 1506 with Bottlehead prepro) then you don't have to worry about EQ, since the new prepros all (?) have both EQ's. A $2K budget for a near mint machine is possible, but not one with a new prepro.
I thought the B-II/2 and the B-III had the same reel tables, no?
In any case, the 5050 series from the B2 on can be astonishingly good, have widely available parts, and can be had pretty cheap, particularly if the cosmetics are a little rough.
"A man need merely light the filaments of his receiving set and the world's greatest artists will perform for him." Alfred N. Goldsmith, RCA, 1922
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