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My dad had a Viking transport plugged into the tape head input on a GE tube integrated. Here is a later Viking with a seven tube circuit. Pretty clean but a little too much IMO but fun to look at.
purchased in 1965. What I remember most about it was its no-hassle reliability (better than my later-purchased Magnecord 1020). Never encountered the hot reel problem Dave mentions, but he's right about the fan noise.
Funny coincidence. I also went from my Viking to a 1020. Unlike your experience, my Magnecord was pretty much flawless and I still kinda regret selling it.
EDIT: What was your next deck? Mine was a Teac 3000SX. No complaints about that one.
There was a long hiatus between my disposal of the 1020 in the early 1970's and my acquisition of a deck last November...a Chuck Ziska-refurb'd Crown SX-824 (7.5 and 3.75 ips). Good to be back in the game.
Many older high-output tapes suffer from "sticky shed syndrome". I've actually built an "oven" to deal with that... Two 100 watt light bulbs on a dimmer, and two thermometers. 1/4" tapes need about four hours at 133 degrees F, then they're good for about 3 weeks.
My first deck was a Roberts (Akai) 1719. Great machine. Then, a Concord with auto-reverse. Not so good. Then, a Tandberg something-or-other, (black faceplate, 7" reel capacity, black meters, green square buttons, full logic), nice deck - shouldn't have sold it. Then a Revox A77 quarter track, then (and now) a Revox A77 Mk IV two track. I'll probably keep it forever.
I've worked with both a Stellavox Sp7 and a Studer A80, and still lust after them, but they've always been out of my budget! The A80 has a scary fast and gentle transport - holy crap!
I currently also own a Tascam 44, which has transport problems. Even so, those TEAC/Tascam decks are very fine machines! Shoulda bought one instead of that stupid Concord!
I had one. After playing tapes for an hour or so, the tape reels got so hot that i feared for their lives. And yeah, the fan was active -- you could tell by the noise :-)
Viking! Holy camoly, there's a name I had nearly forgotten!
Per my memory of the consumer decks (which most of them were), they used "felt like" pressure pads to push the tape up against the heads when playing/recording. Non starter today.
Did make an impressive looking large reel, 15ips, rack mounted "pro deck" that I saw in a high school AV setup.
The use of pressure pads would qualify the Viking as a good choice for playing 4-track tapes with ripple.
My college had a Viking 88 in every library listening room. The playback head was physically switchable to play 2- or 4-track tapes. They sounded great. The console in which they were mounted had an H. H. Scott amp, a manual Garrard turntable with that miserable GE stereo cartridge, and unidentified speakers.
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