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Time for a science project

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Posted on February 6, 2020 at 10:36:44
svisner
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I am enjoying my recently restored (by J-Corder) Pioneer 707. However, different pre-recorded tapes offer some interesting challenges. Barclay-Crocker tapes are encoded Dolby-B. Some recordings need more high end; others can use a bit of high-end taming.

So, just for fun, I have added to my system (just after the Pioneer's output) an ART Eq 341 graphic equalizer. Yes, an equalizer can add noise to the signal path, though the ART seems quiet and neutral, and designed for professional use. In any case, this is a fairly inexpensive experiment and I am looking forward to the results.

 

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It might help..., posted on February 6, 2020 at 11:33:53
kootenay
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But you still left with the intrinsic high-frequency hiss originating from Dolby encoding. The best thing to do is to purchase a used Dolby 361 or 363 noise reduction unit to decode them however, they are not cheap. Or and the cheapest fix is to avoid tapes that were Dolby encoded altogether.

BTW, Revox A77 that you can still buy for a reasonable price does come with a Dolby Noise Reduction. My Revox A77 MK III did come with it.



If a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing well
(Proverb)

 

RE: It might help..., posted on February 6, 2020 at 11:36:10
svisner
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Thought of it - and I do have an Integrex decoder (with a broken wire I need to solder). However, I think the EQ should be fun. BTW - I just had the Pioneer restored, and it's a terrific unit. Thanks.

 

I agree..., posted on February 6, 2020 at 11:48:30
kootenay
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I had the Pioneer 909 RTR and the Pioneer CT-F1250 cassette deck in the '80s that I've enjoyed thoroughly. They were built like a tank and they sounded really good which were a perfect match to my then Pioneer SX-1980 receiver.

If a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing well
(Proverb)

 

RE: Time for a science project, posted on February 7, 2020 at 04:40:12
stellavox
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August 21, 2004
Glad you are up for "tweaking" svisner.

30 years ago when I got into tape and garnered quite a collection of 2 tracks, I realized the EQ problems you mentioned. Especially in the highs. Seemed that a number of the tape labels either didn't adhere to the industry curves or their duping machines were off.

Ended up playing with my A77 and adding a pot in the HF EQ circuit (actually very simple to do) which gave me basically up to +- 6dB at 10Khz. In this way I could vary the highs without actually adding any external "processing".

For years have had a DIY, Palette-like equalizer as part of my line stage. Helps with shrill CD vocals/strings and adding lows to older recordings.

Dolby is another story - it's real-time variable HF equalization which requires the appropriate decoder.

ENJOY

Charles

 

RE: Time for a science project, posted on February 7, 2020 at 04:59:57
svisner
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I should repair my Integrex Dolby decoder. Need to do a bit of soldering. Perhaps this weekend. Now, which end of the soldering iron should I hold? Haven't done this in a while!

 

RE: Time for a science project, posted on February 8, 2020 at 11:11:36
svisner
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First result are encouraging. Unit seems well built. Low noise floor. Listened to Boyce Symphonies on a Barclay Crocker tape using some high end roll off. Wonderful detail and soundstage. Sounds "unconstrained.". Listened via McIntosh 240 amp and Wharfedale Lintons.

 

RE: Time for a science project, posted on February 14, 2020 at 18:45:09
svisner
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This evening, I installed Monoprice RCA to XLR cables between my tape deck and the equalizer, and between the equalizer and the system front end (Denon) and amplifier (McIntosh 240). For an audition: Barclay Crocker Rachmaninoff. I used the equalizer to adjust high end Dolby B compensation. The equalizer allows for settings of up to 6 or 12 db cut or boost per frequency channel. I like the solid feel foo the XLR cables (though I know this is still unbalanced). As for the sound - enormous soundstage; in fact, even an SACD sounds a bit thin in comparison.

 

RE: Time for a science project, posted on April 17, 2020 at 08:57:35
tapepath
Manufacturer

Posts: 14
Location: Middle East Coast
Joined: November 16, 2006
You might want to consider using a Dolby playback unit as a way to enjoy those Barclay Crocker tapes. Dolby noise reduction is a dynamic compression/expansion system and an EQ is a constant device, increasing or reducing levels the same no matter the signal level. Consider an Advent 100 or 100A or Integrex A4 unit (which was offered by B-C) as a better choice.

 

RE: Time for a science project, posted on April 29, 2020 at 09:44:14
svisner
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I have an Integrex. Needs some work (a bit of soldering).

 

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