Home Tape Trail

Reel to reel, cassette and other analogue tape formats.

RE: Want a RTR;Recommendations

I've had zillions of tape decks since catching the bug in the late 1950s. I think the deck you're after is the Otari MX5050 BII2. This deck plays 2-track and 4-track tapes up to 10 1/2" reels (plus the common 7" ones) at 3 speeds -- 3 3/4 ips, 7 1/2 ips and 15 ips. It offers both NAB and IEC (CCIR) equalization. It records in 2-track, although there are headstacks providing 4-track recording capability as well. The headstacks are quick-change things -- just unscrew 3 screws and out pops the headstack.

This is arguably the most commonly used semi-pro tape deck ever made, which means there are a LOT available on Ebay and elsewhere. Because it was intended for use in radio stations and small studios it is extremely rugged and reliable. Everything is direct-drive, so no worry about belts disintegrating.

Best of all, it sounds great. I had a Teac X1000R before getting the Otari and there's no comparison. I've also owned a Revox A77, Mk IV, numerous other Teacs, a Magnecord and others. The Otari is superior in every way

Your budget is more than adequate. For starters, go to Ebay and search on "Otari." You will find a lot of them, many beat to death (you can tell something, but not a lot by their appearance). Note also the many listings of spare parts available. Feel free to write me off-line if you'd like more inforemation. Mine has been modified to provide for direct tapehead output to a deHavilland 222 tapehead preamp. The Otari is by no means the prettiest deck around, but it's one hell of a machine.


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