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RE: Want a RTR;Recommendations

Your right, 1/4 track is the most common format. (for consumers.)

1/2 track does have a slight edge on performance, however, unless it is a deck that can accept both formats, such as the Technics RS-series, and the Otari 5050 series, your better off with a 1/4 only deck.

I like the RS-1500 for it's superior tape handling capabilities, to be equaled or exceeded only by late-model pro machines. The Otari 5050 and Technics RS-15xx series are considered by many to be semipro machines with the Otari having an edge in the small studio environment. The downside of that is the Otari is more likely to have issues with wear and condition.

If you are interested in only playback of prerecorded tapes, the Otari and Technics decks mentioned will offer head stack assemblies that will play and record in one format, and playback only in another.

For example, the stock Technics 1500 will record and playback in 1/2 format, and playback (only) in 1/4 track, all in the flip of a switch. Other models in the 15xx series will do the reverse. As an example, my 1500 has the optional 1506 headstack installed, which means it plays and records in 1/4, playback only in 1/2. This would be the most useful for you.


Everything else being equal, the higher the tape speed, the greater the fidelity. 15 IPS and 30 IPS are the pro decks most common speeds, common speeds for consumer decks are 3-3/4, 7.5, with some decks offering 15. The Technics offers 3-3/4's, 7.5 and 15. This would handle most anything you might ever need.

Usually prerecorded tapes are 3-3/4 (most pop tapes) and 7.5, (most Jazz and classical tapes.) However, there are good and badly recorded examples of all genres and speeds.


Good luck, hope to see you on Tapeheads.


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Edits: 10/16/15

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  • RE: Want a RTR;Recommendations - tesla 08:01:51 10/16/15 (0)

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