Home Tape Trail

Reel to reel, cassette and other analogue tape formats.


I don't think it would necessarily be that complex. In fact I've been considering this approach for some time with respect to a Nagra III, seeing as they go for about 1/4 of what a IV-S goes for:

If the machine is for playback only and you are using an external tape head preamp that feeds directly off the head anyway, it seems like everything but the stereo head is already there. As long as there is a reasonably easy way to tap directly off the head you shouldn't need to make any changes other than mounting that stereo head and getting some good output cabling connected to it. However when Frank asked me about this I suggested that it may not be all that easy to get cabling from the back of the head to a convenient connection point for the preamp interconnects. I don't know the layout of the Stella well enough to offer an opinion about that. And of course this is all DIY. I was kind of hoping Charles might pipe in here.

Which leads to the broader question of "do you need one of these lovely little portables in the first place if you are using an outboard playback preamp anyway?" It does kind of defeat the portability. One might actually be better off with a larger machine that can rewind a tape in less than 10 minutes and that doesn't need an external power supply. It's sort of like a laptop - great for 1-1/2 hours on batteries with nothing connected to it, but not really very portable with the AC adapter, a printer, external HD, etc. attached.

If someone just wants good sound at a reasonable price and doesn't care too much about about size or looks I think the MX-5050 types are maybe a better starting point for this kind of "playback only with external preamp" project.

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  • Well, - Doc B. 11:24:32 09/09/06 (0)

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