So I have a R2R tape deck and it’s been serviced…should I keep it!

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Chiliarches, Nov 24, 2021 at 8:43 PM.

  1. Chiliarches

    Chiliarches Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Chicago Suburbs
    Howdy, all.

    Got a Teac X-10R from my dad (hadn’t been used in many years) and had it serviced by a tech here in the area. Now I have a tape deck that works but no new tape…just a box of junky old stuff. I know there is some maintenance / cleaning that goes into using these machines regularly and I don’t want to muck it up right off the bat with junky old tape…

    In perusing a few online store: it looks like new reel to reel recordings are generally hundreds of dollars. I don’t want to invest into that.

    Is this a format worth investing in? Or should I just sell the deck? I am OK with the inconveniences and cost of vinyl but I am concerned that R2R is at a whole different level.
    Michael likes this.
  2. MarkD51

    MarkD51 Well-Known Member

    I have 2 TEAC Decks, won't be selling them anytime soon.

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, this particular Deck is a 1/4 track machine, auto-reverse, and plays at 3-3.4 and 7-1/2 ips, correct? And only 7" Reels?

    That doesn't in any way make this some poor machine that cannot provide wonderful playback.

    One of my main and foremost things I did with my Tape Decks, is record music from LPs.
    I'd commonly take fresh out of the wrapper Albums, give them a brief clean, play, test all audio levels prior to recording, and lay down entire sides of LPs.

    Then often stashing the LP, and enjoying these tapes, which sometimes seemed to surpass the Turntable playback.
    Or, we used to have some good underground FM Stations way back in the day, the best! And record a lot of really mind blowing music! And in their entirety. And it was often 12 midnight, 1am, and this very special music would come forth.
    Jazz, Blues, underground Rock, really some advante garde off the charts stuff back then.

    Grobschnitt, Barabas, Jack Dejonnette, Spyro Gyra, Tull, Dr. John, Yes, The Lower East Side (Here Comes a Cop!), you name it, etc etc.

    Finding pre-recorded music might be troublesome. These uber expensive tapes you may have read about are commonly recorded on 10.5" Reels, 15ips speed, and yeah, usually 1/4" wide Tape, but again commonly a 2-Track Tape, not 4.

    Blank Tape that the Machine needs is not that difficult to find. Some may be perfect, and some could be "old". Seek sealed tape minimum. Look for a Tape called Scotch 207 Professional Mastering Tape. One of the very best! I have lots of it!

    Here is an interesting long piece, called "Symphony". Krautrock at its best! Listen through it, it's got some good playing. And it's pretty "trippy"! I have the LP.

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021 at 9:23 PM
    Classic Car Guy likes this.
  3. rockclassics

    rockclassics Forum Resident

    Arkansas, USA
    An X 10R should take up to 10 inch reels. Speeds should be 7 1/2 or 3 3/4 ips.
    luckybaer likes this.
  4. Lowrider75

    Lowrider75 Forum Resident

    Philadelphia, PA
  5. PopularChuck

    PopularChuck Forum Resident

    Bay Area
    It's junk, and a dead format. I'll do you a favor and take it off your hands for the cost of shipping that anchor to me.

    macster and jesterthejedi like this.
  6. richbdd01

    richbdd01 Forum Resident

    Sell sell sell. These kind of things are kind of like vanity projects for someone to say ‘hey, look I’m really into analog’. My advice is cash in and use the funds for something that you will probably use a lot more!
  7. Daedalus

    Daedalus I haven't heard it all.....

    If you love analog music recordings but get annoyed at pops, clicks, etc with LPs-analog tapes are the bees knees. Maybe a little tape hiss depending on recording-but if it is a good recording it will be a joy to listen. You can find used tapes in good shape( I have done).
  8. Hagstrom

    Hagstrom I hate Billy Joel, Rush and Queen.

    Philadelphia, PA
    Who serviced the deck? Do you have the receipt?

    I suggest selling it.
  9. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Back in the early 90s I had a Pioneer RT-707 R2R deck. Can't for the life of me remember where I got it. As I had no tapes to play on it, I traded it for two tennis rackets.

    I suggest selling the deck to someone who will use it.
    hi_watt and jesterthejedi like this.
  10. MarkD51

    MarkD51 Well-Known Member

    Sorry about me mis-info about reel size. I got the rest right though.

    As for maintenance, it's not difficult, usually something like Q-Tips and either 91%, or Denatured Alcohol for cleaning the heads and tape path area, such as guides and the capstan. And a decent De-magnetizer Tool. Many de-mag tools aren't very good, for a R2R Deck, one should own a Han-D-Mag Tool.
  11. Big T

    Big T Forum Resident

    KEEP IT!!

    The sound of tape can be addicting! There's a lot of joy in making/playing the tapes and keeping the machines tuned up. I still listen to tape every day and wouldn't part with either of my decks.

    My decks aren't to show off, they are to listen to!



    Big T
    bhazen and Classic Car Guy like this.
  12. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Analog Recording to the Next Level

    Northwest, USA
    That brand and model is already "Very Good to Excellent" if tuned correctly and especially if it has low mileage. If you like recording and which sounds like you're willing to put the time one it, use it and find out if its gonna work out for you. The blank tapes on those 1/4 inch are very in-expensive. You don't have to buy new old stock, they make new ones and you don't necessarily need a super high-grade tape as long as its biased to the deck. A regular 11-30 dollar blank tape recorded on 7.5 ips will blow-away any vinyl in sound quality. I use the reel as my personal master recording and a separate playback reel. Sounds amazing!
  13. Lenny99

    Lenny99 The truth sets you free.

    Clarksburg WV

    Sounds like a keeper. R2R'S were the top of the line in Audio back in the 70's when I first had an interest in Audio. They were ultra cool and expensive with a great sound.
  14. MrRom92

    MrRom92 Forum Supermodel

    Long Island, NY
    Imo in this day and age, a slow speed quarter track deck is simply audiophile vanity

    I’m sure it makes nice eye candy
  15. Bradd

    Bradd Now’s The Time

    Chester, NJ
    I have a Sony TC 200 that I received back in 1966 for making honor roll in 10th grade. Haven’t used it in years. Wonder if it still works. Trouble is I don’t know if I have any of my tapes anymore.
  16. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Meat and Potatoes all day long

    Why bother with an obsolete overpriced hard to source niche product like a tape recorder?
    At this point in time tape is mainly for gearheads that want to show off.

    For a fraction of the expense and inconvenience you could simply buy a pair of digital convertors that do A to D and D to A into your laptop.
    Running at 24/192 PCM or even better using DSD---the audio quality will be much quieter than tape (no hiss) and the tone can be remarkable depending on the quality of your convertors.

    If you absolutely can't live without a super high performance format I recommend you first upgrade your phonograph player and then go buy some 45 RPM LPs.
    These will display greater groove noise than an LP at 33 1/3 because they pick up twice as much of it.
    But the tonality is very reminiscent of open reel tape on a good machine.

    Frankly I find it rather a step backwards going to tape at this point.
    There simply isn't enough affordable source material to play on the darn things.
    I can source thousands of 24/192 tracks off Qobuz with a push of a button.
    And unlike tape the source material is not deteriorating before my very eyes.

    My advice is sell the darn thing rights now while the market is red hot for tapers.
    Let somebody else discover the "magic" of an obscure hard to live with weird expensive format that has a limited selection of out of print recordings from which to select.
    It's basically best left for the birds to peck at....
    Paully and yamfan like this.
  17. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Analog Recording to the Next Level

    Northwest, USA
    Those decks are very easy and nice to resurrect. They're Hi Fidelity. I fully restore mine fully recap and head relap and hardly cost me anything. I use it as a workhorse player.

    jesterthejedi and Bradd like this.
  18. Bradd

    Bradd Now’s The Time

    Chester, NJ
    How did you restore it? Any suggestions on guides to doing it?
    Classic Car Guy likes this.
  19. Lenny99

    Lenny99 The truth sets you free.

    Clarksburg WV

    I wouldn't argue sound and tech, but if the 0P likes to work on electrics, or wants to restore equipment that's cool. I believe there are a lot of reasons why one would restore older types of equipment. To me, it's just fun.
    Doctor Fine likes this.
  20. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Meat and Potatoes all day long

    Totally agree.
    It is fun to play with obsolete tech and get the "wow" factor thing.
    I just don't have the time to take side trips.

    My LOMC is my current obsession.
    And at least there ARE some LPs out there that justify the time and expense it takes to maximize my chosen format.
    Not so much.
  21. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Analog Recording to the Next Level

    Northwest, USA
    Does your deck has a built in amp without the RCA output or it has a pre-out?
    I can show you step by step how to do it but if your deck is a built in amp, your better off getting another similar Sony TC deck that has a pre-out. Its lesser components, more rigid and you can hook up to your system. There's a lot of them out there and still a diamond in rough player.
  22. oskar

    oskar Well-Known Member

    You can't have better audio quality than R2R tape. No audio format comes close.
    So if You want to spend a fortune for the tapes, keep it.
    Paully and macster like this.
  23. PopularChuck

    PopularChuck Forum Resident

    Bay Area
    Are you sure you're on the right forum?

  24. Lowrider75

    Lowrider75 Forum Resident

    Philadelphia, PA
    Have fun with it. Buy some blank tape stock and record albums, find some prerecorded music and get some experience with the deck. If you find that tape isn't for you, sell the deck. It's been restored so you'll get a good price.
    ejman likes this.
  25. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    SELL IT! before Jan 1st 2022 if you're going the ebay route or actually anywhere else....anything over $600.00 in sales notifies the IRS...

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