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about to purchase a Revox A77, good idea?


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Hi, I am considering purchasing a Revox A77 from someone who sells it for $90. It is in good conditions (it originally belonged to the French Televison and was given to this person after his training period in their studios). My current recording studio is based on a PC with SONAR and plugins, plus midrange outboard gear like HHB Radius valve compressor, ART Prochannel, Mackie mixer, Rode NTV tube microphone. I mix my projects in the PC and use also the IK multimedia T-Racks software in order to embellish the sounds. I also have a Fostex VF16 recorder. MY question : Does it make any sense to buy a Revox77 now that we are more and more using all digital configurations and that digital resolutions reach a level where apparently we can no longer talk about digital cold sound? Is the price proposed a bargain ($90) or is this a waste of money for me to buy such a product nowadays. Can it add something to my mixes? Does it make also sense to plug it in the VF16 in order to record mixes on tape ? (I don't have a DAT recorder).Last question : is the sound of those 1/4 tapes really better than the cassettes (I have a Tascam 130 cassette recorder on which I record my premixes to play them in the car). How is it better ? Are the tapes easy to find, and not too expensive? Thanks for your help in making my decision. regards Alex
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Reel to reel much better than cassette- if the machine is in good shape and aligned properly ( the alignment is on the bottom - meant for occassional alignment- and it doesn't have hifreq record eq I think). Cassettes have extreme hi frequency saturation, a revox much less at 15ips quarter track. Not a $5000 ATR100- but it records closer to the best analogue 2 tracks than a cassette. Since ADAT's I haven't noticed an advantage I atribute to analogue tape- but I do recall the analogue saturation of a Revox being good for slap back tape echo and predelays to reverbs.
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If it is in good shape, it might be worth considering. 1. Look for tape speed, should be 19 & 38 cm per second (aka high speed). There are several versions of the A77, many are not high speed. 2. Is it quarter track or half track? Half track plays only one side of the tape and uses the full width of the tape. For sonic reasons, half track is better, but quarter track can be useful if you are going to play old tapes (quarter track was quite common in the 70's). 3. Check that tape tension, brakes, heads, rollers etcetera is ok. If you don't know how to do all of this, ask someone to help you, as this is an important issue. 4. Listen for mechanical noises. Try this with the A77 in both horisontal and vertical positions. 5. How does it sound? Record tones in several frequencies, listen if it plays back without wow or flutter, flip phase on one channel at playback - they should cancel. Record speech and music - does it sound good? If the A77 passes the above inspections with glance, you have a very fine recorder for $90! 6. Caution: The A77 has no logical electronics, you have to wait for the tape to stop after winding before you press play. 7. If you buy it, also get a de-fluxer and learn how to use it. This is an essential tool if you are using any analog recorder. Also learn how to clean the machine with isopropyl alcohol. 8. The A77 can also be used as a tape delay! 9. Some machines have vari-speed, this (sometimes useful) modification can be done on all A77's. 10. Almost all A77's have unbalanced outs only. /Mats

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What do we want? Procrastination!

When do we want it? Later!

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Another important thing, sooner or later you will need NAB adapters so that you can use 10,5" reels with "big holes" in the center. If you are lucky, 2 NAB adapters are included. Also kindly ask seller to include at least 1 empty reel (preferably 2) and also, if possible, a splicing kit. /Mats

http://www.lexam.net/peter/carnut/man.gif

What do we want? Procrastination!

When do we want it? Later!

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Mats- you sound like you know your reel to reels. Where can I find a reel to reel now adays? Besides Ebay. Who makes new ones? All of the old makers that I knew (Fostex, Tascam etc.) don't list them on their generic websites. Do you have a good model that you recommend? for 8 or 16 track? John Brown
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Good place for info on classic multi-track recorders: [url=http://www.funky-junk.com/london/vintage/multitracks/index.html]Click Here![/url] Buying brand new is so expensive, I would not even consider it an option. There are plenty of fine machines on the second-hand market. Buying used, I would buy from a reputable seller that knows this stuff well and can back you up with parts and knowledge. /Mats

http://www.lexam.net/peter/carnut/man.gif

What do we want? Procrastination!

When do we want it? Later!

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