Good, inexpensive tape deck for <$200?

Discussion in 'Tape Recorders' started by Guitarman63mm, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. Well, the 'Simul-Sync' feature on my Teac A-2340 isn't working anymore. It was a good deck for home recording, but I think I'm ready to graduate to a nicer 4-track, as it's now just the same as any other 4 track ( only 1239403429 pounds heavier :roll:)

    Anyone have a favorite cheap one they'd recommend? I need to have the record-over function that allots for the time between the monitor and record heads (pardon my ignorance to the term), as I overdub my recordings with brass fills and such afterwards.

    Hope that came off somewhat coherent.
    Thanks for any help guys!
  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    "allots for the time between the monitor and record heads"

    I would call it latency. However that's possibly only the digital term.
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Well-Known Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    Most 3-head machines of the class you are considering have facilities for replay from the record head. The big problem is going to be getting one that is in good condition, has low head wear and you can still get serviced.
  4. taxman

    taxman Active Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Aside from the fact that you had it, why are you bothering with tape? Why not get a computer interface?
  5. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Why do people _bother_ to play real drums, or real pianos or real guitars or real anything? Because fake doesn't always cut it.

    Tape is real, digital isn't. Digital is an approximation to reality, things like the inverse square law or Pi do not work in a digital environment because they are only broken down at quantum level. A tape works down to the quantum level, those electrons are saturating real molecules... Mmmm... Don't believe me, I'm not surprised, I just made it up.

    However, try modeling the universe inside your computer, try getting gravity to act on the inverse square law only mapped to 24bits of resolution. Watch how it doesn't work... Now look up into the night sky and see how it's working. This is why tape will always be the go to for people who know better. This is why digital isn't worth the ones and zeros it's made out of.

    If I could I would cut everything D.T.D, mixed and mastered onto a record in a straight analog path. To me this screams quality and proof of chops. Digital is like painting by numbers, wow!
  6. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    There are some amazing tape decks for sale at more than reasonable prices the trick is finding them. One good place is Play it Again Sam in Lakewood, Ohio here is the website The owners name is Bernie. He has a lot of tape decks all in good condition and all checked out and ready to use. His prices are not cheap but very reasonable. I found a couple of broadcast quality tape decks (1 Otari and 1 Ampex) at our local PBS station's garage sale a few years back. I fixed them up and resold them. A few years back the local NPR station was selling off all their MCI decks for under $100. The trick is to find them when they go up for sale.

  7. Thank you for explaining that in such a factual manner. Every time I try to explain it to someone, all I can conjure up is "The irregularities make it more natural".

    I also happen to own a firewire interface and I have garageband and Logic Pro. I simply prefer tape.

    Thomas-thanks for the pointers. I suppose I'll just keep hunting.

    As for the serviceable bit, I remember hearing somewhere that Teac is the only one still honoring their warranties. Or something. I'm not sure.
  8. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Lake Ki-Chi-Saga, Minnesota USA
    Greener + Guitarman63mm,

    Way to go! I agree!

    Digital is no where near the richness of analog in the real world.

    I love that fatness the tape brings out on any sound.

    Take the digital to analog challenge!

    Try recording all your thin wimpy synth tracks to a tape recorder and witness the fatness for yourself someday!

    Analog technology has been fully developed over many, many years. Digital is not, its no where near the same!

    Just try listening to a well recorded production on a serious analog deck someday, then you may grasp what we are talking about!

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