Down the rabbit hole.....

I always wanted R2R , just to experience the format in my audio journey. Found a good deal locally on FB for a nice working Pioneer RT 707:

3evesh2du3ds.jpeg

Questions for resident tapeheads:
Besides recording myself on blank tapes, what is good source to get pre-recorded material that can highlight what the format can do?
How to acquire nice metallic take up reels without spending a fortune.
-izafar

Goldenear Technology Triton 1 - Benchmark AHB2 - Benchmark LA4 - Auralic Vega - Auralic Aries Mini - Marantz TT-15S1 - Clearaudio Nano

Comments

  • engie490
    engie490 Posts: 94
    edited December 2020
    While I wouldn't quantify myself as a tapehead, I can provide you with some answers.

    You're going to find most prerecorded tapes on ebay. You may get lucky finding something on Craigslist. Once in a blue moon, maybe at a used record store. Most of it won't be stuff you necessarily want to listen to.

    Pre-recorded tape is either 3.75 or 7.5 ips and will work on your machine. More IPS is better.

    As far as the best that tape can do, you probably need a significantly more expensive R2R machine, that supports 15 IPS, and better electronics connected directly to the tape heads.

    The standard consumer machines sound pretty good, but nothing like what you'll hear at a stereo show, where someone has a master tape, an Ampex player, and custom electronics.

    Enjoy!
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 7,659
    edited December 2020
    Congratulations on the Pioneer, a beautiful looking deck with excellent reliability and performance. Collecting prerecorded tapes can be every bit as rewarding/challenging as collecting records. In very general terms, most rock or pop recordings will be available at 3 3/4ips and jazz and classical will be found at 7 1/2ips. Any top performers such as The Beatles, Stones, Moody Blues, etc will be expensive due to the collectability by completists who have to have everything. A good place to begin is to try some classical tapes on labels such as London/Decca, RCA and Mercury (also Everest tapes sound good). A good guide is if the particular recording has a good reputation on vinyl then there's a good chance it will sound fairly good on tape. There are books and web sites dedicated to London and RCA classic recordings with lots of ratings.
    Jazz albums follow the same recommendations, if it sounds good on vinyl there's a good chance the tape will sound pretty good as well. There are a few consistently good suppliers on eBay when you search "music on other formats" for tapes. There is a seller (evergeenmountains) who has over 500 tapes listed with over 4k transactions and 100% satisfaction that I've bought lots of tapes from. Sometimes the outer boxes need some TLC, but then again so do some records. I recommend the products from The Last Company for reducing wear on both the tapes and the heads.
    Good listening!
  • Another thing I try is to read some of the '60's and '70's reviews in Stereo Review, High Fidelity and Audio magazines for prerecorded tapes. They would review plenty of tapes and in some cases give a rating. It will let you begin compiling a "want list" of tapes to search for.
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 27,323
    The RT-707 is a nice and fairly robust (you know, four decades into the mission!) deck. Plus, of course, it's aesthetically above reproach. :)
    Another thing I try is to read some of the '60's and '70's reviews in Stereo Review, High Fidelity and Audio magazines for prerecorded tapes. They would review plenty of tapes and in some cases give a rating. It will let you begin compiling a "want list" of tapes to search for.

    In case @izafar doesn't know where to find 'em ;) the answer is:
    https://worldradiohistory.com/
    9uuibs828w14.png

    Do you have some tape(s) to play with @izafar? If not, and if you're in the "lower 48", send me a PM, I can send you a tape or two (nothing special, just standard-grade stuff) and a take-up reel if you need one, to play with.

    Just as with the business practive of any reputable drug dealer, the first hit's free, ;)



  • jdjohn
    jdjohn Posts: 1,949
    @KennethSwauger , would you add Verve tapes to that list? I noticed you referred to a Verve tape over on the Ella and Louis thread. I wasn't really familiar with Verve recordings until recently finding a R2R tape in my dad's stuff.
    "This may not matter to you, but it does to me for various reasons, many of them illogical or irrational, but the vinyl hobby is not really logical or rational..." - member on Vinyl Engine
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator
    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • Very much so! I wish Blue Note had made tapes. The Columbia jazz tapes can be good.
  • izafar
    izafar Posts: 807
    mhardy6647 wrote: »

    Do you have some tape(s) to play with @izafar? If not, and if you're in the "lower 48", send me a PM, I can send you a tape or two (nothing special, just standard-grade stuff) and a take-up reel if you need one, to play with.

    Just as with the business practive of any reputable drug dealer, the first hit's free, ;)

    So far I have only ordered a blank tape from ATR . I am in your neighboring state (CT) Doc, will send you a PM.

    I am also planning to hit the local record store on the weekend to get some pre-recorded stuff.
    -izafar

    Goldenear Technology Triton 1 - Benchmark AHB2 - Benchmark LA4 - Auralic Vega - Auralic Aries Mini - Marantz TT-15S1 - Clearaudio Nano
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 27,323
    Prerecorded tapes (except the Mantovani-grade stuff) tend to be 'spensive at this late date :(
  • Kex
    Kex Posts: 4,418
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    Prerecorded tapes [...] tend to be 'spensive at this late date :(
    Yeah, maybe, but watching those reels spin is just mesmerizing! 🎶 😉 🎵
    Alea jacta est!
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 27,323
    Oh, I drank the reel-to-reel Kool-Aid a long, long time ago.

    15256338064_3bf36bba8f_b.jpgReVox WHRB Dead aircheck by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
  • soundfreak1
    soundfreak1 Posts: 2,886
    Those old 707's are nice. Built like a tank, careful lifting it they aren't lite.ayrjya32llwv.jpg
    Main Rig:
    Krell KAV 250a biamped to mid/highs
    Parasound HCA1500A biamped to lows
    Nakamichi EC100 Active xover
    MIT exp 1 ic's
    Perreaux SA33 class A preamp
    AQ kingcobra ic's
    OPPO 83 CDP
    Lehmann audio black cube SE phono pre, Audioquest phono wire (ITA1/1)
    Denon DP-1200 TT. AToc9ML MC cart.
    Monster HTS 3600 power conditioner
    ADS L1590/2 Biamped
    MIT exps2 speaker cable
  • soundfreak1
    soundfreak1 Posts: 2,886
    Mhardy That's a very nice R2R (Revox) A77 or B77? If you ever need anything special (parts) my best friend is a Revox service location and he has several boxes of OEM, NIB parts from when they were new.
    Main Rig:
    Krell KAV 250a biamped to mid/highs
    Parasound HCA1500A biamped to lows
    Nakamichi EC100 Active xover
    MIT exp 1 ic's
    Perreaux SA33 class A preamp
    AQ kingcobra ic's
    OPPO 83 CDP
    Lehmann audio black cube SE phono pre, Audioquest phono wire (ITA1/1)
    Denon DP-1200 TT. AToc9ML MC cart.
    Monster HTS 3600 power conditioner
    ADS L1590/2 Biamped
    MIT exps2 speaker cable
  • jdjohn
    jdjohn Posts: 1,949
    I've been working on a rescue RT-707 from my dad's collection.
    t93yn362jyr8.jpg

    Left channel was intermittent (at best), but I finally found the culprit.
    oghhe7y8x8ou.jpg

    This circled capacitor is the top-side of the lifted solder joint.
    pc3ca66bx10q.jpg

    The cause is this recessed area on the rear of the unit...the bottom of it presses down on the PCB components, so any marginal connections tend to let go.
    i6wvq4ivux5j.jpg

    With the back cover off, the left channel worked fine, but with it on...not so much, until I freshened the solder joint.

    That fixed balanced playback in FWD, but in REV the left channel was still weak..although somewhat present. Well, here's a pic of the REV playback head.
    o8igyri1u75z.jpg

    The circled spot is worn, not just dirty. I kind of like this deck, so may go ahead and invest in a replacement head.

    I had to tighten the right reel brake strap in order to fix a "bird's nest" issue (like a bait-casting fishing reel), but that's sorted now. Lastly, the lamp/bulb behind the right-hand directional button had blown, so I'm using an LED replacement kit to replace both directional bulbs.

    I'm certainly no expert on R2R decks, but I agree with earlier comments that these are 'robust', and I feel comfortable investing time, effort, and a little $ in getting this guy fully-operational :)
    "This may not matter to you, but it does to me for various reasons, many of them illogical or irrational, but the vinyl hobby is not really logical or rational..." - member on Vinyl Engine
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator
    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • msg
    msg Posts: 6,448
    Nice troubleshooting work, Jody. Are a couple of other joints cracking loose?
    I disabled signatures.
  • tratliff
    tratliff Posts: 1,174
    edited December 2020
    @izafar - welcome to the rabbit hole of r2r. I have been building my collection over the past year when I picked up a Technics RS-1500. I have found that great tapes give great sound quality but marginal tapes are just that.

    My dad has been chasing r2r for years and has some good source material. He has a Pioneer RT-909, Tascam BR-20, Otari 5050 and a Teac 2000. And let’s me borrow all his tapes.

    I have only been happy with the sound quality of 15ips. All others just have not done it for me. But when they are great they rival any other source I have found.

    Good luck with your search. Let us know how it goes.

    Here is my machine.

    qwj691ii3ajs.png
    2 Channel
    Legacy Focus SE, 2 REL Carbon Limited, McIntosh C50, McIntosh MC601's, VPI Prime w/SoundSmith Zephyr MIMC, Parasound Halo JC3, Denon DP-59l w/Ortofon 2m Bronze, Marantz SA-14s1, Oppo BDP-105, Furman Elite 15PFi, Douglas Connection (Furutech) Alpha Interconnects, Douglas Connection (Furutech) Alpha Speaker Cables, Pangea Power Cables

    Vintage
    Pioneer SA-9800, Pioneer TX-9800, Pioneer PL-630 w/Denon DL-301MKII, Technics RS-1500
  • jdjohn
    jdjohn Posts: 1,949
    msg wrote: »
    Nice troubleshooting work, Jody. Are a couple of other joints cracking loose?
    Thanks, Scott. No other visible problem joints, nor audible issues that I have discerned so far. I just need to address the REV playback head, and the directional indicator lamp.
    "This may not matter to you, but it does to me for various reasons, many of them illogical or irrational, but the vinyl hobby is not really logical or rational..." - member on Vinyl Engine
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator
    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • izafar
    izafar Posts: 807
    Didn’t found any tapes at local record store, waiting for a couple of tapes that I ordered on eBay, thanks Ken for recommendation on seller.

    I also need to figure out how to place it in my room. Currently thinking about this Pangea Rack:
    https://www.amazon.com/Pangea-Audio-Vulcan-Turntable-Storage/dp/B07B5KJFQM/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2305S3QTJ1XHT&dchild=1&keywords=pangea+audio+vulcan&qid=1608001019&sprefix=Pengea+,aps,222&sr=8-1

    This will replace my ikea four blocker system I am using for turntable and records.
    -izafar

    Goldenear Technology Triton 1 - Benchmark AHB2 - Benchmark LA4 - Auralic Vega - Auralic Aries Mini - Marantz TT-15S1 - Clearaudio Nano
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