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Reel to reel recording info!

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:43 pm
by PitchBender
Hoping some of the wise ones around here can help me out. I have recently stumbled upon a Tascam 388 - 8ch mixer w/dbx - reel to reel. I'm desperately looking for any tips or info regarding this machine and tape recording in general. Can anyone recommend a book, forum or site with good info? And I'll be your best friend for a pdf manual for the 388. :)

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:56 pm
by DX
Sorry I can only help with REVOX machines, not Tascam.

I usually work with the B77 / PR99 models due to my job. They are wonderful machines for an analog tape sound. Things to take care of are: The heads (cleaning, bias, etc). If there are any belts, they are important too. (wear, tightening).

It is really a pleasure to record a song into one of these with high level (analog clipping at some cases) and then , replay it: IT sounds cool!.

Enjoy your new machine,

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:43 pm
by WellingtonCrab
I have a Tascam 246 Portastudio that I record with, which is essentially a 4 track cassette version of the 388, and it sounds great.

The main thing to remember is the clean to heads AND the rubber rollers after every use, with the proper cleaning supplies. Lot's of AV places suggest you just use 99% isopropyl alchohol, which will work, but will eventually toughen and pit the rubber. Also with reel to reel especially, it's important you demagnatize the recording heads every so often.

You can buy a whole cleaning kit with enough chemicals to last a long while and a demagnatizer here for just 30 bucks:

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:50 pm
by WellingtonCrab
It's also worthy of note you can buy service manuals and repair parts from that same website.

I have purchased a few things from them, and while they are not terribley prompt, they are reliable.

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 4:05 am
by PitchBender
awesome dude. thanks for the tips.
unfortunately, i dont have the space for the 388 in my little apartment, it's a feaking monster. so its going to my brother's place.

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 5:40 am
by deadgobby
If I was you. Find a space for it. Tascam reel to reel are freaken great. You can power use it and get alot out of it.

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 7:27 am
by WellingtonCrab
Yeah, I would keep it if you can.

I don't even use my computer for anything but recording the mix down now, they really sound that good (if you like that sound).

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:04 am
by burnt toast
you shouldnt use isopropanol on rubber rollers - it will kill them. they will crack and go funny after a while. unfortunately you should really replace the rubber parts when they are worn out. you should use kimtech's as well so you dont get paper rubbish on the heads when you clean them.

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:11 pm
by WellingtonCrab
burnt toast wrote:you shouldnt use isopropanol on rubber rollers - it will kill them.
This is true, which is why I suggested he use the proper chemicals, and not alcohol like many might attempt to instruct him to do.

As for cleaning, sturdy wood handled q-tips work quite well and don't get rubbish on the heads.