Adam's Reel-To-Reel Page

Welcome to my reel-to-reel tape recorder page! All the decks on this page work, at least to some degree. Even though I've been toying with cassette decks much of my life, r2rs have always intrigued me, ever since I picked up a Sony portable (long since deceased) in a trashpile, and had many hours of fun with an Oral portable (stopped playing back one day, but I still have it's outer case as a memento), as well as a Panasonic RQ-555 (developed problems similar to those of the Oral).

Here's a pic of my current home deck, a Roberts 1740X. Approximately equivalent to an Akai X-150D, this is one of their early "cross-field" head decks (check out the big knob with the X on it!). This deck works fairly well, but the motor doesn't have enough torque to run when there's too much tape on the takeup reel during playback (has similar problems with fast-forward and rewind).

Here's a pic of my main 3" deck, a Sony TC-905A. Looking a bit like an oversized Walkman, this capstain-driven wonder is an interesting deck. Probably one of the first tape decks to have an automatic level control, as well as voice-operated mode. I usually use this deck to record music from the computer, as well as my own guitar-playing. Has a docking bay made to recharge nicad batteries (this thing uses four AA batteries, which makes for short battery life) and contains a speaker/amplifier, but the amplifier portion has low output problems.

This is my other 3" deck, an Aiwa TP-50R. The only rim-drive r2r deck I've owned which has worked somewhat-properly. Due to it's cheap design, it's nearly-impossible for it to play tapes which were made in other machines without speed issues (despite that nearly-useless speed control). I mainly use it for recording my guitar-playing.

It has been a very long time since I updated this page; I actually have acquired several more reel-to-reel tape decks than the ones shown above, but none of them work very well, and most of them were involved in a flooding incident we had recently. However, the above tape deck may supercede the one at the top of the page, and become the first reel-to-reel tape deck to grace my main stereo system in years. It's a Pioneer RT-701, made for a brief period of time in the mid-late 1970s before being superceded by the better-known RT-707 (which is essentially the same tape deck, but features an auto-reverse function). Unlike the decks above, the RT-701 is "direct drive" in that it uses three motors: one to drive each reel, and another to drive the capstan. This makes for a very solid tape transport, and one which is gentle on tapes. Like the Roberts deck above, it can handle up to a 7" reel, and plays 4-track tapes at either 3.75 or 7.5ips. As purchased, this deck needs general maintenance, and the record function has been described as "scratchy", but other than that, it seems to work perfectly.

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