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Teac A-3300 SX-2T... Worth it?
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vstq
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#1
7th May 2006
Old 7th May 2006
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Teac A-3300 SX-2T... Worth it?

I have the opportunity to purchase a Teac A-3300 SX-2T.

My questions are...

1) Is this model a worthwhile/useful thing to look into? I know it's no Studer, but given that it's a 1/2 track deck, runs at 15 IPS.... it might sound pretty good?

2) If I am going to be using the deck only in my studio and nowhere else (i.e. everything that hits tape will eventually go back into the computer), can I get by without buying an alignment tape?

3) What's a good price for this model in working condition?
vstq
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7th May 2006
Old 7th May 2006
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Some background:

I'm running a Digi 001 PTLE setup, mixing into a SoundCraft E8 with outboard fx... usually feeding the mixdown back into PTLE as an extra track. I've got an old silver ADAT that I use as a varispeed for PTLE, but I'm afraid to mix down to it because the little bit of experimenting I've done with it gave me the impression that the converters are even more harsh than the 001's.

I used to engineer with analog multitracks and mix down to 2 tracks about 10-15 years ago... I don't miss the maintenance -- the cleaning, the biasing, etc. However, I do like analog 'warmth'. I like the way tape smooths out the transients, even if it's fairly high maintenance to work with, compared to a DAW.

Ultimately, I'm tempted to look into this deck as a way to provide some warmth/glue to my mixes. Or maybe use it for tracking as well. (I'm a one man band recording artist, I dig old recordings, vintage gear, vintage recording techniques, etc.)

Thanks in advance for any advice/opinions!
#3
8th May 2006
Old 8th May 2006
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dbbubba is offline
In retrospect TEAC decks (same as TASCAM) are not really held with much regard, but they don't sound THAT bad. I guess that they rank somewhere below an Otari which doesn't sound as good as an MCI which doesn't sound as good as an early Ampex or as accurate and pristien as a Studer.

I actually think that the heads on TEAC/TASCAM stuff was the weak link.
They all seem to have the big low end bump.

I had a TASCAM model 52 that I prefered over my Ampex AG440 in the mid eighties.
In hindsight it might have just been newer!

Either way, I switched to mixing to a SONY PCM701 and a SONY Beta deck in about 1987.
DATs followed and it wasn't until 1990 when I scored an Ampex 102 that I went back to mixing onto an analog deck.

TEAC/TASCAM stuff just doesn't give the great saturated tape sound that Ampex and other decks do. They just lack the "magic." Still, if you didn't tell anyone they probebly couldn't tell the difference today!

I would be hesitant to mix to that deck, though.

If you get the deck you DEFINITELY need to buy and alignment tape and calibrate it.
Analog tape can sound pretty bad without alignment.

Oh yeah... I just remeber why TEAC stuff is so un-popular....
It is a BITCH to align them!
The alignment controls are hard to get to and the whole alignment procedure is a bit odd compared to most other decks.
It's like they figured that people wouldn't align the decks and the whole alignment process was the domain of a repair tech.

If it's cheap (which it ought to be!) buy it for fun.
You should pay the same for the deck as the price of an alignment tape!
Funny thought!

Also, make sure that EVERYTHING is in good shape because parts will not be plentiful and they are definitely not cheap!

I just last week offered $75 for a TASCAM 3440 only because I have some twenty year old tapes I'd like to transfer.
That's all I'd pay for it, too.
I'd transfer about twelve cuts from 1/4" 4 track tapes I recorded in the early '80s and then I'd want to sell it.

I just belive pretty heavily in calibration.
It was pretty much part of the "deal" with analog unless you were an amatuer.

The sound of an analog deck won't really "sparkle" until it is aligned.

Without paying some attention to the deck you might end up with about the same result as using a decent cassette deck.

Danny Brown
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8th May 2006
Old 8th May 2006
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I 2nd what Danny said and would add that even if the Teac 3300 was aligned and had good heads on it you could only expect a reasonable recording. Never really thought they sounded very good. It seems to me that a lot of higher quality decks are going for very little money these days. If you're willing to put up with the hassles at least start with a higher quality deck.
vstq
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8th May 2006
Old 8th May 2006
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Thanks for the info... That does help me make up my mind -- I'm going to pass on this deck.

Thanks again!
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8th May 2006
Old 8th May 2006
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As stated that machine if in good condition can sound nice, its all discrete if I recall and unbalanced in/out.
The front tape/source ect switches are not easy to clean and I would clean them if have not been...
#7
30th September 2008
Old 30th September 2008
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stevenn is offline
model 15

hi there,

i have recently been given a tascam model 15 mixer console. it is the 24in 8 out model, made 1978/79?? However there is no psu with it. As it is very old im wondering if anyone knows where i could pick one up and weather it is worth me restoring it, bassically are they any good.


Many thanks Steve.
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30th September 2008
Old 30th September 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenn View Post
hi there,

i have recently been given a tascam model 15 mixer console. it is the 24in 8 out model, made 1978/79?? However there is no psu with it. As it is very old im wondering if anyone knows where i could pick one up and weather it is worth me restoring it, bassically are they any good.


Many thanks Steve.
Where are you located?
Years ago I thought those looked pretty cool...
Have inductor type Eq's that can have a cool sound in the low end...
#9
1st October 2008
Old 1st October 2008
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I live in Filton, bristol, uk. It does look pretty sweet, however having never used tascams I'm not sure what there like... Its wieghs an absolute ton, will make a sweet table if I can't get it working!!!
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