The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Yamaha MT8X compatible with Portastudios?
Old 17th October 2015
  #1
Yamaha MT8X compatible with Portastudios?

Yamaha MT8X cassette 8-tracker anyone?

A simple question:
that machine has special 8-track staggered head. Tascam cassette 8-trackers (488 portastudio and 688 midistudio) have staggered heads too.
But I can't find confirmation anywhere on the net that recordings are compatible.

Or in other words, that both types of heads have the same dimensions and track layout.

If anyone have (had) both, I'd appreciate the info. Or simply the photo of Yamaha's head would do the trick.
Old 5th November 2015
  #2
bump... anyone?
Old 28th February 2016
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Hi, Greg,
I have been searching for the same answers lately, as I have some old tapes from a 688 which I want to digitise. I can't find a 688 for sale, so am now looking at other machines that might work, including the MT8X. I've found some images which might help you (apologies for the quality of the scans):
First one is from the 688 user manual, and shows the difference between the 8-track head and standard heads - the 688 is layout marked "B".
the other 2 images are from the MT8X service manual, which shows how to adjust the heads, etc.
In my opinion, and assuming both images are looking at the head with the tape in front of it, it looks like they are swapped around, i.e. in the Tascam head the odd track numbers are on the left head section, whereas the Yamaha has the even tracks on the left. I believe this would result in there being an offset error if you played back a tape recorded on one machine on the other model. I'd be interested to know what you think.
Cheers,
Mort
Attached Thumbnails
Yamaha MT8X compatible with Portastudios?-tascam-688_head-layout.jpg   Yamaha MT8X compatible with Portastudios?-yamaha-mt8x-head-layout.jpg   Yamaha MT8X compatible with Portastudios?-yamaha-mt8x-head-layout2.jpg  
Old 12th March 2016
  #4
RiF
Lives for gear
 
RiF's Avatar
I have a 688 (but no MT8X). If I can be of any help, just post here.
Old 19th August 2016
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort View Post
In my opinion, and assuming both images are looking at the head with the tape in front of it, it looks like they are swapped around, i.e. in the Tascam head the odd track numbers are on the left head section, whereas the Yamaha has the even tracks on the left. I believe this would result in there being an offset error if you played back a tape recorded on one machine on the other model. I'd be interested to know what you think.
Cheers,
Mort

Hi Mort,
I lost track of this thread and found it only now - wow, a good idea to check service manual of MT8X, guess it didn't occur to me (or I didn't find it).

So if the picture of MT8X head shows the same view as in 688 manual (yes, Im familiar with 688 manual and heads), then Yamaha really reversed it!
Damn, why...
Not sure if offset error is the right term, I think it would result in approx. 100ms delay between odd and even tracks if tapes would be swapped between Yam and Tascam.

Now Im almost glad that I missed good deal for MT8X...

Did you manage to get it meanwhile, and to try playing 688 tapes on it?
Old 21st August 2016
  #6
Gear Head
I just had somebody ask me to do this for them as I run a analog to digital transfer service. They have some stuff recorded on a Tascam 688 and I only have the Yamaha MT8X.

I'm thinking that you would be able to still play a tape recorded on a 688 (or 488, 238) and play it on a Yamaha MT8X and track 1 would come out of track 2. For purposes of digitizing it would probably be fine no? Even if there's a 100ms delay I can just nudge them over.
Old 9th September 2016
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Level Anything View Post
I just had somebody ask me to do this for them as I run a analog to digital transfer service. They have some stuff recorded on a Tascam 688 and I only have the Yamaha MT8X.

I'm thinking that you would be able to still play a tape recorded on a 688 (or 488, 238) and play it on a Yamaha MT8X and track 1 would come out of track 2. For purposes of digitizing it would probably be fine no? Even if there's a 100ms delay I can just nudge them over.

Yes, I'm pretty sure you can digitize tracks 4 by 4 (no need to do it one by one). Later you can nudge them in software.

But please do report here after you try to play Tascam's tracks on Yamaha! It would be great to have first hand confirmation of conclusion we figured earlier on this thread.
Old 9th September 2016
  #8
The only problem I forsee is if there's bleed on the tape.
Old 13th September 2016
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by donsolo View Post
The only problem I forsee is if there's bleed on the tape.
Possibly. Though I haven't notice it much when exchanging tapes between different machines... even when playing 4-track recorded cassettes on 8-track machines, which normally one shouldn't do. There are other issues, but not that much bleed.

I guess bleed is rarely an issue with cassettes, because width of bleed area on the next/ adjacent track would be so ultra-mega-thin.
Old 13th September 2016
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by analog greg View Post
even when playing 4-track recorded cassettes on 8-track machines, which normally one shouldn't do.
I don't see a problem with doing this at all. Why shouldn't one do this?
Old 13th September 2016
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by donsolo View Post
I don't see a problem with doing this at all. Why shouldn't one do this?

well obviously, tracks are wider and placed slightly differently with 4 track, so its like - you're looking for trouble playing it in 8 track machine.

And there are different issues in fact (like half of the tracks are 100ms apart from other half... some tracks come back into 2 channels.. you probably loose some frequencies, possible bleed etc.), but yes - can be done if really needed.
Old 28th May 2019
  #12
Here for the gear
 

Question: If the heads of the Tascam are reversed in relation to the Yamaha, couldn't you flip a Tascam tape over and transfer it in reverse with the Yamaha (or vice versa), then reverse the transferred audio?
Old 8th June 2019
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by esroberto View Post
Question: If the heads of the Tascam are reversed in relation to the Yamaha, couldn't you flip a Tascam tape over and transfer it in reverse with the Yamaha (or vice versa), then reverse the transferred audio?

yes, you could try that.
maybe it would work, though i personally never tried to deal with transferred solo tracks. it can get fiddly, because tape time can slightly vary every time you run it. (i mostly run the whole mix from the tape.)

however, some year or two after discussion on this thread, i found some bit of info confirming that the tracks should be the same odd/even order on both yamaha /tascam, after all. but since then my hard drive broke down, so i should search for that information again...
(my tapes are still doing fine, heh )

another thing that happened over that time, is mt8x started to climb in price.. so i lost interest to get one and check it myself. they were dirt cheap some years ago. i can hardly explain yamahas become sought after or something, considering freq response at only 16khz (if condition is good), lower than tascams...
Old 10th June 2019
  #14
Lives for gear
 
mutetourettes's Avatar
 

seeing as this thread got revived, just a headsup that in my general 8-track cassette info thread @ Level Anything said that MT8X tapes played back fine on a tascam 688

the price rises are indeed mental and ongoing... will be holding on to my machines and treating them like jewelry...
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump