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Reel to reel & mixer for "lofi"
Old 4 weeks ago
  #31
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinball View Post
I didn't mean to come off as harsh as I was about the 388. I just feel like I was in your position, I wanted something 'lo-fi' with an analog vibe. The 388 is awesome because it's all in one unit. You need nothing else but some mics and cables. If you can get a fully functioning 388 for a 1000$-1200$ these days, then you are doing all right. Last I checked on Ebay and Reverb - I was seeing units gong for 2000$-2500$. I don't know if anyone is buying them at that price, but this is why I feel the 388 is way overrated.

I scavenged two machines off Craigslist in central Florida for 500$. Spent another 350$ on tape, parts and labor getting one fully functioning unit. I have a good friend that is a tech. I used it for a year and sold it locally for a 1000$. I guess I should have waited seeing the prices these days!

The pres do not have a lot of definition. They sound 'mushy' to me. They are serviceable, but I think you'd be way better off with a small Allen and Heath, Audient, even a Mackie mixer in regards to mic pres.

I do enjoy the treble band EQ on the 388. Very pleasant, and not as harsh as most small, affordable mixers these days. My other favorite aspect of the 388 is the sound of the mix bus! It has a heavy power transformer inside of it and there is tons of 'color' when you just run program material through it. I loved just playing music through it for the mellow coloration.

The quality of 8 track 1/4 inch is pretty poor. Even when my tape machine was well aligned and using fresh tape, I did not find the 388 to sound that great, other than for vocals and ac guitar. It really flubs out if you hit it hard with transient material, and low end reproduction leaves a lot to be desired. (meaning there is none). Good luck with bass instruments. If you hear 'full' frequency sounding productions from something tracked on a 388, then I would dare bet it was enhanced with outboard gear or computer mixing.

This is why I recommned getting a cheap modern mixing board with a better quality tape machine. As has been expressed upthread, I would recommend 1/2 inch 8 track. It's not too hi-fi and some of the machines produce good low end and have that analog juicy vibe that you are looking for. Look for Tascams, Fostex...there are a ton of pro-sumer machines from that era.

And lastly, have a good tech at hand that can get you up and running. Once they work, they tend to work for a long time with little maintenance, as long as you are using them frequently.

Good luck!
I know someone is buying 388s for a lot...I’ve sold two for $1500 each with no difficulty, and I’ve gotten unsolicited offers on the machines i still have right in that ballpark, and I’m not in LA or anything...

Funny I think the 388 does something amazing to bass. But to each their own.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #32
Lives for gear
 
robert82's Avatar
I think you could get close to the sound of the Emitt Rhodes album using the 3340 at 15 ips and bouncing tracks several times. Call it "high-quality degradation".

EDIT I just was looking on ebay, there's dozens of nice Teac/Tascam machines for around $700 to $1000. Jeez. I had one in 1979, and now you have me thinking about revisiting my past . . .

Last edited by robert82; 4 weeks ago at 11:48 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #33
Quote:
Originally Posted by dedheshna View Post
what do you mean? are you saying 4 tracks will be 1/2'' tape? most of the 4 tracks i look at are typically 1/4''.



i checked this one out but it's 1/2'' anyway. the tape would probably be pricier and not sound the same way.

i'd consider a Fostex R8 or a Fostex M80 but i believe those only run at 15 ips :(



i would love a 388 and i would purchase one at around $600 but that price tag is in the past. it seems i'm lucky to find one at $1,000 these days.

i might pair an AKAI 1710W with a cheap Tascam mixer, like a Tascam M-06. would that be able to achieve something similar to a 388? the thought sounds kind of freaky to me, ha.

also, do you think the 388 being 8 track influences the sound greatly? cause i'm not sure i would need that many tracks.
I'm rather certain virtually all of those records you have in mind was done using 15 or even 30 IPS. 7.5 aint a pro format.

The Fostex machines are fairly nice. And don't overestimate tubes. They were less used in studio gear in the late 60s than many seem to think.

Get the best working machine you can find, nail the workflow with bouncing, submixing, and so on, find nice mics and mix down to a decent machine at 15 IPS. Aim for the best quality you can get along the way. That's the closest you can get with in your budget. Been there, done that and still rolling tape many hours a week.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #34
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight View Post
I know someone is buying 388s for a lot...I’ve sold two for $1500 each with no difficulty, and I’ve gotten unsolicited offers on the machines i still have right in that ballpark, and I’m not in LA or anything...

Funny I think the 388 does something amazing to bass. But to each their own.
lately i've been considering to just buy one for $1,500 but mostly everything i see is more than that. if i got one for $1,500 i would be able to see how i like it and if i don't then i could just resell easily and at least break even.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #35
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
I think you could get close to the sound of the Emitt Rhodes album using the 3340 at 15 ips and bouncing tracks several times. Call it "high-quality degradation".

EDIT I just was looking on ebay, there's dozens of nice Teac/Tascam machines for around $700 to $1000. Jeez. I had one in 1979, and now you have me thinking about revisiting my past . . .
that's not a bad idea.. if i get a 3340 i at least have the option to record at 7.5 ips in case i don't like the 15 ips. i like having the option for 15 ips too. that's a benefit over the 388.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #36
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WarmJetGuitar View Post
I'm rather certain virtually all of those records you have in mind was done using 15 or even 30 IPS. 7.5 aint a pro format.

The Fostex machines are fairly nice. And don't overestimate tubes. They were less used in studio gear in the late 60s than many seem to think.

Get the best working machine you can find, nail the workflow with bouncing, submixing, and so on, find nice mics and mix down to a decent machine at 15 IPS. Aim for the best quality you can get along the way. That's the closest you can get with in your budget. Been there, done that and still rolling tape many hours a week.
thanks for the info

you're probably right about tubes, ha. hm.. perhaps the tape machine plays a really small role in the sound i want then. in that case i gotta do some more research on mixers.

7.5 ips definitely isn't a pro format but i think that's why i like it so much. i LOVE the sound of Portastudios and those only run on cassettes. i'm looking for something only a few steps above that.

as for the recordings, you're probably right about some of them... the only one i can confirm was done at 15 ips was the Emitt Rhodes one but that was also done on a really old and expensive, large, machine that unfortunately isn't an option for me.
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