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Tascam 424 MKIII & 488 MKII? Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 26th August 2007
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Tascam 424 MKIII & 488 MKII?

I was thinking about purchasing either one to mess around with, since they appear on ebay constantly.

I understand the 424 has 6 line input (unbalanced) and the 488 has 8 (I think, can't seem to find the manual online).

Anyway, I was wondering if it would be ok to plug external pres into the line inputs, even though they are unbalanced? Oh and by the way are the line inputs on the 488 balanced? Thanks so much in advanced!
Old 26th August 2007
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickelz24 View Post
I was thinking about purchasing either one to mess around with, since they appear on ebay constantly.

I understand the 424 has 6 line input (unbalanced) and the 488 has 8 (I think, can't seem to find the manual online).

Anyway, I was wondering if it would be ok to plug external pres into the line inputs, even though they are unbalanced? Oh and by the way are the line inputs on the 488 balanced? Thanks so much in advanced!
Welcome to the world of small gauge multitrack. A lot of fun to be had and you still get to pay bills on time!

There is (was) an eBay auction for a 424 that has the following info..
FEATURES:
• 4 XLR mic preamps
• 6 channel strips and 1 stereo input
• 3-band EQ with sweepable mid on each channel
• 2 effect sends


The auction can be found here.
Tascam Portastudio 424 MK III 4-track analog recorder - (eBay item 290151428035 end time Aug-27-07 10:51:28 PDT)

The Tascam 488 has 8 line inputs, the inputs on channels 1-4 are also trimmable as mic inputs, and channels 1 & 2 are also supplemented with phantomable XLRs.

Another difference in the 424 and 488, and the 4 vs 8 track cassettes in general, is that the 4 trackers can operate at 1 7/8 or 3 3/4 ips, while the 8 track machines run only at 3 3/4. All of these use type II CrO2 tape.
You wouldn't want to record on dollar store tape anyway.

Running a balanced output device (guzouta) into an unbalanced input (cominzita) depends on the circuit of the guzouta. If it is a transformer, there probably shouldn't be too much trouble just so long as you consider how the transformer is wired. Some active output circuits are "active differential" and must have BOTH their signal outputs qualify to ground through something. My favorite trick here in plugging a balanced guzouta into an unbalanced cominzita involves tying noninverting out to input, and ground to ground. The inverting line gets a resistor to ground, value equal to the load the noninverting line sees.
On the subject of the 488 having balanced vs unbalanced input, I have to answer that one with an qualified "I don't know". I do know that checking the service manual for the 688 reveals the line inputs for THAT machine are unbalanced. I also use external preamps and other processing before the signal hits the machine.
Maybe in another post I'll relate the story of the machine I finally went with (though you may have guessed it by now), and why. Till then, the main point is to have fun with it.thumbsup
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