Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Newest Acquisition

 This guy:

 Should be here later this week. It's another TEAC, an A-4300SX, and is ten years newer than the one I picked up last month. "If I Woulda Known..." last month what I know now about TEAC tape machines, I most likely would have passed on the A-4010SU I bought, and gone right to this one. The mechanical bits are 90% the same, as it's still a TEAC "A-4xxx Series" machine, but it has significantly updated electronics, and better heads. It also has switches to adjust the Recording Bias, and Playback Equalization, allowing the use of newer formulation tapes, like the "Type @ Low Noise" tapes, and the "Type 3 High Output" tapes, sold as "LN", and "UD" from companies like Maxell. All I used before on my big Sony deck was Maxell tape, and it was significantly better than the Type 1 tape. "Type 1" tapes are the reddish-brown tapes, and "Type 2" and "Type 3" tapes are almost always the dark grey colored tape, owing to the use of a different oxide coating.

And speaking of heads, they heads on this one look to be in excellent condition:


While my A-4010 shows definite signs of wear. They don't have any grooves in them, but show a definite wear pattern:

But way better than this one (photo courtesy of OakTreeVintage.com):

Now THAT'S a "groovey" tape head! I've seen machines advertised on eBay where the seller says "Plays and records fine, and sounds GREAT!", and then shows a picture of the heads worn this bad.


Anyway.....In the last month I've brought myself up-to-speed on the current state of analog magnetic recording, and found a great website with loads of information on the TEAC product line, complete with specifications, and reviews. They also cover every tape machine I've heard of, and a lot more I didn't know existed, or were too specialized/expensive for me back in the day. Eventually I want to "work my way up" to a TEAC 6000 series or 7000 series, but they're out of my budget range for now.


  1. My admiration (and yes, envy) for your purchase continues to grow. I loved having access to reel-to-reel machines back in the day. Your pics & story has rekindled that longing. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Rev Paul. The one I bought last month has a very interesting history, but it's not what I wanted, because I didn't know the TEAC product line at the time.
      Now that it's 100% functional, and considering it's in such great cosmetic condition, I doubt I'll lose money on it.

  2. Replies
    1. The one on the way looks to be in excellent condition, but it's eBay....what can I say?

      Can't wait until it gets here so I can tear into it!

  3. Back in the day as an avionics tech, working on Cockpit Voice Recorders...
    All digital now, then they were glorified armored 8-track style tape reels.
    We would get them in, for ones that failed frequency response we would pull the head.
    Glass plate, squirt alcohol on a strip of micron lapping sandpaper.
    Polish, clean, re-install, test. Almost always worked.
    This was manufacturer approved, I went to factory school.
    You've got nothing to lose.

    1. I've seen it done, but I've never done it. I'm not going to do anything to the 4010 deck, as it "Meets Specs". The heads show a wear pattern, but they're still OK.

  4. I'm glad you can enjoy it, and thanks for helping my friend out!

    1. N/P! He's a cool guy, and we're corresponding a bit.

  5. Dr., I am seriously impressed!

    1. I've never owned a "good" stereo system before. As much as I love listening to music, that was something I had to take care of. The garage has my old Home Theater receiver and some cheap speakers, and now the "Electronics/Model Car Workshop" (or as The Little Guy calls it, the "Engine Room") has a nice system. I just wish I would have researched TEAC machines before I bought the 4010. It first came out in 1962, and a LOT of improvements in both the machines and the tape happened after it was designed and released.

      Listening to an old portable radio down there got really irksome.


Keep it civil, please....

Thunder in October?

 I know Well Seasoned Fool has been snowed on all 12 months of the year here, but I'm not sure if I've heard thunder here in Octob...