Saturday, January 15, 2022

Busy, But Having Fun, Learning New Stuff, and Making Progress

 Geez....it's been a week already? Well, that's what happens when I get busy doing things instead of just blogging about them....


I spent a few days this week playing with the TEAC A-4300SX deck, as it has some bias adjustments you can make depending on what type of tape you're using, and I wanted to see if I could hear a difference between recordings made using the different settings. I have four types of tape to choose from, and I spent some time evaluating them. I have fifty 7" reels of the "Type 1" tape (standard tape, standard bias) that came with the first TEAC deck I bought. This is what most people know as "Recording Tape", and has a  reddish-brown color. The "Type 2" tapes I have (low noise, standard bias) show a definite grey tint to them, and the "Type 3" tapes (low noise, high output) and "Type 4" tapes I have (high output, high bias) are a definite dark grey color, which look just like what I was using Back In The Day.

Four types of tape, and four different settings of the bias and equalization switches on the deck gave me sixteen different recorded segments to audition. And surprise, surprise, the settings recommended by TEAC for each type of tape were spot-on.

I can't tell much difference between the Type 3 and Type 4, but they're both much better sounding than the Type 1 and Type 2 tapes I have, with better high frequency response, lower noise, and a "cleaner" sound, so I'll be getting rid of the two "lower" grades of tape, and keeping the "higher" grades I have. 


I'll post again tomorrow with some pix and updates on the Heath THD analyzer. I'm finally ready to run the calibration procedure now that I have the power supply issues sorted out.

10 comments:

  1. Sheesh, I cannot even work the Kenwood in my car even after watching several YouTube videos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can't set the clock, or can't program the stations?

      Delete
    2. The clock magically reset itself. I don't listen to radio stations. I know the thing has an AUX setting. If I could find it, then I would have the struggle of making the MP 3 player work. P.S. Not asking for help, just grousing. It really comes down to no patience and numb fumble fingers.

      Delete
    3. Is this the radio in the Mighty Max?

      Delete
  2. Interesting about the different grades of tape. I was never that into tape decks although I had a Sony way back when. At that time, the amp I had was so (lo-fidelity) poor I wouldn't have been able to judge the difference between tape "grades."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh you'd notice a difference. One would just sound "better" than the other.

      One of the reasons for collecting this audio test equipment is so I can verify that the stuff I work on meets the published specs. The other is make sure I can do all the factory tests and checks to an acceptable degree of accuracy.

      I was always big into reel-to-reel recorders. I've only had two cassette decks, and one was the cassette player in my Pioneer "Super Tuner" back in the middle 1970's, and the other was an inexpensive Panasonic deck I had so I could make tapes to play in the car.

      Delete
  3. LOL that was back in the day when the engineers actually knew what they were doing, and when they put out recommendations late actually already been tested on the equipment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And their Service Manuals told what you needed to know to properly fix the gear. Signal levels, waveforms, test equipment to use, etc, etc.

      Delete
  4. Heck, I'm so old I had an 8 track recorder in my first home stereo system.

    The high bias aka chrome tape is a great improvement over the original standard bias tape. It did cause some headaches when it initially came out. The people buying tapes for use in the production room of the radio station didn't have a clue and would buy whatever they spotted first. The machines we had at the time were standard bias ONLY.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The higher grade tapes started coming out in the late 1960's to early 70's. I used Maxell on my Sony deck, and was very happy with it. Some of the tape I "auditioned" was Maxell, and it sounds great on the TEAC.

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