Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The New Old

Well, I do keep looking for The Perfect Beast. I thought I had it with the ol' 414, then the 424 MK2. But the seller of this thing - a Tascam 424 MK1 - pointed out an important feature: it runs at 'Slow' (half-normal) speed. That's 15/16 ips, at which point the tape wobbles and burps like crazy. I've already used it for a couple of upcoming tracks, and I'm a bit in love with it.

Alas, the purchase wasn't an unqualified success. I paid a hefty premium to get a deck in the original box, in 'perfect working condition'. Of course, it wasn't - there were level problems going to/from tape, several scratchy channels on the mixer, and the headphone output crackles constantly. The seller (local here in MN, goes by the handle That Tascam Guy on Reverb...) communicated for a while, deflected any time I suggested there was a problem, then just went radio-silent.

What, exactly, is it about tape decks that makes people unscrupulous sellers? I haven't gotten a straight sale on a Tascam deck yet, and I always take it in the chin when I sell because I mention everything. Is it cassette decks? Or is it Tascams? Or is it just an overwrought market for 40 year-old gear?

Anyway, it's working well enough for me to do the great wobbly low-fi recordings I was hoping for. Expect some half-speed drone music coming your way shortly! (Oh, and it really looks cool on top of the Output desk!!!)


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