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Re: [ARSCLIST] PreRecorded Tape Duplicators

Tom Fine wrote:

They made a nice "wow, this is stereo" demo tape for that machine that featured some of RCA's earliest stereo material. Their later demo tape, for the A series machines, included material from RCA, Concertapes, Livingston and Omegatapes. That demo tape was also done in quarter-track to accompany the later 1200 series machines. The A, 900 and 1200 machines were all the same belt-drive transports. The later F series was a varient with some improvements. The audio quality was actually very good on those machines (quality Ampex heads, tube electronics similar to the 351 circuits and using Telefunken and Mullard tubes, even decent quality microphone preamps minus transformer-balanced inputs), but the transports were awful -- even in their day, despite golden- tinged memories to the contrary. The pro/broadcast 600 series portable decks had _slightly_ better transports but still wow/ flutter-prone belt drives. Even back when these machines were new, people who wanted and made high-quality music recordings used the heavy duty but not-so-portable 300 and 350 type machines with their heavy-duty transports.

As a matter of fact I have a F-4460 (the suitcase version without speakers or amp). I've done my best to minimize the wow and flutter while still maintaining it's vintage sound. When I open it up I sometimes wonder what modern designers would've said if they were presented with the task of making a consumer version of a 351 which is compact, almost never needs adjustment and oh yeah, do it with one motor!

Regarding demo tapes, I'm not much of a fan of them but I do have one that I can't resist playing for the uninitiated. It's the 1/2 track RCA "Bob and Ray Throw a Stereo Spectacular (1958). Pretty timeless humor.

Steve Koto

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