Well i have certainly had a full weekend off music, yesterday it was the new naim 300 turn, and today we go back 42 year’s, and see how a reel 2 reel stands up in my home system.
First off lets have a picture off this lovely bit off kit
This machine is one off many that my very good friend Vic owns, he loves all things tape, plus he likes to fix them up, and at one point had over 50 tape decks, yes he is as mad as they get.
This particular Philips N4520 machine has 3 speeds, 9.5, 19, and 38 cm/s you can also adjust the bias on the front, this turned out to be very interesting as most can only be adjusted from inside the machine.
So the purpose off all this was, mainly to see if it could record as good as the source. My own Sony elcaset El7 can not match my source, as it just loses the top end sparkle, and puts extra weight on the bottom end. It still does a good job but it’s pointless recording on it as streaming just sounds better.
Getting back to the reel 2 reel.
I picked a good detailed track, and off we went. At first we used a slow speed, and this gave very much the same results i get with my elcaset, you could use the bias to try and lift the top end, but it couldn’t match the vivaldi.
So next we upped the speed to the 19 cm/s this gave a much bettet result, the top end was getting closer, and the bottom end not quite as heavy as before, still not quite there but very close, and certainly good enough for most occasions.
But to really match the source it needed to be at maximum speed. This was certainly the point where we looked at each other, and said i can’t hear anything different, when we switched from tape to source ( as in listening to what’s just been recorded on the tape, to what’s going in. As you can switch it over when recording to listen live, just like any 3 head tape deck)
The only problem being this then makes it about a 30 minute a side tape, and that’s getting expensive as far as each track goes.
But it did highlight a few things.
1, tape can still do it even these days.
2, you need good machine that’s set up correctly and in very good health to even start to get the results.
3, you will need deap pockets to run one in tape alone, as it really needed to be on the fastest speed to match.
4, it looks lovely when working.
It would have been nice to try a master copy recording against me just streaming the same music from my dCS kit, but that is for another day i guess.
Also we are next going to try his 2 track machine and see how that goes as this one was a 4 track, so this uses less tape, and so the 2 track should bring more at slower speeds, and more at higher speeds, but lets see.
Anyway it was lovely to finally try a decent working reel 2 reel in my system. Not sure it’s worth it but at the same time it would be rather nice to have for when you feel like it. But it looks like it’s an even bigger rabbit hole than vinyl, and streaming put together, and i feel it’s one that can go wrong very quickly.
Anyway hope you enjoyed this, and i hope to add more reel 2 reel stuff to it as things happen.
For now i have it, and Vic wants me to record some music on it from my dCS, as he was blown away with how it sounded, and wants to hear what it will sojnd like on his system recorded from mine.