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Gswitz

Old four track holding tape

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We tried to use an old four track.

 

Put in the tape.

Pressed play.

Pressed stop.

Thehead doesn't retract.

Any ideas? We can't remove the tape.

Power off. Power on. Mash buttons.

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Edited by Gswitz
Hh

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Have you tried closing the top and then press play and then stop?  You might try pushing down on the cassette gently.  

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How much does double speed cassette increase fidelity?

We are down to considering a live 16 track mix to stereo cassette.

That's not likely to come out very well.

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That looks like an old MT1X.

I had one of those, and later upgraded to a MT8X which ran at double the speed.

The increase in fidelity was significant. And when you consider that it was using half as much of the tape width for each track, that's saying something.

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We considered using a vintage 90s dac when tape fell through. 😁

Back to the old standby. 

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Thanks! My friend thinks he has an old mt1x but we haven't been able to find it under the house.

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I tried out various Fostex & Tascam 4 tracks at the time, and I've got to say the Yamaha MT1X for me beat them hands down with fidelity (this was before the MT2X came out). The choice of cassette was pretty vital too - Maxell XLII's were matched the best for the Yamaha (I see you're using those too).

The guitarist I worked with would record his parts live, mixed with my sequenced drums, keyboards & bass (Alesis SR16 / Roland CM64 sequenced in Music-X on an Amiga 500) to 2 tracks. We'd then use the other 2 tracks for vocals & additional guitars.

I recorded tonnes of stuff on my MT1X that way... hardly anyone believed they were done on a 4 track with no bounces!

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The deck we were trying to get working was a MT2X. Motors were shot? I'm not sure. I'm back home now.

I brought over all my kit so we could practice mixing the band into the 4 track. So bummed when we couldn't make it go. It would have been completely awesome to make a respectable recording with a single take live onto that 4 track.

Kinda like when a math teacher makes the kids leave their calculators in their backpacks. 🙂

Edited by Gswitz

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Wow that was my first official studio recorder. I actually made a lot of money with one. But that was because it was new, and I kept it very clean, demagnetized and all that stuff. I also used only one type of tape which I guess was TDK but not chrome. Chrome tape was known to trash the heads. 

The DBX noise reduction was the big issue, It made vocals sound phazy. I certainly would not every use that again. If for some weird reason you think it will sound better forget that myth. Sure a 1/2 tape running at 15ips sounds cool, but  anything done on a cassette?? waist of time. Now A Yamaha MD8 that sounds good!  

 

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I have an MT2X that I haven't turned on in years. I'm afraid to.

What tends to go in old cassette decks is belts. They just turn to this black jelly.

Good news is that you can usually get belt kits on eBay. The only thing is that you need to either be able to install them yourself or find someone able to do so.

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I have a Fostex 250 4-track that I paid $950 bucks for way back in 1984.  The switches were always wearing out--got them replaced about 2x each.  It was non-functional (not playing the tape) for about 15 years because of a worn out drive belt.  The belt is just a frickin rubber band, rather small, but no one had the specs, so I had to wait years until some guy in UK, the only guy still making them, decided to sell to USA again.  Got some old stuff to digitize!  I actually hated those 4-tracks.

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6 hours ago, Cactus Music said:

Wow that was my first official studio recorder. I actually made a lot of money with one. But that was because it was new, and I kept it very clean, demagnetized and all that stuff. I also used only one type of tape which I guess was TDK but not chrome. Chrome tape was known to trash the heads. 

The DBX noise reduction was the big issue, It made vocals sound phazy. I certainly would not every use that again. If for some weird reason you think it will sound better forget that myth. Sure a 1/2 tape running at 15ips sounds cool, but  anything done on a cassette?? waist of time. Now A Yamaha MD8 that sounds good!  

 

I used TDK tapes almost exclusively for general usage, but yes, I got the phazy effect when I used TDKs in the both the MT1X & MT8X.

Swapping to the Maxells fixed this issue for me.

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Im more curious about where you got the Maxell XL II Cassettes.

Your problem is trivial. the tascams of this era (85-88) switched over to a gear transport retractable system.

this one I believe is belt driven transport (to start/stop the heads).

Take it apart and lube any gears (stay away from belts with lube) the check all belt wear, slippage, damage.

I own quite a few of these machines and im constantly doing work on them.

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I still have my Fostex X-15 and 160 multitracker in my basement plus my Yamaha RX 17 drum machine.

I noticed a small uptick in fidelity going to the faster 260 but don't expect anything near what CbB (or probably any other  DAW , for that matter) would give you,

It's still only 3.34 ips and still only 1/8 inch tape.  I was going to buy an MT2X back in 1988 but went with the Fostex instead.  Maybe I would've made out better with the Yammy, but I'll never know now.

EDIT-Suggestion for Forum-Vintage gear area.  Seems to be a pretty popular topic from this thread.

😀

Edited by Johnbee58
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Have a Yamaha MT100 used once to check that it worked when i got it all years ago.

Seems i like the idea of owning something more than using it.

I would have hold down the stop button and pumped the play button to losen it.

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Your lucky you got the tape out. in order to diagnose the problem the tape has to be pulled out (typically to unscrew the 2 housing screws/under the cassette). I've had to do this many time myself, however using a pocket knife is not my first tool of choice. I use a small flat head screw driver the grab ONLY near the pinch roller assembly is, this allows a rocking motion (remember the heads are still engaged). One can then use a finger to pull down the heads a bit and pop the cassette shell out.

Just my opinion of course... but the MT2X are not a great multitrack recorder. If its all you got then understandably so, but if ever investing in a multitrack recorder find something closer to the early/mid 90's where they basically ironed out every kink in the transport mechanism. Because that's where 90% of the problems are in these old tape recorder. 

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