* TASCAM 42,42B,44,38 *

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Do it yourself Reel to reel for sale.

to my collection of Tascam reel to reel decks.

Many have been asking questions, so I wanted to share some information about these models 32, 38, 42, 42B and 44.

I call them the " big boys " when talking about reel to reel decks.

Most of these models was used for studio or broadcasting.

They are very dependable and built for harder tougher use then regular decks.

First some background story behind the 42-NB.

Was used at a Radio Station in Atlanta, but probably got retired when the digital came in and put this classic in the closet.

The story I was told before buying it, the manager at the Radio Station saved it and gave it to his son, but it had some problems and he decided to sell it.

I was afraid it would be damaged in the shipping process, but made it to Texas in one piece.

Everything was intact but found alot of dust inside the machine, also the tension-rollers was stuck and did not turn properly.

Travelpath was so dirty so Rewind did not work when half of the tape was on the left reel.. But after a good cleaning and service it came back to life again without any other problems.

Some razorblade cut from the mounted splicingblock underneath the headcover, and a broken hinge was the only cosmetic damage

Everything else was in order. Heads are still in very good condition.

I think just neglect with the service was the cause for finally take stop using it, or the digital sound replaced this great deck.

It has the sweetest sound with rich bass and perfect highs. Because it is a 2-track machine the tape can only be used on one side, when using 15 speed the tape will disappear very fast.. but of course the quality of the recording is great.

This is the second 42 I have, with brackets for rack mount.

Some cuts from razorblades but nothing major on this deck.

*Specs for Tascam 42-NB* Made 1984. Price new: $3900.

  • Reel size: 5,7 or 10-1/2 with Hub-adaptor.

  • Tape speed: 7 1/2 or 15.

  • Speed accuracy: +-0,2% deviation

  • Pitch Control: +-12%

  • Fast wind time: 120 seconds for 10 inch reel,2400 feet

  • Spooling wind time:400 seconds for 10 inch reel,2400 feet

  • Tape drive system: Direct drive 3 motors.

  • 3 heads: erase/record/reproduce x 2.

  • Tape Cue: Manual and automatic (RTZ and STC)

  • Motion sensing: 0,5 sec.+-0,15 sec.delay time stop for next motion, tension servo system.

  • Mounting: Standard 19 inch rack.

  • Remote control: Basic transport function (RC-71) plus 10-point location (AQ-65)

  • Dimensions: 17 Wide.197/8 Tall.10 3/4 Deep.

  • Weight: 71 lbs.

  • 2 microphone Input XLR connection

  • Output L+R XLR connection or RCA.

  • Connection for DBX unit (Tascam DX-2D)

  • Punch In/Out Remote connector.

  • Headphonejack facepanel.Output 100 milliwatts into 8 ohm stereo headphones.Adjustable volume

  • Bias Frequency: 150khz.

  • Frequency response Record /Reproduce: 15 ips: 30 hz-22khz,+-2db at 0 VU.
  • 30hz-24khz,+-2db at-10 VU.
  • 7 1/2 ips: 30 hz-16khz,+-2db at 0 VU.
  • 30 hz-20khz,+-db at 10 VU.
  • Sync/reproduce: 15 ips > 30 hz-22khz,+-2db.
  • 7-1/2 ips > 30hz-18khz,+-2db.

    A video sample of 42NB in action.


  • Reel switch: When large reels (10inch) are used greater motor torque is required at start.This switch (Small or Large) sets the proper tape tension and motor torque for the hub size of the reels being used.
  • Output select switches:
  • Input: Selects the input to the track.
  • Sync: Selects the record/Sync head signal for synchronous reproduction, or the input signal, depending on the setting of the track's function switch (CH1 and/or2). This setting is the one most often used during production.
  • Repro: Selects signal from the repro head. Used during alignment,and can be used for mixdown.
  • Edit Pushbutton: The EDIT button has no effect unless pressed when the machine is in stop mode.The EDIT LED turns on to indicate the unit is on edit mode. If EDIT is pressed when tape is stopped, the reel motor brakes are disengaged, and a small proportinal amount of backtension is held by each reel motor so that the reels may be moved easly by hand for editing purposes, yet slack will be eliminated.
  • EDIT and PLAY (>) are pressed at the same time, the transport enters dump edit mode. The capstan and pinchroller pull tape past the heads at the set speed (15 or 7-1/2) or at the adjusted PITCH control,allowing you to listen to playback for a particular edit point.However the take-up reel does not turn, allowing the tape to spill off the machine until the edit point is reached (the takeup tensionarm is ignored, by the shut-off sensing logic)

    Upon reaching the desired point, pressing the STOP buttonstops the tape and cancel the edit mode.

  • EDIT LED: This indicate when the deck is in Edit mode.
  • REW: Pressing this button selects the rewind mode, which maybe entered from any other mode. Pressing it a second time after the machine is placed in rewind mode causes the tape to slow down to a spooling mode. Spooling is used for a rapid yet extremely uniform, tight tape pack. The third pressing of this button return the machine to rewind mode.The tape speeds for rewind are: 240 ips and for spooling 80 ips.
  • Spooling LED (green) When Rew or Forward is pressed twice this LED comes on.
  • CUE pushbutton: This make the 42 remember the precise of the tape counter at the moment CUE is pressed, and will return to the exact point when STC is pressed. Until a "cue" is entered the machine will assume a 00.00 cue point. Whatever cue point had been memorized remains valid until a new cue is established by again pressing the CUE button.
  • RTZ button: Pressing this activates the return-to zero function which causes the transport to fast rewind to 00.00 on the tape counter. Believe me, it is very accurate..
  • Digital Counter Display:The counter displays the used time of the tape, as wound from the initial "00.00" point. The counter measures linear tape footage, then computes the used time based on the tape speed (15 or 7-1/2)Even if the tape is rewinded on high speed to a cue point, the counter will indicate the correct running time. The maximum time displayed is 99 minutes,59 seconds,in either direction.
  • Ceramic Capstan shaft: For magnetizization -free, extended service life the capstan shaft is coated with ceramic. Very easy to clean.

    Backpanel with XLR connections or RCA + Remote control, DBX connections + Punch in/out.

    Here are the first pictures after taking it apart.

    The heads are still very good even if these was made 1984.

    Solenoid operated brakes stop the tape very fast, but needed adjustment.You can also see the 2 solenoid operated tape-lifters, that pushes away the tape from the heads when transport controls are in Forward or Rewind mode.

    Tension arm with END sensor detects and controls the tape tension through either the left or right tension assemblies. These include a LED and a photointereptur with a light shield placed in between.

    Also both reeltables was out of alignment and had to be adjusted again for the right height.

    Bottom of the faceplate.

    Inside with the backpanel off.

    It's very easy to work on, you can take each board out after disconnecting the wires.

    Backplate folds down to service inside.

    Headstack 42 NB after it's cleaned and serviced.

    * Tascam 44 OB Made 1984 *

    This deck was found in Arizona and the background is unknown where it was used before.

    Studio or broadcasting is my best guess.

    Was also in good condition, needed one VU meter light and a good cleaning. I paid alot of money for this unit, but don't regret it after the service was finished and started using it.

    Works perfect and the recording this machine can do is excellent.

    My best advice if you find one of these, buy it !

    They are great, but hard to find parts for, so look carefully what kind of condition the deck are in before spending a fortune.

    A four-track instead for the 42, so I use it for playing regular 7 inch reels also. You can change each track with adjustable output signal, and also record on which track you want to use.

    I use it with the small mixer from Teac (pictures below) mostly for master recordings, live or cleaning up old recordings with this deck.

    Have almost same sound like the Tascam 42, but other specifications.

    Specifications Tascam 44-OB.

  • Fast Wind time: 120 seconds for 10-1/2 reel,2400 feet.

  • Spooling Wind time: 370 seconds for 10-1/2 reel.

  • Start time: Less than 0,8 seconds to reach standard Wow and Flutter.

  • Capstan motor: PLL(Phase Lock-Loop),DC,Direct Drive Capstan Motor.

  • Dimensions: 17 Wide, 19 7/8 Tall, 12-7/16 Deep.

  • Weight: 74-15/16 lbs.

  • Frequency response:

    Record/Reproduce: 15 ips: 40hz-20khz,+-3 db at 0 VU

  • 40hz-22khz,+-2db at -10 VU.

  • 7-1/2 ips: 40hz-16khz,+-2db at 0 VU.

  • 40 hz-20khz,+-2db at -10 VU

  • Sync/Reproduce: 15 ips: 40hz-22khz,+-2db

  • 7-1/2 ips:40hz-20khz,+-2db

  • Total Harmonic Distortion: 0,8% at 0 VU,1000hz,250 nWb/m.

  • 3% at 13db above 0 VU,1000hz,1,120 nWb/m.

  • Signal to noise ratio:

  • Reference 3% THD at 1 khz: 15 ips, 69 dbA weighted(NAB),62 db unweighted (0-100khz).

  • 7-1/2 ips: 67db A weighted(NAB), 60db unweighted (0-100khz)

  • 107 db A unweighted with DBX.

  • Bias frequency: 150 khz.

  • Headroom Recording amplifier: Better than 28 db above 0 VU at 1000hz.

  • Connectors:

  • Line Inputs and Outputs: XLR type connectors & RCA jacks.

  • Remote control unit: Multi-pin type connector.

    RC-71 Remote Control.

  • Accessory connection:

  • DBX* unit = Multi-pin type connector (Tascam DX-4D dbx noise reduction)

  • Punch in/out remote connection: Phonejack 1/4 inch.(RC-30P)

    An accessory remote pedal that will allow you to start recording with a foot switch. this is extremely useful to the musician who have both hands on his instrument at the exact moment of the punch in.

    The foot switch will not start the transport, you must do that, but it will start and stop recording.

  • Another look at the Sync functions using this deck:

    Since the the sync mode allows recording of new signals with previously recorded tracks, it serves to perform overdubbing as well normal recording.

    When the machine is in sync mode, you can monitor the earlier recorded tracks via playback trough the record/sync head while, at the same time, your new part is being added on another track (or tracks) of the same head.

    For example: Load a tape on which three tracks are already recorded, and the remaining one track is blank.

    In sync mode the three existing tracks are played back, mixed at the Teac mixer, and fed to the headphones.

    I can monitor that mixed signal from the three tracks while recording a new signal on the blank track left.

    Here are all 4 tracks playing at the same time.

    The 44 is an exceptionally versatile high performance 4-track, 4-channel recorder that uses 1/4 wide tape tape.

    The head configuration consists of an erase head and two record/reproduce heads, one is which is used for recording and sync playback, and the other for playback only.

    This is an advantage primarily during alignment, since sync response is equal to repro response.

    Designed for demanding production applications, including lock-up to SMPTE* controller/Synchronizers, the 44 transport is built on a heavy duty chassie, that ensure stable tape motion and stable alignment ,despite the long hours of use on high speed, start-stop shuttling that are part of editing.

    Tape motion is fast and smooth,and accurate thanks to the built in micro-processor which commands two direct drive reel motors under full tension servo-control and a single PLL-servo capstan motor.

  • The tachometer roller measures the linear tape footage, although the readout is converted to elapsed time from whatever zero point is entered.

    As the tape moves, it turns the roller shaft causing a radially marked disk on the roller shaft to interrupt a photo sensor, which drives the digital counter circuitry.

    A thin rubber coating on the tachroller avoids tape slippage, and also protects the surface of the tape.

    Access to the heads for cleaning or editing is provided by a flip-up head access cover , and a flipdown mirror type head shield.

    The assembly has three heads: erase,record/sync and repro and two fixed guides.

    The record/sync head and repro head are inter-changeable, and adjustable for easy installation or removal.

    While either head is thus capable of recording, only the record/sync head is used for that purpose. However either head will provide the same high-quality reproduction for playback.

    A solenoid actuated tape lifter pushes the tape away from the heads during any of the winding modes.This prevents unnecessary wear on the heads or and tape, and avoids the disturbing loud, high frequency sound that could otherwise destroy your speakers.

    Finally after refurbish the 44, I decided to use it in my daily system here with Teac MB-20 meterbridge hooked up, and Teac's 2-A mixer.

    Also an "Oldie" but works great for my purpose. After feeding the source thru the Sound Craftsmen EQ it goes in to the Teac Noise reduction AN-80 for using Dolby, then from there in to the Teac mixer for the final adjustment on the sound before recording to the Tascam 44 with Tascam DBX connected.

    All tracks can be used or just record as a regular 4-track deck on track 1 and 3 or 2 and 4. Because it has the great analog punch, the sound is very smooth with big bass and perfect highs.

    Soundcraftsmen Analyzer/Equalizer AE-2420-R

    Equalizer Section:

  • Harmonic distortion:less than .01% at 2V.

  • IM Distortion: Less than .01% at 2V.

  • Signal-to-noise=105db at 10V output.

  • 100 db at 2Voutput.

  • Octave controls: +16db boost or cut-each octave(set at max)

  • +-12 db or cut-each octave (set at zero)

  • Zero Gain Controls: 18 db range.

  • Filter type: Op-Amp synthesized indicators.

    Teac AN-80 Dolby unit

    Tascam 133 Cassette-deck + Carver Amp.

    Teac MB-20 Meterbridge.

    This bridge allow you to individual monitoring of line level signals with the four meters, it can also function as a simple mixer for mixdown of four channels of inputs, or a seperate tape input, into a two channel output.

    Teac Model-2A Audio mixer, made:1978

    This mixer is a 6 input and 4 output mixer.

    Each input channel has seperate input selectors, tone controls, channel assign selectors with pan, and input faders.

    There is also a MASTER output fader control that controls the final output to the Tascam 44.

    Tascam 38

  • Tascam 42B