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Vintage Tape (Audio), Cassette, Wire and Magnetic Disc Recorders and Players Open-reel tape recorders, cassette recorders, 8-track players etc.

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Old 19th Mar 2017, 9:26 pm   #1
HammyHamster
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Default Reel to Reel Compatability

Hi - Completely new to this site so apologies in advance for any posting issues.

Does anyone know if the BSR Westminster 4-track is an equivalent to the Dansette Consort 4 - Visually they look the same.

Also are there any other makes that match the Dansette ?

I have a few reels recorded on the Consort 4 & want them transferred to CD but don't have any machine - It seems that the Consort 4 is a little rarer than I thought even though they were mass produced.

Any help / advice appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 19th Mar 2017, 10:05 pm   #2
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Reel to Reel Compatability

They both probably use the BSR TD2 deck, but you can use any 4 track recorder which will run at the right speed (3.75 ips). If you only have a few tapes to digitize then you may be better paying someone else to do it.

Westminster was a brand, sold by Currys. The BSR branding relates to the tape deck, not the whole recorder. Most British domestic recorders of the 60s had BSR decks, either the TD2 (single speed) or the TD10 (three speed).

Radiomuseum.org have an entry for the Consort: http://www.radiomuseum.org/r/dansette_consort_4.html
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Old 19th Mar 2017, 10:35 pm   #3
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Default Re: Reel to Reel Compatability

Quote:
Westminster was a brand, sold by Currys.
Before that Stones Radio & TV sold the Westminster brand, later Currys bought the Stones groups out......sorry to split hairs.
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Old 20th Mar 2017, 12:30 pm   #4
Edward Huggins
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Default Re: Reel to Reel Compatability

Sometimes there can be an alignment problem if played back on a machine it was not recorded on. It might be easier, better and cheaper for you to have the transfer made by a professional company rather than hunt around for a working tape player with a TD2 deck in it. A Transfer company might even be able to optimise the azimuth to get the best response possible. However, if you want to get a reel-to-reel for yourself then Welcome, you've come to the right place for help!
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Old 20th Mar 2017, 5:27 pm   #5
John Caswell
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Default Re: Reel to Reel Compatability

There is absolutely no reason why a tape recorded on one machine should not playback perfectly well on another, provided - The speed is the same, eg 3.75ips or 7.5ips and the track format is the same ie 2 track or 4 track. between both machines
There is always a possibility that the record/play head azimuth might be different between machines, but you will get sound, possibly slightly lacking in high frequencies.

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Old 20th Mar 2017, 10:35 pm   #6
Phil G4SPZ
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Default Re: Reel to Reel Compatability

There are several companies offering to transcribe old tape recordings to digital formats, at prices starting at 6.99 an hour. Knowing from personal experience the amount of time and care that the process takes, I think this is very reasonable. Search 'tape to CD' for options.
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Old 20th Mar 2017, 11:09 pm   #7
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Default Re: Reel to Reel Compatability

See also the sticky thread on 'transferring tape to PC'.
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 3:14 pm   #8
whyperion
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Default Re: Reel to Reel Compatability

I realise I have a BSR TD2 deck in a home made case, it has no amplifier, I presume I can run the mono output to just about any amp 'gram' or 'ext' input ? Is there a (BSR) 4 track 3 speed deck that would fit in the same physical space ?
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 3:19 pm   #9
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Reel to Reel Compatability

Do you mean it has no electronics at all? The bare tape head has an output broadly similar to a mic or moving magnet cartridge, so will need a preamp to feed into a gram input. The preamp needs to apply equalisation too.

The 3 speed BSR TD10 is bigger than the TD2 (it takes 7" spools). The TD2 can be fitted with 2 or 4 track heads, but as a budget deck it wasn't used for 4 track much.
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 6:30 pm   #10
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Default Re: Reel to Reel Compatability

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
The 3 speed BSR TD10 is bigger than the TD2 (it takes 7" spools)
That's what you would think, but actually it's the reverse.

The TD10 measures around 12 x 8 and the TD2 measures around 13 x 9 inches.
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 7:23 pm   #11
Nickthedentist
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Default Re: Reel to Reel Compatability

Fair enough, but the TD2 only accepts up to 5" spools.
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 7:32 pm   #12
whyperion
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Default Re: Reel to Reel Compatability

Paul S. Yes the box has mains power and feeds for record , erase/bias (so omitting this one can do overdubs if you are very cleaver given there is no counter!) , and playback output, it may have a pre-amp in line with the output but I am fairly certain it doesn't.
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 11:45 pm   #13
dave walsh
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Default Re: Reel to Reel Compatability

So far Paul seems to be right on all counts! Overdubs might be possible Whyperion but surely a pre-amp would help or have I missed something

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Old Yesterday, 9:33 am   #14
ricard
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Default Re: Reel to Reel Compatability

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
Do you mean it has no electronics at all? The bare tape head has an output broadly similar to a mic or moving magnet cartridge, so will need a preamp to feed into a gram input. The preamp needs to apply equalisation too.
As a matter of fact, standard tape equialization curves are not that different to the standard RIAA curve for grammophones, so connecting a bare tape head to a low level grammophone input on an amplifier will yield reasonable results as long as it's not hi-fi you're after.

(I remember doing this donkey's years ago with a four track Tandberg 8, whose currently unused track is connected to the external 'FREE HEAD' connector on the back, in order to get stereo or if it was sound-on-sound I was after).
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