Open Reel Wow and Flutter? It May Be The Pinch Roller!

Andrew Marshall (Audio Ideas Guide) writes .....

Here’s a story for you that befits an aging audiophile. Some months ago, I was looking for a used 1/4-track reel-to-reel recorder, and though it wasn’t a prime requirement, the capability of handling big (10 1/2″) reels was one criterion. That narrowed the field quite considerably, and after looking at a number of Akai, Otari, ReVox, Tandberg, TEAC and other recorders available, I finally found what I was looking for at a decent price, and more important, close enough geographically for pickup. This latter consideration is important when dealing with these large, heavy recorders, because they are very expensive to ship, that cost often exceeding the actual selling price, especially from US or overseas locations.

What I settled upon was a 1974-vintage Sony TC-755, from the days just before the yen and manufacturing costs rose steeply, leading to much cheaper build quality (or much higher prices) for such components. Now this situation also ultimately resulted in better manufacturing techniques that led to a quality that is today often unsurpassed, but it also marked the end of an era, and the build quality of this 70s Sony recorder was quite remarkable. It’s a dual capstan design, with a nominally closed-loop system, the capstans and pinch rollers flanking the record and play heads, with the erase head outside the loop at left. This is an excellent design for .....

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