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Other Tape Any analog format other than cassette or reel to reel; 8-track, Elcaset, microcassette, VHS, etc.

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  #1  
Old 04-09-2015, 06:45 AM
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Whats the worst 8 track deck ever made

jst wondering, also for dumpster divers enjoyment
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Last edited by longboarder; 04-09-2015 at 06:53 AM.
  #2  
Old 04-09-2015, 11:57 AM
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Well, as for the worst that I've come across, I'd have to say the Longines Symphonette "Constellation Mark 8" 8-track players. I have two of them and they both have the same problems. Every so often they speed up (wows) for a split second then comes back to normal speed, the head picks up the motor noise and the program numbers often go out of sync with the head position (they are even designed with a thing you pull on the bottom to re-sync the program number). They are basic players, made to have speakers connected directly to it or a pair of headphones. From what I've seen in eBay listings, I think they came with a 1/4" to RCA adapter though so you could hook it up as a deck through the headphone jack. I've tried new belts in them, opened and cleaned the twin centrifugal switches in the small DC motors and checked the power supplys but they still seem to suffer from instantaneous wow. They also hum when the motor runs, a combination of poor shielding and poor power supply construction (as new caps in a few places didn't help any). They do have a large flywheel, use a round belt, thick capstan and all metal construction which is good. They have a storage compartment in the top that holds 4 or 5 cartridges.

Here's one of them, both are identical inside and out.



I also have a little Soundesign 476 that is among the cheapest and most basic component decks I think you could get. It has a basic Tanashin 8-track transport with the skinny capstan and plastic headmount. Those basic transports aren't always bad though. If you pop a cartridge with a slightly out of round pinch roller in it, the program lights dim in and out when it plays but you don't hear it slow or speed up any. Its really the low freq response that puts the player on my list of poor 8-track players. It has a freq response of 100-8000hz. It almost reminds you of listening to an oldies station on AM radio.



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Last edited by nitroengine; 04-09-2015 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 04-09-2015, 02:54 PM
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Thank you sir for your kind contributions
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  #4  
Old 04-09-2015, 04:42 PM
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i forget what the brand was but i remember seeing an 8 track deck that had no FF ability. it looked alot like that soundesign.
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:57 PM
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  #6  
Old 04-09-2015, 09:17 PM
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I'd say the Lear Jet in my truck, it gets to shrieking after a while. but It's worn clear the hell out.........
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Old 04-09-2015, 10:59 PM
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I think the question is what are the only 20 or so decent 8 track decks. Because the rest of them are literally crap. They might play still and be somewhat reliable but it was a format that the public really did not expect much out of. There have been some interesting designs though for sure. But most of the decks, portables included, were really just mediocre at best.
  #8  
Old 01-11-2018, 03:56 PM
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I bought a couple.. Well several and selected the best akai cr-81d decks , and sold the rest , getting mine for free!the carts , too were all free i have hundreds. I use pot cleaners cut up to replace the pressure pads. I make any length loops for ''spot fx'' much cheaper than a spotmaster !!!!fiddly ... But ''its only tape ''
ALVIN UK
  #9  
Old 01-12-2018, 02:05 PM
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Basically, any cheap deck from brands like Lloyd's, Soundesign, JIL, etc... a lot of the parts of the mechanism is made of plastic that often gets brittle with age, that is if regular use didn't wear the plastic out before it got a chance to age.

Honestly though, even some of the cheapest 8 track decks will still do their job well enough if it's not heavily used, and if the plastic parts aren't cracked or broken. Even after 40 years, a lot of them need little more than a replacement belt, a lube job, an azimuth adjustment, and a head cleaning.

Besides, pretty much any audio gear from the mentioned brand names are junk.
  #10  
Old 01-12-2018, 06:09 PM
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This is a very interesting topic to bring up. As a consumer electronics repair technician, the way i look at a device is by it's build quality. I've see a lot of junk, but i also seen some well built units.
i would venture to say that anything that was made since 1976 was cheaply built, that includes all of the brand name units as well. the quality of consumer electronics coming from Asia (Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan), had diminished. the only thing that was improved was the semiconductors that were used in these devices. the mechanical parts like the transport is where the cost cutting was really apparent.

the 8 track players that were made before 1976 had better build quality, especially the tape transport. there were few moving parts & everything on the transport was made of metal. also, there were many different designs that were utilized in the transport. the preamp / amp was of a simpler design (no I.C's) & used common Bog Standard semiconductors.
the best made units however, made before 1973. especially the ones that used AC syncronous motors. These seem to last practically a lifetime
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  #11  
Old 01-12-2018, 07:52 PM
bronco bronco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert1 View Post
This is a very interesting topic to bring up. As a consumer electronics repair technician, the way i look at a device is by it's build quality. I've see a lot of junk, but i also seen some well built units.
i would venture to say that anything that was made since 1976 was cheaply built, that includes all of the brand name units as well. the quality of consumer electronics coming from Asia (Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan), had diminished. the only thing that was improved was the semiconductors that were used in these devices. the mechanical parts like the transport is where the cost cutting was really apparent.

the 8 track players that were made before 1976 had better build quality, especially the tape transport. there were few moving parts & everything on the transport was made of metal. also, there were many different designs that were utilized in the transport. the preamp / amp was of a simpler design (no I.C's) & used common Bog Standard semiconductors.
the best made units however, made before 1973. especially the ones that used AC syncronous motors. These seem to last practically a lifetime
Great description!

As an illustration of the above, my 'old' (circa 1.976) SANYO G-2915NK; it has an IC playback/record amplifier providing an excellent audio quality, but a plastic head assembly, a mechanical governor DC motor and NONE autostop system.

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