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Reel To Reel All discussions pertaining to reel to reel decks. These include general usage, recording, playback, and service questions. For subjects related to tape itself, see the Open Reel subforum under this one. Obscure service subjects that don't quite fit go in the Help and Do It Yourself subforum.

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Old 01-14-2014, 04:05 PM
ReelGood ReelGood is offline
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TEAC A-4300SX Output Level Maxed

Is it normal to have to set the output level to the maximum to have the volume be comparable to other components connected to the receiver? I am playing back commercial recordings from the 60's - 70's.


edit: This is my first reel to reel that I took delivery of today. Still learning what is normal/expected from these machines.

Last edited by ReelGood; 01-14-2014 at 04:07 PM.
Old 01-15-2014, 01:51 AM
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Copyhat Copyhat is offline
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It's quite normal that the output level needs to be maxed to match other components in the system - that will also assure that the noise level stays as low aa possible.
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:40 AM
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deromax deromax is offline
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Decks can have their "nominal output" at different volume knob position. For some it's at 7 out of 10, some are at the 3 o'clock position, other it's at maximum. The few pre-recorded tapes I listened are recorded at conservative levels, so that may be correct to have the level maxed out on playback.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:51 AM
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jan_stevns jan_stevns is offline
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Originally Posted by deromax View Post
Decks can have their "nominal output" at different volume knob position.
Yep - Problem is new devices are "louder" - they are outputting higher levels than tapecorders usually do
Old 01-15-2014, 01:02 PM
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Skywavebe Skywavebe is offline
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Location: Bensenville, IL
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The Teac decks have some different outputs at specified output level for different models. Some models put out 0 dBu and others -5 dBu and then others -10 dBu. In any case, any of these should be usable with regular Hi Fi equipment. If you are playing a tape made at 150nWb/M flux density to avoid saturation then you will have to turn the output up. If you are playing a tape with 185 to 200 nWb/M flux density it should be playing back near 0 Vu depending on how it was recorded.
It also depends on how your deck was calibrated. There are people on E bay selling serviced decks who use receiver meters and graphic equalizers as their test equipment. They don't even use test tapes.
These decks are more likely to be out of calibration than if they would have left them alone. So this is also a possibility as to your level problem.
I get machines in all the time that certainly show that some person was in adjusting the deck with abstract means and they are all far off the mark.
Best regards,

Sam Palermo, BSEE , ProSquad Member
Skywave Tape Deck Repair- Chicago area
(630)616-0932 Office/ Email skywavebe@sbcglobal.net
Past Teac/Tascam Lead Service Technician at Chicago Factory Service, Sony too still doing repairs.
Old 01-15-2014, 01:09 PM
jblmar jblmar is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Brooklyn New York
Posts: 92
Following the Service Manual, the specified level is set at the 2 o'clock position. It would be a good idea to download the SM and check the deck accordingly. Record a tape and play it back. A prerecorded commercial tape is an inaccurate indication of your decks performance.

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