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  #1  
Old 06-14-2015, 12:56 PM
JonVietor66 JonVietor66 is offline
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output knob settings

Is there a standard placement for the output knobs during recording on a blank reel? I usually record with them being at the 3/4 mark, all the way to the right where its facing east. But maybe its better to have them exactly centered. Straight up at the halfway point.
alot of times Ill record something only to come back and see it going into the red. I try to always keep the needle barely grazing the red area. Does anyone have a certain favorite setting for the output knobs during recording?
  #2  
Old 06-14-2015, 02:15 PM
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Hi Jon, Nice to see a neighbor,(I'm in Vista.)
The output knob may or may not be used during recording, depending how you have you have things setup. Basically, If you are monitoring while you are recording, you can use it and/or your preamps/or integrated's volume control to get a good volume level. If you are not monitoring while recording, it doesn't matter. Either way, the output knob will have no influence on your recording. Just set the input knob to get a proper level using the VU meters, usually going a little into the red to keep it as hot as possible. You might also experiment a bit.
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Last edited by GeneL; 06-14-2015 at 02:18 PM.
  #3  
Old 06-14-2015, 02:46 PM
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Skywavebe Skywavebe is offline
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You do not specify brand or model and there are differences. The Pioneer RT909 has an output knob that has a click detent that I think is straight up. The Pioneer RT707 has a rear pot adjustment that is in a center click.
The Teac has a place that they call specified output level. This can be at 2 o'clock or 3 o'clock depending on the model. The importance of this is that at specified output level the monitor meters read what the input meters read provided the deck was calibrated for that tape. So if you put 1KHz in at 0 Vu and then switch the deck to tape (monitor or Repro) the meter should read 0 Vu also. There are some machines that the output meters do not change with output control and then some high end pro units that have Cal or SRT buttons to press so that the meters are right no matter what the output control is.
I use most all my machines at specified output level when recording but a lot of my work is calibration of decks and so my outputs are at specified out most all the time. They may be at Cal but it is the same thing in TEAC decks.
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  #4  
Old 06-14-2015, 04:10 PM
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I agree Sam but I find it useful to have a calibration tape handy to cheek and see how close the specified level is on my Teac's. This situation assumes the deck was calibrated at some time in the near past though.
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  #5  
Old 06-14-2015, 05:07 PM
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Sam, excuse my ignorance, I've never had a machine that the output level was setup like that, (or maybe I never noticed) in fact, I am much more used to cassettes, since my school days, (in the late 70's/early 80's.)

In my cassette experience, the output level knob was always just for the headphone amp, and didn't influence the VU meters, and the volume while monitoring the tape out while recording.

I guess that explains why on my RS-1500 the VU settings are so low compared to the input without cranking the knob almost to full.

If I understand your explanation, if everything is working properly and calibrated, the line in and output level knobs should be about the same if I switch between tape and source while recording? If so, then my deck is overdue for a calibration.
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Last edited by GeneL; 06-14-2015 at 05:14 PM.
  #6  
Old 06-14-2015, 06:21 PM
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Yes the Teac decks have a setting called "specified output" at the 2 o'clock position were the voltage output is set at .775 volts with the VU at 0 dB. This is -8dB at the output jacks. I would assume the Pioneer is close to the same. Your Technics might have a different calibration and is best to refer to a service manual.
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  #7  
Old 06-14-2015, 08:08 PM
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Thanks John, my fuzzy memory is starting to remember about the .775.

I can see from my little experiment that my deck needs calibrating, but that is not a suprise. Note to self: (when I can afford it) get a couple of pancakes, get deck calibrated.

I would like to learn how, but I suspect that the calibration tapes and a good meter would cost as much or more than having it done.
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  #8  
Old 06-14-2015, 09:43 PM
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Skywavebe Skywavebe is offline
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The knobs being set the same is not exactly how machines are set up. The output on some is full up and others are 2 o'clock or 3 o'clock. The .775 V spec has to do with dBu or dBm and the dBV is equal to 1 V. The Pioneer I did last week was -7 dBV output. All Tascam is dBV, Teac is usually dBu.

Remember that the .775 = dBu is a reference standard, it does not mean the machine puts that level out- Tascam put out -10dBV with RCA and +4 dBu with XLR.

Cassette decks are often also set near the 70% level or all the way up. Some have detents. It all depends on how the designer wanted it to work.
The Technics units I worked on in the past had the output all the way up. RS1700 I think it was. Some deck including some of the later units have output controls just for the headphone as messing with the output control just to satisfy headphone volumes would maybe upset meters that you might be monitoring off.
A lot of the professional stuff is meant to be hooked into mixes or other equipment and so they may not provide a good volume that you might like- but then your meters will always be off in Monitor- I have to have my meters on so I run the output where it is suppose to be and then a different headphone box for that purpose. Exterior headphone boxes usually have cleaner sound anyway.

The reason the meters should be adjustable by output is if someone hands you a 250nWb/M recorded tape and you have a machine for 185nWb/M. This way with the output you can back down the levels3 dB and still keep things under control. If not the meters might take a beating and then so will your pocketbook when the times comes to pay for new ones.
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Skywave Tape Deck Repair- Chicago area
(630)616-0932 Office/ Email skywavebe@sbcglobal.net
Past Teac/Tascam Lead Service Technician at Chicago Factory Service still doing repairs.
http://s609729863.onlinehome.us/tape...uipment-repair
Now accepting MC, Visa, Amex & Discover Cards!

Last edited by Skywavebe; 06-14-2015 at 09:45 PM.
  #9  
Old 06-14-2015, 11:01 PM
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Thanks Sam for the education

I've noticed that if I am attempting to monitor a tape while recording that in the tape position I have to turn the output level control way up to hear it at a comfortable level, probably about at the dot mentioned by Tapetech. This also gets a VU meter reading that is low but somewhat close to right, but I am running old Scotch now, and I don't even know it's model number.
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  #10  
Old 06-15-2015, 05:11 AM
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For all the pot positions to work with the meters right a tape will have to be decided on as a "standard" and the deck calibrated to it. I have the tapes and meters if you wish you can come by some time and we can get it adjusted if you have a service manual GeneL. But this is a little bit of work. I would assume you would want to calibrate for LPR 35 and if so I have a small reel of it I am calibrating a few decks to it for sale. If you want I have a lot of other tapes as well and can calibrate now to 250 nWb and 185. Bias and EQ are not that difficult and I can set you up at the bench and you can turn little screws to your hearts content! I would recommend you re cap ANY deck before a full calibration as the electrolyte is already low and they will continue to drift getting you back to where you started.
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  #11  
Old 06-15-2015, 05:19 AM
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Thanks for pointing the differences out Sam, I got a few things understood but there are so many other calibration schemes out there. That is a good point about the meters you make and one not referenced in the literature that comes with a deck. I always thought of the reference level changing with the output as a pain but the different flux levels make good sense the meters would adjust with the output level.
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