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Exclusive to MUSIC U.K. is news that Teac are shortly to launch a brand new multitrack machine on the U.K. market which will enable full 8-track recording for home studio fans at a cost over 45% cheaper than the existing Teac 80-8 model! How's that for a breakthrough!
Launched at the APRS show, the new multi-track is to be dubbed the TASCAM 38 and is planned to retail for about £1400 plus VAT. Technically speaking the '38' should offer the same recording quality as the current 80-8 but employs more up-to-date technology in both production and design to get the price down. Priced thus, the new TASCAM will be the cheapest proper 8-track on the U.K. market, scoring over the Fostex A8 in that the latter can only manage four channel recording at one time.
Running on ½" tape, the TASCAM 38 features a wide range of useful facilities like 10½" reels and 15 i.p.s. tape speed with ±12½% variability. The Tascam also offers three head recording/monitoring/replay, full logic control of functions, complete remote function capability, hinged head cover, 'shuttle' zero return and a host of other 'goodies'. Specifications (in so far as these have yet to be proved on test by ourselves) look very impressive indeed, with a claimed speed accuracy of ±0.8% deviation, wow and flutter at 15 ips 0.05% RMS, frequency response of 40-20 kHz at 0Vu, signal to noise ratio of 68 dB on its own and a very good quoted -92 dB with an optional DBX noise reduction unit. THD is said to be 0.8% at 0Vu.
The TASCAM 38 is the first product of a complete new range to be launched by Teac in the U.K. including two new mixers and two, four and eight track recorders.
Obviously, no price reduction of this order can be made just on the strength of new technology and a few features are lacking, although they tend to be of relatively minor importance when compared with what this new machine can offer. Nevertheless, what Teac have opted for is to reduce duplication of certain features normally found on their mixers, such as headphone amps and mike inputs. This seems a reasonable attitude, given that few people would attempt to use an eight track without employing a decent quality mixer with it.
The main point about the TASCAM 38 is that it offers an opening to musicians previously experienced with four track but deterred by the relative high cost of a jump up to eight track to make the move without sacrificing everything else in the process.
The launch of this new machine will enable retailers to have it in stock by August, along with some of the very clever accessory units which can be bought to go with it, like a remote 'punch in' control (the RC-30P), remote function control (the RC-71) and DBX noise reduction unit (DX-4D) which is used paired, each unit handling four tracks. This month we've looked at the new four track Teac cassette machine, the M244 — we hope to obtain a sample of the new eight track '38' to follow it soon. In the meantime, readers can obtain further details of this innovative new recorder from Harman (U.K.) Ltd. (Contact Details)
Tired of having your Les Pauls and Strats ripped-off from dressing rooms? More likely your problem is that aged Jap copy! Either way musicians always seem to be among the most likely people to suffer from those brethren with light fingers (and we don't mean speedy guitar players!). One new answer comes in the form of the Buzz Box, a clever new device shortly to be available throughout the U.K.
The idea is that you affix the Buzz Box (technically known as an 'acceleration detection unit') to your guitar case or other container or object (apparently it works pretty well on bicycles too!) and when the article is either tampered with or touched the Buzz Box goes apeshit (as they say in insurance circles) and emits a shrill buzz — enough to warn you what is happening or scare off the purloiner of your hard-earned axe. Retail price should be somewhere around the £12.95 mark when the Buzz Box reaches your local dealer and both he and you can get further details from either William Grosvenor on (Contact Details) or from Robert Kalman on (Contact Details).
Readers who have followed the strange story of the proposal to levy a special duty on blank cassette tapes will no doubt have heaved a sigh of relief when the Government threw out the arguments of the record companies and music publishers in their recent Green Paper and refused to set a new tape tax.
Well, old ideas die hard and the Performing Rights Society have recently declared that 'Manufacturers and importers of blank tapes and domestic recording equipment should be made financially responsible to compensate the creators of the music and other copyright material which their customers record at home in breach of copyright.' Removing the cant from this drivel it means that you will have to pay (by increased tape and cassette recorder prices) to compensate the songwriters who, the PRS claim, are losing out due to home taping of albums.
In an attempt to justify their silly proposal, the PRS quote a decision of a Court of Appeals in California where a liability was recognised on the part of video companies for losses of royalties. One would have thought that quoting Californian law (long known as a state with a series of barmy decisions) was a poor point in their favour but the PRS is patently clutching at straws in the face of the 'free trade' attitudes of the Government.
A major argument against the PRS (and one adopted sensibly by the Government) is that not all tapes are used to record other people's records. The PRS (arrogantly) regard this probability as "remote". Well, what about all you Portastudio users out there? What about all the journalists who use cassettes to record interviews, threatening 'phone calls (just joking) etc. etc.
In truth the crisis in the record industry has been caused by the stupidity of the industry itself (as many a MUSIC U.K. reader will, no doubt, confirm) and readers are strongly reminded that the Government does listen to our arguments — but only if we make them known. Readers who object to paying a levy on blank tapes or on cassette recorders should contact their M.P. now and say so. If we don't then influential pressure groups with vested interests (like the Performing Rights Society) will have the only say. It's your choice.
Leading synthesiser innovators Sequential Circuits have now opened a European sales office to handle all sales and information in Europe operating from Mijdrecht, Netherlands. Tim Oake has been named as European Operations Manager, Tim Salthouse, Sales Manager and Steve Garth, Service Manager. All Sequential Circuits equipment will now be able to be manufacturer serviced in Europe. Apparently a major U.S. 'name' is being lined-up for a promotional tour later in the year, meanwhile readers wishing to get more details of this company can contact them direct at Sequential Circuits Inc. (Contact Details). Those of you with lots of ten p's for a coin box could even call them (British Telecom willing) on Netherlands (Contact Details). No doubt mentioning MUSIC U.K. as the source of your info will get you extra special treatment? We'd like to think so, anyway!
As part of a development of what seems like a complete product line (now ranging from amps of most types through guitars and basses) Vox have just launched a complete new range of guitar strings. The Vox Strings comprise Superlight, Extralight, Light and Regular gauges, all nickel wound. Bassists are catered for with long scale sets in medium or light gauge A major attraction of these new strings is their retail price — £2.99 a set for guitar and £9.95 for the bass set, which is wound in stainless steel.
News for lovers of really upmarket cassette players is that Revox's superb B710 machine has now been upgraded and re-designated the B710 Mk.II. The reason? Well Revox have adopted the Dolby-C noise reduction system which we sampled on one of the models in our major Hi-Fi review issue (MUSIC U.K. No.5) and found to be very credible indeed.
The B710 Mk.II retains most of the basic features of the Mark I except for features like expanded head-room on the meter display to cater for the Dolby-C. Bias and Equalisation are now all linked to the pushbutton controls under the front flap. Further details from F.W.O. Bauch Ltd. (Contact Details).
The GIBSON S.G. Firebrand has fallen into the hands of the fire brigade. Martin Still, who is with the Kent Division of the Fire Brigade, is seen receiving the first prize in the Music U.K.
Competition No. 4. The presentation was made by Dave Wilkinson of FDH on behalf of Rosetti Ltd., the U.K. distributors of Gibson (see full listing in this month's Guitar Guide).