I've had this deck for over 15 years, but it was only after hearing the archiving panel and Steve Albini at TapeOpCon2002 along with reading the article on IEC alignment in Tape Op # 29, did I drag it out of a back room, dust it off and start mixing to it. I probably would have sold this years ago, but I had it bluebooked, and it was only appraised at $125.00. Since then, I see these on eBay all the time for less than $300. Anyway, this deck sounds great! I've since picked up a beautiful 1/2" Ampex ATR 102 and a Studer A-812, but for some projects, especially louder punk rock, the ATR 700 has won out over the "better," pricier decks and been the deck we've mixed albums down on. A couple caveats: If you're running 15IPS 1/4" tape, get an IEC alignment tape!! This format rules! On this particular deck, we've had problems with high end dropouts from time to time that we have yet to completely solve. The design of the heads/transport seems to really gunk up the heads quickly, and due to the head shields, they're also really hard to clean. If you pick one of these up, you will be using lots of alcohol and Q-Tips. To wrap this up; digital rules, I love working in Pro Tools, but analog tape is the only way to go for mixing down. Get a 2-track recorder and you'll see what I mean. I've had great results with this particular deck, and they're cheap.

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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