Newly Aquired Tascam 58

Discussion in 'TASCAM Analog Forum' started by tinymotel, Aug 30, 2018.

  1. tinymotel

    tinymotel New Member

    Joined:
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    Gear:
    Tascam 388, Tascam 58
    Hello!

    I just snagged a super clean Tascam 58 tape deck + a Tascam M50 mixer. Picked both up from a garage sale with a bunch of snakes for... $100!

    I'm a pretty happy camper. Few questions though.

    1. Whats the best new tape for this beast? I was looking at the RGM 900 or 911. I guess depending on the Bias either could work if properly calibrated? I've been using the LPR 35 on my 388 which has been great, but maybe there's some other brands out now. Been a while since I've stocked up on tape.

    2. I also have a Tascam 388 which has been my go to reel for a while here. Is there any way to sync the two machines to get 16 tracks? What kind of gear / connectors would I need to find to make that work? I'm assuming SMPTE and some kind of sync box inbetween is what I'd need? Wasn't sure if the difference in speed between the decks would make that not a possiblity or not. (15ips on the 58 VS 7.5 on the 388)

    Thanks for any help! (Excuse my ignorance too. I was born the year after this machine came out :)
  2. SkywaveTDR

    SkywaveTDR Active Member

    Joined:
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    From:
    Chicago area
    Gear:
    Teac, Tascam, Sony
    You are lucky to have obtained such products. I have been using a M50 for years. Also have a M520 here as well as a M1516 unit. First thing to do is check out both items to make sure they are all functional. No need to hook everything up and find that the mixer has to come apart due to a number of problems or the deck. The 40 and 50 series had a issue with relays in the mute circuits. I have changed a lot of relays due to this. The tape used for the 58 is most likely SM911 as it cost the least but also ATR master and SM900 can also be used there. It is just that with these high flux density tapes you just do not get the advantages associated with decks running them at higher flux density levels with wider tracks. Always consider the track width that you are using as all aspects of the recording must be observed not just one. The higher tapes will work well but you will still be recording on them at 250nwb/M flux density. The 58 does a good job at that level. I have worked on a lot of then over the years.
  3. tinymotel

    tinymotel New Member

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    Gear:
    Tascam 388, Tascam 58
    Thanks so much for the reply! Great to hear other people still rocking these old Tascam decks. I’ve had my 388 for about 6 years and it’s been a ton of fun, but couldn’t pass up this deal for sure.

    So far seems to be in pretty good shape. I still need to go through the mixer and do a thorough test of all the channels, hopefully this weekend.

    Question on the mixer... it has a number of black banana plugs or jumpers plugged into various in/outs. Curious what those are / how they work. Never seen them before
  4. SkywaveTDR

    SkywaveTDR Active Member

    Joined:
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    From:
    Chicago area
    Gear:
    Teac, Tascam, Sony
    These are the subs for what would otherwise be a RCA jumper cable. They only need the center conductor jumped because they are all grounded inside. The jumpers if you look at the labels are for accessory sends or process loops. What this means is that the module allows for the connection of a separate processor per module if you want one- it just adds to the versatility of the mixer. Such a case would be if you wanted to apply a special mic processing loop for either effects or de-essing or other effects.
    This allows for better control of a signal that does not cause you to use up a Aux send to do the job.
    When I worked in Radio at ESPN the alien voice the Kevin Mathews used was through a Harmonizer that just digitally changed his own voice in the same mic. This required him to use two Mic modules- one for his voice and one for the alien. I was often in the studio when he was doing this and it was amazing the metal control it took to keep this in order. Press the wrong button and the secret would be messed up. Same Studio Fred Winston did his Morning show in. This was then AM1000.
    The studio was previously FM100.3 where I was Engineer at as well. WPNT Chicago.
  5. tinymotel

    tinymotel New Member

    Joined:
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    Gear:
    Tascam 388, Tascam 58
    Hey thanks for the reply Skywave!

    I've been digging in here testing things out (actually have another thread going on the homerecordings forum)

    The Tascam 58 deck seems to be working great. I haven't done any calibration yet but got it cleaned up and started sending some audio to it to test the channels. So far that seems good.

    I think this M50 mixer has seen better days though. Seems like only 1 or 2 of the channel strips work. I can monitor the tape on all channels through the Monitor Mixer when set to "Tape" but in BUSS mode, only channels 4&6 are reliable. The rest either don't playback at all, are very static heavy or pop & click in and out... Faders seem good, but EQ, Trim pots & All switches are very temperamental.

    I was asking over on the homerecording forum if a rigorous cleaning might help bring it back? Seems like a daunting task that maybe would turn into more of a replacing of pots / switches which I could probably do... but looking at the exploded view seems a bit ambitious for my soldering skills.

    I'm sure paying a tech to do all that would probably get $$$ pretty quick VS just buying a more reliable mixer to accompany the 58.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks a bunch man!
  6. Rico Del Rosado

    Rico Del Rosado New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2018
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    From:
    Houston, TX
    Gear:
    Model 58 multitrack
    Hello! I just took possession of a Tascam 58, and just found this forum! My friends and I put in many hours on a 1/2-inch 8-track in the 1990s, so I have a general idea of what to expect, but if anyone has a source of pdf manuals, please let me know!

    Thanks,

    Rico