Questions about a reel to reel I found for tape delay


#1

After seeing something on here about using old tape recorders for tape delay I remembered I have this Concord 330 in my garage. I bought it at Goodwill years ago with the intent of tearing it apart for an assemblage art project but never got around to it. It seems sturdy, clean, and complete but I can’t find much info on it and don’t know much about it other than it uses 5" reels, has auto record/stop features, variable speed, and is probably from 1975, so I thought I’d see if anyone here knows anything.

Does it look complete? I believe it is but I don’t know much about these. Do I need any kind of adapter to put the reels on? Also, for the purposes of using it as an effect, do I need to use blank tape or can I use tape that already has audio on it? I’d assume used tape would be acceptable and cheaper/easier to find at a thrift store. Any other random info or tips you may have on these machines or using real tape delay in general would be appreciated. Thanks.


#2

To test it, plug it in, turn it on, and lift the capstan (which looks to my untrained eye like the lever just above the 330). That will tell you if you have working motors at least. For tape, I wouldn’t buy anything too old because that stuff can come apart and get all sorts of nasty gunk into your machine if you don’t know what you’re looking for (and I wouldn’t know). What I’d try is to pick up some cheap tape just to test on (used or new really isn’t going to matter in the case of delay becuase you’re going to be erasing it all the time anyways) run it around the reels with the erase head on to start, and see if you can get a reasonable monitoring signal that you record in (it should have a monitor button that lets you switch the slightly delayed tape signal in and out against the live signal that’s being recorded).

If all that works, then you just put 5 inch reels on (I don’t think you’ll need adapters), loop the tape (the good stuff you’ll spring for from RMGI) around them, and then run it without the erase head to make your delay. It might not be the lushest thing you’ve ever heard because you only have one recording head on this, it looks like. That means you get one tap, and I’m not sure you can have that tap fade on subsequent revolutions unless you can dial in the erase head on a low amount to take some of the recorded signal out without wiping it all.