I cut my teeth on one of these:
I don't think the pre-amps were shit at all, and the sweepable 2-band Eq is a joy to fiddle with. I also have to contradict Larry's assertion that
Every portastudio I ever came across was biased for Type II (chrome) cassettes, a medium which was very much alive and kicking from day one of the portastudio's tenure. Using the wrong medium then blaming the machine for poor results doesn't give an unbiased account of the reality on the ground.Larry Mal wrote: ↑Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:03 pmthe cassette was a miserable creation. The signal to noise ratio is terrible, and the usable frequency range is often quite terrible... I seem to recall the Type 1 cassettes capped off at around 15kHz. Dreadful. The later "metal" and "chrome" cassettes were much better, but that was the end of the line.
I can absolutely understand anyone with an interest in home recording wishing to acquire a poratstudio, for all the reasons stated in the tape op piece and because experimentation is always good for personal development. Predictably, I still own a 244 just like the first one I ever used and have used it as an auxilliary mixer as well as in its primary role. Tape compression does indeed sound uniquely appealing, even if you have cloth ears, and the ease with which you can record backwards guitar/cymbals/satanic invocations makes ownership a no-brainer.
The one piece of advice I'd give the OP is to be aware that not all portastudios are created equal; later, cheaper ones don't hold a candle to the many higher-end ones that are still out there, so do a bit of research and maybe draw up a shortlist of which ones are worth paying a bit more for (typically Tascam, Fostex or Yamaha models that run at 3.75 i.p.s.).