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Old 08-19-2018, 04:26 PM
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Default Roberts 770X R2R recorder/player

My neighbor is moving out of state for retirement (to AZ), and cleaning out the garage. He knows I like music, so he ran across this old Roberts 770X recorder/player. Itís from a time in his life where he was living in SF and playing/listening to a lot of jazz. He has stories of sitting next to Stan Kenton at Chuck Mangione concerts shooting the bull. Itís in rough shape, and has been in his garage for years. He looked it up and said it was not worth much, so planned to throw it out. He gave it to me, as he was headed to the curb with it, and told me if I did not find a use for it to throw it away. Well, I donít know much about these things. But, I know a group of people who possibly could tell me more. Is it worth trying to clean up and refurbish? Is there anything to do with it? I wouldnít even know where to get reels and tapes, or where to begin. Any advice is welcome.

Photos are attached.

Best, Shrinky
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Old 08-19-2018, 05:07 PM
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"Roberts" is the brand name of Akai R2R tape recorders that were distributed to the U.S. in the '60s and '70s. A number of my Turner Joy shipmates brought PX-purchased "Roberts" decks home--along with a slew of Sony 500s--from our 1964 WestPac deployment.

Depending on condition, cleanup and restoration (and assuming you can find appropriate tape heads if your Roberts needs them) by someone knowledgeable is likely to be costly. If you're into the routine of maintaining an R2R deck (regular head cleaning at a minimum) and can find tapes of music you like, it might be worthwhile. Note, however, that you may have to deal with "sticky shed syndrome", or the deterioration of tape binders and/or back coatings on vintage-era tapes that leaves yucky deposits on the tape heads.
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Last edited by jimtranr; 08-19-2018 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 08-19-2018, 05:44 PM
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Jim,

Thank you for your reply. Interesting history. As I thought, itís likely a bigger, more involved, and costlier, project than I am up to. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge. It would be best in the hands of someone with a specific interest, and knowledge. I hate to see it on the curb headed to the landfill. Though, I guess this is where they often end up, unfortunately.

Since it came into my hands for free, it does not seem right to sell it. I am not looking to make any money off it. If there is someone in my neck of the woods that would be willing to pick it up, itís yours. If you are patient with my packing/shipping (itís bulky and heavy), I may be willing to consider shipping it to an interested party simply for the cost of packing and shipping. This thing is pretty heavy, so shipping may be prohibitive for what it is worth.

Best,
Shrinky
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Old 08-19-2018, 08:13 PM
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Shrinky.......The Roberts tape machines from the 60's were decent performers. I have seen and heard quite a few brought home from Japan during the Vietnam war era.
The Crossfield heads were unique to Akai and Roberts. This machine may not need as much attention as one would think beyond a good cleaning, fresh lubricant, and perhaps a belt. Might be fun to play with if you're so inclined, but if any service exceeds a couple hundred dollars it would not be worth the cost.
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