About a month or two ago I found this Tascam 488 8 track tape recorder on Ebay. It was listed as ‘broken’ and was very cheap. I decided to go for it since I’ve repaired electronics before and normally have all the luck on my side. It turned out the recorder was fine, except for a broken controlplate for the control buttons. Although it functioned I still decided to find a new control plate. Tascam still has a lot of spare parts for their products even this one is more than 20 years old. I found a local company that ordered the item for me and after two weeks it arrived from Japan as promised.
You have to loosen a lot of screws before you get in but the total repair took about 30 minutes and the new controlplate works and looks great! The Tascam 488 is a professional machine that cost a lot of money back in the day and is still used by a lot of people worldwide. The internet is full with information and a lot of repair companies can still service this model. The only downsize compared to its brother, the Tascam 488 MKII, is the lack of separate outputs. You have to record al the outputs separately and sync them in your software later on or bounce them ‘old school style’. I did some testing and the results so far have been amazing and almost noise free! (hooray!, dbx noise reduction)
My friend Maarten, who’s also a drummer, surprised me with a box full of unused cassette tapes that had been sitting on a shelf for a couple of years. They’re 30 minute tapes, but because the 488 runs twice as fast and can only record on one side of the tape it can only record up to 7 minutes per tape.