Instruments Distributed via eBay

Pellegrino's Technics RS-1500US Analog Stereo Tape Deck

Offered on eBay, 6/8/10 to 6/15/10

This auction is for a Technics RS-1500US Analog Stereo Tape Deck in perfect condition. It's from the studios of electronic arts pioneer, Ron Pellegrino— It was purchased in 1982 from Bananas At Large in San Rafael, CA, still a top professional SF Bay Area audio store in 2010. The instrument was located in my various California and Texas electronic music studios, all of which emphasized live performance, not studio recording sessions. So it served a documentary function, thus it was used very lightly and with great respect; one owner, one user. It's virtually new and in perfect condition. Just recently, in preparation for my latest project, it was cleaned, lubricated and tuned by an older technician who grew up with this and other analog studio gear in the 80s and 90s. It took some effort to find him but there he was in Denton, TX maintaining campus instruments at North Texas University in the Media Department (he was a great find).

The deck is rich in features. It was designed and made in Japan at the height of its creative powers with great attention to quality workmanship. It uses three-motor direct-drive instead of belts which are open to all sorts of mechanical problems. It has three speeds (15, 7-1/2, and 3-3/4). It has 4 heads and the set includes a 1/2 track stereo head and a 1/4 track stereo head. One of the key reasons why it is virtually without wow and flutter is its unique design for jockeying tape over the heads; see the photos on my site. Front switches make it easy to set 3-way bias and equalization. It has an easy to use pitch control that varies tape speed up to +/- 6% in record and play. The kicker is that, in addition to running off AC, its design allows for it to run off a car battery for up to 10 hours; so through the 1980s it was also the favorite field deck of the professional documentary filmmakers.

Over the decades I've set up media facilities for independent music artists, university electronic music and recording studios, and major corporations. I've normally had big capital equipment budgets so, especially with analog gear because it's the weakest link in the audio chain, I've always gone with the best professional audio recording gear available - Studer, Scully, and Ampex as well as ReVox, Crown, and Technics. Of all those decks the Technics RS-1500US is my favorite because, when run at 15 ips, it has virtually imperceptible wow and flutter as well as a great signal-to-noise ratio.

Because it could be bought at a reasonable price point it was one of the few recording instruments of early 1980s preferred by creative sound and recording artists around the globe. During the past year it has been a key player in my latest project, EMERGENT MUSIC AND VISUAL MUSIC: INSIDE STUDIES (a book, set of 4 DVDs, and multiple CDs ). I have posted on my site numerous sound samples that will testify to its sound quality: the sound samples are found with the composer's notes for the 7 CDs I've produced during the past year. There are links to those materials via my home page URL given above. The first step for every track on every one of those CDs involved the Technics RS-1500US playing back an analog tape so the signal could be digitized for inclusion on the CDs.

If you check out those samples, remember that the original masters were all analog made (some of them on the Technics) anytime from 15 to 38 years ago (pro pals told me there was no way I would get decent sound quality from such old recordings especially since I'd moved seven times usually in the heat of summer; my pro pals were way off the mark). During the past year, using the Technics RS-1500US, I reviewed those analog tape recordings, digitized and edited what I wanted to keep and use on the CD series. Because the original analog recordings were of such high quality I was able to get the sound I wanted even in the compressed mode applied to the sound samples.

I have loads of digital gear but I often side with those among us who swear by the rich sound of the analog world. I hope to place the instrument with an analog lover. You can see more photos of the instrument and scans from the operating manual at the following URL - You'll find information about the Technics RS-1500US at the top of that page; that'll be followed by information on the other analog gear I've distributed via eBAY.

Everything that came with the instrument will go with the instrument. Included are all the original parts—the users manual, audio cables, shipping carton, 10 1/2 inch take-up reel, and NAB hub adapters. The shipping weight is 65 pounds (analog is heavy). If you have a FedEx account (easy to get; just call them, give them your credit card number, and shipping gets charged to your account) shipping can be charged to your account so you pay exactly what it costs to ship it to you (no handling charges) plus anything else such as insurance if you want it. Otherwise you can have it shipped UPS. For payment I prefer a bank wire transfer but I will accept PayPal if that is what the buyer prefers.

Technics Scans and Photos:

Unique head design that eliminates wow and flutter

Take it out in the field

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