Custom Reel to Reel Tape Recorders

"Why J-Corder?" & FAQ

This is old-school technology. Does it really sound better than what is being developed today?

The “goodness” of sound is subjective. However we are  repeatedly told at audio shows (CES, Rocky Mountain Audio and T.H.E. Show) that the music coming from a J-Corder tape deck sounds much better than many of the other sources at the show, including other tape demonstrations.

We don’t want to enter the two great debates: analog vs. digital and integrated circuitry vs. tube, that is for you to decide when you choose your source. However we stand by the warm, rich, full sound of our J-Corder tape decks. In side-by-side comparisons between a CD or MP3 and the Open Reel, the J-Corder tape deck always comes out ahead.   

Does J-Corder offer an upgrade to the record-playback section of the machine?

Yes. We believe “good sound” originates with a good recording. For that reason the J-Corder pre-amp upgrade improves both the record and playback sections, and our cost is usually less than half the cost of the other companies that offer an upgrade.

When purchasing a tape deck you will want to ask the question:

Does this tape deck modification address both the playback stage and recording section?”  

Even if you plan to listen only to pre-recorded tapes or the re-engineered masters, you may find yourself wanting to do some recording in the future.  Modifying only the playback section will limit you.

 How do the upgrades by J-Corder actually improve the sound of the music?

Our upgrades allow you to record at a much higher level resulting in a better sounding tape. Using a J-Corder machine with the upgraded record and playback section improvements produces a tape that sounds as good, as or better, than any pre-recorded tape you can buy. Our demo tapes are often mistaken for re-engineered masters.

 Why would I want to record my own tapes?

Selection  Record only what you want to listen to. Musical pleasure comes from listening to music you enjoy. By recording your own tapes you select the genre and selection to create your personal playlist.   

Cost.  Recording your own tapes can save you money. The price on the pre-recorded tapes can be $350.00 or more for one tape. The cost of a high-end, new tape is approximately  $50.00  and your recording contains only the songs that you enjoy.

Time. Listen to what you want as soon as you want. There is no waiting for a catalog release or order to arrive in the mail.  

We recognize the beauty and historic significance of the re-engineered masters but sometimes you just want to hear what you want, when you want. Being your own "mixologist" puts you in control. 
J-Corder decks allow you to enjoy both the beauty of the re-engineered and pre-recorded tapes as well as your personally recorded selections.   

Is it hard to make your own tapes?

No,  it's actually very easy. You can record right from your vinyl LP, a CD or MP3. Once you make your first tape, you’ll be accustomed to the process and it will be easy for you to continue recording on your own.

 How long will a tape last before it starts to lose the sound quality?

As long as you use a newly manufactured tape, like the ATR tape listed on our site, and you store the tape properly it will not lose the fidelity in your lifetime.

 Approximately how much playing time Inches Per Second (IPS) will I get on  one tape?

·     15     IPS  =   37 minutes
·       7 ½ IPS  =   74 minutes
·       3 ¾ IPS  = 148 minutes

An auto reverse machine, like the Technics 1700, provides the same playing times going in each direction. With a tape recorded at 3 ¾ IPS (Inches Per Second) you have approximately 5 hours of listening pleasure. 

You can learn more about the impact of tape speed on sound quality by visiting Recording Basics 

Do J-Corder machines operate on AC or DC?

Most J-Corder models will operate on both AC and DC with the proper adaptor. We have not found any advantages by operating our tape decks in the DC versus AC mode. 

Why does J-Corder primarily offer all Technics models with limited models of Pioneer, Sony and Ampex brands?

We offer a 12 month warranty on all complete rebuilds and a 90 day warranty on customer provided tape deck refurbishments. In order to offer this warranty, we must stock the parts necessary to service your J-Corder for years to come. For this reason, we limit the models we typically offer to a manageable few that provide only the highest level of quality our customers have come to expect from J-Corder.

Does the sound become degraded from the original source when you record?

No it doesn't. Believe it or not, it will actually sound BETTER. I know it doesn't seem possible but hearing is believing. Once you hear the beautiful sound of tape you will choose tape over the original source every time. It is hard to believe  - but true.

Isn’t a tape deck notorious for hiss and background noise?

Again “good sound” comes from a good recording. Our upgraded system allows you to record with the VU meters driven nearly all the way with no deterioration in the sound quality. A tape made at a higher recording level will also have far less hiss or noise. That is why the J-Corder has been able to eliminate “the hiss”.

 Those VU Meters may look cool, but are they really necessary?

The VU meters allow you to maximize both the record and the playback function of the machine. Without them you have no control over the setting of the playback level.

 How can I integrate a tape deck into my current system?

There are several factors to consider when buying a tape deck. Size is one. The upgraded components of a J-Corder machine are incorporated inside the machine so the original design of the deck is kept intact. With a J-Corder there are no extra boxes, mechanisms or wires to contend with.

The J-Corder tape deck can be customized to coordinate or compliment the aesthetics of your current system. Jeff will work with you to plan the body color, VU meters, lights, side panels and metal finishes that give you “the look” you want.

 Are J-Corder tape decks complex and hard to run?

No. A J-Corder machine operates just like the original machine, just the way it came out of the original factory box. Counters, VU meters and controls are all operable and guide you in the playback and record functions.

What about some upgrades that are available from other companies, claiming to improve the performance?

Decide what it is that you want from your tape deck before making the purchase. Develop a list of questions to ask. There are some modifications that harm the performance of the machines. Such as:

    • Removing the tape guides which will cause premature wear on the tape head and tape.
    • Disconnecting the tape counter which makes it difficult to find a specific spot on the tape.
    • Disabling of the VU meters limits your playback and record functions.

J-Corder keeps all original tape deck functions intact including the recording capability

 What about the AC cord upgrades that are sold by other companies?

Every J-Corder gets a new 12 gauge, 3 conductor filtered power cord installed. We’ve listened to $1,000.00 power cords and haven't heard any improvements over our cord - either sonically or in the functioning of the machine. Our upgraded cord is standard on every machine so save the extra expense and spend your money on something else (such as high grade tape). The power cord upgrades provided by some of the other companies remove the DC power supply option.The J-Corder upgrade keeps the DC power source input intact and usable.

Are there other benefits to choosing a J-Corder machine besides better sound quality?

Absolutely yes!

    1. Quick turn around time. We stock our most popular machines, which are the black and the original Technics finish. These decks usually ship within three days of the order being completed. Special colors take a little longer and usually will ship within 6-8 weeks of the order being completed.
    2. Each deck is hand assembled and built to your specifications.
    3. Preserve your vinyl records and save wear and tear on your cartridge by recording your favorite music using a J-Corder. Audio equipment is expensive so saving wear and tear is a big plus.
    4. Record your own tapes.  Choose only your favorite songs and you won't listen to a song that you do not like. Why pay for something that you don’t enjoy?
    5. Last but not least, no other tape deck at any price can match the beautiful custom finish that every J-Corder has. Your deck will look incredible in your equipment rack while impressing your friends with a beautiful appearance as well as great sound.
What are the differences between the tape decks J-Corder offers?

We specialize in Technics as these beautifully sounding tape decks are also sturdy while offering the most reliable tape transport available. While the various models offer different features, every Technics tape deck provides the same phenomenal sound. We realize that the price of the Technics can be a little of out of reach for some. This is why we sell some wonderful Sony and Pioneer models that also sound great but at a more affordable price point.