Tag Archives: Jeff Jacobs

Even more reel to reel decks: J-corder !

After Revox-based Sonorus ATR10 (discussed here) and TASCAM-based UHA-HQ series (here) let’s now give a look at the J-corder brand by Jeff Jacobs.  Most readers will immediately recognize the unmistakable headblock plate in the picture below: J-corder specializes in customizing and upgrading the RS-1500/1506/1520 Technics series.

J-corder reel to reel decks

J-corder reel to reel decks

These models are ideal listening devices for analog mastering studios or hi-end home hifi. The recording section is not removed, like with UHA-HQ models (and unlike Sonorus ATR10, which is a REPRO machine).

Cosmetic rework is simply beautiful: materials used for finish range from wood to carbon fibre, to kevlar.

Rather than focusing on upgrading the electronics, as other companies do, J-corder specializes in several customization options on the headblock, in collaboration with John French from  JRF Magnetics (we talked about JRF Magnetics here).

The headblock upgrade options:

  •  Three Head Option: eliminate the 2/4 head switch and have the machine converted to a fixed two-track or four-track configuration for best performance in specific applications.
  • Four Head with external Playback Option: an additional playback head with its own separate wiring for direct  stereo output. Maximum minimalism on the signal path here: ideal for external tube preamps.
  • Autoreverse modification for RS-1700: transform the recording/erase autoreverse heads into a unidirectional 2-track recording section, for increasing recording quality. Playback is still autoreverse.

Special machined headblock plates in Aluminum or Brass are available for the options above. Here is a nice picture of one of these new parts for the RS-15xx Isolated Loop dual roller transport. Note that the slot for the 2T/4T original switch is not present (see options above).

J-corder aluminium headblock plate

J-corder aluminium headblock plate

J-corder offers also a rebuilding service for your own machine:

  1. Completely disassemble the machine
  2. Replace brakes and springs
  3. Replace bearings if needed
  4. Hardwire in the heavy-duty power cord
  5. Resurface and laser align all heads
  6. Clean and lube all switches, pots and controls
  7. Treat all connecting posts with “Deoxit” rejuvenator and protector for better electrical connections
  8. Reassemble and recalibrate the machine with ATR tape

Visit J-corder web site here.