After not doing anything on the PC with regard to quad tapes or recordings for almost 2 years, I finally sat down to make another attempt at a compilation I've had in mind for years. So, I'm digging through my hard drives and I found a couple of the tunes were so old that I had them recorded at 16/44.1. I still had the Q8's, so I figured I'd just rerecord the tunes and move along. Well, my "Quad Bob" restored HK 8+ was now with a crappy front left channel. I tried everything but could not get the damn thing right. I think I wore out the head alignment screw. Something is amiss in that thing. So, I got out my trusty back-up HK 8+ and fired it up. It hadn't been touched in YEARS.
Sure enough, I had to "kick start" the motor with a screw driver, but it worked and was much better than the other machine. However, one thing I'd forgotten about Q8's that REALLY REALLY REALLY sucks is that you have to wait for the damn tape to get back to the beginning when you need it. I must have listened to that damn Project 3 Test Q8 15 times doing troubleshooting. They give you tones, but they only last a few seconds. By the time you get your screwdriver on the head alignment screw, the tone is gone. And now you have to wait for the entire side to play to get back to it.
And the head alignment screw/nut is a nightmare to get to and adjust. You need 3 hands and a ton of patience.
UGH!! What a pain. And when you want to record a tune, if something goes wrong at the start, BOOM, you have to go through the entire tape to get back. Ah, these Q8's. They have a lot of baggage!! What is remarkable is that they still sound good some 40 years later once you get them to play.
Anyway, just thought I'd vent. ARGH. Reels are SO MUCH EASIER. I suppose the Fostex route eliminates most of the cartridge drawbacks, but that's a lot of work as well.