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Tape loop / record-out source select (1 Viewer)

Jan 6, 2003
Are there any Home Theater receivers or processors out that include the venerable, old “tape loop” function? I’m referring to the ability on older stereo equipment to select a source for recording out to the tape outputs, but still allow you to choose to listen to a different source while the recording continued on its merry way. Example, record from a CD player, while listening to the tuner or phono input. Adjusting volume, tone controls, etc., all have no effect on what is being passed out to the tape deck.

I know some early A/V receivers included this feature also, and would allow you to view one source while recording another. Example, record from laserdisc to VCR while watching and listening to a DVD, or other input. Again, adjusting volume, tone controls, etc., would have no effect on the picture or audio being output to the VCR.

To me, this is a pretty important feature, as it would allow me to actually use my 3-head tape deck as it was intended to be used (monitor off the tape the just recorded signal, including calibrating to the tape type used), and would allow me to be certain that what I thought was getting to the VCR to be recorded, was actually correct (audio and video, S-video connection, not composite).

Does anything include this feature anymore?


Stunt Coordinator
Dec 1, 2001
I've been able to do this sort of thing with my Denon 3803. You select what you want to record with the record out source set to that input and the main input set to tape. You can switch between them to monitor.

I hope I got this right.

Ira S. Weiss

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

Senior HTF Member
Aug 5, 1999
Corpus Christi, TX
Real Name

The ability to record one source while listening to another is a separate feature from a tape monitor loop. Always was.

Tape loops have been done away with probably for two reasons: One, that few people record anymore. Two, as a result of that they are largely a source of confusion now.

For instance, with a tape monitor engaged a Dolby Digital receiver will default to Dolby Pro Logic sound. And that’s when both analog and digital connections are used, and if a tape deck (or similar component) is connected to them. If only digital connections are used, and/or there is no tape deck in the system, engaging the tape monitor loop will get you no sound at all.

There are still receivers with so-called “Record Out” capabilities (the ability to record a source other than the one being played). Many Yamahas have this feature, especially their upper-end models. A receiver with a second zone feature that allows an alternate source could serve the same function.

Regarding your immediate problem of knowing what audio the VCR is getting and monitoring your three-head deck: All inputs with both ins and outs function like a tape monitor loop. Therefore the selected source will send a signal to all loops, including the VCR. You can monitor you cassette deck with a pair of headphones plugged directly into it.

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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