On the claim that the 234 syncaset, “represents a pinnacle of 4 track analogue cassette recorder technology”, well yeah it does, so GTFO. “A” pinnacle, in as much as a great mountain range might have one mighty pinnacle on its eastern flank, and a series of pinnacles within the centre of the range. In this metaphor the 234 Syncaset can be seen standing alone as the eastern apex, the approaches carved vertical by eons of constant wear and testing, the summit beyond examination in the distant cloud. Its actual limits unknown. If a tree was to make purchase on this pinnacle it would be a hardwood. A single Mallee, durable beyond compare. Now the other pinnacle(s) – well, lofty heights to be sure, but think gentle inclines, covered in soft fury softwood pine. There are walking trails and cable cars. Enough said.
Now I have great esteem for the Tascam Portastudios, such as the 244, the 246, and the 424 mk111, but in purely objective terms the 234 Syncaset was a different thing. It cost an astronomical amount of 1980’s dollars, (as much as 17 cars!!. Fact) It was designed as a top of the line workhorse for professional audio applications. Direct drive, separate motor for ffwd/rew, completely independent mic-in and line-in audio paths, (which meant you could/can run 8 simultaneous inputs!), minimal bullshit no EQ short path audio. In subjective terms it is a proud, magnificent beast. glowing VUs, silly coloured Tascam knobs, 2 rack space – basically God like.
End discussion. Cue Picture. Syncy wins.