Tape input on preamp - Can I use for other sources

A simple question......can I use the tape input on my preamp for other line level souce components (tuner, CD, etc). I don't have the preamp owners manual to refer to.

I thought I could but someone I talked to mentioned that the tape input was 'equalized' differently for a tape decks' performance (true/false)?

Many thanks for your reply!
Depends on the input on the preamp. Most are simply line-level inputs and can be used for most other sources. Some are tape head inputs which are like phono inputs in that they have much greater gain and special EQ compared to line level inputs.

What preamp is it?

Yes you can, as the only one 'equalized' is the Phono input (if you have one). So if your preamp is a 'linestage' (no phono input) - you can use the inputs anyway you like.
Kr4, you state:
Some are tape head inputs which are like phono inputs in that they have much greater gain and special EQ compared to line level inputs.

I never heard of such an input on a consumer preamp. To what are you referring?

Joeylawn36111, true, in most cases. However, some E.A.R. integrateds have a "phono input" that is just for labeling of the source selector knob...actually, only a line level input requiring an additional phono preamp. There may also be other preamps or integrateds that use this labeling system as well!
kal is correct although I haven't seen it in many years. My old Pioneer SX-1000TW has a tape head input.
Swampwalker, so do you recall the exact function of this input? Or was it just labeling done to prevent confusion of the conventionally used "tape/source" or "source/monitor loop on" switch designation?
The tape head input was used for direct feed from the tape head so that the deck did not need a built-in preamp stage. This meant that the gain/sensitivity of the tape head input was higher than MM phono input and that it had a specific EQ (NAB, etc) for that device. Rare today but the OP never told us what preamp he is referring to.

kal is correct, again. If I can find the manual for the receiver, I will post the specs for that input.
Hey Guys,
Many thanks for all the help! I just purchased a used Thor TA-1000 preamp (line level) and it has only 4 inputs (one of which is labeled 'tape').

I was truly hoping that I could use the 'tape' input for another source component.

This is the first time I've personally used the forum for a question of my own and you guys have been a terrific help.

Best regards,
Naperaudio, I'll bet that the "tape" input is just a labeling configuration for ease of use of the source selector knob. You should be able to use ANY line level source [see my comments about the E.A.R. integrated]. Why not just contact Thor?

Kal & Swampwalker, I am familiar with the direct tape head input, but on professional studio equipment [Ampex units]. It's been a long time, but I think that they required a patch cord of some type, not simple RCA connections. I cannot image putting a tape head EQ input and circuitry into a home consumer product.
Swampwalker, looks like you're right! I did some additional research [tonight I'm feelin' funky...just listening to jazz and browsing the internet!] and found a reference to this unit having both a tape input AND a tape head input. There's one for sale on eBay, and after enlarging a crappy picture, I can see some sort of unusual connection, in the center of the back panel, that looks like it may be the tape head input.

There's actually an Agon member that has a SX-1000TW for sale. Maybe he could verify this. I don't feel like bugging him, though.
Vintage McIntosh C21 (tube), C22 (tube, C24 (ss) and C28 (ss) preamplifiers had both tape inputs and tape head inputs to accommodate their different equalization curves. A very small number of semi pro tape decks had separate tape head outputs back in the day. When McIntosh reissued the C22 a few years back they omitted the tape head input.and replaced it with a phono input. Likewise the early Dynaco preamps had both tape and tape head inputs. Today there is a small number of analog purists seeking out and rebuilding these semip pro decks while others are making modifications to provide them on other decks. Today to obtain a modern tape head preamplifier of the 6 or 8 out there be prepared to spend from $4,000 to $29,000. If you want to appreciate their interest in this go to the next major audio show and listen to a pro tape deck like the Sudder playing a real studio master recording at  at 15 or 30 ips. It is to die for !!!