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Author Topic: Sony TC-880-2 Reel - service needed in Canada (prefer Ontario)  (Read 2576 times)

Offline draka1032

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Sony TC-880-2 Reel - service needed in Canada (prefer Ontario)
« on: September 26, 2009, 10:28:22 PM »
I have owned this machine for several years. I purchased it from an eldery man who had owned it since new. I had Terry Witt rebuild the pinch rollers and at one time had it serviced by a self described tape deck expert who returned it to me sounding worse than when I sent it to him. I recently had Roger Ginsley, the Studer specialist in Toronto look at it after overhauling my A-810. Here are his comments:
I spent a couple of hours with the Sony.

They do have a strange way of thinking. They specify everything (level wise) to their own product part number and do not mention what the level is in the real world.

For example I reference levels in either decibels or fluxivity.

But it did not stop me checking for unity gain which was way off (10dB)

The good news is at 15ips on 2trk heads the machine is now correct and aligned. The frequency response was very flat.

Also had to tweek the record azimuth but for 15ips the machine is pretty good and sounding OK.

Not great at 7.5ips as Sony only provided one set of main adjustments that obviously have to be optimized for the one speed.

For 4trk the playback level was considerably down on one side (Ch.1) at 10KHz (-10dB)

There was inadequate adjustment range to correct this. I also noticed severe distortion on this channel. But OK for 2trk,

So I suspect that there is an electronic problem.

If you are happy with running the machine at 15ips and 2trk then thats OK

Otherwise I would recommend an authorized Sony dealer to fix the 4trk problem.

Here is my response:


Hi Roger:

Sorry for the delay in responding. I have been away for most of the week. Would it be possible to optimize the Sony for recording at 7 ? IPS?
I would likely use the A-810 for any 15 IPS recording. As for the ? track playback, would you know of anyone who could troubleshoot that issue?
Sony provides no support for the machine any more.
And Rogers's response:

Hi Kevin:

I have had no luck with the machine at 7.5ips

Channel 1 playback is severely distorted and in record there is a huge high frequency loss (over 10dB)

The machine needs to be checked by someone not only familiar with Sony but also can match their specific test requirements.

Most of the technical information reflects back to Sony's own part numbers which is meaningless to someone not used to their procedures -or in my case I do not have their test tapes etc.
I did recalibrate the head azimuth for 7.5ips ( you can only optimize the machine for one or other of the tape speeds - though this is common to all tape machines).

I also optimized the playback for 7.5ips but I can assure you that the machine needs some expert work.

Even with 15ips it was OK but the 4trk configuration at either speed this is not very good at all.


Does anyone know of a qualified tech who could deal with this machine?


Many thanks,


Kevin Rogers