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Author Topic: OTARI 1. reel hubs repair 2. side panels  (Read 4262 times)

Offline analogfan

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OTARI 1. reel hubs repair 2. side panels
« on: December 20, 2009, 08:06:55 AM »
Hello and Happy Holiday,

I recently acquired a '93 OTARI 5050 B3 in mint condition.  Hope to use it for playback of Tape Project tapes among other things.

RE: hub adapters:

The OTARI came with the stock reel hubs however they are stiff in operation and I am afraid I am going to break one of them.  A couple of questions:
1. I am thinking of disassembling them, cleaning them and lubricating them - is this possible/recommended?  What would I use for lube - Vaseline (I assume the inside is mainly plastic) or?
2. Love the custom Darklab Studer/Revox adapters sold by Jeff at J-corder - does anyone know if they compatible with the OTARI?
3. Have also seen after-market (I assume) Studer/Revox adapters sold on ebay.  Same question - does anyone know if they compatible with the OTARI?

RE: side panels:

4. The side panels are dark gray ash color over mdf - no handles.  Does anyone know where I can get stock side panels with the built-in handles?

Thank you, Bob Edwards/617 335-0066

Offline Ki Choi

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Re: OTARI 1. reel hubs repair 2. side panels
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2009, 11:49:55 AM »
Hi Bob:

If you can disassemble the hubs, I have used WD40 (very little amount) to lub other hubs with good results.
Yes, the Darklab hubs with metal flanges are compatible with Otari B3 but not B2.
Although most of the after market plastic hubs would work, I found some of them from eBay to be not as good as the original Revox hubs.  It seems its hardness is not the same and after while the spring loaded spinlde can work itself into the base with the hubs from eBay- still works but different... The metal flanges are mostly machined and anodized the same way as the original Studer flanges.  They look and function identically to the original Revox.  However, the Darklab kind from Jeff would have the name engraved into the metal flanges.
There were several earlier posts regarding the sources for the Otari parts.  I do remember Otari stocking the side panels.  I have had a local cabinet maker make me five sets of side panels for B2s.  He did a very good job but it wasn't cheap...
Ki Choi

Offline analogfan

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Re: OTARI recording gain, reel hubs and side panels
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2009, 07:52:09 AM »
Hello Ki,

Thank you for your reply.  I did take them apart (don't try this at home!).  I cleaned them up, rotated the bands a bit and they seem to be much better now.  I did locate two lubricants for plastic to plastic and plastic to metal, to lube the eject/auto reverse transport of a Nakamichi Tape Deck I have been working on:

Door-Ease stainless Stick Lubricant (Ace Hardware) and Molykote Grease X5-6020

I did find a pair of standard side panels with handles (the guy I bought the OTARI 5050 B3 from).

You seem to know the OTARIs - I am recording from a BAT VK30 tube pre-amp and have to set the recording gain 3/4s of the way up (around the 3 o'clock position).  Is there a way to adjust the input sensitivity so I can get more recording gain (so I can back down on the pots)?

Thank you and regards, Bob Edwards/617 335-0066

Offline Ki Choi

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Re: OTARI 1. reel hubs repair 2. side panels
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2009, 07:28:11 PM »
Hi Bob:

There are many others here with more Otari knowledge... but thanks.

Your B3 is set up for Pro +4dB normal operating level. 

Unfortunately, I don't have the Otari manual in front of me to tell you how to convert from current Pro level (1.225V to get 0VU) to new consumer level (0.75V to get 0VU) but try the manual if you have a copy.

After changing the normal operating level, it would be recommended that you recalibrate your machine's input/record and repro levels.
Ki Choi

Offline analogfan

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Re: OTARI 1. reel hubs repair 2. side panels
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2009, 08:18:58 PM »
Hello Ki,

Thank you for your council.  I did clean them with soap/water and put them back together without any lube for now and they are MUCH better.  I did find two good plastic to plastic lubes (AGS DOOR EASE Lube Stick from Ace Hardware and Molykote Grease X5-6020 recommended by Nakamichi for their transport mechanisms).

I am still trying to deal with the "record-in" level problem but think as you mentioned will have to deal with it through the operating level alignment.  There is quite a difference between pro levels @ +4 dB and "consumer" electronics levels @ -10 dB, especially at the recorder "record-in" inputs.  I will keep you posted.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to reply to my thread - appreciate it!

Regards and ward holiday wishes, Bob Edwards