Check out the new Tape Project website at tapeproject.com, now with online ordering. Inventory is updated every week, so stop by often to see what we have in stock.

Author Topic: NAB hub adapter question  (Read 18369 times)

Offline kipdent

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
NAB hub adapter question
« on: October 20, 2009, 09:34:33 PM »
As Ki knows from private conversations, I've wrestled with whether I should invest in sexy-looking metal aluminum NAB hubs when I finally get my R2R machine. Well, after flipping back and forth, I've decided to go for them, as silly and useless as they are. However, I have a question for the group:

There seem to be a vast spread in the cost of these things, with Darklab hubs costing up to $250 EACH all the way down to the "ebay" variety of about $125 a PAIR. Does anyone have experience with these different types of adapters or can anyone comment on whether the lower-priced variety are too good to be true, or do they work fine? Also, I've read here that some people have had issues with tape scraping their reels with some adapters, and "wobbly" reels with some adapters. Any recommendations on what to buy?

Thanks!

Kip
Kip Peterson
Vintage-centric system with Apogee Acoustics Scintilla ribbon loudspeakers, Micro Seiki RX-5000 turntable and other odd bits of tube and solid state gear. Now a proud owner of a Studer A80 RC Mk II tape machine!

Offline ironbut

  • Global Moderator
  • leader in spreading disinformation
  • *****
  • Posts: 2503
  • rs1500>repro amp#1
    • View Profile
Re: NAB hub adapter question
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2009, 11:28:37 PM »
I don't believe there's a difference between any of the Darklabs hubs. The aluminum flanges are attached to a copy of the standard plastic Revox NAB hubs which are pretty nice. I bought mine from the seller on eBay who is in Italy. I've seen the flanges only for sale for folks that already have the Revox plastic hubs and that could account for the lower price.
IIRC, mine were around $150 or something like that.
When they're new, they tend to be a little stiff when you turn them to lock them down. I don't mind that on the supply side hub since it almost always has the empty reel on it but on the take up side (since I change the reels on that side) I shot a tiny bit of WD40 into the inside and it works much better. Notchy but smooth.
The "real" Studer NAB hubs can cost a fortune. They're one piece and all aluminum. I've only seen them in black or natural aluminum and they're super nice. I've seen them go for as much as $800 a pair!
steve koto
 Sony scd 777es(R. Kern mods)> Vpi Aires>Dynavector XX-2mkll>Bent mu>CAT ultimate>CJ premeir 140>Magnepan 1.6qr(Jensen xover)Headphone Eddie Current Zana Deux>AT ad2000,HD800 ,Metric Halo ULN-2 (battery powered),
 HE Audio Jades

Offline JoeG

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 101
    • View Profile
Re: NAB hub adapter question
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2009, 07:50:58 AM »
I purchased a set of Darklab hubs in candy apple red from Jeff Jacobs, to replace the stock hubs on my Technics RS1500. Mine were $250 for the pair. They are well made and work as well as the stock hubs, with the benefit of fitting the hand nicely when manually turning reels during the threading process and splicing work. They are also very appealing from a visual perspective too. They dress the front of the deck nicely and there are a lot of great color choices available from Darklab.
Joe Galbraith
Charter sub #61
J-corder/Bottlehead Technics 1500>King/Cello pre, Bottlehead Seduction, Walker Audio Proscenium Gold Signature TT>Bluelectric Magic Diamond or Allnic Puritas>Allnic H3000 phono/L3000 line>KR Enterprises Antares>Kharma CE 2.2
Silent Source cable, Walker Audio Velocitors

Offline ironbut

  • Global Moderator
  • leader in spreading disinformation
  • *****
  • Posts: 2503
  • rs1500>repro amp#1
    • View Profile
Re: NAB hub adapter question
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2009, 01:03:55 PM »
I agree with Joe's description. They are chick magnets!
Seriously though, I find them very helpful with threading and splicing also.

Upon further reflection, I don't think that mine are "official" Darklabs hubs since the logo isn't on them like the pictures I've seen. And checking on eBay, the ones I have are now being sold out of Istanbul(?). I've had mine for over a year now and I've found no quality issues. I have to wonder if there's any reason to pay the premium for the Darklabs hubs.
steve koto
 Sony scd 777es(R. Kern mods)> Vpi Aires>Dynavector XX-2mkll>Bent mu>CAT ultimate>CJ premeir 140>Magnepan 1.6qr(Jensen xover)Headphone Eddie Current Zana Deux>AT ad2000,HD800 ,Metric Halo ULN-2 (battery powered),
 HE Audio Jades

Offline kipdent

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
Re: NAB hub adapter question
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2009, 05:10:56 PM »
Out of my price league, but if anyone wants to see (and save) good pictures of the original all-metal Studer NAB hubs, here's your chance:

<http://cgi.ebay.com/Studer-A820-A-820-1-4-Precision-NAB_W0QQitemZ130339155794QQcmdZViewItemQQptZVintage_Electronics_R2?hash=item1e58d1af52#ht_500wt_1182>

Kip
Kip Peterson
Vintage-centric system with Apogee Acoustics Scintilla ribbon loudspeakers, Micro Seiki RX-5000 turntable and other odd bits of tube and solid state gear. Now a proud owner of a Studer A80 RC Mk II tape machine!

Offline ironbut

  • Global Moderator
  • leader in spreading disinformation
  • *****
  • Posts: 2503
  • rs1500>repro amp#1
    • View Profile
Re: NAB hub adapter question
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2009, 06:07:53 PM »
Wow, no way!
I can't believe they cost exactly what I'd seen them for many moons ago!
Well, at least we can say that they haven't gone up in price!
steve koto
 Sony scd 777es(R. Kern mods)> Vpi Aires>Dynavector XX-2mkll>Bent mu>CAT ultimate>CJ premeir 140>Magnepan 1.6qr(Jensen xover)Headphone Eddie Current Zana Deux>AT ad2000,HD800 ,Metric Halo ULN-2 (battery powered),
 HE Audio Jades

Offline kipdent

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
Re: NAB hub adapter question
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2009, 09:55:38 AM »
Get ready to laugh out loud in astonishment! Since the pictures I referenced above of the Studer NAB hubs show the original part number, I wrote Audiohouse in Switzerland to inquire if they had them in stock and if so, what would be their cost. Here you go:

1,030.00 CHF (that's $1,000 USD) for EACH hub, not a pair!

I'm guessing there must be nearly an ounce of gold in each one somewhere.  ;-)  Anyway, I guess $800 for the pair on ebay is a bargain!

Kip
Kip Peterson
Vintage-centric system with Apogee Acoustics Scintilla ribbon loudspeakers, Micro Seiki RX-5000 turntable and other odd bits of tube and solid state gear. Now a proud owner of a Studer A80 RC Mk II tape machine!

Offline mikel

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 169
    • View Profile
    • my system page.
Re: NAB hub adapter question
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2009, 10:18:12 AM »
the OEM stock Studer hubs on my A820 are built like a swiss watch. i've used the 'Darklab' hubs on a friends deck; they are lighter and the inards are moulded plastic. like holding a Rolex compared to holding a Hong Kong knock-off. the time i did use the 'darklabs' hubs a small plastic spacer inside the hub came loose and i could not figure out exactly how to fix it. so we used the stock Technics hubs instead.

i cannot say that the stock Studer hubs work better but they work in a perfectly swiss way.

'the best is the enemy of the merely very good'.....that Voltaire guy.
Mike Lavigne

Offline High and Outside

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 364
    • View Profile
Re: NAB hub adapter question
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2009, 10:49:27 PM »
i cannot say that the stock Studer hubs work better but they work in a perfectly swiss way.

That Studer part is as far away from the Darklabs part as you can imagine. The Darklabs part is just a dress ring that goes on a plastic Revox adapter (and is sold as just that and nothing more.) The Studer part is an amazing piece of precision engineering which when mounted on an A820 centers the reel so well that you can measure an actual improvement in the wow and flutter.
Paul Stubblebine
Managing Director, The TapeProject

Offline ironbut

  • Global Moderator
  • leader in spreading disinformation
  • *****
  • Posts: 2503
  • rs1500>repro amp#1
    • View Profile
Re: NAB hub adapter question
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2009, 11:10:26 PM »
i cannot say that the stock Studer hubs work better but they work in a perfectly swiss way.

 The Studer part is an amazing piece of precision engineering which when mounted on an A820 centers the reel so well that you can measure an actual improvement in the wow and flutter.

I knew it centered the reel (which is why I was looking for a pair until I found out how much they were) but improving wow/flutter,.. leave it to the Swiss!
steve koto
 Sony scd 777es(R. Kern mods)> Vpi Aires>Dynavector XX-2mkll>Bent mu>CAT ultimate>CJ premeir 140>Magnepan 1.6qr(Jensen xover)Headphone Eddie Current Zana Deux>AT ad2000,HD800 ,Metric Halo ULN-2 (battery powered),
 HE Audio Jades

Offline darklab

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
    • darklab
Re: NAB hub adapter question
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2010, 10:19:46 AM »
?
Hi @ all

To bring some light into the dark: the plastic darklab- adapters are made from the original moulds of the former supplier of Studer / Revox I found in Switzerland. So the plastic parts are absolutely identical.

The aluminium tops are improved in design. Instead of screwing them to the bottom part like in the past it is possible due to most modern CAD / CNC manufacturing to make the tolerances so tight, that a assembly without screws is possible. This ensures a very good equilibration so there are no vibrations, not even on fast winding. That's a reason why the screwless design is protected at the German Patent office.

In opposite to some low cost (and still screw- on) tops, darklab metal parts are not only machined but also hand- polished. That's the reason why darklab metal tops have a smooth glossy appearance and it?s a good feeling if one holds them in his hands.  It was never my intention to make the cheapest product, but the best. Since a couple of years, Revox in Germany purchases darklab adapter to sell them under the ReVox brand. I guess this is a proof for quality.

But, you can?t compare Studer adapters with darklab. For some models like A807 or A810 with standard trident reel take- up  the darklab?s (or any other brand) fit as well, but for some Studer devices a special adaptor is needed because these adapters are part oft the recorders motor / spindle plate. These two systems are absolutely incompatible. In the high time of R2R recorder, in Europe?s pro scene reels was not often used, but tapes just wound on the so called AEG hub or bobby. So it was very seldom necessary to change the take up for hub or reel and the price was lower and less bothering these days.

I hope this helped along for some things, if there are some grammatical bugs ? I have not very often occasions to keep my English up to date.  I?ll be not very often here, so if any questions don?t hesitate to contact me or Jeff directly.



Frank

Offline dodgeaspen

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 13
  • Conceptions Of Fate
    • View Profile
Re: NAB hub adapter question
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2010, 12:57:41 AM »
That's a LOT of money just to make the deck look nicer. I bought replacements for my Tascam 38 from Teac a few months ago for less then 20.00 including shipping. They may not dress up the deck but they work. I'd rather take the money I saved and buy more gear. BTW before buying from Junkbay call the dealer first to see if they have the part in stock. Their is a guy on the bay that tries to sell new adapters for Tascam at more then double the price. asc1975 is his screen name for Junkbay.