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Author Topic: Otari mx5050 reel adjusting discs  (Read 11027 times)

Offline peskevino

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Otari mx5050 reel adjusting discs
« on: August 13, 2010, 01:12:23 AM »
Does anywhere know where I can get reel adjusting discs (shims) for 10.5" metal reels on my otari mx 5050? If not is there something else that would work? I usually use 7" reels but just got some 10.5" ones and they have a little over an 1/8" of space that needs to be shored up. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Offline ironbut

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Re: Otari mx5050 reel adjusting discs
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2010, 02:42:38 AM »
Hi peskevino,
1/8th an inch is quite a bit more than the adjusting shims will bring the reels out. I'd say that they're closer to 1/16th of an inch or so but you could always double up.
You can usually find some floating around on eBay but with logos like Tascam, Teac , Revox etc.. They're usually around $10 a pair and the reels cover them up so the name doesn't really matter.
In the meantime, you can always do what I did for a while,.. cutting some out from thin cardboard. I had some that I made out of Uncle Ben's Wild/Long Grain Rice boxes which I used to eat all the time (I got pretty burned out on that salty stuff now). That kind of box is just the right thickness for my machine.
The eBay ones are made of plastic so they aren't really that much better than the cardboard. Some have a metallic finish on them that can kind of scuff up the aluminum reels so I used to use them with the finished side in.
steve koto
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Offline docb

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Re: Otari mx5050 reel adjusting discs
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2010, 08:43:34 AM »
Otari spacers are .026" thick. Technics spacers are a tiny bit thinner, like about .024" - not really enough difference to matter much. We had a very small batch of rubber spacers made a couple years ago that were .025" and worked on either machine.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
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Offline peskevino

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Re: Otari mx5050 reel adjusting discs
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2010, 10:43:20 AM »
Thanks for the info guys it is much appreciated. I tried looking for some on ebay and I am thinking that I didn't phrase my search right because I came back with no results. Do you know what the actual technical name for these are? My manual calls them reel adjusting discs. Thanks again.

Offline docb

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Re: Otari mx5050 reel adjusting discs
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2010, 11:02:40 AM »
Seems like they are usually called hub spacers or metal reel spacers. They don't come up on ebay all that often any more. It's likely that many got lost or tossed over the years and the ones that are left are being grabbed up as tape is being rediscovered.  I've used the same approach as Steve with good success. Just take a caliper to your cereal cupboard and see if you can't find some cardboard that is about the right thickness and cut a couple of circles. We can start a thread about whether Wheaties spacers or Frosted Flakes spacers sound better. And then someone can come on the market with the $3500 version made from these:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/archive/200803A03.html
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
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Offline peskevino

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Re: Otari mx5050 reel adjusting discs
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2010, 11:38:12 AM »
Thanks Doc, that is what I was going to try and do. I have another question. The manual says that the spacers go in between the reel and the turntable. Last night I made a spacer that was maybe a tad thick but not too much and it shored things up but now I have some pretty solid tape rubbing going on because the reel is not quite in alignment with the heads. There actually seems to be a good amount of space that I need to shim out there. Is this normal?

Offline ironbut

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Re: Otari mx5050 reel adjusting discs
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2010, 11:52:32 AM »
I sounds like either the reel is warped/bent or you need to adjust the reel table height. It's usually pretty easy to adjust that and maybe a previous owner overdid it a little.
You should download the owners/service manual. There's a link in the "Reel to Reel links" sticky located above the General forum in reply #13 and #6 (#13 is more complete).

http://www.tapeproject.com/smf/index.php/topic,396.0.html

It's a kinda trial an error sort of thing since you need to find a good compromise between the thickness of plastic 7" and aluminum 10.5" reels.
I'd suggest that you get a pair of the rubber spacers from Doc. I use those and they avoid any slipping or shifting of the reel (as long as the NAB adapter is holding the reel down tight enough).
In fact, you might just wait on doing the adjustments until you get a pair of spacers you're going to live with.
steve koto
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Offline peskevino

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Re: Otari mx5050 reel adjusting discs
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2010, 12:07:24 PM »
The reels I have are brand new and out of the box and don't appear to be warped, (although they are quantegy so they may be a little old). This is definitely some kind of spacing issue. I think I am going to go down to the rubber/plastic store a little later and see I can find something to make it work temporarily. I am recording on 7" reels right now so I can wait for a proper solution, I just want to eventually be able to record on the 10.5's. Doc, do you have any of these spacers I can buy? Thanks again guys, I really appreciate it.

Offline docb

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Re: Otari mx5050 reel adjusting discs
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2010, 12:40:42 PM »
Sorry to say the small run of spacers we had made is long gone.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline peskevino

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Re: Otari mx5050 reel adjusting discs
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2010, 07:17:27 PM »
Thanks anyway doc. By the way I love this forum.

Offline Grant99

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Re: Otari mx5050 reel adjusting discs
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2010, 10:01:39 PM »
If you are referring to shims to line up the tape path when you use 10.5 inch metal reels, that sit under the reel, I bought some last year for my Otari  MX-5050 from Jeff at J-Corder.com.  If you guys recall, he is the one who does refurbs/custom rebuilds on Technics decks...he sells shims that are made of a soft vinyl type material.  I bought 2 from him, they are fine.

Regards
Grant
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Offline DJ Darkhorse

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Re: Otari mx5050 reel adjusting discs
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2010, 01:29:36 PM »
I have been looking around for the same thing. I bid on a pair of Otari Reel Adjusting Discs on ebay,
they went for $20. WTF. I found a guy who designed some on an autocad, but didn't put up a template.

From suggestions i have read I think cutting them out of the tops of Margarine tubs, or using the clear plastic
flexible sleeves for Cd's you can buy for 5c each seems best.

So I knocked up a template quick in illustrator to print out. I just made a .5" hole in the center to make it easier to cut out with a blade.

Here is a basic PDF template you can print out and cut out. It is 4" wide, with a 0.5" hole.
http://www.sendspace.com/pro/dl/nfps00

Also the Teac TZ 612's have built in adjusting disks. i have a pair and they work fine on my Otari mx 55 and 5050.

« Last Edit: August 26, 2010, 02:51:24 PM by DJ Darkhorse »

Offline ironbut

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Re: Otari mx5050 reel adjusting discs
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2010, 05:59:58 PM »
I think anything that's the right thickness will work. I do however, think that something that's softer with a little grip to it works best in the long run.
The reason that I like stuff like rubber or cardboard over hard plastic is with many NAB hold downs, there is a little slippage (especially with heavy reels). While I don't think that it will affect performance at all, that tiny bit of movement between the spacer and an aluminum reel will mar the surface of the flange.
steve koto
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Offline DJ Darkhorse

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Re: Otari mx5050 reel adjusting discs
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2010, 07:18:00 PM »
I think anything that's the right thickness will work. I do however, think that something that's softer with a little grip to it works best in the long run.
The reason that I like stuff like rubber or cardboard over hard plastic is with many NAB hold downs, there is a little slippage (especially with heavy reels). While I don't think that it will affect performance at all, that tiny bit of movement between the spacer and an aluminum reel will mar the surface of the flange.

Ok makes sense, carboard is easy to find, rubber not so. But so I looked online found sheets of rubber, 4.56 per yard. will order some, make my own.

http://www.mcmaster.com/#rubber/=8ktxfp


Offline Tim

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Re: Otari mx5050 reel adjusting discs
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2010, 07:42:14 PM »
With a vertically oriented deck, a loose grip on the supply reel will cause reel to "fall" every few seconds.  I call it "reel clunk".  It most definitely causes a momentary spike of flutter, which can be quite audible with steady-state tones. 
« Last Edit: August 26, 2010, 10:34:44 PM by Tim »
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