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Author Topic: Checking Out A Tape Recorder For Purchase  (Read 2092 times)

Offline rbwtapeinterlink-Bob

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Checking Out A Tape Recorder For Purchase
« on: January 05, 2008, 06:08:39 PM »
I was looking at several posts penned back in January 2007 regarding "Technics RS1500head rewiring" and found some very interesting comments from Doc B regarding the recorders he purchased that were mis-represented in terms of condition. It appeared to me that 100% of the Technic recorders purchased for the Tape Project were damaged in some way or not in the condition as stated by the seller. It also appeared that major refurbishing had to be done to bring the decks up to Tape Project standards.

As you all know I will be going fourth to look at some tape recorders with the idea of purchase. I've also placed an advert in the classified of our local paper that should run this weekend. Here is my question:

What should I look for other than the recorder does not work at all or barely? Is there a basic set of things I should make certain to check out? I did purchase a magnafying glass with a light to check out the tape heads. Will this help or did I wast the eight dollars I spent purchasing this thing (smile)? Thanks much for your input.

Bob W.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2008, 06:11:13 PM by rbwtapeinterlink »
Bob W. (African American) VPI, Ref Standard Grado, Denon 103r, Threshold, DecWare tube pre and Classe pre amp, Jolida tube phono pre amp, (Peter Gunn) modified Magnapan 1.6, Tascam 32-2B & 42B tape decks, Parasound belt drive CD transport, Pacific Valve tube DAC, VPI  TT, various upscale cables.

Offline ironbut

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Re: Checking Out A Tape Recorder For Purchase
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2008, 07:28:38 PM »
That magnifier will come in handy with just about any exam whether it's on a deck you own or thinking about buying. I keep meaning to buy one with a light on it. Using a light and magnifier is maddening. Take a 10.5" reel of familiar material with you. Something like solo piano is good. You want to listen to just 5 minutes or so to see if you can hear any audible flutter. Take enough time to ff/rewind and stop the deck at least once at the beginning, middle and end of the tape. This will test the braking and reel motors on both reel tables. When the weight distribution is as far from even it makes starting and stopping the most difficult. After the stops, hit play and stop a couple of times too. There's several things that happen at the same time when you hit play or stop from play. These things need to happen harmoniously (timing wise) or things like tape slack or the audible sound of the tape getting up to speed can be heard in playback. Bring a blank tape with you. Hook up the deck to anything and even if you don't, do a test recording. If the deck has a headphone output, listen while you turn the line/mic level up and down and then the output level level too. Switch every control in and out. Even if you have no plans to use a control, it's improper behavior might indicate a deeper problem or at least represent a bargaining chip on the selling price. One of the last things to try are the speed adjustments. If there's a problem with the motors or servo on the motors, the warmer they get, the more prone they seem to be to fail. Don't ask me why, but maybe someone that knows how these things work can chime in. One last thing, try and keep a tape treaded on the machine as much of the time your there as you can. Unless the tensioners are engaged, the capstan motor won't run( you want to give it a chance to fail too) and after you take your tape off the deck, test the tensioners with your finger, it should turn on the capstan quickly.
During all these procedures, keep an eye on how evenly the tape is being wrapped. On play, the outside of the tape should be smooth and even. Uneven tape wrap can indicate lots of tape handling or tape problems.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2008, 07:41:23 PM by ironbut »
steve koto
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Offline rbwtapeinterlink-Bob

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Re: Checking Out A Tape Recorder For Purchase
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2008, 06:50:44 AM »
Steve,

I want to thank you for taking the time to respond to my call for help. However, I want to thank you for introducing me to Mr. Richard Hess.  What a wonderful gentleman with a heart as big as Texas. He and I have been communicating via emails and he has been a major source of inspiration as you all have been here on Tape Project. Mr. Hess has gone out of his way to introduce me to others who share our love for music and audio knowledge. I had asked about the Sony APR-5000, but had no idea there was a club (group of users) where members discuss repair problems, machine specifics and other things about this recorder. I have gained a new knowledge of this recorder where I can make a rational decision about possible purchase. I also now know what the possibility of support is for this recorder. Now I can move on to others. And to think, all of this assistance because I dared ask for help.

I am most amazed how wonderful everyone has been and how much I have learned since reaching out to folk who know. This is an exciting ride for me and one that I would have wanted to miss. And, It's hard to describe how much fun I am having looking for another tape deck I can afford, while getting something that will provide music as I want to hear it.

Bob W.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2008, 06:58:07 AM by rbwtapeinterlink »
Bob W. (African American) VPI, Ref Standard Grado, Denon 103r, Threshold, DecWare tube pre and Classe pre amp, Jolida tube phono pre amp, (Peter Gunn) modified Magnapan 1.6, Tascam 32-2B & 42B tape decks, Parasound belt drive CD transport, Pacific Valve tube DAC, VPI  TT, various upscale cables.