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Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Studer A80 or A80RC
« on: June 15, 2010, 12:17:36 PM »
Considering only the tape transport performance and ignoring the audio electronics, is there any significant difference between the 1/4" A80 and the A80RC?

Christhofer, you did an impressive job - these files are much easier to use without all the long headers.  I will re-install my old version of Filemaker just to read them in this format. Are they compatible with version 4.1?
My A80 also thanks you! :-)

I have now aligned most of the tape mechanism of my Studer A80R.  Several parts were replaced (the advice of some experienced Tapeproject members was really of great help), all tape tensions seem correct ? I can go from any mode to another one without any tape looping or visible stress in the tape tension rollers.
But after I wind or re-wind a tape if FF or REW mode the tape is wound in an un-even fashion, not  with the smooth continuous aspect  that the tape takes after playback. In this mode the tape is very well centered in the spool. 
Does anybody have a suggestion how to fix this ?

Thanks Tod, Dan and Steve. After some weeks "fighting" with an old A80 with the help of a sound card PC spectrometer and  the D. Manquen "Flutter Database" for the A80 (really a valuable tool for tuning any Studer), I am fully able to understand your opinions.
Can I also ask for some detail on the modifications?

Hi Tod,

Although I know such appreciations can be subjective, can you share with us why you consider that A820 transport is better than the A80 one?

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: Studer A80 left roller guide
« on: May 08, 2010, 06:15:25 AM »
My machine is an A80R - the first model. I see now that one of the damping pots is an original and the second one is from a A80RC mk2 - perhaps this explains the difference.
However this is the kind of part is it is risky to buy from broken decks - how can we be sure they are in good conditions? I will try to refill and balance them to be symmetrical. I have successfully repaired several tonearm lift dampers using a special silicone fluid that was used to couple photomultipliers to scintillators.   
The strange left roller  guide behavior only shows when pressing play or stop in fast forward mode - I can go from fast forward  to rewind on any mode from rewind smoothly. There are no tape loops in any case.

Looking at the capstan I found the shaft still has 9.5 mm in the upper part that are mint and decided to try a little experiment -
using larger screws I will fit a 7 mm precision spacer between the motor and the chassis. Like this the tape and pinch roller will work against a matte shaft.   

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: Studer A80 left roller guide
« on: May 07, 2010, 01:45:59 PM »
Hi Ki and Tim,
Thanks for your advice. I looked at the dash pot of the left tension arm and it seems loose - the right one is much more damped. Do you know if it can be refilled? I have access to  silicones of different viscosity.
Concerning the capstan shaft I have a doubt - the motor seems perfect and the weight makes impractical sending it from Europe to the US and back. Can I send only the shaft? JMTechnical Arts can resurface it and I also found that MDI can sleeve the capstan with a ceramic coating. 
BTW I checked the capstan shaft with a Mahr 40F micrometer  - concentricity is really better than .5 micron!

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: Curious about R2R
« on: May 07, 2010, 05:29:21 AM »
IMHO you can not make an ordered list of "preferred machines" as there are too many variables to consider when choosing a tape machine. I already went through more than half a dozen before settling (I hope ...) in the Studer A80.
The main issue is application - do you want to record your tapes or just to listen to some pre-recorded tapes? I am a Tapeproject subscriber and bought a Bottlehead Eros so audio electronics was not important for me. 
As these machines are old and have mechanical parts service is also an issue - do not buy something you can not get parts or people to service. 
For people located in Europe buying USA manufactured machines can be a nightmare due to shipping and customs costs. A good thing for the A80 is that it uses about 30 ball bearings - you buy a working cheap noisy machine with lots of use and can replace the noisy ones  - an easy job if you have some experience and patience - but then everything moves so smoothly... Also, the quality of the freely available Studer service manuals is very good. Are you doing maintenance of the machine or do you have to ask someone to do it?
If you are buying from eBay or similar sources remember that for most sellers excellent condition machine means something that turns the reels and moves the VU needles - just that -and mint heads means they have carefully cleaned them!
You refer Revox's  - one the nice thing about them is that many people are disassembling old machines and selling them for parts at eBay at cheap prices - it is very easy to get spares.
Oh - I almost forget, the A80 weights about 70 kg ...

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Studer A80 left roller guide
« on: May 06, 2010, 04:45:51 PM »
I have now received my A80R from Holland. Everything seems working, tapes tension is correct, and except some noisy bearings that I must replace there is little to complain. Just two details are bothering me. When I press the stop machine everything stops fast and smoothly except the left roller guide (usually hidden by the headblock cover) that keeps rolling for a few seconds until the tape pressure stops - is this normal?
Also the capstan is polished in the contact area - will it affect performance? Must of the photos I seen in the net have the same polishing.
Thanks for your advise and help.

Tape Tech / Re: Possible replacement for 5532 opamp?
« on: April 29, 2010, 05:38:59 PM »
Hi Ki,
You can find information about the AD8066 and SMD sockets here:

You should be very cautious using this IC - it has a very wide bandwidth and circuit layout and power supply decoupling can be critical, otherwise you can turn your board in an high frequency oscillator! I doubt that these precautions were taken in the layout of old tape recorder pcbs. The LT1469 seems more "stable".

Some time ago I had to design and build a ultra low noise, low drift preamplifier for the measurements of in the pA zone for a photodiode and it needed a lot of additional decoupling capacitors in the power supply.

Tape Tech / Re: Possible replacement for 5532 opamp?
« on: April 29, 2010, 03:00:33 PM »
Hi Dan,
Can I ask you what ICs you are using in the ATR 100 used to record the Tapeproject tapes? They sound great!

Tape Tech / Re: NAB EQ filter values
« on: April 26, 2010, 10:12:23 AM »
Hi Aron,

Application note AND8177D from ON semiconductor for the NE5534 has some data on values for RIAA and NAB equalization - see


Tape Tech / Wow and fluter meter calibration
« on: April 26, 2010, 10:05:20 AM »
Another naive question:
How do you calibrate a wow and flutter meter? Apparently one could use a CD recorded with standard tones having a know amount of wow and flutter, but I could not find any reference to such standards.

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Studer A80 - A810 tape transport
« on: April 18, 2010, 07:08:15 AM »
This question is related to a tape machine to be used with a Tube Repro, mainly for playback. Which machine has better mechanics and should sound better with the Tape Project tapes?
I have a bias towards the A80 - electronic maintenance is much easier and almost all components can be bought easily, except the logic proms, as they are standard parts.
Thanks for your help!

What would be the position to operate a Studer A80, the vertical or the horizontal one? I saw that specifications are usually taken in the horizontal position:  can I conclude that this position will yield the best sound?

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