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Messages - Waltzingbear

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General Discussion / Re: Full track playback with two track heads
« on: May 20, 2018, 01:06:29 PM »
have you received it yet and had a chance to try it?

I am concerned that it won't be sensitive enough to see the detail of the channels at 350nW/m


Tape Tech / Re: 7" reel on an ATR-102
« on: March 01, 2017, 07:46:50 PM »
the ATR uses a really tight servo on the reels, that's one of the things that makes it work so well. Because of that, ANY slippage of the reel on the platter will cause problems, that's why it is imperative that the reels be clamped down, the center splines on the reel platter are not enough.


Tape Tech / Re: 7" reel on an ATR-102
« on: January 26, 2017, 03:24:04 PM »
You should have no problems using 7" reels on an ATR102, was just doing it last night. 7" on one side and 10.5 on the other.

Have Krieg come in and look at the machine, it may need adjustment.

one of the strengths of this machine is it will use almost anything on the reel platters, Ampex first demonstrated this machine at the AES show with both of the reels wildly off center, with no audible wow.


Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: PLL Capstan Light on A810
« on: July 19, 2016, 06:28:02 PM »
unlikely, more likely is that they saw failures in the field from improper repair and said, HEY! pay attention, which is a translation of that tech note :-)

All the items mentioned previously apply, replace the caps, lubricate the capstan once a year, have someone with a scope check the servo if needed. Pay attention to Ki's warning about the inductor, don't touch unless you have to. "Unless you have to" can only be determined by someone who understands this circuit and is qualified at component level repair.

Repairing capstan servo systems is not for the daubler, find some one with the skills needed.


Tape Tech / Re: Weird speed issue with Otari 5050
« on: January 08, 2016, 12:15:20 PM »
This is a common problem for all versions of the MX5050, cleaning the pitch control switch will give you better sleep at night knowing your deck will roll tape at a consistent speed.  :-)


more than likely you are having a problem with a floating/ungrounded reel motor assembly. The tape provides a conductive path to the chassis with tape, and when non-conductive leader tape goes past, it can cause a charge buildup like a vandergrafe generator if the elements in the path do not provide a bleeder path.

This is not a good idea. making sure the reel is contacting the spindle and shaft is a starting point. But you need to go thru and clean all the contact points of the reel motor assembly.

But regardless, it should not be happening at play speeds anyway. Something is generating a glitch that is getting into the data path and causing the reset.


Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: Studer A810 Dead Capstan
« on: January 11, 2015, 05:17:32 PM »
did you knock the tach pickup out of alignment?

this will have to be troubleshot with a scope and basic functions in the motor drive checked.


General Discussion / Re: Wow!
« on: January 09, 2015, 02:48:01 PM »
Very nice, except I get a red box to write this in. Odd.


Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: Studer A810 Dead Capstan
« on: January 09, 2015, 02:31:38 PM »
starting with the basics-

does the capstan motor turn freely by hand?

check for loose connectors, most likely something got bumped.

but all of this is a little odd as you are describing the capstan motor of a Revox machine, not the Studer A810.
The Revox uses a pabst motor with a removable shaft, the A810 uses a sealed motor that should not be taken apart, nor is it that easy to do so. There is no rear clip on the motor.

Alan Garren

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: Studer A810 stuck in "Safe"
« on: November 14, 2014, 03:31:20 PM »
Studer did use Panasonic FC caps in the very last A827MCH decks, gold edition.

Mostly you need to consider the time frame of when these decks were designed, the early 1980's. I wouldn't trust many of the Panasonic caps from that time period. Some of the Frako caps were fine, but it seems to me that the plants were changed somewhere along the line and it didn't become apparent til many years later. Sort of like sticky shed with tape, worked fine out of the box. I would have preferred they use more of the Siemens caps from that era, but they changed too.

Be careful replacing components, you can do damage to ANY board if proper care is not taken. Spending money on proper tools before hand will save you money on replacement cost in the long run.


It is possible to use the MkII firmware in the MkI machines, you will not get the new features, but there are refinements that are useful. So, no, skimming and hx-pro will not work without hardware changes.

Alan Garren
Waltzing Bear Audio

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: PLL Capstan Light on A810
« on: March 18, 2014, 11:06:22 AM »
I have found that usually the thing that gets ignored is the already mentioned activity of lube!

you noted the 4000 vs 10000 hr difference noted in the manual, the motor is meant to have a drop of oil added each year. The type of oil is important and is noted on the bottom of the capstan motor on a red tag. Usually for this type of machine its PDP65, which is available from ebay or maybe amazon in small quantities (which is all you will ever need).

Procedure is in the manual


Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: Studer A807 Button Labels/Stickers
« on: July 18, 2013, 11:46:09 AM »
there is also a template of them in the manual, scanner, photoshop, clear adhesive mylar....   or the usb connectable P-Touch


Tape Tech / Re: Extended Response Heads
« on: November 12, 2012, 12:02:53 AM »
I'm not sure where you picked this bit of trivia, but it doesn't have much basis in actuality. Track width is set by the NAB standards or which ever set of head type you have (DIN, etc) Extended LF is mostly about contour which has no bearing on S/N.

Now it is true that some people do not like the extended freq head, its not because of loss of S/N. They measure quite well in that regard, and as to low end response I have measured flat response to 17hz on an ATR 102 I restored for a client. Top end was extended out to around 34kHz (slightly down) at 30ips.

Personally I didn't hear any problem with the heads, quite liked them.

Alan Garren

Be aware John (RF) is on vacation til next week and out of town.

instability in the high frequency area is what separates the men from the boys. In order to get really good hf phase stability, you're talking about professional/mastering type decks, most consumer decks are made with stamped parts that are not stiff enough, allowing the tape to skew during its travels. This includes the deck top plate.  Decks made with cast parts and precision aligned give you the phase stability we have all become accustomed to from digital land.

Can't agree more about visiting Dale Manquen's site to get great background material on understanding tape recorder mechanics. And don't forget Jay McKnights site at MRL, technical reading material. Those are two of the people who helped design and build these decks in the first place.

Alan Garren

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