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Topics - slorinczi

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Tape Tech / Otari 5050 8-track Issues: Noise, Static
« on: August 22, 2009, 10:18:09 PM »
Hi Folks,

I own an early-model (two "suitcases") Otari 5050 1/2" 8-track. My understanding is that the machine was used regularly as recently as 10 - 15 years ago, but has been pretty much dormant since then. I cleaned and de-magged, and aligned and calibrated it for +6 (I understand Otari recommends +4). All in all, the machine set up very easily and needed very little adjustment.

However, after tracking a couple of songs, I'm noticing a disturbing static. It's audible on some tracks while monitoring in "source" (some worse than others) and worst of all, it's occasionally making its way to tape.

Seems like there's two issues: The random static during monitoring, and then a harsh kind of clipping distortion (definitely dependent on the source material) during playback.

I've ruled out my mics, cables, and pres. I've thoroughly sprayed out all the pots and card slots. I'm going to realign the deck to make sure I didn't majorly goof. Aside from that, any suggestions? I really can't tell if the caps on the cards are original; some people on other forums have suggested that the popping noises / static may be due to bad transistors on the rec / repro cards, but honestly I wouldn't even know how to test them. (Just checking voltages on all three legs?)

Anyway, I'm pulling out what's left of my hair and I'm open to any suggestions or advice!


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