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Messages - docb

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Service Resources / Service Resource list - a few guidelines
« on: January 18, 2007, 04:46:12 PM »
We all know that finding a technician to work on your prized tape machine is not easy these days. The purpose of this list is to develop a useful resource for folks around the globe who need to get their reel to reel tape recorder serviced. Thus we need everyone to be very clear about what specific machines or parts the service person or company works on, and whether you have actually used their service or just heard of them.

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Otari MX-5050BII low speed
« on: January 17, 2007, 04:20:19 PM »
I happen to have one of these sitting here, so I'll start the database:

Otari MX-5050BII low speed version ( 3.75 ips and 7.5 ips)

10.5" reel capable with Otari hub adapters

IEC EQ switch on rear panel, below power cord.

no 15 ips on this low speed version as delivered, but this is switchable internally.
Extracted from Otari tech bulletin TB-5050-001:

1) Remove the six screws attaching the rear panel to the tape deck
2) Remove the 4 Allen screws that hold the right side panel to the frame. Remove the panel.
3) The Speed Selection Switch is located on the control PCB assembly (labeled SW701)
4) Slide the switch from the L position to the H position. This will now allow switching on the front of the machine between 7.5ips and 15ips.
To fine tune the setup you can use a speed reference tape and measure the frequency of the output signal from the tape. There are three adjustment pots (L,H,M) on the Capstan Servo Control PCB. The H pot will adjust the 15 ips speed.

The MX-5050BII comes with both 1/2 track and quarter track playback heads, reputed to be the same heads as those used on the Technics RS1500 and some other machines. These are very soft heads so check carefully for head wear when evaluating a machine.

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Tape Machine Compatibility Database Project
« on: January 17, 2007, 01:22:41 PM »
I am happily getting deluged with emails asking whether machine XYZ will work with Tape Project tapes. This is something we expected, and our desire is to build a database of compatible and incompatible but adaptable machines.

The basic requirements of a reel to reel machine for Tape Project tape playback are:

  • handles 10.5" reels
  • plays at 15 ips
  • has 1/4" half track stereo (a.k.a. two track) playback head
  • has IEC (a.k.a. CCIR) playback equalization

Some machines have all of this right out of the box. One example would be the high speed version of the Otari MX-5050BII. Another is the Technics RS1520. Others are adaptable - for example a low speed MX-5050BII can be reset internally for 7.5/15 ips, and it may be possible to activate the IEC EQ on NAB type RS1500s.

So what we would like to see posted to this thread is info that you have determined by looking at any  machines you have in your possession. A simple post naming the brand and model and listing whether it meets or does not meet each of the the above criteria is all that is necessary. Please be as specific as possible about the model number as there are a lot of variants of some classic machines like Revox, Technics, Otari, etc. when it come to tape speed, head complement, EQ settings, etc. Info from brochures, websites, etc., is welcome too, but please be very clear to state that it's from a second hand source rather than from a machine that's sitting in front of you. Believe it or not, some info on the Web is wrong...

Tape Project Machines / The Seduction Repro Amp Project
« on: January 16, 2007, 05:31:39 PM »

Here's a link to the project that kind of started it all:

Prerecorded Tapes / Re: Barclay-Crocker tape catalog?
« on: January 16, 2007, 12:33:22 PM »
The owners are still around. They now own an online bath and shaving supply and I believe one of them is a high end real estate broker. Maybe they would have a complete list?

The Number White / Catalog
« on: January 15, 2007, 08:05:30 PM »
Here's a link to the current Tape Project catalog for 2007:

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: IEC Equalization
« on: January 15, 2007, 06:38:08 PM »
Hey Gary,

Welcome to the forum. The MX-5050BII should have a switch on the back for IEC EQ. If it's a 7.5 ips/15ips model you should be good to go with the stock solid state repro (studio talk for playback) electronics. If the 5050 is a 3.75 ips/7.5ips model you can convert it to 7.5/15 by getting a service manual and finding the instructions for moving some jumpers or a switch - I can't remember which.

For the Technics, if it's a US model you will need to add IEC EQ in the repro electronics, which you can do with a Seduction modified for IEC EQ and a very simple rewire of the cables coming off the head selector switch. I don't have the specific scoop, but I have heard from a customer who has a 1520 with switchable NAB/IEC EQ, and it may be that the non-US versions of the 1500/1700 machines have IEC EQ. If anyone can confirm this, please let us know.

Regardless of which machine you use, make sure it is in top notch shape mechanically - fresh belts, good pinch wheels, good bearings and good heads.

As for further developments, we do have a more advanced NAB/IEC repro amp design that we demoed in the TAD room at CES with. It's not quite ready for prime time but it will be soon, and it should be able to integrate with a wide range of tape decks by tapping directly off the repro head.

We're also laying plans for an all out assault on a home playback machine, based on the Technics isoloop tape path and our own electronics, repackaged in a more modern looking chassis and with some extra features like IR remote, built in scope, etc.

Forum Rules / Welcome to the Tape Project Forum - please read first
« on: January 15, 2007, 04:31:49 PM »
Thanks for stopping by the Tape Project Forum. While this forum is hosted by the Tape Project it is not limited to discussion of Tape Project products. We hope to create a haven for all things reel to reel that you Tape Heads might wish to discuss.

The Tape Project is a California LLC founded by Paul Stubblebine of Paul Stubblebine Mastering, Michael Romanowski of Michael Romanowski Mastering and Dan "Doc B." Schmalle of Bottlehead Corp. Dan has retired from the Tape Project and the company is currently owned by Paul and Michael.

We have decided to implement a few rules that have worked well on forums hosted by our friends.

First, we require registration for the privilege of posting. Also, regardless of your chosen moniker everyone must sign their posts with their real name and any audio industry affiliation they may have. When we have to take responsibility for our actions we tend to show more respect for each other and keep things more civilized.

It's easy to set up your member preferences so that your signature is automatically added to each post as you see at the bottom of this one. Go to the Quick Links menu pull-down in the upper right of this page and select Edit Profile. Scroll to the bottom of that page and you will find Signature. You can put your name in there and it will be added automatically to all your posts.

Secondly, we require that any information offered about an experience be firsthand, that is, no "I heard that some guys/my friend/my enemy/my mom tried that and hated/loved it" posts. Only posts that are based upon first hand experience are truly useful in the Internet environment. If someone you respect told you of their experience and you are dying to share it, ask that person to post their first hand experience here themself.

Thirdly, no flames, no feuds, no whiners and no name calling. This is a privately funded commercial forum and as such we reserve the right to ban anyone who repeatedly acts like a jerk.

Fourthly, no for sale or want ads, no crossposts, and no "what's the best tape recorder/tape/album/etc?" posts. For this forum to grow into a useful archive of reel to reel info we need to keep the fluff to a minimum. Please ask specific questions about specific items, and please try to offer answers based on firsthand experience. If your answer is theoretical and not based on actual results, please be clear on this.

Lastly, Tape Project management does not condone the copying and distribution of any recordings except by those who have acquired a license from the legal owner of the recording. We will ask folks to refrain from discussing the copying or trade of unauthorized master duplicates. Please discuss this subject on some other forum besides the TP forum. We at the Tape Project wish to make it clear to the public that we do not in any way condone the making of illegal copies of any recordings and that all of our albums are made from legitimate licensed masters.

Thanks for checking us out and welcome to the swamp,

Dan Schmalle
forum janitor

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