P

pewternhrata

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
175 2
#1
Grabbed it in a heartbeat, have a very vague question for anyone who's knows about reel to reel. The power button is extremely quirky, does not always stay in the on position. Everything seems to work but the tape will tighten up after a bit and stop spinning. A very slight crackling from the back can be heard after it 'seizes' up. No I have not really played around with it (I'd hate to damage it, honestly ran it less than 5 mins) My question is very vague and I understand that, but what price range am I looking at for a once over, new belt oiled power button at a minimum rough ballpark, and any guess to the cost of a full restoration? I understand there are multiple variables at play. I ask because I plan on having it looked at, but dont want to be 'taken' for more than it's worth. Meters light up and appear to work and the unit has no scratches or Knicks what so ever.
20180715_211542.jpg
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Ratings
7,474 17 25
#2
Why did you buy it and what are going to use it for?

Reel to reel tape machines are among the most complex pieces of audio equipment around, both from a mechanical and electrical point of view. Compounding the problem is that a lot of machines in the late seventies and pretty much all during the eighties had custom microprocessor and other IC chips to control the transport. These are long NLA and so the restorer is looking for salvage parts if they work.

Now I can not find a power switch for your machine. The belt is available. There is a lot of dismantling to change it. Yours is a three motor machine, but since it reverses there are two capstans and hence the drive belt.

Now the cracking is a very bad omen indeed. So this machine is quite likely not repairable and is a parts machine.

Now restoring a tape machine is a lot of work, and very expensive. It requires a lot of knowledge, equipment and patience. Most restorers will only work on machines with tubes or discrete transistors. These are earlier machines than yours.

Since yours is a non working machine it is worth $100 at most. A working machine like yours, but not restored is worth $350 to $500. Certified restored with warranty about $1000.

The cost of restoration by a skilled restorer is probably going to coast you $1000 and may be more, if you can find one. Most machines are restored by owner DIY enthusiasts. For a vintage enthusiast the value of the machine does not correlate to what they will spend on restoration!

Lastly you will really only be able to use that machine to play back prerecorded four track tapes. These never had the best quality as they were high speed copies. Making recordings will not likely be possible. No one makes new magnetic tape of the correct bias range for most machines of that era. ATR magnetics make very expensive tapes that require very high record bias. It is possible, but unlikely that your machine could be set up for that tape. So you would have to find a source of vintage tape if you want to record with it. Unfortunately every brand of tape had a different record bias spec. So to get good results you had to stick with one type of tape and a professional or knowledgeable owner with lots of expensive equipment could do the calibration.

If you do get it restored, set it up to use in the forward direction only. Do not use reverse. Turn the tape over. The tape has a different skew on the heads in forward and reverse. I have never worked on a reversing machine that you could get a perfect adjustment for both forward and reverse. So I set them up like a one direction machine.

In general the Far Eastern machines were very difficult to work on as they were thrown together. The Revox and the professional equivalent Studer machines are the best. Only Willi Studer could make tape heads with a response down to 20 Hz.

The American Ampex machines are also a good bet, but not so plentiful. The Revox A 700 below the Mk6 uses discrete transistors and these machines are a good bet for restoration. When I bought my non working Mk6 the oscillator chip that drives the direct drive capstan motor had failed. I had to patiently wait many months before finding a used replacement board.

If you really want to pursue this, and its not worth it, unless you want to get serious about reel to reel, then you should join the Tape Head forum.

This is certainly a fascinating hobby, but before getting involved make sure you have the desire and tenacity to pursue it. If you are going to count the cost it is not for you. If you do pursue it, you will end up restoring multiple machines because of differing tape speeds and track formats.
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
Ratings
280 5 1
#3
Or the unit just has lubricant which has turned to varnish, in which case your unit could be up and running like new in a few minutes for peanuts.
 
P

pewternhrata

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
175 2
#4
Both ends of the spectrum as I expected lol, nothing personal too ya both. I got the teac, as well as a sony TC 630 for nothing (free). As I said I know nothing about rtr but for this deal I couldn't pass it up. Also got a good 50+ tapes
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,280 19 47
#5
I couldn't tell you but bet not all that many people still service such....the specific forum TLS suggested sounds like a better place for the question and who to get quotes from. Great price. :)
 
P

pewternhrata

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
175 2
#6
Or the unit just has lubricant which has turned to varnish, in which case your unit could be up and running like new in a few minutes for peanuts.
Power button is the type that's similar to a pen, push and it stays on, push again and it turns off. The issue was, when turned off, the button didnt retract far enough to reset the mechanism, little deoxit and it's back in business, no more crackling (assuming a bad connection was causing it)
Lightly/slowly spun the rollers/spindles and some are definitely snug, reading further into it I'm assuming the biggest issue is the pinch roller linkage is binding up of course from old grease. I've been reading up and watching a few videos, aside from taking it apart (which more time consuming than difficult) it seems relatively easy to work on. Of course I dont have the tools for alignment and all but I dont see why I couldn't get it up and running. I have quite a few people in the area that work on vintage gear and most are more than willing to give input. Some of them are very eager to make trade offers site unseen. So who knows what I'll end up doing.
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
Ratings
280 5 1
#7
Power button is the type that's similar to a pen, push and it stays on, push again and it turns off. The issue was, when turned off, the button didnt retract far enough to reset the mechanism, little deoxit and it's back in business, no more crackling (assuming a bad connection was causing it)
Lightly/slowly spun the rollers/spindles and some are definitely snug, reading further into it I'm assuming the biggest issue is the pinch roller linkage is binding up of course from old grease. I've been reading up and watching a few videos, aside from taking it apart (which more time consuming than difficult) it seems relatively easy to work on. Of course I dont have the tools for alignment and all but I dont see why I couldn't get it up and running. I have quite a few people in the area that work on vintage gear and most are more than willing to give input. Some of them are very eager to make trade offers site unseen. So who knows what I'll end up doing.
I don't know where you live; but, call a radio station or two and ask to speak with an engineer. Ask if he knows of any engineers which are still around who kept the tape recorders running when the station was still using tape recorders. Getting that guy to work on your recorder is a way to get your recorder running if you can't do it yourself, or if there are no magnetic tape recorder repair shops in your area. Fortunately, I live in Louisville, KY where there is such a repair center.
 
B

Bernie Williams

Audiophyte
Ratings
2
#8
Give these guys a call. I have had two decks restored/repaired, one was a sony TC 366 (early 70's vintage) that I was told by other folks could not be repaired. Both decks cost about 500 to fix up.

Since this is my first post, evidently I cannot post a link. Anyway google "The REEL PRO SOUND guys" Had a great experience with them
 
KaatheSnake

KaatheSnake

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
439 14 146
#9
Grabbed it in a heartbeat, have a very vague question for anyone who's knows about reel to reel. The power button is extremely quirky, does not always stay in the on position. Everything seems to work but the tape will tighten up after a bit and stop spinning. A very slight crackling from the back can be heard after it 'seizes' up. No I have not really played around with it (I'd hate to damage it, honestly ran it less than 5 mins) My question is very vague and I understand that, but what price range am I looking at for a once over, new belt oiled power button at a minimum rough ballpark, and any guess to the cost of a full restoration? I understand there are multiple variables at play. I ask because I plan on having it looked at, but dont want to be 'taken' for more than it's worth. Meters light up and appear to work and the unit has no scratches or Knicks what so ever. View attachment 25055
Lawdy lawdy lawdy! MAN THAT'S A NICE FIND! Me and @TLS Guy are the reel to reel fanatics here! Yes, that's a great home stereo machine. I have a TEAC A3340S (which is older than yours, and a 4 track multitrack deck,) and I'm sending it up to Sam Palermo very soon. I'd send it up to him. He's the expert on repairing these things. He costs about $950 for a full blown repair and look over, which is quite pricey, but WELL worth the money because he will make your deck into a JAW DROPPING piece of art! He's on Tapeheads.net. His username is @Skywavebe. Give him a buzz. He'll definitely help you, and get you a deck the kicks butt! Just my advice.
Thanks,
Ryan (Or Kaa, OR Snake)
 

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