As above, im after a reel to reel machine as i have an itch to try one.
Im putting feelers out to see if anyone has one they would like to sell or swap, im not after something very expensive, my budget is something around a couple of hundred quid for something reasonable that will tell me wether its something i want to delve into more. To be frank, i havent a clue what im doing with an rtr machine......
There's a 'top ten' open reel article in the Dec 2020 issue of Hi-Fi News.
Akai GX-4000D Denon DH-710S Otari MX5050 Pioneer RT-707 Revox G36 Revox A77/B77 Sony TC-377 Sony TC-350 Technics RS-1500/1700 Teac x-Series
I had an Akai many years ago, but gave it to a friend. I cannot recall the model, but it did suffer from fairly high hiss. I still have tapes from back then and occasionally toy with the idea of another machine. I do own a couple of Nagra field recorders that could play the smaller spools, but a nice vertical machine is quite appealing (although I have no idea where I'd put it!). The Otari looks interesting...
I didn't spot that this is a new adapter. There was a 10" unit for the Nagra, but they are very rare.
Mike used to be a film sound recordist and used a Nagra for effects used on "The Deep" and for the mountain shots on "K2". He started at Pinewood and was head of recording there at one time and also maintained and serviced their decks at the time they transitioned from the unreliable valve-based units to machines from Nagra. He now just services and sells equipment: I bought one of my machines from him and the other is ex-BBC from a former Nagra engineer in France. Mike serviced both.
There's no doubt that the sound from a finely tuned R:R can be utterly captivating. However, the 'finely tuned' part of that statement is the crux of the biscuit. Ant - you haven't said what you want to use your dream machine for.
I had great fun placing microphones on my speakers, then getting real, live musical instrument playing friends and family to sit between them to play their instrument. Playback of this is startling in realism and will make you reassess any expectations you may have of your gear when used in the normal way, with conventional recordings.
Article 94: It's OK to drop the cow, but not as a weapon.
I did my due dilligence, as far as i could without standing in front of the machine, and bought a sony tc377. It looks in very nice cosmetic condition, looks like its been looked after, and comes with the oem sony din cable and mains lead, and one set of reels.
Its been tested as working with said tape, and has the f&f heads which are supposedly more robust than the older ones.
Thanks for the help thus far, ill probably need more advice later down the line when it arrives, so expect some potentially dim questions on my part...
as you know, i paid 200 quid for it, as a working and tested machine in need of a service. Cosmetic condition is very very good better than the pictures portrayed it. There is only one small scratch in the black paint and a couple of small stickers on the side near the audio connectors, and one of the pins that the tape head cover sits on is broken. i'll just make another one on the lathe, its just a threaded pin so not a problem. otherwise, it's nigh on perfect.
This didn't get off to a good start, as when it arrived the machine would not play, and the rewind function wouldn't work properly. the rewind issue sorted itself out, and some vindictive turning of the tape speed control accompanied by various curses and threats finally got the idler mechanism for play to engage.
the transport is noisy, but its working well enough to have a quick blast of it, and to be very encouraged by the noises that come out of it.
I was well pissed off that it wouldn't work, as I bought it as working and tested, it almost went back. I gave it one last chance this morning before I boxed it up. its a good job it listened to the swearing and threats, and coughed back into life, otherwise it'd be in the back of a postie van at this moment.
I'll pull it apart and give it a good clean, a new set of belts and go through the linkages to clean and re lubricate them. also wants the tape path cleaning, the pinch roller is filthy, and so are the heads. its running a little slow, so the flywheel, idlers and reel spindles will all get a good going over.
the sound that came out of it in its current state piqued my interest hard, but as the bloody kids are at home doing lessons on teams, I'm not even going to attempt any work on it until they are out of the way. It's far too complicated to even try when there is no space to work and a quiet environment.
martin, if you want to move this thread to sources or something please do, ill update it as i start to hack into it rather than starting a whole new thread
for now, i'll just have to look at it, but its a cool thing to look at. onwards!
Well i spent a rather pleasurable and productive friday afternoon fixing the r2r. I found out what the initial problem was, and what the big 'clonk' was when some spite was applied to the speed selector. The mech is quite clever in how one motor spinning at a single speed performs all the functions.
At the top of the machine between the 2 reel tables there are a pair of idlers. In the middle is the motor, and at the bottom is the main drive idler and flywheel.
The right hand reel table is driven anticlockwise by a belt from the flywheel whose bearing shaft doubles as the capstan. The pinch roller comes forward and up to rest on this shaft with the tape inbetween.
The left hand reel table is driven directly by a belt from the motor for rewind.
The flywheel has 2 drive surfaces, which are driven by an idler which moves forward and backward, to 3 fixed positions. These positions correspond with 3 steps on the motor pulley.
The 2 idlers at the top, are part of the rewind mech, they move together to reverse the motion, driving the right hand reel table clockwise when its rewinding, to stop the tape being stretched when its rewinding.
So ive stripped it and rebuilt all 3 idlers and used lithium grease for the shafts, and fitted a complet set of belts.
The problem it had was mainly with the speed change control.
It has a rotating plastic ramp that pushes the idler wheel forward, (towards the front face of the machine) or allows it to go backwards (towards the back of the machine) under spring pressure if its rotated the other way. The idler arm itsself slides on a pair of rods. The arm was stuck on one of the rods so it was not able to move backwards under spring pressure when the cam surface was turned. The clonk was it momentarily freeing up and dropping back under the spring pressure. Because it was stuck, and the articulated part of the linkage which allows it to move left and right into the correct position the engage the flywheel and motor pulley was also stuck, the rest of the mech moved and trapped it in place where it wasnt touching any drive surface at all.
So it now goes at 3 speeds.
There was huge slack in all the belts apart from the tape counter belt which was in bits in the bottom so all have been replaced, all the drive surfaces have been cleaned with ipa, the heads and tape path have been cleaned with ipa, and all the idlers and pinch roller have been cleaned with ipa then treated with rubber renue. Which stinks.
Hopefully, it plays, the transport functions correctly, but i havent hooked it up yet. I hope ive not disturbed any of the head wiring by doing any of this and broken something.
It was actually a nice job to do and to figure out how it works.
Ffw a day....
Oooooh, This thing sounds nice. The tape is a mix of stuff, just played an acoustic version of its too late baby by carly simon, followed by a classical waltz of some description. Christ knows what its playing now...
Im not getting the hiss which i was expecting, i havent degaussed the heads, just cleaned them with ipa.
Its now playing a wierd instrumental easy listening version of pretty things by david bowie :shock: :lol:
Someone had odd musical taste
Even given the strangeness, it sounds lovely.
Its worse than the jbe dd for not being able to stop watching it...