audio tape

Reel-to-reel, cassette and cartridge audio tape formats restored and digitised in the Greatbear studio

service manuals on eBay

Are you fed up of sifting through all the, often Public Domain, PDF Service Manuals listed on eBay?

Apart from the fact that as many of them are public domain they are freely available to download they get in my way on searches for interesting old stuff. Take a search on Studer tonight, over 500 results and over 400 of these for service manuals or Studer documents for their reel to reel and other audio products from the past all of which can be downloaded from Studer’s public FTP server!!

I know some may call it legitimate business but I feel sorry for anyone who’s paid over a tenner (£10 GBP) for one even if it’s supplied on a nice shiny CDR or printed on laser paper and bound in a plastic wallet!

So, for everyone who likes to understand how things work and fix their own old equipment and not just throw it away, here’s some of my ‘favourite’ manuals that aren’t so easily available on the internet – for FREE!:

Tascam 112 Mk 1 Service Manual

Tascam 238 8 track Service Manual

Tascam DA88 DTRS 8 track service manual

Teac C-3x Service Manual

Nakamichi 610 Preamp Service Manual

Arcam Delta 70 CD player Service Manual

Philips CD104 Service Manual

NAD 3020 Service Manual

Posted by greatbear in audio tape, 1 comment

reel to reel transfer

studer_nab_reel_spinning

Studer A80 RC reel spinning

Over the last few years we’ve gradually built up our equipment inventory so we can now offer a wide range of audio and video transfers.

We’re very happy to offer all track formats and speeds of 1/4 inch reel to reel tape transfer, from mono / stereo tapes or multitrack recordings.

15 inches per second (ips) and 7.5 ips speeds are normally transferred on, our pride and joy, one of two Studer A80s. We also have a Tascam BR20 and several Revox A77s for backup. The slower speeds and 4 track mono stereo formats are catered for by Teac and Sony machines.

30 ips, 15, 7.5 and 3.75 can also be transferred on our Sony APR 5003.

We take pride in making sure these machines are calibrated and cleaned before each transfer.

Quite often we receive tape in poor condition, frequently a result of splicing tape ‘drying out’ as it’s a bit like sellotape and the splices breaking as the tape is played.

We are able to clean, resplice and repair tape before transfer.

Prices are competitive but not published here as we’ve found each job is different and needs certain attentions that need to be quoted for on an individual basis. We are happy though to offer an assess / listen service, as many customers don’t know what’s on their tapes and either don’t have a machine or their old machine is broken.

Recent work has included many valuable family history 5 inch reels. Remember tape is fragile, very susceptible to magnetic fields and doesn’t last forever. It’s worth transferring it or getting it transferred now to keep your memories safe.

You can see a more comprehensive list of all our audio equipment in our studio here:

http://thegreatbear.net/audio-tape-transfer/studio-equipment-audio/

Posted by greatbear in audio tape, 1 comment

Tascam 234 4 track cassette capstan belt replacement

I’ve had these belts sitting around for a few months now and they’ve finally come around on my to do list. Thinking this would be nice and easy like the Teac C-3x belts I whipped the cover off my 234 eager to put it back to work transferring those thousands of undiscovered bedroom gems that must be around in peoples’ cupboards.

Tascam 234 4 track tape transport

Tascam 234 4 track tape transport

Looked nicely laid out and well constructed as all this old Tascam equipment seems to be. I thought I’d just take the transport out and it’d be easy. There are just two belts in the 234, the capstan belt and the belt that moves the transport up and down. This cam mode belt had stretched and come off and the capstan belt had pretty much disintegrated. Once I start I find it hard to stop and this isn’t a quick job the first time, you need to be methodical and patient, good screwdrivers help too.

Well here comes the process, it seems pretty daunting at first when you see how many boards, cables and bits you have to remove and disassemble to replace the belts.

Continue reading →

Posted by greatbear in audio tape, audio technology, machines, equipment, 26 comments

Teac C-3x capstan belt

I recently ordered and replaced the capstan and counter belt on this cassette deck. These parts are easily available from Fred Marrs who sells a huge range of correctly sized replacement belts through his eBay shop. He has even gone to the lengths of remanufacturing the Nakamichi OC 8096 capstan belt to the correct specs.

This Teac machine is a really nice 3 head cassette deck, built like a tank, and very similar if not identical to the original Tascam 122. I don’t use this deck for normal cassette transfers as I feel my Nakamichi decks generally sound better but this is one of the few decks that can record and playback at double the normal speed so it’s reserved for these transfers and as a backup.

The transport is quick and easy to remove and the belt was easy once the capstan had been removed – this was also greased and oiled a little too.

Teac C-3x transport removed

Teac C-3x transport removed

Teac C-3x capstan motor with new belt

Everything went well until  I tested it with an old tape – It would play for a few seconds then the take up reel would stop letting tape get pulled around the pinch wheel, well and truly chewed!  It looked like the rubber drive wheel that the reel motor works against has perished at one point or slips. I also noticed that the little rubber sleeves that act as brakes on the reels have perished too. I’m going to have to get it all apart again to fix this – see below for more soon..

Oh and here’s a the service manual for free, so you don’t have to get fleeced by an eBay seller who’s downloaded a load of free manuals.

Teac C-3x Service Manual

Posted by greatbear in audio tape, audio technology, machines, equipment, 13 comments