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Vintage Tape (Audio), Cassette, Wire and Magnetic Disc Recorders and Players Open-reel tape recorders, cassette recorders, 8-track players etc.

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Old 23rd Jul 2011, 10:18 pm   #1
canecreek's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Middlesbrough
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Default Tandberg 3041x

Hello this is my first post on this forum.

Today I bought my first Reel to Reel a Tandberg 3041x, my first venture into tape I'm planning on using it to record my synthesisers and for listening to music.

I was just wondering if anybody has any hints or tip or any info on this model that may come in useful, I can't seem to find much on the net however the maintenance manual is easily found.
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Old 1st Aug 2011, 11:34 am   #2
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Location: Lund, Sweden
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Default Re: Tandberg 3041x

Many Tandberg recorders are very similar, especially the mechanics, so what goes for one model usually goes for another.

The main problem with these machines is that the pinch roller is made out of a rubber that degrades easily, thankfully, there are people who refurbish them with new rubber. Similarly with the belts, they tend to crack and snap after a while. O-rings (intended for hydraulic seals) can be used as replacements, although a proper belt will have a bit more resliancy.

On the 2000, 3000, 4000 and 6000 series the clutches under the reel tables also tend to disintegrate over the years, causing loss of torque and scraping sounds during wind. You can either fabricate your own replacements our of cork or the right type of rubber, or again get third party replacements.

I've had good success with parts from Lasse Hovde ( who refurbishes pinch rollers and has replacement rubber parts. (Lasse is an absolute Tandberg enthusiast, even eates off Tandberg-logotyped plates which he got hold of when the factory closed down.)

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Old 1st Aug 2011, 6:57 pm   #3
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Default Re: Tandberg 3041x

Thanks for the post Ricard, some interesting information there
Twitter/cane creek
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Old 13th Aug 2011, 3:51 pm   #4
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Aberdeen, UK.
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Default Re: Tandberg 3041x

I would need to check in the loft to find out which model but there are three up there which are partially stripped so if you need any bits I may be able to help.

Other than the Rifa mains filter capacitor going up in smoke I have had no electronic problems with the Tandberg machines that I have.

Last edited by See_Mos; 13th Aug 2011 at 3:52 pm. Reason: add email notification
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Old 21st Aug 2011, 10:45 pm   #5
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Ventnor, Isle of Wight.
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Default Re: Tandberg 3041x

I had a 3041x from 1970 and it was continually in use until three years ago. The quality of the audio design is so good that I made up various amplifiers based on their circuits very successfully. It was necessary to have an aluminium circular mould made for beeswax for the clutch mechanisms.

Although the cross field bias system produced very good frequencies with 30 KHz -12db, using special tape, it suffered from the usual very short duration drop outs, that affected hf frequency response,and hence stereo positioning. This is due to small variations in tape thickness. To overcome this , I removed the cross field bias had and incorporated some 6mm potentiometers and small capacitors and mixed bias from the erase head onto the record head.

On another thread a query about a 0.1uf and 100 ohm resistor. I believe that these were for anti spark suppression when the ac power was applied and removed to the motor.

I did notice that the left channel did have a larger tendency of drop outs than the right channel.
Provided that the capstan pinch roller was cleaned with isopropyl alcohol and ALLOWED to thoroughly dry (in excess of 20 minutes) otherwise it was still soft. The wow and flutter did not deteriorate over all the years. Although the lower speeds were only used for background music at parties, all work was done at 7 1/2 ips.

In it's last years the stereo audio inputs were converted to sum and difference. i.e. the left channel on the recorder had L+R (sum) and the right channel on the recorder had L-R (difference). This was for mono and stereo recorded simultaneous use on other equipment.
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Old 22nd Aug 2011, 10:19 am   #6
Leon Crampin
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Surrey, UK.
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Default Re: Tandberg 3041x

I had a 3341X and found it to be hopeless in terms of accuracy of tape guidance and interference from the bias oscillator. The cross field system needs such a high amplitude of bias, it gets everywhere and wrecks FM reception. The signal to noise ratio was always variable and usually poor - I sold it fairly promptly and have no regrets about this.

The electronics are quite good with a few bad details and one really destructive design fault. The bad details are Rifa capacitors and a regulator transistor which runs much too hot - just move it to the aluminium socket panel for a far better heatsink, the leads are long enough.

The destructive fault is the powering of the 220V Papst motor from the split primaries of the mains transformer. The motors develop shorted turns which, because of the insane way Tandberg have wired the primaries, destroys the two 10V portions of the transformer. I've seen this happen a few times.

The fix is to put a 500mA fuse in the motor circuit.

Not a good product in my view - no wonder they went broke. The Japanese detailed their products far more carefully.

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Old 22nd Aug 2011, 6:54 pm   #7
John Caswell
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Wokingham, Berkshire, UK.
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Default Re: Tandberg 3041x

Well you must have had a bad recorder. They are definitely not poorly designed or constructed. Their Radios, TVs, R2R and cassettes were up there with the best. I have a TD 20A which will match Revox's any day.
They went broke because the Norwegian Govt forced them to take over another ailing company Radionette which dragged them down as well. It was so bad the old man Vebjorn Tandberg committed suicide.
They still make top class digital TV equipment MPEG encoding and the like.

John Caswell
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