UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Powered By Google Custom Search Vintage Radio Service Data

Go Back   UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum > Specific Vintage Equipment > Vintage Tape (Audio), Cassette, Wire and Magnetic Disc Recorders and Players

Notices

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10th May 2019, 10:27 am   #61
Ted Kendall
Octode
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Kington, Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 1,515
Default Re: Reel to reel revival

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Maurice View Post
As far as I know no other manufacturer of domestic or semi-pro recorders used a die cast chassis.
In "modern" times (omitting the early Grundigs) I think B&O used a cast chassis on the 1800 and 2400, the last flowering of the top-line Beocords before they went cheap and lightweight, but haven't seen one in the flesh. In any case, they now suffer from the curse of the bd Bogens.
Ted Kendall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th May 2019, 10:41 am   #62
Ted Kendall
Octode
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Kington, Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 1,515
Default Re: Reel to reel revival

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Maurice View Post
The A77 needs a thorough service but after 43 years it deserves it.
As the old joke has it, a Revox will give good service for thirty years or so, but a Studer is built to last.
Ted Kendall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th May 2019, 5:59 pm   #63
John Caswell
Hexode
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Wokingham, Berkshire, UK.
Posts: 264
Default Re: Reel to reel revival

Having both a Tandberg TD20A that I modified to 1/2 track heads and a Revox B77 Mk2. I really cannot hear any difference between the two. Both have good and bad points
The Revox has a cast chassis and Papst style motors, the Tandberg a pressed steel chassis and squirrel cage type motors driving a flywheel.
Both were deemed acceptable as master recorders.
I do not think that there will be a revival in R-R as the cost of tooling up something like either a Revox type or Tandberg type would be astronomical and the market would be very very small.
Most people don't want the fuss of lacing up etc when you can just press a bottom and record to HDD or SSD.
I suppose those of us that have R-R, have them because they know how good they can be, and curse and blind when the tape sheds or spools off or breaks, or the myriad of other problems that can affect our enjoyment.
I suppose it is really like owning a vintage car.

John
John Caswell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th May 2019, 6:24 pm   #64
Radio Wrangler
Dekatron
 
Radio Wrangler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Fife, Scotland, UK.
Posts: 11,842
Default Re: Reel to reel revival

Tooling costs aren't what they used to be 3-D printing may not be good enough for final parts but it can make models to take moulds from. There are a lot more CNC machines around for machining parts from solid. Water jet cutters and CNC punches/nibblers can replace hard press tooling.

I still suspect the market is too small to excite anyone for commercial manufacture, but someone with machinery might do something just for the fun.

You can bung Gerber files out to firms in China and get cheap PCBs back that are dramatically better than Revox/Studer quality.... tracks stay attached!

David
__________________
Can't afford the volcanic island yet, but the plans for my monorail and the goons' uniforms are done
Radio Wrangler is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10th May 2019, 6:38 pm   #65
julie_m
Dekatron
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Derby, UK.
Posts: 7,184
Default Re: Reel to reel revival

Quote:
Originally Posted by some new arrival in the near future
I've just bought an old BSR Elizabethan tape recorder with some tape reels. It looks very nice but there are some problems with it. The reels won't go round in fast forward or rewind and the record switch does not do anything. I think the fan belt may have snapped? Also I think something is getting very hot inside, and it smells like oniony farts. Do I just need to put some new valves in it?
Coming soon to this forum ..... Watch this space
__________________
If I have seen further than others, it is because I was standing on a pile of failed experiments.
julie_m is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10th May 2019, 7:29 pm   #66
Techman
Nonode
 
Techman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lincolnshire, UK.
Posts: 2,213
Default Re: Reel to reel revival

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio Wrangler View Post
Probably the little Elizabethan with the BSR TD2 deck?

David
I turned down a slightly larger Elizabethan with a BSR TD10 deck a couple of weeks ago - perhaps I should go back to the chap and say I'll have it after all, but I'm trying to avoid accepting things that I don't really want or need.

How about this one? The Grundig TK 745, the best tape deck ever

Pictures below:-
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	P1050525.JPG
Views:	71
Size:	170.0 KB
ID:	182844   Click image for larger version

Name:	P1050530.JPG
Views:	81
Size:	164.0 KB
ID:	182845   Click image for larger version

Name:	P1050533.JPG
Views:	112
Size:	174.0 KB
ID:	182846  
Techman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th May 2019, 8:54 pm   #67
stevehertz
Dekatron
 
stevehertz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rugeley, Staffordshire, UK.
Posts: 3,756
Default Re: Reel to reel revival

Quote:
Originally Posted by Techman View Post
How about this one? The Grundig TK 745, the best tape deck ever
Is that just a Joie de vivre comment or do you really mean it? If the latter I'd like to see evidence because I think you will find that many people think otherwise!!
__________________
A digital radio is the latest thing, but a vintage wireless is forever..
stevehertz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th May 2019, 9:36 pm   #68
Techman
Nonode
 
Techman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lincolnshire, UK.
Posts: 2,213
Default Re: Reel to reel revival

Hi Steve,

I knew it would be a bit controversial, and it was a bit tongue in cheek, but here’s the truth…

That tape recorder, although looking brand new and in mint condition in the box, has actually been hammered. It was bought brand new by the drummer of the band I was in during the mid 70s and was used to record the band live on many occasions, he also used it at home as part of his sound system. When the band split up, I bought the recorder off him, I also bought his drum kit, but that’s another story!

Those pictures of it were taken a few years ago when I happened to find the original box and packing in the loft. That tape deck has had hundreds of hours use since I bought it around 1976/7. It recorded all the best sessions and tracks from the John Peel and Tommy Vance Friday rock shows over the years when they were being broadcast, and played back the recorded tunes many times over. Also, a lot of full albums were recorded on it. It has always been my main reel to reel tape recorder over the years and has never gone wrong, other than several years ago it had started to get sluggish on rewind. I opened it up suspecting it may need belts, but it just needed slight adjustment and its 40 year service, including a dodgy earth on an edge connector that needed sorting out. The sound is as crisp and clear as the day I bought it, sound stability on piano music is spot on. It’s never, ever broken, chewed or spun off a tape, even with lightening fast operation of the servo buttons from forward to reverse to play – unlike a lot of these other machines being discussed at the moment. Nowadays however, it gets very little use.

What can I say – the machine speaks for itself, although I’m sure if you ran technical tests on it then you’d find that it's probably lacking in comparison to some of those other machines.
Techman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th May 2019, 7:00 am   #69
Ted Kendall
Octode
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Kington, Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 1,515
Default Re: Reel to reel revival

I haven't used late Grundigs much, but thrashed a TK8 when I was a nipper, and it took it all and came back for more. Only thing that stopped it was the head wearing down practically to the windings.

In my view, the downfall of Philips and Grundig in this field was taking on Revox in the NAB reel semi-pro class of product. I don't think they had a clear idea of the customer they were aiming at and, certainly in the case of the Philips 4520/4522, the mechanics were woefully under-engineered. Granted, the specs were OK, but use them hard for a while and things were different.
Ted Kendall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th May 2019, 11:40 am   #70
suebutcher
Heptode
 
suebutcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Daylesford, Victoria, Australia
Posts: 519
Default Re: Reel to reel revival

Quote:
Originally Posted by julie_m View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by some new arrival in the near future
I've just bought an old BSR Elizabethan tape recorder with some tape reels. It looks very nice but there are some problems with it. The reels won't go round in fast forward or rewind and the record switch does not do anything. I think the fan belt may have snapped? Also I think something is getting very hot inside, and it smells like oniony farts. Do I just need to put some new valves in it?
Coming soon to this forum ..... Watch this space
Is the "onion fart" niff the selenium rectifier packing in? People say selenium diodes smell awful when they burn out, but I've never read a detailed description of the smell. Is it something like garlic, or more like rotten eggs?
__________________
The Waves That Rule Britannia
suebutcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th May 2019, 11:58 am   #71
ms660
Dekatron
 
ms660's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cornwall, UK.
Posts: 7,636
Default Re: Reel to reel revival

Imagine the smell of old slurry that farmers spread on the land, imagine that as a sine wave, then imagine that converted to a square wave and magnified umpteen times, ie: very sharp st

Lawrence.
ms660 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th May 2019, 12:57 pm   #72
G6Tanuki
Dekatron
 
G6Tanuki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Wiltshire, UK.
Posts: 7,095
Default Re: Reel to reel revival

To be honest, if I wanted a 'vintage' tape-recorder I'd need it to be portable, since most of my listening these days is done on-the-go.

A Uher Report 4400 or a Nagra IV-S would do nicely!
G6Tanuki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th May 2019, 12:59 pm   #73
brenellic2000
Octode
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Rye, East Sussex, UK.
Posts: 1,486
Default Re: Reel to reel revival

Having started and watched this thread develop, it's time for me to chip in.

There is patently a tangible demand for a new, versatile, affordable, good audio-quality 'domestic' tape-recorder (and semi-pro Thorens/Ballringer) - production of which should also overcome the problem of those many serviceable decks with dead heads and motors. But what spec? Clearly professional/studio decks are affordable to the music industry, but not to the average 'audiophile' such as us.

Decks: Forget expensive, unmodifiable Revox-style cast-alloy skeletal frames and go for simple, braced, on demand laser-cut cast-alloy 3-motor deck-plates machined to accommodate 5", 7" or 10-1/2" spools, Brenell fashion, with mechancial links and, optionally, solendoid control.

Motors: There are clearly suitable modern, compact, printed circuit fractional horse-power motors which could be employed. By careful engineering design, it should be possible to design universal fit mounting plate adaptors to replace dead motors in a select range of older tape decks - such adaptors have long been used for camera lenses.

Heads: Clearly if cassette decks are still being made, then so too are heads. A decent, 1/4" head and a range of universal fit adaptor plates is do-able... as is a swappable 2- and 4-track head block with modular electronics - its been done before.

Modern digital technology allows affordable low-volume production almost 'on demand', so all it needs is an entrepreneur or two with crowd funding and moral support by forums/users such as us. Let's do it.... or lose it!
brenellic2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th May 2019, 1:29 pm   #74
AC/HL
Moderator
 
AC/HL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 7,095
Default Re: Reel to reel revival

Quote:
Originally Posted by suebutcher View Post
Is it something like garlic, or more like rotten eggs?
Rotten eggs is quite sufficient to describe it in layman's terms. Not all do, the ones in Bush record players just fade away quietly for instance.
__________________
Bill, BVWS member
AC/HL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th May 2019, 2:17 pm   #75
Gulliver
Hexode
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Luton, Bedfordshire, UK.
Posts: 386
Default Re: Reel to reel revival

There are at least three manufacturers of RTR tape....RTM in France, ATR in the USA and Splicit in the USA (who outsource). All the tapes are of very high quality.

The problem with RTR is that it was always pretty expensive to begin with...and the machines are complex mechanical beasts. It will never be "cheap" even if there is a revival.
Gulliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th May 2019, 2:20 pm   #76
Gulliver
Hexode
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Luton, Bedfordshire, UK.
Posts: 386
Default Re: Reel to reel revival

Quote:
Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
To be honest, if I wanted a 'vintage' tape-recorder I'd need it to be portable, since most of my listening these days is done on-the-go.

A Uher Report 4400 or a Nagra IV-S would do nicely!
I've got a 60s Cossor portable (Phillips in disguise) and I keep meaning to use my hi-fi Akai to make a mix tape for it. I do wonder what people would think!
Gulliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th May 2019, 2:41 pm   #77
Station X
Moderator
 
Station X's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4, UK.
Posts: 14,539
Default Re: Reel to reel revival

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gulliver View Post
the machines are complex mechanical beasts. It will never be "cheap" even if there is a revival.
Could not a modern RTR Recorder follow the path of VCR development where much of the mechanical operation was moved into firmware?

I'm thinking of a microprocessor with switches on its inputs controlling motors and solenoids.
__________________
Graham. Forum Moderator

Keep the soldering iron hot.
Station X is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13th May 2019, 3:21 pm   #78
Ted Kendall
Octode
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Kington, Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 1,515
Default Re: Reel to reel revival

The Lyrec Frida (not Fred, that was a different animal) did something along these lines, also being very compact and using modern DC motors. Most of the functions of the Studer A807 happen in software - there is one tension sensor, but most of the heavy lifting is done by tachos on the spooling motors.

Last edited by Ted Kendall; 13th May 2019 at 3:31 pm.
Ted Kendall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th May 2019, 4:04 pm   #79
TonyDuell
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Biggin Hill, London, UK.
Posts: 3,011
Default Re: Reel to reel revival

Quote:
Originally Posted by Station X View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gulliver View Post
the machines are complex mechanical beasts. It will never be "cheap" even if there is a revival.
Could not a modern RTR Recorder follow the path of VCR development where much of the mechanical operation was moved into firmware?

I'm thinking of a microprocessor with switches on its inputs controlling motors and solenoids.
I can't see a good reason why not. Weren't some more recent audio cassette decks designed that way?

As of course were the 9-track reel-to-reel data tape drives used on minicomputers. Some of those didn't even have a driven capstan, just a tachometer sensor that measured the surface speed of the tape going onto the takeup spool which was used to control the motor speed appropriately. Take a look at the Cipher F880 service manual (to mention one such drive that I have a couple of (operational) examples of. But I suspect the tape speed is rather less critical in such a device than in an audio recorder.
TonyDuell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th May 2019, 4:25 pm   #80
barrymagrec
Hexode
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Morden, Surrey, UK.
Posts: 477
Default Re: Reel to reel revival

Capstanless drive is certainly possible and I know of at least one Film Scanner that works very well using this technique but I think it would be problematic for audio tape because of wow and flutter problems caused by having the tape controller (spool motors) such a relatively long way from the tape heads where to instantaneous speed needs to very closely controlled.

It is also hard to see how an instant wow free start could be obtained though this is probably less of a problem now tape machines are not used in broadcasting.
barrymagrec is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 8:44 am.


All information and advice on this forum is subject to the WARNING AND DISCLAIMER located at https://www.vintage-radio.net/rules.html.
Failure to heed this warning may result in death or serious injury to yourself and/or others.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2019, Paul Stenning.