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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 8th Dec 2019, 4:32 pm   #21
Techman
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Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

The BSR TD-10 tape deck have become one of the most notoriously noisy tape decks with time as they've aged. The strangest thing is that the noise seems to be caused by the main idler wheel rubber hardening with time. I say this is strange, as the BSR record decks from the same period are renowned for their good idler wheels, compared to Garrards - there's another thread running just at this very moment where this has been talked about regarding the record decks with equivalent (idler wheel) parts.

A quick bodge with the TD-10 is to stick one of those flat elastic bands round the circumference of the idler tyre with either glue, or double sided tape for a real bodge job - it works, but not really recommended.
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Old 9th Dec 2019, 4:12 pm   #22
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Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

I have successfully replaced the TD-10 idler with one from a Philips EL3542 or EL3547, whose tires seem to predate the 'goo' era and are made of still serviceable rubber. (The EL3516, EL3522, EL3536 and EL3546 use the same idler I believe - the EL3516/22/36/42 has three and the EL3546/47 has one; interestingly enough, although the mechanical design is completely different between these two groups of machines, they use the same idler, in the three speed versions it is used between the stepped motor shaft and the flywheel, and the EL3546/47 it is used between the take-up clutch on the flywheel and the take-up reel). The outer and shaft diameters are identical, but the hub has a different shape, so one has to use shims to get the idler to ride at the right height.
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Old 9th Dec 2019, 6:31 pm   #23
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Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

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Originally Posted by Welsh Anorak View Post
Ah, but that's a three motor deck. No rubber idlers to harden. If you decide to go for a reel to reel for recording purposes, then thet's the type to go for. Some of my idler drive ones sound like tractors! If your budget can't stretch to a Revox or similar, then some of the Philips, Tandberg or later Grundigs are pretty quiet - the Philips especially so as their belts will have all but vanished leaving a sorry mess! However once cleaned and rebelted (is that a word?) they are one of the quietest single-motor machines.
I got lucky after getting my first deck. I went to the neighborhood tip to take something else to dispose of and I discovered that someone had dropped off another Teac deck similar to the one I already had, but newer.
IT was set for 240 volts and 50 HZ. I looked at it and it had an adjustment for 50/60 CY and voltage setting for 100 to 240 volts. Set it all properly and it worked to perfection. It even had a metal take-up reel.
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Old 11th Dec 2019, 12:53 am   #24
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Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

I have been working on a TC377 which was almost silent when switched on but after 10 mins, started to get really noisy mechanically. Switched off, I happened to touch the original motor run cap which nearly burnt me it was so hot. Changed it for a 2uF 'starter' capacitor and it runs silently all day (and the cap is cool). Motor is still quite hot though.
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Old 11th Dec 2019, 11:12 am   #25
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Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

it had an adjustment for 50/60 CY and voltage setting for 100 to 240 volts. Set it all properly
I think there may be some here who might regard that as IMproperly!!!
Amazing what gets thrown away, though.
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Old 11th Dec 2019, 3:44 pm   #26
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Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

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Originally Posted by Welsh Anorak View Post
Amazing what gets thrown away, though.
And why it gets thrown away! Was it in fact thrown away because it seemingly failed to operate correctly with those voltage and frequency settings?

Of course we will never know, but it wouldn't be the first piece of equipment to be binned because it was incorrectly set up by the user.
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Old 11th Dec 2019, 4:55 pm   #27
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Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

I received the Rubber Renue. Whilst waiting for it to arrive from Farnell I downloaded a hazard document for the product. Methyl Salicylate, ethylbenzene and xylene make it very dangerous; carcinogenic and high toxicity. I used gloves outdoors to clean the pinch wheel and two idlers. All looked very clean and almost like new.

Did it make any difference to mechanical noise? Not a bit! I shall definitely be using the machine for bits in a direct drive tape echo. Something like this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMEEoSf0pQM
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Old 18th Dec 2019, 1:45 am   #28
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Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

I've just had a BSR TD-10 to look at that was so noisy you couldn't hear what was playing on the tape and wasn't gripping properly either. You can see the state of the main idler in the picture below. All the TD-10s I've seen have had bad idler wheels, but this one was definitely the worst ever. While I was wondering if I had the appropriate rubber band to do a bodge job somewhere around, I went for a walk up to the village shop for milk and bread, and on the way back happened to see one just the right size in the gutter with the wet leaves and muck - just the job! It fitted perfectly and the machine now runs much quieter and has played several complete tapes all the way through while on test. The fast forward idler wasn't very good either, but seeing as this is the only job it does I didn't bother with it. That idler wheel shown below is in very bad shape, too bad to sand down and far too bad to try to cut a groove in to fit an 'O' ring - it would have just disintegrated. The machine was basically scrap and not worth spending time and effort on, but with this utterly shameless bodge, it lives to fight another day.

This idea isn't mine, BTW, I've seen them before with a band fitted round a duff idler which has been fixed to the wheel with double sided tape. A lot of cuts are made down both edges of the tape so that it can be stuck down the sides of the wheel all the way round due to the excess width of the tape, so must be an old trade trick, I stick the bands on with glue. It's not perfect and still rattles a bit due to the unevenness of the surface. It probably could be done better with a proper small belt or an 'O' ring if the idler were in good enough condition to take the repair and if the machine itself was worth the trouble, but it gets a scrap machine going so that at least it can play the tapes. One thing I would say, is that if doing this bodge/repair, that the speed change mechanism needs to be lubricated, adjusted and working perfectly, otherwise the stepped motor pulley will rip the band off the wheel as you change 'up' the speeds.
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Last edited by Techman; 18th Dec 2019 at 1:50 am.
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Old 18th Dec 2019, 4:26 am   #29
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Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

In regards to idler wheels-

I have used Terry from Terry's Rubber rollers (.com) several times for turntable idler wheels. He has always impressed me with his service, politeness and turnaround time. He may be a bit pricey especially with shipping overseas.

Another option is V-M Audio enthusiasts, who re-rubber idler wheels in addition to selling turntable carts, styli, etc. I have only ordered needles and carts from him so I cannot comment on idler wheels.

Another option that I have read but never tried is to soak the idler in a weak dish soap and water solution for an hour or so. Let it dry thoroughly and then try a rubber rejuvenation solution. If the idler is glossy on the outside a few passes with sandpaper might give it enough grip.

Finally, at least on turntables, I have used a rubber eraser on the surface where the idler wheel contacts the inside of the platter, just to give it enough of a grip.
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Old 18th Dec 2019, 12:36 pm   #30
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Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

Household glycerine can work wonders on softening some types of synthetic rubber. It fixed my eumig cine projector, which used a steel wheel that could be moved to different radii of a rubberized metal wheel to adjust the speed. Smear on, leave for 10 mins, wash off. No grip before, perfect grip after.
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Old 18th Dec 2019, 12:52 pm   #31
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Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

There must be some outfit operating in the UK that has the technology to re-rubber these things. I would imagine that in industrial print equipment repair, or aviation or railway transport there would be some need, or is that just wishful thinking?
We need to investigate!
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Old 19th Dec 2019, 2:26 am   #32
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Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

Yes, if there were a more cost effective way of getting these idlers re-tyred, then even something like a TD-10 could be worth getting done properly. To be honest, the recorder in question isn't half bad in that it has a fairly decent valve amplifier with bass and treble tone controls and a large elliptical speaker, it's just a shame it's the two track version, although I suppose it could be converted to four track, but as said, probably not really worth the time and effort - and it is a bit tatty.

It's been said that the BSR record changer uses the same idler, which is strange, as the record decks don't seem to particularly suffer from rotten idler tyres. I haven't checked this out regarding the wheels being the same as in the changers, and although the two idlers in the TD-10 would seem to be the same and interchangeable, the hubs are actually different.

Another strange thing is that the TD-2 doesn't seem to suffer from bad idlers in the same way as the TD-10 does - or is it that this is just a coincidence in that I haven't come across them?
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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 2:38 pm   #33
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Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

Well, after a good service all 4 are totaly quite.
Geloso G258 (1958)
Philips AG8108 (1958)
Grundig Tk20 (1958)
Geloso G268 (1961)
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 10:15 am   #34
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Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

Even if they made some noise, unlike many cassette recorders most reel to reel machines had no built in microphone fitted so an external mic it had to be and maybe just as well. Depending on the length of the lead you could keep some distance between the mic and a somewhat noisy recorder.

The early cassette recorders from Philips and others also had no built in mic. Built in mics came later as a convenience and mostly they were dreadful. Being so close to the mechanism, and mechanically coupled to it, they picked up every rattle, whirr and squeak, and only louder voices swamped this racket.

Some years ago we transferred thousands of hours of Oral History interview recordings on cassette. Many interviews were obviously recorded with the recorder's built in mic. Often the interview voices were close to inaudible. It seems many interviewers had not been given guidance as to suitable recording equipment and techniques. Such a shame as the interviews themselves were often of a very high standard with much preparation undertaken by the interviewers.

Interestingly, many of these cheap cassette recorders would have also carried a socket for an external mic but obviously it wasn't used. Maybe some users reasoned that since the inbuilt mics were a later development in cassette recorders, they must be "better" than the old external mics on a lead...
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 3:02 pm   #35
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Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

I have a very old Truvox deck here with a seperate motor for each spool and capstan, it makes almost zero noise when playing but sounds like Concord taking off when you rewind.

Much later I had a Philips EL3542 and that was very quiet in operation.

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Old 26th Dec 2019, 7:02 pm   #36
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Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Welsh Anorak View Post
it had an adjustment for 50/60 CY and voltage setting for 100 to 240 volts. Set it all properly
I think there may be some here who might regard that as IMproperly!!!
Amazing what gets thrown away, though.
Funny, I missed this entry.
The deck was disposed of because of that was not set up for our mains. The original owner was from India and didn't know how to change it or thought it wasn't worth it. He passed away and his son did a house clear out.
That's how it ended up at the tip and I rescued it.
USradcoll1, always vigilant.
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