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.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 4th Dec 2019, 12:32 am   #1
JayBee66
Pentode
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Kilkenny, Ireland
Posts: 136
Default How noisy are reel to reels?

I have a Hitachi TRQ-730D reel to reel. Made in about 1970.

The machine is acceptably quiet in standby, with just the fan running but when I engage the functions; play, record, fast forward, rewind then the mechanics make quite a bit of noise. About the same amount as my old cine projector did.

How can anyone record from a microphone with that racket going on?

I downloaded the service manual and followed the oiling instructions but it wasn't all that dry or dirty. No improvement.

How much noise should I expect?

As I don't have any use for it I might convert it into a tape delay (a la Watkins Copicat), bypass the old mechanics and drive the pinch wheel with a small 12V motor. Just enough to drag a small tape loop around.

In the meantime, if I can quiet it down then I will.
JayBee66 is offline  
Old 4th Dec 2019, 12:38 am   #2
paulsherwin
Moderator
 
paulsherwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 19,952
Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

They are certainly not silent in operation, but it sounds as if something is wrong here. Has it ever been cleaned and lubed?
paulsherwin is online now  
Old 4th Dec 2019, 12:44 am   #3
JayBee66
Pentode
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Kilkenny, Ireland
Posts: 136
Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

Not until I got hold of it. Made no difference. Quiet until the required wheels pinch up to the flywheel. All the wheels have been lubed and run freely when turned by hand. No rubbing or grating.
JayBee66 is offline  
Old 4th Dec 2019, 12:50 am   #4
paulsherwin
Moderator
 
paulsherwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 19,952
Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

Can you identify where most of the noise is coming from?
paulsherwin is online now  
Old 4th Dec 2019, 1:16 am   #5
JayBee66
Pentode
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Kilkenny, Ireland
Posts: 136
Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

I moved out of contact, the wheel that transfers motion from the motor spindle to the take up wheel and the noise is abated. How I quieten that down has me stumped.

If I convert the machine to a delay then I won't need the take up wheel running. The pinch roller down by the heads still runs and will drag the loop around the non-rotating spindles.

Last edited by JayBee66; 4th Dec 2019 at 1:27 am.
JayBee66 is offline  
Old 4th Dec 2019, 3:28 am   #6
Uncle Bulgaria
Heptode
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Cornwall, UK.
Posts: 622
Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

Is this a rubber wheel driving a metal one?
Uncle Bulgaria is online now  
Old 4th Dec 2019, 8:19 am   #7
Nickthedentist
Dekatron
 
Nickthedentist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Oxford, UK.
Posts: 14,941
Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

I had a Sony Machine of the same era that did this.

I’m afraid that I thought the cause was that the idler wheels weren’t as supple as they used to be.

Nick
Nickthedentist is offline  
Old 4th Dec 2019, 3:53 pm   #8
JayBee66
Pentode
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Kilkenny, Ireland
Posts: 136
Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bulgaria View Post
Is this a rubber wheel driving a metal one?
The motor spindle is splined and there are two wheels that contact it depending on whether the tape is meant to go forward or back. The contact wheels feel like hard plastic but I suppose they could have been more rubbery in the past.

Any way, I disconnected the spring that holds the noisy drive wheel for the take up reel and it's quiet enough for the delay effect that I will use the machine for. I will make a loop of tape and hook it over the wheel spindles.
JayBee66 is offline  
Old 4th Dec 2019, 4:01 pm   #9
Ted Kendall
Nonode
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Kington, Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 2,240
Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

Hardening idler tyres probably have something to do with it, but most Japan, Inc. budget decks were pretty clunky to start with - later models, such as the TC377, were somewhat more refined.
Ted Kendall is offline  
Old 4th Dec 2019, 4:12 pm   #10
ben
Dekatron
 
ben's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Madrid, Spain / Wirral, UK
Posts: 5,884
Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

This is a classic symptom of hardened rubber idlers. This can be tricky to solve, rerubbering is probably called for ('Terry' in the USA does this well so I am told). You could also try skimming off the outermost layer to hopefully reveal fresher rubber. I did this by mounting the idler in a drill and using some fine sandpaper on it.

To avoid this completely, you can look for belt or direct drive decks. The Philips N4420, Revoxes, high end Sonys (Tc755, 766) and Tandbergs spring to mind.
__________________
Regards,
Ben.
ben is offline  
Old 4th Dec 2019, 4:20 pm   #11
paulsherwin
Moderator
 
paulsherwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 19,952
Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

You could also try boiling the idler wheels in an old saucepan for a few minutes - sometimes it helps reduce the hardness.
paulsherwin is online now  
Old 4th Dec 2019, 4:34 pm   #12
Hartley118
Octode
 
Hartley118's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Cambridge, Cambs. UK.
Posts: 1,624
Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

I recall that my Collaro Studio tape deck would sometimes become noisy due I think to a build-up of rough contamination on the rubber idler that drove the flywheel. Periodically, I used to resurface the idler with medium grade sandpaper and that cured the noise. I didn't need to remove the idler, but just used the capstan motor to drive it whilst holding the sandpaper against it with a suitable screwdriver.

The problem wasn't due to age because at that time the deck was only two or three years old.

Martin
__________________
BVWS Member
Hartley118 is offline  
Old 5th Dec 2019, 8:51 am   #13
TIMTAPE
Octode
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 1,297
Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayBee66 View Post
...If I convert the machine to a delay then I won't need the take up wheel running. The pinch roller down by the heads still runs and will drag the loop around the non-rotating spindles.
Sometimes this doesn't work if the machine relies on back tension from the supply reel to help press the tape against the heads. OTOH if the machine has felt pressure pads on the heads then you may get away with it.

I think the Watkins CopyCat machines used a spring tensioned arm to keep the tape taught and possibly a felt pressure pad or gate to create back tension. Sometimes just a pressure pad on the erase head is enough to cause the tape to press enough against the following head(s). Of course a 3 head machine is the bare minimum. I think the CopyCat used 5 heads: erase, record and three playback heads.
TIMTAPE is online now  
Old 5th Dec 2019, 2:16 pm   #14
JayBee66
Pentode
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Kilkenny, Ireland
Posts: 136
Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TIMTAPE View Post

Sometimes this doesn't work if the machine relies on back tension from the supply reel to help press the tape against the heads. OTOH if the machine has felt pressure pads on the heads then you may get away with it.

I think the Watkins CopyCat machines used a spring tensioned arm to keep the tape taught and possibly a felt pressure pad or gate to create back tension. Sometimes just a pressure pad on the erase head is enough to cause the tape to press enough against the following head(s). Of course a 3 head machine is the bare minimum. I think the CopyCat used 5 heads: erase, record and three playback heads.
In play or record a series of felt pads are pushed against the heads. I have tested the machine as a delay and all is fine.

I ordered some Rubber Renue from Farnell to spruce up the pinch wheel. Looking at the idler wheel and others they do feel plastic rather than hardened rubber so I will leave them as they are. With the take up idler removed the machine is quiet enough. In time I will add more playback heads or put the current one on a slider so that the delay can be lengthened. I use my modular synth's attenuators and mixers to do the rest.

I know I am repurposing rather than renovating but this is not the finest reel to reel and it would have gone on a scrapheap if I hadn't have rescued it.
JayBee66 is offline  
Old 5th Dec 2019, 3:49 pm   #15
ben
Dekatron
 
ben's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Madrid, Spain / Wirral, UK
Posts: 5,884
Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

Don't be fooled by the texture. I have seen Grundig idlers which looked and felt exactly like plastic but were rubber (once upon a time).
__________________
Regards,
Ben.
ben is offline  
Old 5th Dec 2019, 5:02 pm   #16
Nickthedentist
Dekatron
 
Nickthedentist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Oxford, UK.
Posts: 14,941
Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

That's remarkably similar-looking to the Sony one I had the same trouble with, a TC-108: https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/sony_t...er_tc_108.html
Nickthedentist is offline  
Old 5th Dec 2019, 6:26 pm   #17
JayBee66
Pentode
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Kilkenny, Ireland
Posts: 136
Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ben View Post
Don't be fooled by the texture. I have seen Grundig idlers which looked and felt exactly like plastic but were rubber (once upon a time).
You're right. I had another look and could see the brass hubs on which the rubber was formed. The rubber on the noisiest wheel is like metal. I think it is too hard for Rubber Renue so I will have to look for replacements.
JayBee66 is offline  
Old 5th Dec 2019, 8:34 pm   #18
stevehertz
Dekatron
 
stevehertz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rugeley, Staffordshire, UK.
Posts: 4,483
Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

1) How noisy are reel to reels?

The answer is, how long is a piece of string. They all differ and even then a specific model of deck will vary wildly depending on its state of maintenance, age etc.

2) How can anyone record from a microphone with that racket going on?

In recording studios the recording machines are in a separate control room to where the recording is taking place. So, to obtain the best, quietist, highest signal to noise ratio, place the recording machine in a different room to the mics. That's regardless of the quality of the machine and its state of maintenance.

Finally, the deck you have there is not a particularly quiet one. The manufacturer's signal to noise ratio (never mind any mechanical noise) is quoted as a very average 52dB.
__________________
A digital radio is the latest thing, but a vintage wireless is forever..
stevehertz is offline  
Old 6th Dec 2019, 6:28 pm   #19
usradcoll1
Heptode
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Cedar Grove, Wisconsin, USA.
Posts: 501
Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

I bought a Teac R-to-R, three motor deck, model 1230. Except for rewind and fast forward, it's very quiet. I use it every day and enjoy it immensely.
Dave, USradcoll1
usradcoll1 is offline  
Old 6th Dec 2019, 7:29 pm   #20
Welsh Anorak
Dekatron
 
Welsh Anorak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: North Wales, UK.
Posts: 4,811
Default Re: How noisy are reel to reels?

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.
__________________
Glyn
www.gdelectronics.wales
Welsh Anorak is online now  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 12:29 pm.


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 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2020, Paul Stenning.