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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 15th Sep 2021, 1:38 pm   #1
Timvintage
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Default Reel to reel safety question

Hi all, Iíve just acquired a number of reel to reel machines. As some of you may know, I am totally blind, however I enjoy doing mechanical repairs, and have successfully repaired lots of cassette and reel to reels. However as Iím blind Iím really only confident doing mechanical repairs, so I was wondering if I give a list of the models Iím not sure about, could someone tell me if these would definitely need dodgy capacitors to be replaced, then I will know to just Ebay those as is, rather than risking any danger trying to repair them. The models are as follows:
Elizabethan popular 400,
Telefunken magnetaphone 95,
Sobel festival,
And BSR Westminster.
If someone can tell me which of these, if any, will not have any dangerous capacitors etc that would be much appreciated. Many thanks.
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Old 15th Sep 2021, 2:07 pm   #2
Restoration73
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Default Re: Reel to reel safety question

The Telefunken I repaired a while back had no defective components, and just required
a gentle clean. Despite the age, none of the rubber parts needed replacement
and the build quality is excellent. These were often fitted with a 2 core mains cable, but it
is safe to connect the metalwork to earth if you would prefer this.
i do not know the other machines listed.
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Old 15th Sep 2021, 3:16 pm   #3
Edward Huggins
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Default Re: Reel to reel safety question

The Westminster, Sobell and the Elizabethan are all liable to all use the trusty BSR TD2 deck which seldom needs more than a belt change. However they all have, especially those in the smoothing circuits, caps that run at full mains voltage.
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Old 15th Sep 2021, 6:04 pm   #4
Timvintage
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Default Re: Reel to reel safety question

Hi both, many thanks for your replies. Yes thatís correct, all apart from the Telefuncon have the typical BSR deck. Thatís all fine, that doesnít concern me. The only thing I wanted to check is whether any of these are models with notorious paper or wax caps that need to be replaced before even attempting to power it up?
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Old 16th Sep 2021, 10:07 pm   #5
DMcMahon
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Default Re: Reel to reel safety question

Any vintage tape recorder potentially will have parts that may require replacement due to their age.

Particularly capacitors, some people would automatically replace all capacitors if they are paper/waxy type, other people like myself would normally only change if capacitors are proven to be defective by measurements/tests and/or if their physically condition is poor.

You mention safety/danger. In terms of equipment safety then most important is the grid coupling capacitor for the output pentode valve, because if bad then damage to the valve and the output transformer could result.

Very difficult to know if a particular make/model will use potentially troublesome paper capacitors.

The only machine from your list that I have hands on experience with, is the Telefunken Magnetophone 95, my one does have paper capacitors some of them could do with replacing.

David
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