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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 20th Dec 2017, 4:44 pm   #1
TonyDuell
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Default Ferrograph series 7

I mentioned in passing to a friend that I had never owned a Ferrograph. He responded by giving me a Christmas present in the shape of 'for restoration' Ferrograph Series 7. Actually a 722H (2 track stereo, 3.75/7.5/15 ips speeds).

And the original paper service manual.

I'm not going to be working on it for a bit, so I will ask now if there are any comments, hints, 'gotchas' etc for this machine.
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Old 20th Dec 2017, 6:07 pm   #2
llama
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Default Re: Ferrograph series 7

Rubber
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Old 20th Dec 2017, 6:54 pm   #3
TonyDuell
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Default Re: Ferrograph series 7

I assume you mean the pinch roller (which is clearly in need of replacement) and the 3 idler wheels that engage between the stepped pulley on the motor shaft and the flywheel. The latter looks OK, but I haven't taken the machine far enough apart to be sure.

I have found a company on the web that sells a service kit of these parts, you have to return the old wheels (as they then get them re-coated for somebody else). My worry with doing that is if they get lost in the ever-so-reliable postal service then I will not only not get replacements, I won't have the originals to repair or make copies of.
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Old 20th Dec 2017, 7:02 pm   #4
nutteronthebus
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Default Re: Ferrograph series 7

Hi I went down this route a few months ago and found a chap that will rebuild your capstan wheel he is david.durrant@btinternet.com he will need your old one. Pinch rollers are 25 inc 1st class return postage.
I do need the old wheel.
Please send the old wheel and payment to
Dave Durrant
Mouse Hall
South Lane
Houghton
BN18 9LN

I also have a set of idle wheels you can have ( melted rubber on them ) for postage if you want to send them of to be recoated

Dave
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Old 20th Dec 2017, 7:07 pm   #5
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Default Re: Ferrograph series 7

As llama says RUBBER . Before trying it ,check the three idlers and the pinch wheel as they will most likely have dissolved into goo and need replacing
Also you will need to clean the mechanism which comes into contact with the idlers .
Idlers from the older type Ferrographs can sometimes be obtained from eBay sellers .
A replacement pinch wheel is difficult to obtain although I did manage to get one many years ago from a reel recorder restorer. Hope that helps .
Peter W...... Reelguy
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Old 21st Dec 2017, 8:43 am   #6
nutteronthebus
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Default Re: Ferrograph series 7

the other thing is head ware as the pads put a good deal of pressure on the heads . A site
with useful info is http://www.ferrographworld.com/index.htm

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Old 21st Dec 2017, 2:17 pm   #7
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Default Re: Ferrograph series 7

Something just to check: With a tape laced up and taught and the machine in idle, just check the clearance between the tape and the capstan. I found with a 722H that because of tape guide wear, the tape was uncomfortably close to the capstan. The high speed capstan is a different diameter to that in a 1 7/8, 3 3/4, 7 1/2 ips model.

Apart from that, yes as others have already said, the rubber!!
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Old 21st Dec 2017, 5:47 pm   #8
TonyDuell
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Default Re: Ferrograph series 7

I have not done anything to this machine yet other than taking it out of the case and taking off the deck cover plate (not the control panel) and looking around inside. It is all back together waiting for me to finish the Uher CR210 (I do not want too many things in bits at once).

I could only really see the top idler wheel, it looks fine. Needless to say though, I intend to strip as much of the deck as I dare (basically everything I can take off without upsetting the head alignment) and inspect/clean everything. And then go through the machine a bit at a time looking for problems.

What is the cure if the tape guide wear gets the tape too close to the capstan in pause mode?

I read somewhere that the 4 track machines (724, etc) sufffered more from head wear than the 2 track ones like mine. Let's hope the heads are OK, I do not fancy trying to get those.

Obviously I want to keep it as the 'H' model, the high speed is useful to me (quite apart from the better quality). I assume that the capstan in that machine is twice the diameter of the one in 'normal' machines (and of course changes to the equalisation network components in the amplifier unit). Interestingly the speed selector indicator plate has a 15/16 ips marking, I assume the deck was always 3 speed and the plate was fitted so that the right 3 markings couple appear behind the window. But I can find no reference to a very slow machine (I assume it would have been 15/16, 1+7/8, 3+3/4 ips), but maybe a variant of the deck was used for some special purpose.
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Old 23rd Dec 2017, 2:10 pm   #9
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Default Re: Ferrograph series 7

Tony,

Re the tape getting to close to the capstan. I did not progress further on this one. I had thought to turn the cylindrical tape guide so that a fresh surface was exposed to the tape. By the way, the tape wear on the guide was not uniform across it. However I then examined the tape path over the capstan when the tape was playing and noticed that it was not passing smoothly. It had a 'warp', which I put down to poor vertical registration of the capstan with the rest of the tape path. I looked at what would be needed to alter this and realised I had no way of reliably accurately setting it up - so I chickened out as I could well have made things even worse.

As for the heads, yes my understanding is that the half-track heads are better than the quarter track ones. I had had a 724 and got through two sets of heads - as you say made of 'unobtainum' these days.

All in all for me it was a pity as I liked the variable speed rewind, allowing you to handle thinner tapes with care. Also the user adjustable bias level meant that different brands of tapes could be approximated to without great effort.
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Old 23rd Dec 2017, 7:18 pm   #10
Ted Kendall
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Default Re: Ferrograph series 7

The variable speed rewind and adjustable bias are both to be found on the Philips N4520/4522, a machine of excellent performance, but of domestic build quality, for all its professional pretensions. Motor bearings tend to collapse, in my experience.
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Old 24th Dec 2017, 3:17 am   #11
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Default Re: Ferrograph series 7

I enjoyed my old Ferro Series 5 and used it for 30 years. But as I recall the older Ferrographs (6 and earlier) had a mightily fast "fast wind", way too fast for a reasonable tape pack. By contrast I think Revox and Teac machines' Papst type reel motors ran at more modest speeds and seemed to be better speed regulated. I wonder if the Ferro reel motors were some sort of compromise design, the downside being the very high speed.

As I remember the added rheostat on the 7 wasnt a true speed regulated design. Maybe the addition was partly an admission the reel motors ran too fast for an acceptable tape pack?
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Old 24th Dec 2017, 12:11 pm   #12
Ted Kendall
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Default Re: Ferrograph series 7

You could reasonably argue that the Series 7 was not a happy design. The electronics are OK, although less easy to line up than the Revox A77, in response to which it was developed, but the mechanics are less so - pressure pads, a take-up motor which got hot in normal operation, duff polyurethane in the idlers and pinch roller (something which also sank the Chilton, to be fair) and an abundance of bent tin and crudity. The continued reliance on a mains-locked motor and idler capstan drive was also off the pace of the Revox. As early as 1970, Mac Hellyer was quoting "the die-hards" as saying that the halcyon days of Ferrograph ended with the Series 5 - "To them, the 6 is an embellishment and the 7 an eyesore."

To use a motor racing analogy, it's like the twin-engined Alfa Romeos which were brought in to compete with Mercedes and Auto Union in the 'thirties - "clever, but far too crude in this company".
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Old 25th Dec 2017, 3:48 am   #13
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Default Re: Ferrograph series 7

Hi Tony, I have a working 722H, constructed from three incomplete machines sold from a car boot. I made the pinch roller from an Akai spare by opening out the bearing slightly. If you need any parts (apart from the trim and rubber bits) just ask.
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