I have had a few units come in to me for evaluation when they did not work right according to the sale description that they were restored. HA!
Not only did the unit I looked at was clearly untouched service wise but the reel table was pushed in- not by shipping, and all kinds of other signs were clear that this was a total fraud case- it came from NY. I name names but I did not gain this information.
If a unit is described as Restored keep in mind that Restored is a level ABOVE repaired. It means all new belts and rubber, new neoprene bumpers, new Electrolytic caps throughout and then aligned and calibrated with some level of heads that are not at their end of life. This was the complete opposite of the deck I inspected and this was clearly a fraud case so I told the client to send it back.
Restored units should have a warranty, it should say who the Technician was that did the work in order to validate the claim and it should relate what was done to it. It should list what tape was used to calibrate the deck and a length or warranty of the work done. My 6 month warranties are transferable. The guy who got ripped off ended up buying a deck from me and the one I sold him was restored with a warranty and calibrated to MDS36 tape. The speed was correct as well as I change the motor pulleys with a modified one when the specs demand it. This one did. It had a complete Electrolytic recap. Heads had about 300 hours on them so they were just past broken in. It had real wood panels on the sides and feet.
The deck the guy bought as restored had red screws in the bottom and NO feet! Beware there are a lot of crooks out there and E bay is full of them.
I have to say that after all these years you would think I could catch up but since 2010 when getting into this repair business full time or more, I have only gotten a larger and larger back log. It is time to add to staff even if I have to train you. Having some Electronics training in the past is a plus but is not absolutely necessary. Some Mechanical skill is also a plus and the ability to lift 80 pound units- not all are that size but some are.
I am not hiring employees but as I have done with other trainees, the training is done which then allows you to work on your own if you don’t want to work with me. I can tell you as I have with others how to make your own business out of this venture. A space to set up a bench at your location will be needed and then the investment in some equipment and test tapes if you do not have them. We work mostly on Open Reel and Cassette decks here. Occasionally other stuff. The investment can be $1200-$1500. That is not money paid to me but in buying alignment tapes and test equipment like a scope, AC Millivolt meter and a Wow and Flutter meter. Some investment in a parts cabinets and capacitor stock. There is terrific demand for this now and it is growing- I need driven and consistent people to help me in this massive back log I have here. The pay can be from $80 to $100/Hr for those who are at the ready level- the training and learning does not stop but goes on as we see new things. I am still learning after 45 years in this business. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 708-334-2260 if you want to get started. The best way to train is in person one on one. I am in the Chicago area SW or O’Hare Airport.
I can now say without worry that Gerhard in Florida joins me in the fight against broken decks. He has customers calling me and thanking me for referring the work to him as he does a remarkable job. In my many conversations with him I know he is no dummy. I suggest to many people who need work done in Florida and surrounding states to contact him. I can not do it all here in Chicago area especially now that Lightfoot has the city in turmoil with her (of is it it’s ) lack of proper management.
Vintage Stereo Repair and Restoration Repairing and restoring analog audio components Teac, NAD, dbx, Revox, B&O, Pioneer Gerhard@TheVintageAudio.com 772-713-1506
Those looking for service have to be real careful- why? There are those out there to rip you off good. A client sent me a deck in from a TAP repair place. They told him the unit needed $800 of repair. So what was wrong with the unit? Well the client was trying to use a 240V 50Hz unit in the USA with 120Vac and 60Hz power. Other than that if you applied 240 Vac to the unit everything worked in it. This is the kind of incompetent service you can find out there and they never even mentioned to him it is a 240Vac unit because they probably did not even know this. Can you believe some of this crap?
These detailed items are for those who are technically capable of understanding them and implementing them. The reason is that it is a way to share what is determined, designed or found to need correction on the various models noted. It will allow a technician who works on tape decks to benefit from my observations and design mods to make their repairs better or more accurate.
Do not hesitate to contribute if you have a proven and tested design mod.
I know I can be negative at times but when I find a supplier that goes beyond the call of duty I mention that too.
That is Stereomanuals.com
Well the deed has been done. If you need a Tascam 58OB manual contact Rick at Stereomanuals.com as I just got my two copies and they are outstanding in quality and clarity.
Every page straight and without marks you get from other places plus you can read all the boards and schematics.
This is the only place to get correct and well made manuals. http://www.stereomanuals.com/man/rep/tascam/index.htm
If you watch this and think you need to pay $120 for this board, it is just another example of a person ready to rip you off when none of that is needed. If the left (Supply) reel table turns when you are suppose to be playing a tape in the forward direction on a Tascam 122 Mk III or 112 MkII, but this reel has drive to the left, it is because through handling the deck you have sent a signal to the controller that said to go to reverse mode. The deck uses the same IC as is in the 112R Mk II so there is a reverse mode in it.
How to fix it without $120 of fancy circuits that are not needed? A dB25 connector and a tact switch or even a set of wires that you can short together. Me in the business built a dB25 with tact switch- you only use it to get the deck in the right mode again and then disconnect it and you won’t need it again. What he is doing with all those ICs I have no idea. With the dB25 which fit the remote connector on the rear of the deck is connect pin 24- Ground to Pin 1- Play mode. The deck goes into play with this one push the correct direction. Now disconnect the remote connector and the deck will work correctly after that- I know as I have done it. I service these all the time. dB25 are pretty cheap and most Technicians and Broadcast Engineers have them sitting around like I did. Don’t be tricked into $120 rip off.
I continue to get calls that people want me to work on their dual well cassette decks. These usually sold for around $150. Doesn’t that tell you how they are made?
Suffice it to say that these decks of questionable quality in the first place run about $400 to repair as there are two separate transports to tear down and rebuild. Is is worth it? Certainly NOT! They were considered throw away when they were made many years ago. The target audience was the 16 year old high school girl- does that tell you anything about the quality and their purpose?
If you have a broken one of any brand that is dual cassette, you are far better off getting an older solid made single deck like a Teac C-3RX or a Tascam 122 Mk II. Nakamichi BX300 is also another good product. You can’t buy a piece of junk and expect the Technician to make a piece of gold out of it- I have worked on them enough years that I know this is not going to happen.
Out of all the dual cassette decks made there was only one worthy one made and it was a Sony ES model that cost over $1000. That might be fixed.
For a time there has been a lack of good service facilities for the repair of tape decks but in time some of them have come out of the woodwork to make themselves know. This is a list of the ones I know do good work.
Not everyone is perfect and I even get complaints due to wait time. But on a whole these places 99% of the time will fix your unit well.
I am now at the point that I am taking orders for the gear that so many service shops and people need to fix their blinking transport lights problem. Teac does not have this part any more but I have had them made up. They are $30 plus the postage- I will not ship in a flat envelope like the $80 guy does on E bay. What does it look like-This is a Resin cast gear as were the original ones. Some call it gear B some Gear C. In the 122 Mk III parts diagram 4 the 4-34 part is what this is and was part number 5801474300 and sub’d to 9278377600.
To obtain one or some, contact me at email@example.com . I take credit cards- MC, Amex, Visa and Discover and can take Paypal as well. The cost of obtaining the gears has gone up slightly so they are $30 each now. Also know that the mechanism must be cleaned and greased prior to use or the same problem can occur. I have never had a new one fail yet. I use Lubriplate 105 to lubricate the mechanism first. Also the contact plate.
Every once in a while I get a guy who complains about the gear price. NO there are no $.33 gears nor $2.00 gears or you would not be contacting me. The gears cost the manufacture near $3000 to set up and make these custom made gears- he dictates the price he wants for them. There is conjecture that I make $20 profit on a gear and I can tell you that is not at all what they cost. There is a guy selling hundreds of gears on E bay who started at $80/gear. He sells them for $39 now. If you want to buy from him to save money then do so. There are a limited number of gears and when they run out that might be it. I use the same gears in repairs and there is no reason I HAVE to sell them. With enough of this aggravation I might not.
As of 1/27/2020 the postage has been increased to $8.30 for flat rate.
People have trouble buying good decks from E bay mostly because the equipment there is old and has had very little maintenance and some of it has been tampered with by amateurs. Well here is a place you can get a deck that has been checked out, calibrated and tested for correct function. They also have a 6 month warranty.
I will be offering Teac, Tascam, Nakamichi, Pioneer and other brands that have passed our testing procedure. There are units ready now I just have to get the pictures ready.
I have had units ready to sell but some of them sold before I could even take a picture of them to list here. It seems I can not get them ready fast enough.
Recently there was a repair that was done and the customer refused the unit so it is for sale here with a new capstan motor and belts plus all the alignment and calibration and a 6 month warranty. $185 The model is the DR-M14HX. Specs as measured can be sent to prospective buyers by E mail. Questions can be answered or further pictures sent as well.
THIS ITEM SOLD
630-616-0932 Office, firstname.lastname@example.org E mail.
People who have walkmans of the WM-D6C type continue to ask me if I have an AC adapter for it. Well I did a little research and came up with a limited number of these that can take in 100Vac to 240Vac and put out 6Vdc with a negative center post. These are made for these Walkmans and I have tested them with WM-D6C units. They are going for $12 each and have a 1 year warranty. It also comes with a smaller adapter that can work with other walkmans provided they are 6Vdc and negative center. 6Vdc at 1Amp.
These are switch type adpaters- Postage around $7.20 Priority mail.
I have been working on some machines that are clearly butchered by local shops. If I was to be doing this kind off work I would not put a big gold sticker on the back saying Electronic Sale and Service. The Service part is clearly not there. You have to be careful who you hand your equipment to and one of the first signs they are only after your money is the Deposit Fee.
Another thing I find annoying is that they don’t put all the screws back or that they put them in with a jack hammer and strip out the heads. Some machines that I get in show the only thing the guy who worked on it last was good at was putting a lot of wire ties on. Of course they all have to be cut out to correct his incompetent work. Just today I had a Audio board mounted wrong with tape and insulation foam added to the board. Why not save all this time and tape and put the board in the right way? They left the front pots not tightened down and then used a cassette deck belt in an open reel. It was real dirty inside but they did nothing about that. Maybe the dirt accumulated came from their shop where it sat for a long time. Of course it works well now. Teac’s lowest reel deck of the line an X-3 derivative called a 22-2 has a wow and flutter of .018% after I got done with it. Must be that AMS Signature oil I put in.
Recently I got a Pioneer RT909 in that had the belt changed in it and new Pinch Rollers put on. Yet the person at the shop completely skipped over the stuck Pinch Roller linkage and then when the 25 V zener diode shorted, he said he could not fix the deck. What kind of people operate shops like this- this one is in MO. I find it strange that they even take them in and charge for this kind of work- they are totally bogus I would say.
Now I come across many machines from a person still unknown which I call the Sharpie Technician. The reason for the name is that all head screws are marked with a red sharpie pen. As if this wide mark would have any accuracy in putting the head back is a ridiculous idea. If anyone who aligns heads knows, the movement needed to get a 20KHz sine wave to be in phase with the other channel is such a small movement that a mark like this is just a total waste of time. Other traits of this guy are cleaned pinch roller linkages but no grease put into the transport, residue of old belts still on the flywheels and pulley, the belt is put on the WRONG way and so will not work properly, the tape tensions and 5V references on the X1000R are no where near where they should be. This is obviously some amateur trying to look like a Technician but falling very short. I am trying to find out who it is so I can warn people away from this hack.
I don’t mind other Technicians coming up and doing business- we need them badly. There are those I help to get started like Gerhard in Florida who is doing a wonderful job. I am already sending him customers and he has many good reviews.