Tape Decks and other equipment repair


Do you have a Tape deck such as a Cassette or Open Reel that needs to be repaired or calibrated?  Well you have come to the right place!  I have been doing this work for over 40 years.  I was employed at the Teac Factory Service in Arlington Heights and the Sony Factory Service in Niles IL. Neither are open anymore making it difficult to get your equipment repaired until you found me!  Well why don’t we get started then?  I service Teac/Tascam, Pioneer,  Studer, Otari, Sony and Technics machines.

I can be contacted by Email: skywavebe@sbcglobal.net

Address info can be found in “Where to Find Me”section http://s609729863.onlinehome.us/where-to-find-me

Phone: (708) 334-2260,  Longtime member of Tapeheads.net forum.


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553 thoughts on “Tape Decks and other equipment repair”

  1. I have been reading your comments in Reeltoreel for years now. I am 82 years young and still in love with analog and tape amongst other formats. At the time, I am in Guadalajara, Mexico. Own several tape decks, three of wich need to be refurbished: Teac X1000R, Tascam 42B and 42(OB?).
    I am thinking in you as my first choice. Please tell me if you consider working on those and the approximate duration of the work.
    Thank you in advance

    1. Hi Helenio,
      I am backed up about a months time. I am training a new guy to help and any time now the training to this guy will kick in. When that happens I will be ready for many more units. All the units you have are good units to own and I have just finished a 44OB recently. If you want to resolve issues before they get to me, just send me the problems to the E mail address listed and I may be able to help you there.

  2. What do you expect? I have been doing this for a long time and still see the kind of service some local shops do in butchering these units. I have one now- an Otari MX5050 that has a log 10K pot in for the Pitch control. The pot is suppose to be 500 ohms and linear taper.

  3. This is not a social network site. It is for the purpose of helping people get their tape decks repaired and not entirely by me. I make a lot of referrals but those people have to have a good track record for me to mention them.

  4. TASCAM 122 MK III:
    People, If you own a Tascam 122 MK III do NOT wait to let the Gear B be cracked due to lack of maintenance. The gear can not be had anymore and a custom made replacement is only going to cost a lot more money. That is if one can be made. I give this warning as a two level gear like this is not possible to make by hand. I just worked on a deck that had transport problems and a very hard to move gear- once cleaned up the same gear was usable. You might come upon repair people that tell you the deck can not be repaired anymore. This might be one reason.

    New Details: I am having the gear made in the same way as it was originally and plan to test the item in the next week. I may be the only one who has these in a short period of time and no, I will not be selling them on E bay for $80. Those may be 3D printed and I have already contacted the seller and he can not supply large quantities. His shipping methods are not too wise either as one has already been damaged in mail shipment. Check out Tapeheads.net to see the pictures.

    Further Info-
    The machinist has submitted two gears that I have tested in a Tascam 112 Mk II and they work well and worked without any problem.
    Being the items are a custom made part they will be sold for $30 each. I know I don’t like that price but there was a investment to be made to even get this far and we need to pay the man for making the effort and putting up his own money to even attempt this part. I would think the part is a lot cheaper than the one sold on E bay for $80 that he sends in a padded envelope that then gets smashed. For service people that order 10 gears we can figure out a discount. A picture of the gear will be present in the new special parts section. This is not the only part I have made.

  5. Hello…I have a Pioneer RT-1050 reel to reel (mint condition)…I have just noticed that the left channel sounds like muffled…distorted…I have cleaned heads & all that…still the same….its there a chance that a head going bad? Dave

    1. The only way a head can cause this is if the head is so well worn that it has an open gap. The Pioneer heads are pretty long lasting heads. Try cleaning, exercise all bias and tape monitor switches. If that does not fix it then it might be a bad capacitor- I have not had a lot of them in Pioneer but once or twice. These deck as they approach 40 years should have the electrolytic caps changed. This might be just one example of a part that has reached the end of the line and is now semiconductor acting rather than like a capacitor.

  6. Hello, I have a TEAC A6010 and Pioneer RT707, recently I did a A-B comparison using two identical pre-recorder tapes of Brahms 2nd symphony. I confirmed what I had already suspected and that is the output of the Pioneer such significantly less than the TEAC. (With the volume on the preamp set, I switch between Aux & Tape to compare the decks) The TEAC is much “louder”. In order to get the levels equal I must dial the Pioneer output pots to max and dial the TEAC outputs to midpoint. I have cleaned the heads on both and inspected them using a loupe and they appear to be smooth with no signs of ‘opening up’. I also cleaned the Pioneer output pots with circuit cleaner. I will say that the Pioneer has much less tape hiss and sounds to have decent pitch….the TEAC has much more hiss and sounds to be slightly out of pitch in comparison.
    Is this a fair comparison? Could there be a problem with the Pioneer? Of course, I have no test tape so I cannot verify output voltage to be at 700mV. I do have an old HP audio signal generator and a scope but, I’m not sure how to test.

    1. The Teac A6010 and Pioneer RT707 come from different decades of design. The Pioneer should be a better sounding deck due to two reasons- it is a newer deck and then it is likely to have fewer hours on the heads.
      The A6010 is in need of brakes, belts, oiling and probably audio recapping as well as power supply. It came from back in the Vietnam era days- that can be 56 years now. Output levels are normal for those two decks. Older decks were built for output levels in the 0 dB range where after that the standard went down to the -5dBu or -10dB Tascam model decks. As a Technician I am always switching between the two standards of dBu and dBV. The Pioneer deck is a dBV unit and the Teac a dBu. DbV is related to 0 Vu= 1.oV while the dBu is related to 0dB= to .775V or 775mV. Those are just standards not the outputs- the output are defined with a 200nWb/M flux density alignment tape like from MRL and then calibrated to specified output level. If a deck like the A6010 is 10-12 dB higher in output level then it stands to reason that the noise floor is also raised some.
      There is no way a belt drive can consistently compete with a deck that is Direct drive and thus the Pioneer should be better speed and wow and flutter wise- still the Teac should be good provided the required work was done to it. The speed of the deck is not adjustable and so if a change needs to be made the pulley needs to be modified. I have some of those for the A series but maybe not the A6010 as I would have to see what the difference is. First course of action is to get it working well again with the regular maintenance. The same results would be had if comparing the A6010 to a X1000R in good working order. Since that time Op Amps have been improved as well as circuits in general.

      1. The Teac A6010 may be referenced for 0dBu at it’s specified output.
        The Pioneer will be at -7dBV at 0 Vu so in absolute differences the pioneer being dBV and -7 will be like -4.8dBu and so the difference would be about 5 dB difference between the two with the Teac being louder.
        The dBV log scale is about 2.2dB higher than the dBu or dBm scale

  7. Wow, thanks for the thorough explanation. I’ve had the Teac for a few years (btw, it is direct drive not belt driven) anyway, I disassembled, cleaned and lubed the pinch roller mechanism, oiled the motors, cleaned and lubed tape guide arms and tape guide roller. I also replaced the pinch roller with one from Japan (some guy there sells new parts). I clean and demagnetize the heads on a regular basis. What I have not done, but will per your recommendation is to polish the heads with Nu Finish along with recap the PS and output driver board.
    I will also recap the the Pioneer PB amp circuit as well as the PS circuit.
    Thank you very much for the information. I appreciate your time and expertise.

    1. I have never seen a A6010 that was Direct drive unit they all had belts in them. Direct drive did not appear in Teac units until the A7300. If you meant the Pioneer RT707, I know about those and have one here as well as the RT909 to work on.
      You can get a faster response on Technical questions by sending me E mail direct to skywavebe@sbcglobal.net .

      1. The comment about direct drive being accurate is correct but I must admit that since I have started using AMSOIL Signature series synthetic oil in motors and capstan bearings. This oil has caused some older machine to provide some darn close to direct drive specs. One BR20 I worked on was seen providing a wow and flutter of .0135% and this deck is a belt drive and it was just oiled with AMS. This wow and flutter value is in the area that you would get with a direct drive motor. Yes Teac and Tascam have some direct drive motors and they work well but with the right lub you might be able to get near that direct drive motor specs in selecting the right oil.

    1. Sometimes the linkage work that was done to get the Pinch Roller to come up results in moving the stop sense microswitch near the Pinch Roller solenoid. This needs to be set so that when the deck is in stop position the switch is pushed down. If it is not then the record will never start. Also it is possible to have record function with both lamps burned out- on my bench I check for this with a scope around the erase head.
      If Erase signal is there then the Bias Oscillator is working and you just need new lamps- the last one I put 5mm point source LED’s in with resistors. I have had 1 or 2 defective erase heads cause a short of the bias signal. That is 1 or 2 out of 45 years so not many. The most common thing that causes lack of record is a dirty record head. Other times people have tape that is flipped upside down. The unit is old and might need some caps changed in the Electronics section. In my restoration I replace all Electrolytic caps in this machine. They are far over due.

  8. I currently have a Nakamichi RX-505, an RX-202 and Teac 901 cassette decks. The Naks both have problems with auto-reverse, which I think is a case of dried oil. The Teac deck has always worked fine, but is getting slow in starting a tape. I love the old Teac and would like to know if it is refurbishable. I’d also like to know if you can work on the Naks? You don’t list it so maybe it’s out of your area of expertise. Let me know what you think.

    I also have two Pioneer RT-909’s and a Pioneer RT-707. One of the 909’s is working fine but the other seems to have a blown transistor on one channel. I can actually see the cratered transistor. The 707 has some kind of transport problem, it will not take up the tape properly during playback, and as a result the tension arms trip out and stop. What are your opinions on repairing the Pioneers?

    1. Hi Floyd,
      Of course I work on all of this stuff now but have been training an associate who specializes in Nakamichi decks so I would assign them to him. He has all the head jigs required and test tapes. So Nakamichi are not a problem at all. I have worked on the ones used in broadcast in the past- I was Chief Engineer for 5 stations in Chicago over the years. The ones I worked on were the MR1 and MR2 as well as some basic models
      like the 482 and LX-5. Still if a guy I am training has worked on the Dragon and RX-505 then I let him do his stuff. As to the Pioneer decks, The RT-707 just left my bench this morning and I have worked on a number of RT909 as well as some of their older models to. I have Tascam mixers here and I do work on all kinds of stuff. Once I repaired a Roland Space Echo device when I had never seen one before. After so many years in the field one deck works pretty much the same as others, it is just they use different ways to accomplish the same task. I have had Adcom Preamps and Amplifiers and have a Sony receiver here as well as a NAD amplifier too. People bring me all kinds of stuff. i do not have the capability of FM tuner alignment. If a unit needs that I refer you to Stereo Surgeons where they do that all the time. I just don’t have the test equipment for that and have not needed it over the recent years.

  9. need help with my old 238 Tascam it howls and plays at the wrong speed? would I have to ship it to before you might give a rough idea of the cost to repair as I work /play music in the south Texas area Im serious about getting it put innew condition any help would be appreciated Thanks Jim

    1. Hi Jim,
      The 238 and other decks with DD (Direct Drive) motors use some real cheap surface mount caps that leak and cause damage to the PCB. I repair them and put new through hole caps on the board as well as do the repairs and put a polystyrene cap for he C2 reference cap. They are oiled and usually return to like new operation.
      Th motor issue is expected to have failure on everyone that is out there- I have already repaired 12 122 Mk II capstan motors of the same type of design.
      This motor part takes about 90 minutes. At the same time the worm gear cam system should be cleaned and re-greased to ensure proper operation for a long time. Calibration also takes time due to the narrow track design. So usually 3 hours ($240) and some parts. The cam motor bearing is also oiled.

      1. Hi! I’m looking at a Tascam 122 MKII and the seller says that the tape moves correctly and the head engages but no sound comes through. The VU meters light up but don’t move since no audio seems to be coming through. I’m thinking about purchasing it but I wanted to know if you’ve seen this issue before and if it’s something with a known resolution. Thanks for making your knowledge available and for this excellent resource board!

        1. Hi Roberto,
          First, the motor will fail if it is not serviced with new capacitors as these type of SMD caps have a 100% failure rate. I do every motor that comes through my shop automatically. Next the deck makes use of plug in vertical cards. IF these are out of the position they could be the cause of the problem as it is very unlikely that two channels go out at the same time without a common part failing. The power supply could also be at fault as I see some broken solder joints once in a while. The first thing to check is the card position in the connectors. Of course a large amount of dirt on the head could block all audio but that is one of the obvious things.
          Input wise- there is a switch on the back to select input from Balanced to unbalanced (RCA) and these can be dirty and I spray them with Deoxit and work them around.

  10. Thanks so much; now I will have to get it together on my end …shipping costs not sure of the weight both ways and the payment to you… where exactly is the best address to ship it to please?…Jim

  11. Hi Sam,
    My X-2000R has been having a tape looping issue in forward and reverse. I have so far replaced the belt, cleaned and re-oiled both of the capstan wheels. New pinch rollers also. Since none of this has helped, I checked forward and reverse tape tension using a 7″ Maxell 35-90 tape wound to about the halfway point, using a Tentelometer model T2-H15-U. The tension both directions should be 50g +- 10g, but forward I am reading 20g and reverse is reading about 38g at 3 3/4 ips. Does this indicate the need to clean out the reel motors or is there something else I need to check? Thanks for your input.

    1. Hi Doug,
      The X2000R is a particularly touchy machine. In working with the servo tension system, the voltage references have to be set using the opto out and mechanical adjustments. The voltages on each output is noted in the service manual schematic in the upper left corner. One is 4.7 and the other 5.7Vdc why they are different I can not tell you. This should be done when the arms are fixed at mid point of the cut out. There is no procedure in the manual about this- only us Technicians know about it. I have also had problems in that the arm pivot rods lose the lubrication so that might be needed as well with oil. I once had a unit that had a spring ding sound. I did some adjustment to the spring and that made it work better.
      The oiling of the rollers is also important as any rotational friction adds to the overall picture.
      Looping of tape is usually caused by the fact that the belt is too lose or that it is not traveling to the right place on the flywheel. The ridge of the flywheel near the power switch belongs at the rear of the deck.
      The forward tape direction has the belt on that ridge in play mode. Reverse mode the belt must travel forward so that the ridge on the opposite flywheel is being used. This is done with canted motor pulley and the reason why there are 1.5mm worth of washers in the center most mount of the motor. The belt is suppose to be 16.8″. Larger than that and the results are iffy. If the flywheels were pulled out and swapped the deck will never work right until they are put in right again. I have had customer units come in with no washers and flywheels in backwards.
      Also if they are Carbon types, I change the tension adjustment pots with Cermet Bourns 50K trimmers that are 7mm size. 9mm will also fit but sometimes they can rub and interact. The adjustments of these pots do NOT belong at any of the extremes. The Ceramic Trimmers will last a long time- carbon become intermittent.
      The motor cleaning is indicated by real slow wind times not the tension like 2 minutes to 3 minutes for 1800 feet. I think the spec is 100 seconds for that tape.
      As per the length of this text these are not the easiest machine to work on. Usually take at lest 4 hours if they are messed up.

      1. Thanks Sam,
        Thanks for the advice. Looks like I have some more work to do to see if I can straighten things out. In the event that I need to send it in to you, do you prefer a specific carrier? I would not anticipate sending it out for a while.
        Thanks again,

    1. Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your post seem
      to be running off the screen in Internet explorer. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something
      to do with web browser compatibility but I figured I’d
      post to let you know. The design look great though!

      Hope you get the problem solved soon. Kudos

      1. Get rid of IE and the problems will go away. Most Technical people as well as radio engineers that I know use Firefox.

  12. you’re really a excellent webmaster. The site loading speed is amazing.
    It seems that you’re doing any distinctive trick. Moreover, The contents are
    masterpiece. you have done a magnificent task on this subject!

    1. First writing requires a subject and if no one asks me a technical question which is what this blog is about, then it becomes hard to give an answer. I am not Alton but I am the creator of the blog.

  13. With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement?

    My blog has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it seems a lot
    of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know any techniques to help protect against content from
    being ripped off? I’d definitely appreciate it.

    1. I offer up these solutions and repair advice as a way to give back to the people that keep on using the devices. I am sure a few have copied and past my solutions for their own use and this is where all the typographical errors come in handy to prove they were my creation. But the information is not all that complex or corporate secrets. Let them use it if they want. I get upset when a person offers a solution and clearly does not know what he is talking about. The poor guy asking the question does not know if is
      Bolderdash and might even try and do it. This is when I am more like Dr. House than a nice guy.

  14. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely long comment
    but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

    1. Don’t feel bad, There have been times I have written complex repairs only to hit a invalid key and lose it all. There should be a safety edit method to bring it all back but then again we are using a Microsoft product here junk is sold until the next version which has even more errors in it. It makes you wander how many more imperfect versions they can sell until people come to realize that every bit of it is defective.
      I guess that is why important Radio software boots up saying Linux powered. I was an Engineer in the Radio business in Chicago until 2010. Then I came to my senses.

  15. Thanks for pointing that out. I need to take a course in typing and get away from the two finger method I have used all these years, still with all the repairs I have I don’t know where to find the time. If any of you would like to be trained to be a Tape Deck Technician, let me know. I will watch the spelling as well.

    1. Is this still valid? Have messed with stuff for years but never got to serious . I learn by doing. I live just south of Indy will that be a problem.

      1. I am not sure of what you are asking and Open Reel and Cassette deck repair is presently an ongoing task- just see the 200 of them at my place to give evidence of this. Messing with stuff and doing it right is two different things. The local repair shops are the ones that charge a deposit, mess with stuff and then find out that they can not fix it. This is why their attempted units come to my door and they are usually worse off than if they did not touch them. Do not use local shops unless they can answer Technical questions correctly. Most of then can not. Ask them if they have a Tentelometer? If they say what is that?, then go the other way.
        Even if your unit does not need that measurement this is a good way to know if a shop does things correctly rather than just turn pots until it works. I could go on but I have work to do.

  16. This info is to gather business that I might not have had access to. I really don’t need any more business and have slowed taking in units but once they find you look out- there will be no stopping the incoming units.
    Even after saying I will not take units in until mid- May, 4 came in the last 2 days anyway- I guess they were in transit. Funny as you get too busy more requests come in. I do send people to other service shops in their area if I know their location. Many times I do not. One guy was having so much trouble, I said why don’t you just bring it in. I am in Chicago he was in Slovenia. I guess it was not as bad as the guy who called from Mal Dives- That one I had to look up.

    1. I do not have control over this and I just type within the box I have on the screen. You can try an make the
      type smaller by using the ctl – to see if that helps. Many apps these days are preformated for these massive
      wide LCD screens. Don’t worry I do not use those and my screen is still a CRT.

    1. Hi Bev,
      There is a forum known as Tapeheads.net that covers many things about tape recorder use.
      As to others and questions about blogs and how to make them:
      This blog is not one on how to make blogs and I am getting tired of the questions about this unrelated
      subject. The will all pretty soon get trashed.

  17. Greetings! Quick question that’s completely off
    topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?
    My website looks weird when viewing from my iphone.
    I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to fix this issue.
    If you have any recommendations, please share. Thanks!

    1. I am not a web site designer and that has not been my vocation. If you have a web site and you are having trouble it is best to talk to the customer service people of the provider of the server. They usually know
      a lot more than a person like me. I am an Electrical Engineer but this was all never in existence when I was
      in college. I graduated in 1985. The Motorola 68000 was the big thing in those days. i do not do anything
      related to the server or the mechanics of the site- it is a provided service.

  18. No one else has mentioned this so it might be an Opera format issue. I use Firefox and do not have a lot of issue when using that.

    1. There are many many tape related posts on a forum which I am part of sine 2008 that is called Tapeheads.net
      This forum does not only have me visiting there and answering many questions but also many other Technicians and Engineers that were in the Pro Video field, tape manufacturing, and many Nakamichi repair people.
      They have links at the bottom to find belt kits, Receiver repairs and even where to buy tape and supplies.
      I have a banner there too. It has more than 20,000 members and they range from all over the World. I recommend everyone who wants more information on tape and the decks that roll it join there and tell them
      Sam sent you. Here is a link http://www.tapeheads.net/

  19. Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to mention that
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    1. Keeping me quiet is not the problem. If you have a tape deck problem place a question here and I will try and give you some solutions. There are people that contact me in far off lands, many of them with my advice so far have been able to get their units going. This place will get you more detailed answers than a place like Fixya where people post dumb questions like- My tape deck does not work? How is anyone suppose to know or be able to say anything to that? We typically need Brand, Model and what kind of problem is happening like there is no take-up or that the capstan shaft does not turn. Then we can do something to help you.

  20. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of
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    1. You need a apps developer for that and so this is totally outside the scope of this website.
      I know a person who could do it but I don’t see him much as he is always on planes.

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    1. Hi Eli,
      I make money the old fashion way in that I earn it by doing repairs. I have been answering post on a lot of different web sites and Forums. Most of my posts are probably on Tapeheads.net where I joined the creator of it back in 2008. Since that time he has moved on and sold it to a new person who runs it. It seems that through Google search engines, I have come across a lot of clients and a pile of work which has overwhelmed me at this time. I try and train new people but finding one to put in the time to train and get experience is difficult. This is not a get rich quick scheme. So in those thoughts, I try and help people looking for solutions that can not get truthful answers anywhere else. I don’t ask for money for this and this site provider is pretty cheap but it is not flashy either. I also have a site on Thumbtack.
      Read on and enjoy my small novels of how to fix your tape deck. Some people has expressed that this is very difficult but I can show them here in one day how to fix a machine they may own- it is not that it is difficult but might be considered specialized. I had a Nasa Engineer bring me his deck so you run into a lot of people that are smarter than me. Even the owner of Recoton had his deck fixed here. A President of a Candy company. You meet all kinds.

      1. The WordPress application attached to a website or blog does all the text creation as if it were a word processor just as you post a message to me. I do no coding and it is transparent to the user.

        1. This is not a high tech making. I did this website in one evening while being forced to come up with something for the Tapeheads.net Forum. I am not a HTML code writer or web designer. From what I understand this is a rather simple Blog type site. If I can make this in two hours time I think anyone would be able to do it. It is not difficult at all. If you have more questions talk to the 1&1 customer service people and they might help you.

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    1. I am not sure what you are looking for but if it is tape deck related and you need to repair one of these, then checking with me can get you going in the right direction. The job is not always fun or easy but it can be done with some simple tools. Knowledge is the key to doing the job correctly. Why not listen to a guy who has been doing the work for 40 years. I look forward to your questions and you might be surprised what you can find out.

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    1. This was a quickly thrown together blog site with the help of WordPress and 1&1 the provider. Just about anyone can put a blog together like this. Now the technical advice and direction, well I spent near 45 years learning this trade- in a time of no job, it has been a tremendous way to make some money. It keeps me very busy. If you want to know how to make real good money, I advise everyone to look into the training offered at MTI as to how to become a Technical trader on the Forex market. I hear people all the time say you will lose all your money there. I ask them where did they get their training to know this- they have no training and say these words like a parrot. When pressed they know nothing about the Forex at all. The people that do know about it are making money. I have proof. The other night at about 3:49 AM I placed one trade and then another about 30 minutes after that on the USD/NOK. At shortly after 7AM the trade closed. While I was sleeping both trades netted me $323. If I was trading a standard lot it would have been $3230 while I got 4.5 hours of sleep. When I find something I usually am not quiet about it.

  27. Hi there, constantly i used to check blog posts here early
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    1. Recently I was dealing with a customer that told me that the unit only needs belts. How many times does a service person hear that comment and ignores it as he knows that it is not at all true? So I would like to address this subject.
      First, if all the deck needs is belts, then why does the person telling you your job just change them and not spend the money to have a professional do the work? I know why. It is usually ineffective.
      Yes, the deck probably does need belts but like I tell people on the Forums, it is only the tip of the iceberg. There is pulling the flywheel out and oiling the capstan bearing, taking the Pinch Roller off and reconditioning it- I have seen some Pinch Rollers put on wrong too. The fast wind and take-up torque of the reel is something that should be measured and corrected. This requires a MTT160 tape and if you don’t have one then how are these “only belt” people doing that? Then on some models like Pioneer the Idler is cracked and not working at all. This requires a special fix by a guy who just happens to live in the same town as I am in. Mark the Fixer as he is known makes it possible to get the part working again otherwise the deck is toast.
      At the same time the Tascam 112 and 122 MK III uses a gear that has been known to crack or lose teeth. We used to be able to get them but the supply has run dry and now a guy is selling one plastic gear on E bay
      for $80. Well I am now in the process of having them make correctly and I will most likely be the only real supplier. This is one of the reasons that only needs belts is a ridiculous comment or assessment.
      Second, Has a “Belts only” person ever rebuilt a reel table assembly with new felt or a clutch assembly?
      I doubt that they have done any of this. There are even local shops that skip over or do not know about important parts that are required to allow a deck to work. Specifically I was sent a few NAD 6300 decks.
      The people that serviced it before me did not even address the back tension issue- there is a little belt on the supply reel motor that if the belt is stretched or broken there will bee no back tension at all. This in the direct drive dual capstan deck then skews and damages tape. They change capstan belts and put resistors in line with the reel motor but they are completely missing the point. I bet they did not even have a torque measuring tape or they would have seen this. This is what you get from some local shops instead of a professional knowing what they are doing. Once that little belt is installed and the back tension adjusted, the deck works fine with no resistors needed. I took them out. It is actually a good working machine although not fancy in it’s looks. Same transport as some Nakamichi decks. Of course the heads are different.
      This is why the unit only needs belts is not a good thing to say to a Technician. There might come a time that they will send you right out the door as they know from the past that these people are looking for a cheap fix and it is not possible with these older decks. The truth be told.

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  29. Hi Emily,
    This post is very close to spam if you ask me and there is no reason to get more contacts to the website because I do not sell any product. Why would I want more customers when I am overloaded now. Don’t you read my past post that say I have 122 units waiting for service. I have not seen nor will require any SEO service with what business I have presently. It would be stupid to add more load to the work I have. I hope this warns off any further SEO sales calls.

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  31. Dear Mr. Palermo, you can put me in the queue for service my teac z7000, I’ll bring you tell me, I live in Wheeling, Il.

    1. Hi Valentin,
      Due to the large demand of service to at least 120 units I have to wait to take in units to around the middle of May. If you want to contact me then I will be able to help you then. Right now I am neck deep in alligators and am trying to get this under control.

      Best regards,

      Sam Palermo,
      Skywave Tape Deck Repair
      617 McLean Ave
      Bensenville IL 60106
      Member of the ProSquad

      Now Accepting MC, Visa and Discover Cards

    1. What’s Up? I am about to be the only source for the Tascam 122 Mk III gear that breaks all the time. It goes into at least 6 models. These are not a sloppy three D printing but Injection molded as were the originals.
      Just one more part I am having made.

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    1. Talk to the people at 1&1 as the WordPress seems to be doing well and no break ins so far except the occasional spam SEO person or people with really crazy comments that I have no idea what they are talking about. Those I spam out of just trash them. We are talking about Tape Decks here not much of anything else.

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    1. Thanks Ward,
      This is a side line activity for me as I have tons of work behind me. I also visit the Tapeheads.net forum to answer questions there. That is the place to be with over 20,000 people interested in tape decks and the like. There are some real genius people there. They have members from all over the world. I told one guy to bring his unit over when my online help was not getting anywhere. He was in Romania. It cost nothing to join as it is free.

    1. Eli seems to be a most consistent visitor here. I welcome comments about my work and my method of repairing units- IF anyone is in the Chicago area and would like to join with me and other Technicians in learning to repair this stuff- Cassette Decks and Open Reel decks, I am training people. You don’t need a degree in electronics but simply a basic understanding. What you do not know I can teach you. You do need a work bench at your location to be able to work and some test equipment that can be obtained over time. All the stuff is available on E bay for a fraction of what it cost when new. While it can take a small investment in equipment and test tapes, I can tell you that after a few units it will be paid for. You can equip a nice bench with the repairs of say 10 units. I do need help badly. This is not a vocation that requires just sitting around but doing some work. If you are willing I can start you on a vocation that will bring in money every week depending on your output. Just a word to the wise as I have 124 units here waiting repair- I don’t want to hear that there is no demand for this work as all the Technicians I know are all overloaded with work.
      IF you are one that just wants to make money sitting in front of a computer. There is still hope but that requires more money in an investment in an education to make consistent money. I have done it and know of the tremendous potential. This is regarding the Forex market. If you need to know more just let me know.
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    1. Many people seem to have a mental block when it comes to repair of these products. While some of them can be extremely complicated and it is best that you have a degree in Electronics to be able to understand the details of the circuit, many other things are simple mechanical cleaning and lubrication. I have done a great many different types of products from Coffee Pots to Sony DVR-22 $55,000 video master recorders.
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      Suffice it to say many people fix their machine and then some of them fix them with a little help- this is why sites like Tapeheads.net are so well liked as there are so many experts there that can help you- yes, you will find me there too.
      In the event that it is just too much for you then there are people fixing decks all the time that know what they are doing and get the job done right. THIS is what this blog is all about. I fix these machines!

  43. On my CRT screen they do not run off and this can be resolved by you hitting the Ctl – so as to shrink the screen some. I have to do this on some E bay listings as I suspect these people make these posts with those newer 16X9 resolution or greater flat panel displays. Us old timers know about the larger 24″ screens but I doubt that any flat panel will last as long as the CRT displays I have used in the past especially when the power supplies are populated with Chinese capacitors. Once you put good caps in the display it may last a much better length of time but most people can not do this so they trash them and buy another which is not an economically sound practice. The lines do not exceed 105 characters.

  44. My writing is not perfect but I have been doing it for at least 50 years now so I should be good at it. Now it is time to get by the 10 year old typing I do.

  45. The spell checker is something that I go by and so if there is an error, it is because of the dictionary that supports the spell checker has this error. A blog is not a place for English instruction anyway so if a person is learning to spell from my posts, they are at the wrong place. This blog is meant for technical questions and like related material.
    Further, I get all kinds of spam and SEO comments that are immediately trashed. There are also some foreign language comments that I sometimes translate and find that they are junk and so to the trash. If I do not write messages in French, Spanish, Russian or Japanese, it does no good for you to send them here.
    In addition, Who are these people going on and on about liking my blog and pretty much using 4 pages to say nothing. They are trashed too. What is this the Ipod crowd? Get a working brain.
    This blog is for tape deck related questions not for you to sell you Viagra or other junk.

  46. I am not a person who likes You Tube as a lot of the videos there are in error. To do a video correctly and I worked in that business for a time, you need expensive cameras and a good back ground as well as a staff to shoot it. I have no time with over 126 units here to repair to deal with such things. Many people make videos with their I phone and post just all kinds of poorly lit crap. These people have too much time on their hands to make such videos and so poorly. I may give people answers but I am not training them for free in this vocation. Maybe I should run a class for this but there really is no time for it.

  47. Things can seem complicated until you learn about them. I have been in that place many times in 60 years to say I don’t know how to approach a problem. Well in the Broadcast contract business you need to think on your feet. Same as when I was a cop. Learn from a mentor how to do things even if it is by E mail and then these complex items will be understood. Of course it is faster to do it in person but that would require travel or to be near the Chicago area.

  48. As posted before-
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  49. If she stole it then she is responsible for the damages and under most law, I Phones which are expensive might even fall under a Felony and she could spend a year or two in jail. Does she think this was smart?

  50. I am keeping it up but some of these old Sony unit can fight you every inch. TC-630 is what I am trying to fix up.

  51. This might take more time than it is worth for me. I have a lot of repairs to do and I do not want to waste time making a pretty web blog only to go bankrupt.

  52. From my records it looks like the first month was January of this year. I don’t have anything to do with the layout as I think that is all determined by the software.

  53. I have no other reports of any trouble maybe it is a pop up blocked you have or a anti virus program.
    If the problem was with my provider I should be getting a lot of complaints.
    Let me know if it does not rectify itself.

  54. Tell me what you need to know about and I can cover it. I don’t just write blind articles about a subject as I am too busy running the shop.

  55. There will be as many parts as people ask me questions about. Many of the comments I see though are about blog prep and off subject matters. This is not just a social gathering place but a place for Technical help and explanations.
    In addition, People are always asking me where do I get tape, reels and splicing supplies?
    This is the answer- http://www.splicit.com/

  56. You can also visit Tapeheads.net forum where it is free to join and there are 20,000 like deck users there.
    I have been a member there since 2008. I am one who as you can guess, gives out advice to those that ask for help.

  57. I have not used any other methods so I am not the one to ask. To find out what is best either contact Sebastian at 1 & 1 and see what they say or talk to a person who does the job in all the different ways.
    I came upon this pretty easy and just started writing. I was pretty good at writing in College I was told and so this may have been a result of the two year courses I took in Cinematography or maybe the course in the 4 year level of Literature. The package I bought into is only $3.00 per month for what you see.

  58. No, other than posting once in a while the layout is all automatic and it takes very little work.

    1. This is a blog about tape deck repair. When we wonder away from that I have little to say and it seems we continue to stray away from this. The blog is not about how to develop a website, blog or how to write- that is all found out in College.

  59. I think it is a program called Word Press. You can research it more on the 1 & 1 website. Usually as in tape decks the higher end programs only have a little bit of difference as everyone wants to be looking good. A difference of a few features but sometimes a lot more price. This is $2.99/Month.

  60. That is why I have given up on IE a long time ago and use Firefox exclusively like many other people do.
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    1. You only need visit and join for free the Tapeheads.net forum where I am found there too. Many people with old tired equipment are fixing their own but need help. As much as I can help a person often times they do not have the test equipment to do the work or the test tapes. Then they come to me anyway.

      There is always much to be learned there as well.

  96. Hello there! This post could not be written any better! Going through
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    kept preaching about this. I’ll send this post to him. Fairly certain he’s going to have a good read.
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  97. Hi everybody, here every person is sharing these knowledge,
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  98. Fantastic post however I was wondering if you coul write a litte more on this topic?I’d be very thankful if you coulpd elaborate a little bit more.Thank you!

  99. Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is excellent, let alone the content!

    1. It has been up for a few months at most. This is not a fancy web site program just basic.
      The knowledge I have on tape decks took about 45 years.

    1. First you need to know what kind of thing you want to know about. Basically I work on Cassette decks and Open Reel decks. The open reel decks are on the demand and increase as far as demand of repair. There are only so many out there and the number are going down because the stupid people are parting them out.
      I fix them. I just put new heads on a A6300 deck and and testing the rest of it for function and then align and calibrate it. When it is done it will be ready for sale.

  100. I try not to be a mean person but at the same time these posts of little meaning and absolutely abstract wording while including a website URL about shoes, Porno or other ridiculous things sometimes sets me off.
    This blog is for tape deck repair and this subject- other things will be trashed.

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  102. Hey Sam,

    If I lived in Chicago I would ask if I could come by the shop and help out. I really want to learn the methods and techniques in analog tape machine repair/rebuild. I started on a Tascam 244 last summer, which was easy. A simple belt swap. I studied the manual for the 246 and learned how to get to the idler tires and pinch roller wheel and have been replacing those too lately. I discovered I really have a passion for this stuff. Unfortunately, there aren’t any repair places that I know of that take on apprentices so I’m stuck watching Youtube video and stuff. NJ Factory is sort of close but I don’t have a car. Anyways, you’ve helped me considerably on Tapeheads and this was my first time visiting yr site. Good stuff man.

    1. Hi Jason,
      Here in Chicago I get new work in almost every day and sometimes 2 or 3 a day. They do not go out that fast.
      I have limited space and am working with a guy now but when he is done in about a month, he will be moving to No. Michigan and I hope to have a satellite helper so to speak. We need more Technicians so a training program would be good to have but I don’t make U tube videos. Most of what I see are idiots.

  103. Sam, just discovered your writings here and wanted to thank you again for the gear advice on tapeheads (ajmich there). If I were 20 years younger I’d be knocking at your door eager to learn your trade. But since there seems little is actually asked here about tape machines, how about this: I am about to replace the tape tension bearings on a Technics 1506, which seems simple enough but I know nothing other than to thoroughly clean the bearing mounts & mechanism. Tips? I’m also about to replace the brake pads on same unit, though am a bit miffed to find leather-like new pads in the kit instead of cork. (eBay kit from Germany) Would I be better off getting some self-stick hobby cork sheets (1/16″ I believe) and cut them to fit? Thank you for what you are doing.

    1. Now this is the kind of post I am looking for here!
      The Technics bearings are easy to change but the hard part is getting the correct ABEC 7 types that will not make noise. One client said he put the ceramic ones in from a place in Florida. I am still trying to find the supplier I will use but the Abec 7 ceramic bearings can be about $20 each. On the brake pads, the materials are not all that important except that they work. The Technics unit make use of dynamic braking so the pads are only used for holding the reel still in stop mode. They never stop the tape. I have long sheets of 1/16″ cork as recommended by Tinman of TH.net . It has worked and I have enough here for thousands of machines. The cork that is self adhesive is just expensive. You can do the same job with regular sheet cork and some rubber cement. I use Three Bond 1521 type rubber cement as was used at Teac many years ago. It was not the cheapest stuff out there but the tube can last you for years. This is what I call the real stuff. I also use Best Test Latex glue on some jobs but the small important stuff like on the Technics gets the good glue. There are belts for the counter to be replace and don’t forget to grease that shaft as the intermediate pulley is where high speed noise comes from. It just needs lubrication. There is no reason to buy parts in Germany to put into a Japanese made machine. To buy from Germany is just some guy trying to sell products for profit- you can usually get the same stuff yourself for cheaper.
      Some caps kits they sell are all Chinese caps- forget those and get good one instead. I get mine from Mouser.
      Most all these decks need a full recap job- enough machines have been seen with leaking electrolyte and other
      leg decay due to leaking caps. This kind of condemn all the caps to be changed out which can take 4-5 hours.
      In doing these the better higher grade 105* caps are used as well as some audio grade and low leakage 2000-5000 hour caps. The specs are all there on the Mouser site where you order them.

      1. Great/helpful info Sam, thanks. Carefully examined the replacement bearings, and (predictably?) they are the inexpensive type, inscribed “605Z” — between that disappointment, and the non-cork brake pads, I’ve decided to return the kit, lesson learned. Certainly do not want to put cheap/inappropriate parts into a machine of this quality. I had in fact fixed the common counter pulley noise with a tiny drop of silicone lube, and the counter belts seem to be OK with no cracking that I can see, so I’m going to leave them alone. Meanwhile I see a possible bearing source in bocabearings.com, at about $16/each, based upon the measurements of the 605Z, though the illustration differs. As for caps, like you’ve recently pointed out, it is not a beginner’s job, so my plan is simply to see how the beast runs without recapping, and take it from there. (Because of bouncy speed fluctuations, I have yet to hear what this deck can do).

        Sounds like, even if I were to drive it to your shop in person, your backlog would have it waiting for quite some time! But in a way I find it hopeful and encouraging that folks are getting their R2R gear fixed up, whether newbies or just part of the analog rebound. I’ve often heard comments about the “cool big metal reels” and “big meters”… hehe

        Another question: when I set recording levels on my Otari 5050BII, I like to start with the built in 1KHz “reference” test oscillator tone and adjust my playback levels to +3dB with the tone… conservative, given that I often use older tape and have not yet tweaked the unit for a particular brand/type. Have used older formulations like Scotch 150, and newer TDK Pro. Results have been very good, even though I must set the left channel a bit higher than the right, to achieve a balance. Is the meter calibration worth tinkering with? If so, can the Otari’s test tones do the job? (IIRC, there are internal level adjustments for the tones themselves, yes?) Just to tide me over, of course, ’til I can acquire the proper, recommended test gear. I’ve compiled a list in an attempt to get organized — truly appreciate the time/effort you went to (and go to) in detailing such things.

        One omitted item is specific software, if any — have there been ANY cases where you felt that a piece of software (IE, designed for audio analysis) was helpful? I have some good stuff from Izotope that can display spectrum analysis, but have not yet learned to use it. Another item comes to mind — one of my first “serious” machines was a Sony TC-630, (don’t laff) and I still have a couple of’em. Sony’s use of pressure pads on the heads always bugged me though — perhaps the pads can be dismantled, bypassed, in favor of, say, setting a slightly higher tape tension during record/play…? I’m going to guess “NO” simply because if Sony couldn’t/wouldn’t do it without pressure pads, then the overall transport design probably won’t allow for it…? Did they reach a point where they finally did away with pads?

        1. You might fine that the lack of new capacitors will cause you to waste a lot of time with unstable and changing conditions on the circuit involved. The speed of the motor involves setting waveform positions and then the proper tensions- all this affects the speed stability. The tensions are set using a voltage reading on one of the boards. Still even with these correct I had found that some things are a little off and I was told that the springs weaken and the air billows have hardened. Still the unit with the right adjustments can meet the specs required.
          The TC630 is an old rickety late 60’s design. There are no adjustable tensions like in more modern equipment. I just got one off my bench and these units can take 5-8 hours of mechanical cleaning and adjustment. Even after you have one working that does not mean they are up to the standards of the Teac A2300S which is a reference standard. They do not have the frequency response, speed stability and the wow and flutter is not as good. With a new Idler I saw a reading of .06% wrms all at the same time the unit was at 2860Hz in speed. Sony used to change pulleys to get speed up- those parts are now gone and even if one could be made it might cost $120-$150 because the pulley is three level and has knurled surfaces.
          The pressure pad are a requirement as the back tension on the tape is hardly anything- maybe 20-30 g/cm.
          It may be from foam clutch parts that now are decayed so to get it back to specs, parts have to be disassembled and new foam put in. New parts are no where to be found. The pressure pads which I had to replace were a certain size and cut to fit inside the head shield. It is a special positioning process.This machine is a conglomeration of how not to make a transport but may have been the best they could do in 1960’s thinking. After sacrificing many hours not payed for I advise those with that model to expect a $500 restoration bill and that even restored it will have limitations due to it’s very early design. Tape like Scotch 150 and that age tapes are relegated to brake test functions. There is no reason to use junk like that when you have a good machine like a Technics. That tape is not even good enough for a Teac. It is horrible tape. It was to be used on the A4010S. The other day we were adjusting the deck for use with LPR35 tape. The record EQ had to be reduced as much as 12 dB at 10KHz as that tape was that horrible. When we were done with the record EQ mod. That deck did 50Hz to 20KHz inside 2 dB. Computerized type of measurement software are gimmicks and item of interest but will never replace the basic tools and also due to the complicated interfaces often serve to confuse new comers that get things all goofed up. Better off to stick to hardware with the exception of the Audio Precision One plus unit.

          1. Thx Sam, very thorough reply and much to absorb. You are consistently firm about the need to recap the Technics… sounds like if I wait on that item, there could be a hellish time trying to tweak the unit if its caps are not good. Since I have so many decks, maybe if I prep a list of the “worthwhile” ones you might suggest one as an easy starter for learning to recap — that is, unless certain model(s) come to mind that usually need capping but aren’t as hairy as the Technics.

            The TC630 is a relic for sure, but I suppose I have a bit of a sentimental attachment since it was by far the most impressive-looking & sounding of my earliest machines (mid teens). But I’m hearing, “not worth the trouble & expense to do it right”… and I can see why, esp. if someone stiffed you many $$$ on the repair.

            I hear ya: Any horrible Scotch 150 or similar will be relegated to brake tests. I didn’t use that on the Technics, but I’ll admit to having little experience with the higher-end (higher-cost) media. For reasons I’m not even clear on, I like TDK over Maxell in general. Recently picked up a couple pancakes of Splicit’s new tape but have yet to try it — have you any comments on it?

            Very sobering indeed, researching gear like the Audio Precision One Plus. On the mfr’s site I found myself on the page of their recommended newer model, trying to understand what all the add ons were for. I can feel my (unrealistic) dream fading of being able to pick up some good used gear and teach myself some tape tech! Self-doubt is a bitch. But I’ve yet to research the other pieces you and John have mentioned on TH. Had created a tidy little text file of it all then lost it doing a drive re-imaging, duh. Always the reminders that tech can be unforgiving if you behave stupidly! But back to the Technics tension bearings — I’ve returned the German kit for a refund; will instead look for the bearing type you mentioned and have sent that Boca supplier a query to see if they have a match. Saw some Athlon bearings on eBay recently but they were $$$ and my model wasn’t mentioned. Did you say you’re still looking for a source? Anyway, thanks again… and I hope you don’t dislike the Otari MX-5050BII as I’m likely to have some questions about it. (I understand the earliest of the series were flawed?)

  104. If I had a lot of trouble loading pages I would get tons of complaints. The fact is that I only get one or two on occasion and the one in the past was due to Internet Explorer which MS is changing all the time without notice. If you have trouble with IE or you are using a tablet or Iphone, I can not help you as I don’t use those items and have no knowledge of them. Try the site on a real computer.
    If you use Firefox like many people do they problems are less as I have tried the site myself without issue.

  105. Hi Alex,
    The list could have been backed up on an external drive or a number of thumb drives. I can remember when the 5.1/4″ floppy was the way to store 360K.
    I was there then. Then the big move to 3.5″ and then the Syquest drives with 1.5GB.
    Regardless of the type of media all important stuff needs to be preserved in a second and third location or device.
    I did not get stiffed on a TC630 but I do question the logic of taking them in anymore. I think the next one will be quoted at $500 right off the bat- people do not know how many hours it takes to get one back together again.
    The Older Teac decks are easier to work with. An easy unit to recap would be one with pull out cards. Some of those would be like the Teac A7300, ATR-700 (Ampex label), Studer PR99 and Teac A3440 deck. Yes the cards pull out but still can take 1.5 hours to do the job to each card.
    The Technics design is pretty easy to take all the cards out. It makes the job a lot easier than trying to work on an Akai unit that was never built to be serviced.
    If you want the cap list I have for the Technics send me an E mail direct and I will send the list off to you. It is not 100% accurate but with a few extras ordered then you should be in good shape. I don’t have a supplier of the ABEC 7 bearings but I will look into that as I have a RS1700 here waiting to be worked on.
    The Ap unit would be nice and if you are opening a shop for work but when I bought mine in 1996 it was $5029 back then. You can get by with the basics from off Ebay bought with a close examination.
    Leader LMV181, LFM39A, and audio oscillator with attenuator built in and some test tapes.
    Later on I plan to begin a section on modifications of Teac decks I have come up with that should be extensive. The X7R reel motor problem is in my sights right now. There are many instances that improvements of operation or function can be done.
    The Otari MX5050BII is an excellent machine. I have three or so here now.

    1. Yes indeed, RE backing up files. In this case it was a matter of having misconfigured my default document folder… created the txt file on the Desktop, then didn’t move it. Using a SSD for C:, windows and all programs. Very fast. I go back to the community college night labs using teletypes with no screen, just big paper rolls… connected to Dartmouth College via the handset-type modems. Slow and extremely basic, and I couldn’t get enough of it! 1st PC was a TRS-80, cassette drive. 1st IT job was using a ‘baby’ System/36 with the 8″ floppies. 1st ‘powerful’ home PC was a huge Zeos tower running Win 3.1.

      As for recap starter projects, I had a minty 3440 but sold it. Lots of other Teacs tho, so your mods projects are definitely of interest. I did grab your 1500 cap list off TH, but maybe your current file is newer so I’ll email ya for that, thanks. Will let you know if Boca Bearings has those ABEC 7 in the Technics size… maybe you’ve already checked.

      Been using the MX5050 for awhile now, and really enjoy it. The lifters were badly grooved and I mucked them up trying to put sleeves over them, but I lucked out and got good used replacements for $20 total — they worked out great, and I very gently turned them before installing, wondering all along why Otari hadn’t made them “turnable” like the post next to the pinch roller. Am working out kinks for a little accessory that will help clean the tape as it passes (understand a few early Akai decks had this). Have the materials now and just need to perfect the mounting clip. Device uses dental cotton rolls, of all things, not the least bit linty since they’re intended to be stuck in your mouth. This all due to having picked up used tape over the years that needs loose crud removed. Very low tech.

  106. You’ve mention cutting one’s recapping teeth on a simpler basic machine (NOT the Technics 1506)… well I have an old favorite Teac A-6010 that I’ve always enjoyed for some reason. Would that be a good choice for a beginner to recap? And when it comes time to order caps, I’ve seen references to “kits”… do you recommend them over making your own list by pulling each cap to check it’s value? Is there such a thing as a cap kit for a 1500 (or even a 6010)…? Thanks.

    1. The Teac A6010 is certainly a good practice unit but be warned that these were not the computer stuffed and wave soldered units that we see now days but the old hand solder type and bent over leads type work that makes many Technicians and even experienced guys cringe. The caps in the A6010 are certainly due but it might be a battle you may not be prepared for. Once you do well on the A6010 the Technics will be more a piece of cake.
      Kits are made for mostly profit reasons. They do not go through all the trouble of selecting the best grade caps and all the right ones. That would take a tremendous amount of time and talent. They are there to make the seller money so what do they use? The cheapest of all grade caps from China most likely. You could be replacing the cap with a kit type part that is inferior to the original one. This you do not want to do. I have a cap list for a RS1500 and it is not perfect but if you buy this list plus a few more of each type you will have enough to complete the job. The list I have is made up of Panasonic FC and FM caps, Elna Silmic II and some Nichicon MUSE type caps. It does no good to put a audio grade cap into the power supply and you want a good quality 105* type and one that has good ripple current handling as well as low leakage.
      I have used this list and the few units I did came out doing a great job.
      It sound like I am selling the list. What I meant is if you buy the caps on the list- I get all my caps from Mouser in Texas. Two day delivery most times. I just got a $185 order the other day.
      The important items to have is good lighting, a soldapullt by Edsyn and some solder wick for the tough items.
      Tools like component lead cutters. The important thing is concentration- don’t pull and measure a cap juts replace it there are NO good 40 years old caps. Do not watch TV while you do this as you need to keep track of the polarity and insert the new caps of the same value in the way. Distractions of any kind do not aid you. The A6010 of Vietnam era will have no silk screening of parts or polarity so unless you have a Stereo manuals service manual, you might get stuck as to how a cap goes in. It has to go in right.
      Also note that there are some decks that have the silkscreen patterns wrong- follow the way the old one was in as if it has not blown up in 20 years it has to be in the right way.

  107. I think one of my clients got the bearings from there and so they were the ceramic ones. I am working on a butchered RT909 right now so the RS1700 is still in waiting.

    1. …And ceramic bearings are the preferable ones, yes? If you don’t mind peeking at that link, with your nod, I am going to order a pair. Are they correct?

      Interesting RE your butcherer 909 in that I have my own awaiting. As I recall, main issue is frozen screws on the capstan motor bracket (belt replacement among others). Having tried everything else, I bought a long bit, intending to [reluctantly] drill off the screw heads, but shelved it in favor of an easier repair — at least I have that option, working on units I own! Any tips on getting those Philips head M3x6 screws loose? Even resorted to Liquid Wrench, and old standby my Dad taught me about.

  108. Hi Alex,
    I use the Xcelite XST driver that usually break a screw loose without any issue. I did see a lacquer on the screw heads on the plate. Some solvent would take that off but the Xcelite 10″ snapped them all loose.
    In my history of service, I have seen guys with drug store drivers and then even some from Sears and other tool companies. I had them too for a while then when I discovered the XST5 set there was no turning back. When I worked as a Customer service manager the refurb guys were always bringing me car radios and other products that they could not get the screws out of. I pulled out the XST drivers and 100% of the time the screws came out. If you are working on RT909 time to put in stock of 2SB682 or TIP147T transistors as well as a supply of the microswitches. The Micros always need to be changed. Don’t wire across them like the guy in NM does and then the deck fails inside of 6 months. The first unit I worked on of that model is still going 3 years after I fixed it.

    1. The Xcelite drivers are now on my want list, though I’m not working on the 909 right now. I did fetch the microswitches some time ago, thx for the reminder. What are the transistors for, and do YOU simply replace them regardless? Side note: My Dad was a tool & die man, shop super for a fairly large facility; taught me a lot about tools. Back in the 60s, he would bring home a bottle of thin red oil from the shop, that he simply referred to as “penetrating oil” — that stuff was great — any idea what it might have been? He was too busy working, providing for a family of eight, or I think he would have gotten into R2R since there’s often so much mechanical going on in them. Seems like I had my first 7″ machine (Sony TC-200) before he passed, but I don’t recall him being much interested… distracted by severe angina. But I didn’t intend to get so personal here. Am about to do the Technics 1506 brake pads (cork), plop on those new ceramic bearings, and hope I can stall awhile on the capping job… I’m certainly not ready for that. But the 909 is calling… some time ago, it was dead or nearly so, when I saw mention of replacing a major cap. It was an easy fix, and the unit came back to life. Then I moved on to the belts and got stuck with those frozen screws.

  109. I can not speak to that but I do have valid information and advice that you will not find anywhere else. I also sell some parts that are hard to
    find. That is why I sell them as they are no longer available- they call that NLA or discontinued. Well if you need a part you need to get it somewhere. Well, good Techicians figure things out, the lazy ones just give up. Maybe why I have 160 units to work on here.

  110. It all depends on questions asked or when I have time or when I have a technical release such as a new part comes abailable or a new design modification has been discovered.

  111. I have WordPress 4.6 and I have not had even one issue. Getting stupid posts on the blog- there are lots of those.

  112. What’s your general impression of the Akai GX-77 from a repair standpoint? I’ve got one “in process” (meaning I opened it up, took it apart some and set it aside, overwhelmed). I have read about it at length and the only ‘common’ issue it has is the FF/REW slowdown… for which I bought a kit, yet to be installed. But that’s a low priority since the waiting customer is ME, so more pressing is that it wants to skew the tape as if the rollers were glazed or something, but they are not. (Just remembered, I also got my 909’s rollers rebuilt by that fellow who is like the only soul doing that sort of thing). Anyway, sorry for the ADD-ness of my comments tonight. Perhaps I need to increase my medication, hehe.

  113. Sam, was it something I said (or didn’t say)….? Apologies if I got too personal. While I’m thinking about it, what oil or lube is safe to use on a Sony cassette deck’s squeaking plastic (nylon?) gears very near the capstan? Am I to assume a tiny amount of general purpose oil delivered via syringe?

    1. Hi Alex, Nothing you said. I was just getting rid of these Viagra sales idiots.
      I use a fine machine oil in the past. I have started to use AMS Signature motor oil as I have seen some great wow and flutter readings.

  114. Any posts with regard to sports, Viagra, or subjects that are not related to Tape Decks will be Trashed- this is not the place for it!

  115. I do not need any more messages as most of them are garbage I delete anyway. There are no sales going through this blog site so why would I want to increase traffic. Most people like this post do not stick to the subject at hand which is tape deck repair-maybe two people so far.

    1. I know there is a lot to learn here but 95% are posts that are not related to this site and they are selling jerseys or other crap including many comments about Zune. They get immediately trashed.

  116. Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your web site is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched everywhere and simply could not come across. What an ideal web-site.

  117. Wow! This can be one particular of the most helpful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Magnificent. I am also an expert in this topic therefore I can understand your effort.

    1. Where did you become an expert at? Many Technicians say they are good only to take on only the easy jobs. There is one guy in NM that charges $900 to clean face plates and dirt off motors on open reel decks and do nothing else. What a rip off.

  118. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you’ve put in writing this website. I’m hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing skills has encouraged me to get my own web site now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings fast. Your write up is a good example of it.

    1. There are no guys here. There is only myself and I am 60 years old. I have been doing this work for near 45 years and have answered many
      concerns on Tapeheads.net and other forums and support web sites. My name is Sam and I used to work for Teac and Sony at one time.

  119. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I’m hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the upcoming also. Actually your creative writing skills has encouraged me to get my own web site now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a great example of it.

  120. I do trust all of the concepts you’ve presented on your post. They are very convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are too short for beginners. Could you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

    1. I can not go into more detail without a question as to what you want to know. To present a text that would encompass all material would take too long and occupy way too much space. There have been posters that have asked specific questions as to a certain model they have. I have answered them and made the solution clear. There are times that some machines have to be worked on by a technician as only the very simple stuff can be accomplished without some years of experience.

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  141. I am not so sure about that. Maybe average.
    I have just been doing what I do for a long time and with that you get good at it.

  142. I would never run out of material but few people here are asking any questions about tape decks and their repair which is what this site is about.

  143. I usually do not leave a response, however after reading a few of the responses on BLOG_TITLE. I actually do have 2 questions for you if it’s allright. Could it be simply me or do some of these remarks come across like they are left by brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are writing on other social sites, I’d like to follow you. Could you list of the complete urls of your social networking pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?|

    1. Hi Vince,
      Yes there are people leaving messages about Zune and all kinds of unrelated things. I think it is part of the advertising they try to get. First off if I see Zune anywhere in a message I trash it, I have several key words I do not like and so their stuff is garbaged. I suspect they don’t
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    1. Why people put URL addresses in that do not work I don’t know. I do check a lot of them.
      The requested URL /RNXjAvnzt9 was not found on this server.

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  158. Writing from Granger, IN, a South Bend suburb. I have a Teac A-6300, a Teac X-1000R and a Pioneer RT-901. The A-6300 does not record on the left channel. The vu meters both indicate that the signals are being received, but when played back the left channel is blank. The X-1000R does not erase when recording in the forward mode. When in the reverse mode the dual capstans apparently run at different speeds since the tape falls away from the heads. The RT-901 needs a simple adjustment so that it records both channels at the same level. To avoid shipment damage I would bring them in, and pick them up when they’re completed. Can you give me a rough estimate of repair costs? When would you be able to allow me to bring them in OR do you know anyone in my area that you would recommend?

    1. Hello Jack,
      I do not know of people in your area and I have a lot of customers from Indiana. If there was a good person down there then I would not get so much work from there. The X1000R needs a new belt and some cleaning and maybe resoldering of some joints. The A6300 is a very reliable machine still people can not find out why it does not erase and I usually tell them to clean the erase heads- people seem to think this is not needed.
      The RT901 will be looked at to see what you are talking about. I have had capacitors go out and stop the signal in one channel. Dirt heads can also cause that. I can not give prices until we see how the machines are in general. Some could use little work and other might need a lot. How can one guess without seeing what they are dealing with? I do get customers who have been at other service shops and ask me is this going to cost $400 to $500? I ask them where did you get a price like that? Then it is made clear that they have been to the wrong kind off place already and even with those stiff prices they can not fix the unit. I tell them I don’t charge like those shops and I do not require a deposit.
      If a place requires a deposit that is the first sign of a place only after your money. At my shop we are after happy customers- why is this?
      Simple. Money is a short term reward and a Happy customers will get you more business and referrals in the long run. I have some customers that have brought me 5 more decks since the first one they picked up. Some customers bring me up to 21 but those guys are flippers. Once you find a gem in the service business, there is little reason to look further. This is what I am told by many clients.
      I am ready today to take them in but I do have 135 unit here already.
      Also know that these deck are old and would benefit from power supply cap replacements and some critical parts like microswitches. Those that leave those 30 year old switches in a Pioneer often find themselves back at the shop to have them changed- this is why I do them when I get a machine in- some parts are just known for failure. We can talk further. I suspect when you get done with me all your machines will work well and record as well.

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    1. The speed of the site may be determined by your connection or browser. I use Firefox and have no problems.
      People that stay with bad software well, it is their own fault why the equipment they use does not work right. Smarten up. Too many people with phone and tablets have trouble. Well those things are far from perfect and I say get a real computer on a desktop and stop playing with toys.
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  175. I do consider all the concepts you’ve introduced in your post. They’re very convincing and can definitely work. Still, the posts are very brief for starters. May just you please extend them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

    1. People want longer posts but they do not ask any questions or give a subject they want covered. I am not writing to express an online book or just to fill up pages as some of these post I get seem to do. I post about certain technical subject related to electronics repair.
      What do you want to know more about?

  176. Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text inside your post appear to be running off the screen in Internet explorer. I’m not confident if this really is a format concern or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The style and style look wonderful though! Hope you get the issue fixed soon. Kudos

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  187. I have a 1973 Pioneer reel to reel tape, A 1996 Sony Cassette Recorder/Player, Sony DCT – 2000ES among other units. Can you repair any or all the units above? If so, please let me know.

    1. I work on Sony Cassette decks and Pioneer open reel decks but the Sony DAT is best sent to New Jersey Factory Service where Russ is more
      experienced with those. Russ can be found as below-
      New Jersey Factory Service, Inc.
      16 Chestnut Avenue Suite 103 B
      Emerson,New Jersey 07630
      Mon- Wed 8-4 Thurs 8-2 Closed Fri Sat/Sun by appt.
      Analog/Digital Audio Repair

  188. Hi Sam, I’m your age but a novice to all things electrical and am getting back into reel to reel and I just picked up a Sony TC-355 that powers on and I believe requires the lubrication in the pinch roller and linkage to be taken out from what I’ve read and cleaned, etc. also the right VU meter bulb stopped working after I had taken it apart. Still wired fine from the looks of it, any ideas? Also, what is your opinion of this tape recorder if any? I’m located in the Minneapolis area and was wondering if you had any suggestions on where to get it fixed locally as I know you are always swamped. Thanks for all your info!

    1. Hi Todd,
      That model needs a lot of mechanical dis-assembly and cleaning of grease both under the head base and then all other section of the deck. It can also need new brakes, new belts and sometimes an Idler rebuilt by Terry to get it back to working order. Lamps of a lot of year old and used are very brittle and will break when any vibration come near them. If one goes out then it is my practice to change them all as the other is just behind the first. You may have to measure the voltage on the lamp to see what they get. Typically I use lamps from JKL lamps that are the DA513 which is a 8 volt 50mA pigtail lamp. These are used in 6.3V system so that they run many years. I have spent 4-5 hours labor on these types of designs. They do not always give you the same performance as a Teac A2300S deck which is a better and easier to fix unit plus it has no idlers in it. There may be some shops up there to work on reel equipment but I am not aware of them.

      1. Thank you Sam for your thorough and speedy reply. I am in the process of getting it apart and will see what I can find. I enjoy all of your responses and hopefully I can learn something in the process, thanks again!

        1. Very good Todd,
          Be aware and a lot of people miss this that there is a joint that i under the main idler that need to be free to move and due to old oil it usually doe snot like to move. I take the Idler off it the pin in order to clean and oil and then you will see it. This will keep the Idler from pivoting to the flywheel in some lower speeds. The unit is all full of little traps. The one where you take the head base off and lubricate the pinch roller rod allows you to loosen the screw of the lifter and this need to go back the correct place or you will be going in again.

    1. I work on these all the time and have two here presently. I am a bit overloaded so maybe it would be best if in a couple weeks.

  189. Hi,
    I have an issue with my Sony TC WE 505 tape deck with the B deck. The motors start acting funny especially when I press forward or reverse. The motors start working in opposite direction and are spoiling my tapes. The head gets jammed in play position and I have trouble to get the stop button to work and get the head down to get the tape out (which is jumbled a bit by then).
    Its a full logic control deck – I dunno why this is happening – help please

    1. Unfortunately the dual cassette deck designs are pretty bad and although people think they are good they usually are not. The mechanism can take 2 hours to take apart to get running again. The bad thing is there are two of them and the bad grease that is in one will soon happen to the second one. If it takes 4 hours plus parts to fix a $150 cassette deck and that results in a charge of about $360 with parts, how many people do you think will have these fixed? So far as I have explained it to people that have called me about them no one has. I would look for a good deck like a Nakamichi BX300 or a MR2 to get something that will last and that can be repaired still. Having a dual cassette is not working in your favor. I have a lot of tape deck here- I don’t have one dual cassette deck of any kind. I know better.

  190. Hi Sam – looking at a crown tube r to r. Needs belt and tubes; is this machine one to get involved with ? Looking for a solid machine need not have the highest
    fidelity just tank-like..

  191. HI, I have a Roberts 770x. I have a strange issue. When i have my speed sleeve on to do 7 1/2 and use a full tape of any brand the sleeve slides off. If i use a album tape it is fine.

    1. Hi Joe,
      I don’t really work on Akai or Roberts units but I suspect that the meet up of the rubber pinch roller might be causing this problem.
      Doesn’t the piece screw in? I can’t think that they just stick it on there without a retainer.

      1. right? when I look at mine there is no screw. just a notch that hooks it. and I read some people said there was but I do not see anywhere for one. I am going to take off the cover tomorrow because I found out if I keep my finger on the back of the spindle it works fine.. I can tell there is a small wiggle in it. I hope it is just a adjustment and not a part missing… problem is I have nothing to compare it too..


        BTW.. I grew up in Bensenville! fenton class of 88…. i moved to florida in 97…
        I have heard of all the changes from my brother who lives in dekalb now.. I miss that town =)

  192. Hi. Just found your site. I have a Tascam 122 since new. Still works great after new belt, lube, and cleaning. VU lamps out. Bought L24’s that worked perfectly on both my Teac A-3300SX’s, but too dim to be of use in the 122. Measured voltage at bulbs and it read 1.4 vdc.

    Is there something wrong here? Found some 6v current on RH vertical circuit board behind transport. It lights the VU’s just right. Can I permantly tap off of this pink wire without risking damage to this fine machine?

    1. I have used L24 in different machines but in trying to get closer to the original part I elected to use
      DA513 from JKL. These only draw about 55mA at 8 V. I have installed them into such decks already without issue.
      The original 122 uses a diode and capacitor on the power supply and it is common for me to recap these supplies as the glue that holds down larger caps has got to get out and the old caps are not gong back in. C524 is a 470 at 10 V. I do not like 10 V caps and every time I see one out they come for 16V caps This could be your problem, Maybe R556 could be adjusted so as to light your lamps with more current. The blue transformer secondary feed this purpose. Here is the site in case you do not know of them.

      1. Thanks, Sam. That sounds a bit over my head, so I’ll check with Tom Brucker near where I work. He’s listed in your references. If that doesn’t work, I’ll make arrangements to send it to you, if that’s OK.

        Really appreciate your speedy response. Great to have such a good resource for those of us with “dinosaur” equipment.

        1. Tom should be able to rectify this problem. We communicate on a regular basis. The recapping of the power supply only requires a solder sucker unit (Edsyn) and a solder iron- 40W and the spare parts from Mouser Electronics. You will need solder to put them back in. I use Kester 44 which I buy by the pound. In doing this you can save yourself a bit of coin. Otherwise a Technician will be able to detect other things in the unit that you do not know about and it may be better to just allow them to fix it up properly.

  193. Hello,

    I just pulled the Teac X7 off the closet shelf today after almost 4 years of no use. I remember when I last unplugged it, all functions were fine.

    Now, reels were slow to start, then stopped. Then speed up like I was fast forwarding it. It fast forwards and rewinds fairly well.

    I need help thanks.

    1. The X7 deck will need some work on the mechanism such as pinch roller linkage and a new belt as well as oiling of the bearings. I have had X10R models with shorted power supply capacitors in them. It was made at the same time the X7 was. The X series deck that make use of dual capstan drive are sensitive to belt size and tension.
      After 4 years that belt could be sticky or turning to goo. I would not run any machine out of a closet until the unit is checked over as the sticky belt could cause the destruction of the capstan motor which will not be easy to find. They were $150 last when they were available. Too many people send me units that they burned up the motor on when it could have been avoided.

    2. This sound like the Pinch Roller linkage is stuck up with old grease. It must be taken apart and cleaned and then I USE Lubriplate 105 to regrease the links and I have never had one come back.

  194. Hello,

    Ive recently acquired a Teac X-1000R, very nice cosmetic condition appears, the owner said its sat for many years and needs a belt….ive taken it apart and replaced the belt as it was gooooo, i took apart the capstan rollers and de gunked them as well, I’m afraid that the capstan motor might be toast as it doesn’t turn on at all,,,,,,Im located in shelbyville,il looking for advice as what to look for or if i should just have it checked out by a technician such as yourself…… thank u

    1. Hi Jeff,
      There are a lot of things to check and adjust in those machines than what is in the manual and that is IF you even have the alignment tapes, DVM or Tentelometer that is required. The deck is best checked out by a Technician and the motor if taken apart can be determined if it can be restored or not. The motors are getting harder to find and used to be $150 for them. Now I don’t know if they are that cheap. Unfortunately I have a lot of units here right now but if you want the deck worked on correctly it is most likely going to end up here. We can talk if you want me to look at the unit 630-515-0932 office.

  195. Hi,
    I have a Tascam 488 portastudio that I let sit too long. Now the play/record motor just makes noise without moving the tape. FF and RV work fine. Is this something easily repaired? I live in far southside of Chicago and could bring it in.

    1. It sounds like you have a really gummed up transport that will not budge. Yes, in most cases we are able to fix them and I am the only one making the gear C that normally breaks in this unit.

  196. Hi

    I have a Sony TC-K611S, which had been tampered with, by this I mean ether was 4 thin belts on the fly wheel, I have taken this apart, and am in the process of replacing the belt with a proper one plus the small belt, but I have a problem a very small white I think spacer has popped out and I cannot find out were it goes. I have the service manual, but it does not tell where it is. Any ideas where it might go? It is also being re greased and oiled. Oh bought of Ebay

    Many thanks


    P.S.. I live in Northern Ireland so no chance of me sending you the unit.

    1. The question must be put forth- what did you have apart at the time and what size part does it look like it is- a nylon space washer or something else?
      I have a cassette guy working on some of these so I don’t have a recent experience with this model as I have been giving them to Dan. If the spacer or washer is in the deck it has to be in the manual. I can not tell you where something popped out from as I do not know where you were in the transport at the time it came out- you need to kind of use common sense.

  197. Have a Teac A-1500 reel to reel that is having issues with slugish FF and RW when the take-up reel is getting full. Also there seems to be a lot of torque holding back the CW rotation of the take up reel when it is being rewound back to the supply reel. I have tried checking out all the electrolytics with my multimeter (cap check mode) and they don’t seem to be off my very much. I have approx 5 multicap capacitors cans and don’t know where to start looking for new ones to replace those. I guess I could built a platform to hold single value cap instead of looking forever for new ones. I did find the 5 caps used out of another A-1500 but those are just as old as mine. I have read about a torque controling resistor in other model but don’t know if the A1550 has one. Your thoughts! Many Thanks

    1. The A1500 is very old and in that there are a few parts that need to be changed. First make sure you are not working with any sticky tape and clean all tape path surfaces. Once a sticky tape leaves residue on the lifters and guides and tension arms then the next tape will be rolling over a sticky frictional surface. Many people do not get this. In addition you could try changing the reel motor phase advance caps such as C218 and 219 on the schematic. In addition there are all these .1uFd noise cancelling caps that sometimes short and take motor speeds out of give you poor motor performance because they are shorting out one of the fields in the motor. All of these need to be changed to a polyester or film caps that is of the same value and that could be the problem. These decks need motors oiled, brake pads changed- they are typically falling off at this point as it has been a lot of years since they have been glued on and the glue will fail any time now. I have seen pads falling off and sometimes they get jammed in where they cause constant friction of some kind. Get them out and put new felt strips on the brake bands which are attached with Latex or better yet rubber cement like Three bond 1521. We do fix those machine here but like some older Sony they do take a lot of work. The phase advance caps can be obtained from E bay with something like these- I have used ones like these a bunch of times and they all work.http://www.ebay.com/itm/AC-450V-3uF-9cm-2-Wires-Metalized-Polypropylene-Film-Motor-Run-Capacitors-10-Pcs-/321482465698?hash=item4ad9d921a2:g:hUEAAOSwOgdYuM6S
      You don’t have to buy 10 pieces as you only need 2 but contact the seller and see if they will sell just two. Or look for the same type on E bay sold individually.
      The best way to get the machine restored is to send it to a Technician who will do a lot more than what is mentioned here but then the unit will work well instead of limping along like it is now. The .1uFd 250V caps can be also found on ebay as in like these.

      Mouser Electronics can supply fresh one as well.

      1. Thank you Sam – just ordered the .1 uf caps from Mouser. Those .1 are housed in a gang of 6 plastic box and I found 2 caps reading a low resistance. Appreciate your advise and I have spent the last few weeks replacing belts, freeing up stuck parts, spraying all switches/pots with cleaner, I bought a gram spring scale to set reel torque values. I bought this unit in Viet Nam in 1968 for about $200 and it gave me great service. Switched to digital in 80’s but longed to get back to analog. Hope to pass this on to one of my sons and teach him how to maintain it. Thanks again Sam

        1. Very good Bob,
          They are not that hard to fix but as they get older there are m0re parts that then start to need to be replaced. Good luck and let me know if you need more help.

          1. I feel like I may be imposing on your good nature. I may need a reel motor for my Teac A1500 don’t know yet. I found a reel motor from a Teac 4010s and I wondered if that motor is interchangeable with the reel motor in my A1500. They look a lot alike in the picture on ebay. Also, are the supply reel motors and take up reel motors interchangeable on each of those two decks?
            Thanks in Advance,

  198. Hi Robert,
    Don’t worry about it as people do it all the time. What makes you think it needs a new motor? They do not go out all that often and I do not remember changing motors very much in 45 years of working on these. Most likely a bad switch, relays or phase advance cap. On occasion the large vitreous enamel resistor taps will break and have to be replaced- I have seen three of those. No motors yet except in an X10R and that was DC. I do not think the motors are the same in the A4010 but if they have the same size and EM number on them then maybe. Most decks have the same motors on left and right side for reel drive. Those .1uFd 250V Suzuki noise canceling caps are all over not just in the center of the deck. There can be a short on any one of them.

    1. Sorry for my late response. I changed all the .1 noise caps and the one that was across the PLAY pushbutton was the one causing my reel motors to act up. Many thanks for your help. I have since started buying up vintage TEAC (3340S,3300) and rehabing them. Mostly frozen pivots and belts but great fun making these go. Setting up a RTR studio for my son and me.

      1. Hi Robert,
        Many small matters of tape decks can be resolved by a little common sense and use of good materials as in the right oil. Brake pads are also one thing that are often overlooked until your precious tapes start to snap. When I see dried out pads I change them. I bought 3 square yards of the brake felt from a material supplier and have used up 2 square yards since I started using their felt.
        Yes, Pinch roller linkages are a very common thing and I think if I could get a Chimp to pay attention I could have him do it while I do more important things- don’t worry I am not working with chimps. I did like Lance Link though.
        As I worked in video deck repair at a larger company I had office staff walking through my work area often. They all wanted copies of the children’s program Lance Link.

  199. Hi, I have a question about a Tascam 112 cassette deck that I just got. The 90 min tape is stopping on its own about 1/4 to 1/2 way through while recording or playing. Does anyone know what I can check or adjust to fix that issue? I looked at the service manual and there are several mechanical adjustments that can be done but I don’t have some of the equipment listed so I will be limited in what I can do. I wanted to ask anyway. Thanks!

    1. If it stops on it’s own it may be due to the take-up torque being weak. This can be due to a bad Idler tire on the reel table drive. It can also be related to the reel tables lubrication. There is also a magnetic wheel under the cassette compartment that is driven by the right reel table. Oils can have dried up on these parts making them hard to turn. The magnetic wheel rotates and give signals to the hall effect transistors mounted on a board to the right. All these thinks matter but the Idler tire may be worn or cracked as well. In my shop I oil all bearings of motors and capstan with AMS Signature synthetic oil which results in superior lubrication to whatever they used.

      1. Thank you for the info Sam. I replaced both idler tires with fresh ones so I know those are good. I can take a look at the reel tables and under the cassette compartment and clean in there. I saw some pots where the torque can be adjusted but I don’t have the torque meter tape to check.

        1. Yes, leave those alone unless you have the torque tape.
          The other possibility is that the reel motor is developing a dead spot on it’s commutator. This is happening more often these days as the decks were not make to go for 30 years.

          1. After taking the plate off to expose the reel tables I saw that the issue was a misfitting brake pad. Someone had replaced the left brake pad with a larger one so even when the brake wasn’t engaged while in play mode, the pad was still rubbing against the reel table.

          2. Yes, There seems to be no end of incompetent work done on these decks just to collect some money under the illusion that they know what they are doing. You used good analytical thinking and found the problem and with some lubrication to the magnet wheel and perhaps the reel tables the deck will have no issue moving the tape.

  200. Hi, I have another question about the 112 deck. I’ve got it cleaned and I degaussed it with a Hand-d-Mag following the instructions carefully. The issue I’m having is that I can her some pops and clicks during the start of the tape and during the quiet parts. This happens with known good tapes that I’ve checked on other decks. I can also hear the same artifacts using headphones and I can see the VU meter move slightly with the pops. It seems to be more pronounced on the right channel. I cleaned the entire tape path so I don’t think it’s debris. I’m thinking there is probably some failing caps or other electrical components but I want to see if anyone else has suggestions. Thanks!

    1. Stray noises can come from many sources and even from outside the deck. The small noises if uniform would suggest a mechanical application such as a magnetized capstan although I don’t see how it can happen outside of dirt attached. It can also be an un-grounded or non- bypassed motor. If they are random then it can be from other parts. Capacitors can intermittently short and present adverse signs in the operation of a product. These need to be searched out using scopes and sometimes with a storage scope. Way back we had a 122 that would drop out of play and then go back in by itself. We could not figure out what was causing that. It turned out that a storage scope was put on the power supply and a negative spike was found in that the diode of the bridge rectifier was failing with millisecond time. We replaced the diodes and then the deck never did it again. Some things can be elusive.

  201. I have a Sony Walkman TPS-L2 and I realized, as I was changing the belts, I’m missing about 3 or 4 screws. Also there are some scratches on the device and I’ve been searching for a place to refurbish my Walkman and replace the missing screws if possible. Can you help or know of a place that can help me?

    1. I only work on one Walkman type unit here and that is the WM-D6C. The screws can not be lost as they are extremely hard to obtain again. Who makes screws that small- I have never found anyone.
      To get a Walkman fixed there is a very long waiting line and you have to send it to Dr. Walkman in Italy who is the foremost repairmen of these devices. There really is no other person of that quality- that is all he works on. Look up Dr. Walkman, communicate with him. I have no extra screws here at all.
      Dr. Walkman is Leonardo Email=doctor.walkman@gmail.com

  202. Hello,
    Do you know of a repair shop in West VA, VA area?
    I need a Revox fixed. But don’t want to ship.

    1. Hi Robert,
      The only one I have had feedback on was Music technology and it was certainly NOT good. There is no rule that says a good tape deck shop has to exist where you live and in almost all cases it is not. Jack Clark has a good reputation on Revox units at JM Technical arts. He is in TN however. Next would be Hi Tech Service in Nashville TN as well. People ship things all the time. I get some from Korea and Israel but many from all over the states. Well packed there is not a problem. I use Fed Ex petty much all the time except for an occasional use of Spee Dee Delivery service that only does the central states from IL on west. They have done a good job and are lower price than Fed Ex. They pick up.

      See http://www.jmtecharts.com/

      1. Hello Sam,
        Do you Take in Revoxes for total recap and rebuild?
        I was told that you don’t take in certain brands. Music Technology in closer to me, wanted to know if they were good? TN again shipping is the problem. JC, do you have good feedback on them?

        1. Hi Robert,
          The closest service center is not always the best. MT has a record of charging astronomical prices and then giving clients back machine not in working order. You should read the Rip off Reports report-
          JM Technical Arts Jack Clark is a much better choice.
          If closeness is what you have to have, paying $4000 for a $600-$700 job is not going to make you or anyone happy.
          This is one place that takes the maximum retail price of a unit and divides it in half and charges that for a repair regardless of what is wrong with it. Also read this-

          I do work on Studer and Revox units but right now a back log of 155 units would have me not taking one in.

  203. Hello,
    Wow. Didn’t know they are that bad. Thanks for the warning. Will never go there. You are right Shipping seems a better option. I will ask JM arts if he would be willing to replace capacitors and rebuild a PR99. If not will you be willing? What is your lead time? 5 months?

  204. Yes avoid that place. JM Technical should be able to do a wonderful job on the deck. If he will not I will but it take a lot of time.

    1. There are no new parts or spare units around. I repair the ones in the decks.
      Those people that just change parts are going to be searching for a long time.

  205. have a luxman k-03 cassette deck has new belts and power supply has been recapped all voltages are within 5% problem is the pinch roller is stuck in the up postion any idea whats causing it

  206. There are on some decks a Pinch Roller bearing and sometimes it is even plastic that gets stuck- it even happens on Nakamichi decks. This needs to be freed up and then lubricated. Dan my associate works on the Luxman line but we have seen this many times before in Nak LX-3 and units like those with Sankyo transports.

  207. Hi Sam — Been working on some neglected “hobby” machines while you have my Otari MX-5050 for an overhaul…

    You often mention AMS Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil — what weight, if it makes any difference, do you prefer? Their site lists several weights, from 0W20 to 5W-50:


    Just figure if I’m going to follow your advice, best to know exactly what YOU use!

    I know you’re swamped with machines and no helper, last I heard. Hope you’re having a good summer anyway. Peace….. Alex Johnston

    1. Hi Alex,
      The oil I used was left over from a car engine oil change and it looks to be just as good as any I have used otherwise.
      This oil is 10W30. I am not sure the weight of the oil makes much difference but that this stuff is a real helpful product
      in keeping units going making them in some cases better than they were when new. I had a BR20 give wow and flutter figures as low as .0135%
      and that is a belt drive deck.

  208. I have a SONY TC-WE525. The turnstiles do not turn, so the tape does not play. Can you repair this unit? What is your pricing policy?

    1. We do not work on dual cassette decks as the time it takes to repair them runs $350 to $400 and no one will pay that for a $150 item. We just do not accept them. Sorry.

  209. I just finished cleaning up a Teac 3300S and it went pretty well. The one remaining problem is that when I thread the tape through the machine the supply reel brake (trying to rotate CCW) brake holds the reel so tight that I have to use my left hand to feed the tape and my right a hand to try and wrap the tape around the take up reel. Is there any way to reduce the supply reel brake pressure without affecting the Play, FF, RW functions. I really don’t think this problem is that bad as I can pre-roll the supply tape out far enough to create enough slack to thread properly but I really want the deck to function as it was designed. Any thoughts? Thanks.

    1. Yes, You cleaned the deck up but there are parts on it that need to be replaced and in this case it is the brake pads. If they are that hard to move what do you think they will do to your tapes. First to make sure it is not just the brakes, release the brake on that side and see if the motor spins freely. If not then some maintenance will be needed there as in taking it apart and oiling if it has oil tubes. If it is the brakes, the pad may have worn through to the glue and now that will have damaged and deposited to the brake drum. The brake drum is suppose to have a white enamel to allow a good brake pad to slide on it. Good brakes do not give this effect and they slide to a stop not stop on a dime. Material stores have 1.5mm thick felt material. Just take off the old brake pad by soaking in Lacquer thinner for 20 minutes and then it should come off. Both brake bands will have to be done. After they are clean then cut like strips of felt usually about 6-7″ long and 1/2″ wide. Then apply a surface amount of Best Test latex glue to the brake pad, flip it over and position on the brake band. Let dry 40 minutes and then remount. When adjusting brakes one direction will be harder than the other and it is often the feed direction. When a reel comes to a stop from fast wind it is the left side reel table stopping it and in the rewind the right is stopping the tape. Check at all three position of the tape pack so to be sure none drop tape.

  210. Hi Sam,

    I saw you answer a question related to an issue I’m having with a TSR-8 on a tapeheads thread, so I thought I’d reach out and get your opinion, if you don’t mind! The take-up reel on my TSR-8 is cracked and wobbling, causing issues with playback and transport. I managed to get it off (with some liquid wrench to help), but I am having trouble finding a replacement. Any advice?


    1. In the units I have had damaged reel tables on the sub assembly which is the part that was pres fit into the reel table and that goes onto the motor shaft was cracked. In one case out of two the reel table was also damaged being bent out of shape. I think at the time a 30 series reel table would fit that unit with some small changes to it. If Tascam does not have a new part then the next step is contact Vince at Audio Pro in MA to see if he has a spare part- usually you have to send him a picture of it.
      Otherwise between reelproasoundguys and Ebay you need to be on a search. Damaging this kind of part or any part as of this time is only going to be more expensive and painful to obtain as time goes on. I too have to go through the efforts to get parts where none exists and some times there are no answers. The heads that Teac no longer has to sell is a major oversight on their part to
      keep these decks going but I suspect they do not care about them anymore. You may want to consider that point of view as you purchase equipment in the future- there are no Japanese companies that care past 7 years and some of them like Sony threw brand new parts away and just wrote them off the books. This is the the current World we live in today.

      1. Thanks for the advice! It’s definitely the sub-assembly that broke down-I purchased another reel assembly to use its sub-assembly, and I’m gonna take a Dremel to it ASAP… It’s too bad we have to use these hacky methods for such electromechanical marvels!

      2. To clarify: I purchased a reel table assembly for the 30-series as you and others have suggested. It’s not a perfect fit–just a bit too long–but a small chop should do it.

        1. Hi Ben,
          The sub assembly part I have here but yes, some of them need to be hack sawed to the proper length. At lease we have an answer. I have a machinist that can make new parts like this but the cost would be higher and he would not make them out of pot metal.

  211. I did’t think you would post any negative press. I have no idea what I have done to be singled out and ignored, but here we are. I will find some where else to post my story about you and you unprofessional neglect.
    Timothy Kusz

    1. People have to get rid of the idea that they are singled out. This is more a case of one unit that was not repairable being added to by another of the same aged part being added to the mix and all the time the client thinks that these parts are being exchanged and moved around at no cost. The labor all adds up fast. Since it can not be a $500 repair the labor time is donated in between units.

      I completed a 35-2B that the guy sent me and then at the end he did not want it anymore. After about 12 hours of dealing with putting all kind of parts from 2 units together to make one then they want to pull out of the deal and expect a full refund on the deposit he made that was not asked for. There are some units that are so labor intensive that the only way they can be done is with spare time between paid repairs. This is why they take long and are at the edge of not being repaired. You make mention of sending it to someone else- who might that be? I have been told by many other technicians that I help that I am the last stop. If I don’t fix it then no one else can. I would welcome any help I can get but to think I am picking on just you is not realistic as it is the type of unit that you sent in that is next to impossible to fix due to the poorly designed plastic part. I have already had guys look at the making of that parts and they all declined. I can only do so much- it was a well known problem in this model to start out with.

      1. Sam,
        You have spent more time on this response than you have in the entire thirty-four months you have had my decks. You have never conveyed any of this information to me previously. You quoted me a price of approximately $300.00 when I sent the first deck to you. I agreed and sent you the deck. I have heard every excuse, including your manpower issues. However, nothing about not being able to do it or it being a $500.00 repair. Only, “I’m getting to it.”. Shining me on I believe is the term. Please just give me the bottom line or return my decks.

        Timothy Kusz

  212. Sam, I’ve read some of your great information on Teac V-800, 900 decks and thought I’d ask some advice. I am a former tech, so I am capable and will understand and technical terms you use. I acquired a V-800 a few years ago and have now started to attempt a repair. The deck looks amazing and I really want to get this one working. I can see it’s had very little use but being so old, of course it needs belts. That’s not my worst issue. I have no sound output, and no level meter action at all when playing a tape. I have a service manual in pdf but have not started tracing things out yet, thought I’d see if there’s any common issues to do with this problem. I’m also having problems sourcing a supplier for belts in Canada. Who do you recommend for belts in North America? Would you ship to Canada?

    1. Hi Patrick,
      The no audio problem could be bad capacitors, bad solder joints, dirt on head or any number of things- I do not recall a common
      problem in that regard in the few V800 that I have worked on. Maybe it is dirty switch contacts or dirt in the output pot.
      Belts that are had for non-specialized equipment such as this can be had at Consolidated Electronics. I don’t know if Steve Coy will post to Canada but I do not see what not. This is the link to the belts section-
      Idler tire is a thing to look at, oiling of capstan and cam and reel motor bearings at the front of the motor with AMS oil.
      I typically replace all large Electrolytics in the power supply board as well as remover any glue that was on the board to hold them. I typically get more V900X decks in and they are much more complicated.
      The cassette compartment lamp is also of concern as if it is not lit the deck will not move tape. They are low current 12V lamps
      that I get from JKL. I think they call them T-1 size.
      Call me if you have other questions. I talk to Dean and Leon in Canada often.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply Sam! When I get back to the deck the 1st thing I’m checking is power. When such a wide area of circuitry is dead, that’s the first suspect. The heads are clean, solder looks good. This deck looks like it has so very few hours on it and everything looks so clean, almost new. I’ll do some voltage checks and am hoping to find a missing supply. Thanks for the lead on belts and the other great advice.

        1. I got back to this and am still at a loss. The deck itself is so nice, the tape transport works well now that it has a new cam belt. Still no sound output, it actually some but is very faint with no VU meter movement at all. The display is nicely lit up and all segments work. All power supplies are at their rated voltages. The low sound issue is on both source when using an external source to the inputs, or tape. It has to be something common to both. Also the function button LEDs do not light up, not sure if somehow related. I’ve gone over the schematics and seems to be very little circuitry common to both source and tape. There is a mute circuit with Q613, 623 but the power mute trigger at P606 pin 1 is at low, whereas at high it is engaged. Sadly I am trying to fix this without a scope but may have to find one to go any further. Since this deck uses quite a bit of logic control I’m still thinking some sort of mute or switching issue.

          1. I had looked at the power supply list and saw a number of 10V caps in the circuits. 10 V caps are notorious for bad longevity and I have even had them short in Z series decks as well as knock out entire audio sections of audio on NAD6300 decks.
            Anytime I see a 10V cap it must be replaced with a 16V fresh one. There are two 220ufd/10V caps at the first dolby IC for the audio near pin 28 or U701. Get these replaced as all audio can be stopped by these kind of shorted junk parts C742 and C744 were some number I saw.
            There were other 10V caps in there but the 220uFd sized ones have failed many time in my past. I think they are labeled 10V because the could not pass the quality test of 16V caps. In other words they were defective from day one. Marcon is a name I see on a lot of defective caps in a unit. Be happy the unit has a removable bottom cover. Some decks do not. it might not be a bad idea to get rid of all Marcon caps you see. I have seen units with 45 years of service still working with Nichicon caps but Marcon was a lower grade part they used.

        2. Thanks for the advice Sam. I got back to it and dug out my old B&K tube type scope to take a look. I found signal up until the muting section and found Q601 to be open causing a muted condition. Once replace, the unit plays nicely. I had also replace U801 +12v regulator previously. I will now find some belts and set this beauty up with my other equipment.

          1. Very good work. It is god to see progress if one puts forth effort.
            A lot or Electrolytic caps need to be changed on that model for longevity. You also need to keep an eye on that back tension belt- they cause a lot of trouble when they stop working.

  213. I have a harman kardon cd 201 cassette deck that plays and makes very good recordings. Recently it has started to take about 5 minutes to warm up before any sound is produced from it. After it warms up, all is fine. I am thinking the caps on the dolby boards may be going bad because all input and output goes through these boards. Do you work on these brand of decks? I also have a working CD 291 and would like to get them both restored.

    1. Hi Julie,
      We can work on them but I am so overloaded with decks that it would have a extended wait time to repair the unit. You may be right about the bad capacitor but if both channels are affected it can be a power mute line that affects both outputs. Electrolytic capacitors after 30-40 years should be all replaced but most Technicians are too lazy or will want too much money to do the job. This is how owners have to do some of this work to get the unit repaired. Nakmandan who is my cassette associate started in this same way and now with some help he is working on other people’s units like the HK. He is also now overloaded to about 8 months.
      It all comes down to if you are willing to wait. I have a HK491 right in back of me- it had a cracked reel drive part. These units are not being easy to repair due to cracking parts that were made of plastic or nylon.

      1. Unfortunately I am not skilled in electronics. I do have a couple of working decks so I can wait for it to be repaired. How long would the wait time be? What would I need to do to start the process of having it repaired/refurbished? Thanks for your quick reply.

        1. Well I am trying to get the current pile down. you can send it in and instead of giving it to Dan, I might be able to do it faster but a month or two would not be that unusual. Some things fix fast and other can have delayed times due to the search for a part that is no longer available.
          Sam Palermo,
          Skywave Tape Deck Repair
          617 McLean Ave
          Bensenville IL 60106
          Member of the ProSquad

          1. Thanks for you quick replies to my questions. Is there any specific way it should be packed? Should I send it by US mail or UPS, etc., if I decide to send it in?

  214. I am so backed up right now that I am not taking in units for a while. It is just too much work.

    1. ok. thanks for your time. I will try to have it repaired locally. when will you be taking in units, i have another deck that needs repair.

  215. Dear Sam,
    My names Don. Back in 1986 I believe, I purchased a Team Z-5000 cassette deck. Its been having trouble playing tapes. It rewinds and fast forwards when I STOP, EJECT, RELOAD, but never plays. Are you still backed up? Can you recommend another technician. I’d prefer someone of your caliber. I can wait.

    Don Linares
    New York

    1. Hi Don,
      Yes I am very backed up and trying to dig out. This is why I am only going to take units in starting in December. It should be able to be repaired.

      1. Sam,
        Thank you for the quick response. I will email you right after Thanksgiving to touch base. Enjoy your holiday.

  216. Sam restored my Tascam 122MkII 4 years ago. It was not cheap, and it took time. He put new heads in, calibrated it. IT SOUNDS AWESOME. I am one happy customer. Listening to a Dave Brubeck tape playing on it as I write this. RECOMMENDED.

  217. Hey Sam,
    I have a Teac 1500w that I purchased while serving in Vietnam in 1970 and I used it occasionally after coming home.. I stored it for approx. 40yrs.. then nostalgia kicked in and I got it out to play some of my tapes… it played for a little while and the capstan belt broke.. do you know where I can get a replacement belt and should I service more before using it..

    1. Hi Harold,
      Yes the belt once the size is determined can be ordered from Consolidated Electronics in OH. where I have two order in now.
      The belt as most think is not the only problem with the unit- it will need a lot of Lubrication and maybe even brake pads as they could be falling off at this great age. I have seen A6010 decks have the pad falling off as the glue is dried up and was not meant to last 40 years. You most likely will need a can of Deoxit contact cleaner for the switches and pots and to be honest the likelihood that a total electrolytic recap job is needed is very high. Again these capacitors were not made to last 50 years.
      According to the PRB data file the A1500 uses a 16.9″ belt. I use AMS Signature Synthetic oil in the bearings and get outstanding results even from older decks. They did not have oil this good when they made or repaired them before.
      FL16.8 is the right part I believe- See this site-

  218. Hello
    I have a Sony TC-C5 cassette changer deck. I’ve had it for over 20 years and it still functions almost perfectly. The “almost” is that suddenly it has stopped the relay function. It will play both sides of a tape, but at the end of the second side it no longer progresses to the next tape in the relay mode although the the next tape in the sequence is lit by the marker.
    Is this something repairable.
    Thank you, respectfully and happy holiday, Michael

    1. Yes, we have the nylon 20/1000″ washers here but they are $1.00 due to custom manufacturing cost. As you might find out that these kinds of washers are not found everywhere. You can get them cheaper if you order 500 of them.
      I don’t really like to sell mine as it depletes my supply but they get used all the time in my repairs. There are two of them on the
      Pinch roller one in front and one in back.

  219. Have an old Technics cassette deck which I took out of a long storage. Everything looked good and seemed to be in good working order except for one thing. The cassette plays for only about 3 seconds then the machine stops the tape, like I hit the stop button. The tape will rewind and fast forward just fine but something is stopping the darn think. Can you help/fix the problem?

    1. Hi John,
      We need to know what model we are talking about. Some Technics units are so involved with many Idlers and rubber parts that they exceed their value to repair them. Not only that Dan my cassette guy, is backed up about 8 months. Everybody wants this old stuff fixed and there are only a half dozen Technicians still doing it that know what we are doing. Therefore, we are all overloaded- I have about 174 units to repair here myself.

  220. Sam,
    It has now been three years you have had my decks.
    When are you returning them. I am about to report them stolen and give the police in you area your name and address.
    Please respond.

    1. They are being put together from the parts that the two were in. I do not have a lot of space and so it is difficult to get them both on the bench at the same time. This model deck can be considered unrepairable in most other shops and I am not certain the gear from the other old unit will hold up. This is why they need to be handled carefully when being serviced. It has gone from a regular service job to a project machine as the time we have devoted to this will never be paid for. Project machines- those with special needs or lack of parts can take a much longer time to service. Some straightforward units go out in a weeks time.

  221. I have an RCA cassette deck that I would like to get repaired. It is a model SCT-520, I was told the belts/bands were old and or broken. Please advise how and where to send it to.

    1. Some people buy equipment with little technical knowledge of what they are really buying. All they know is that the deck has two cassette wells and this is great right?
      Well now comes the performance and repair aspect of the deck- this is where you get a wake up call. First, I have not seen many dual cassette decks that were worth a repair as they were all made to be thrown away when they did not work. They employ the cheapest low grade transports. To fix a dual cassette deck it is like working on two decks- that takes much more time. Add to that that they are not built to be repaired at all. More time. Then when you get new belts in the unit and if you do the right job of oiling bearings and cleaning and replacing grease, the deck still has horrible wow and flutter figures or speed stability. Start replacing capstan motors and power supply parts like capacitors and you end up with a $350 to $400 bill on a $150 cassette deck.
      Who would want to pay that? Most Technicians that know anything do not work for free and someone has to pay for their time.
      At Skywave, we head off the aggravation of having to work on this stuff so that the customer does not get mad at us for fixing their
      poorly selected product. Besides this, I have enough work of regular units that I do not have to stoop to the level of this kind of product- maybe a beginner will work on the deck giving his time away but those are hard to find.
      You will need to find a repair station that will work on such a thing and honestly I don’t think you will find one any more.

    1. Hi Paulo,
      It might be possible but the older a unit is the more expensive it is to repair it. The unit most likely used Idler system in the transport and those alone for rebuild can cost about $100 depending on how many there are. Oiling and new grease and some new belts might help but then even when you get it running then there are all the Electrolytic caps now 40 years old- some of them are not going to be working. With 180 units in que right now I hesitate to take these kinds of things in.

  222. I have a Tascam 122 MK II. I bought it used with the drive belt misssing. I replaced the drive belt but have the following issues:
    The unit does not lower the heads and pinch roller too load a tape,
    The motor runs too fast in the play mode
    The left channel does not appear to function
    The left input knob seems to be glued onto the shaft.
    I manually rotated the pulley to retract the heads, loaded a cassette and tested. FF & REW seem to work, play speed is too fast (2-3x).
    Can you repair this deck?

    1. Hi Mark,
      It is best to stop playing around with it as any more damage done to it will just cost extra. I was just working on a C-3RX that had been messed around with and two damaged front panel pots were the result and it was just overall played around with without doing the correct things.
      On the 122 Mk II there is a belt but just replacing that is only the start- the mechanism needs to be cleaned of old grease and new grease put in. The audio problem are not common but if the deck has seen some abuse as in hitting the input or output pots they can be hard to find. Even the Pitch control pot when damaged is replaced with a better new product but it takes about an hour to fit it in with shaft adapters and modifications to the pitch board. There is no hope of ever getting the original part again plus it was not all that great to start out with. We do fix them here no matter what but often the cost can rise depending on what other damage was done to it. The capstan motor need new caps on it that is done to every unit that comes in. The reliability of the SMD caps used on that board are reliable- they have a 100% failure rate. The motors may have been sourced from China. There is no end of bad parts they used in these better decks and all the great design they put into them was degraded by those parts- I usually put in better parts than what was used originally such as Plastic conductor trimmers for the Pitch control. Some strange parts like the input pots 100K 30mm shaft have to be custom made or doctored to work like the Pitch control.

  223. Hiya

    I have a Tascam DA-40. There is only 25 hours on the head and it has been laying in storage for a few years. I put in a new loading belt as it had the dreaded Mecha error, the belt had deteriorated but now I am getting loading error. I clean the tape mechanism with alcohol and a swab dut still produced a loading error. Can I send it to you for repair.

    Many thanks


    1. Hi Graham,
      I did not work on that type of product that much and now have very few tapes here. I suggest that you contact Russ Bachmann as the information is below and see what he thinks. He is in New Jersey. He is past Manager of the Teac facility out there.
      New Jersey Factory Service, Inc.
      16 Chestnut Avenue Suite 103 B
      Emerson,New Jersey 07630
      Mon- Wed 8-4 Thurs 8-2 Closed Fri Sat/Sun by appt.
      Analog/Digital Audio Repair

  224. I have a Pioneer ctf1000 that plays but doesn’t ff or rewind any estimate on cost of repair on this unit ?

    1. That is a job for Dan my Cassette deck guy. Typical of these deck are complete tear down and cleaning and new grease of the transports. The Idler drum that cracks has a fix from a guy known as Mark the Fixer. Funny thing is he lives down the street a way from me in the same town. Dan and I have been there and bought his modified parts which then do work. There may be other solutions but so far this is the one we know works. I think he charges like $60 for a modified pulley. Heads on those units are a concern.
      Dan has sent 4 heads to JRF for lapping due to bad performance and three came back not workable due to cracks in the heads. It seems very common to have bad heads on these and before any work is done the heads should be checked.
      Dan tells me he is about 1 year back log and he is developing a list to put people on. You can contact him directly if you want.
      You can send an E mail to him and say I sent you. Dan: danbarham@aol.com

      I work on Cassette decks too such as Tascam 122 Mk II and Mk III decks but the other I refer to Dan who was trained some here and I know he does outstanding work. I have 190 units to work on myself but most are Reel Decks. A couple of Porta Studios and some 238’s.

    1. I update the blog if there are questions to answer or products to sell and sometimes advice as to protection of your equipment from things like Alkaline batteries. Otherwise I am pretty busy here repairing the item I take in and there is no time for it.

  225. Hi I’m in the process of restoring a teac 450 cassette deck, I have replaced all the belts everything works except the playback of tapes is way to fast, was told it could be pinch roller assembly would you know where I could purchase one, what would you charge to repair the deck its in excellent condition. Thank you

    1. The A450 is so old that there are not going to be any ready to install parts for the unit. The Pinch Roller comment was made with reference to it engaging or not- this does not mean the item has to be replaced. If it was cracked or soft then a roller would be put onto the assembly once the right size was determined. The question is does the pinch roller engage with the capstan shaft? If it does and the speed it too fast then I have to think the belt is routed to the wrong part of the pulley or may be placed on the wrong part of the flywheel. This is not a problem I have seen on deck when rebuilding them and it is not often that a deck of any model goes faster than it should but defects usually cause them to go slower.

  226. Hey Sam, I have a Nakamichi BX-125. Nothing is wrong with it. Just wondering if there ever came I time where I needed it repaired, could you work on it? Perhaps you know of any shops in the state of Maine, that repair cassette decks?

    1. Hi Edward,
      Dan my cassette associate can work on those very effectively. I would get the unit to him to be fixed. If it is sent to me I hand it off to him as I do some decks every month with him. I still do the Tascam and Open Reels and CDRW units here.

  227. Greetings

    I have a Tascam 464 in need of repair (owned it since ’93). When I insert a tape, it does not play. It engages, but the head then retracts and it does nothing else. Fast Forward and Rewind both work.

    Are you able to repair this unit?!

    1. Hi John,
      I have over 200 units in back log- I am not the only one backed up everyone who is good at what they do is.
      I can have a look at it starting in December. Chances are I am able to repair these as I have in the past.

      Sam Palermo,

      Skywave Tape Deck Repair
      617 McLean Ave
      Bensenville IL 60106

  228. Hello Sam,
    Really enjoy the information you provide on this site. I have a wonderful TEAC A-3440 that I bought new a couple of lifetimes ago. Very recently, it decided it didn’t want to play/record at the correct speeds anymore but instead it plays everything fast. I had hoped it would be something simple like the belt so I replaced that but no go and unfortunately, none of the shops in the Madison, WI area work on open reel decks anymore. Could it be the capstan speed control board or, based on your experience, what would be the most likely culprit? Thanks very much for your time and response. Have a good day.

    1. Hi Tim,
      When I hear of this complaint I ask does the Pinch Roller come up to the capstan shaft? This is the way the tape is speed regulated and often times they are gummed up in the linkage due to the grease they used. I have done hundreds of them and Lubriplate 105 is the grease that gets put on the pivot rod. Do not move the Pinch Roller solenoid as if it gets lose then you are in for a Pinch Roller pressure adjustment using a spring scale or I use a $70 Alpine Bike scale which is digital and more accurate. People often describe the speed as being off and they completely neglect the function of the pinch roller. The only other reason a capstan servo might go all out speed wise is the transistor on the heat sink is shorted. They are isolated from the heat sink and I have seen repairs that do not have the isolation on the transistor- these are amateurs.

      1. Hi Sam,
        Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. The good/bad news is that the pinch roller is making good contact with the capstan shaft and is pulling the tape across the heads just fine. So, I guess that means the transistor on the heat sink is shorted. Are you referring to the heat sink on the Power Supply Board PCB-119? That looks like a bear to get to. Could you recommend the best way to get at this or a good service manual that would help me with this project? Thanks again.

        1. Hi Tim,
          The transistor I speak of is that on the heat sink of the servo board. I have found this transistor shorted at times. Two screws get the assembly off the motor plate and then it can be measured using a diode test of the DVM. The voltage drop or collector voltage is usually around 14 Vdc when the motor gets about 33 or 31Vdc going in. Other issues could be loss of FG which the servo will try to speed up when there is no FG from the brown wires. This can be due to bad caps- electrolytic or tantalum or a bad comparator IC. But realistically I have had very few servo circuits failures in 45 years. maybe 2 and I work on a lot of decks.
          The 2SD234 or 2SD880 is meant for about 3Amps current. You could use a larger transistor to avoid these failures in the future. I put original ones on but there are other choices out there.

          1. I forgot- Good Service Manuals that I buy are always purchased from Stereomanuals.com where the finest duplication are had. Don’t get eye strain from garbage from Hi Fi Eng place. Some of their schematics are not even readable at all. That is the crap you get for free.
            I have purchased many manuals from, Rick and in every one it is as good as the original and I have seen the originals.
            He now has the Tascam 58OB where it was not to be found anywhere else before now.
            Also the Tascam 48OB as well.

  229. Hi Sam,
    Great information, thanks. I’ll pick up a service manual and then try to find some time to work on it. I appreciate your time and sharing your expertise. Have a good day.

    1. Very well. The A3440 deck has it attraction but can be a bother to work on with the feed through pins, people plugging in cards inaccurately bending pins and the control board right behind the buttons that is horizontal has feed through pins that have gone bad as well as some caps that could use changing.
      I do power supply and control board cap changes automatically and then deal with the rest after that.
      There is really so much work for Technicians which are few that we need people willing to learn how to do the work themselves and I can help to an extent- some expect step by step instructions. Like I told someone recently I have yet to see any manual that is that well defined. It would be 6 inches thick and would cost someone a fortune to write it. Companies are not concerned with doing that. Some of them can not even make a proper service manual at that.

      1. Hi Sam,
        Thanks for the heads-up regarding some of the difficulties in working on the deck. Obviously I’m not interested in compounding the problem, so after I review the Service Manual and the necessary procedures to repair the deck, I may find that it’s beyond my technical abilities. If so, I may be contacting you again to see if you would be interested in repairing it or could recommend a shop closer to the Madison, WI area. Thanks.

        1. I have not heard or known of any shops in WI that are capable. Many places are really a mess.
          They just take money to do the wrong things.

  230. Hi There;
    I need my Tascam 238 fixed. It has very very VERY low hours on it. (Practically brand new – maybe 20 hrs on it total). It has the Out-Of-Control speed issue, but seems that it works, other-wise. I would truly like to get it back calibrated and to working order.
    I live in Utah area. I’m serious about getting this recorder repaired and back to ‘new condition’. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thx, Lee

    1. Hello Lee,
      The deck will break down even if never used as the parts they used on the capstan servo board are real garbage SMD parts.Surface Mount Devices have an even lesser life than Through Hole parts. They are intended to fail in short periods of time especially
      when they select this grade of part. I put through hole type parts on the motors and then they don’t usually have any trouble from then on. In addition I replace the C2 which is a ceramic sub penny cost part with a polystyrene cap that far better allows the stability of the circuit to work well independent of humidity which the ceramic part is affected by. They should have never used that kind of part there but cheap was their only objective.

      1. Thx for the phone conversation. I’ll have my unit shipped to you in a few days. I have no doubts in your abilities to fix and improve my 238. I am very glad I stumbled upon your webpage. I have other units I’ll reach out to you about possible repairs in the near future, as well.
        Thank you, my friend!
        Have a Great Thanksgiving and we’ll be in touch.

  231. Just bought a Tascam 644 midistudio and after about 5 hours of recording the rewind and ff function quit working proper. It whines and tries to rewind but gives up and starts to fast forward but then slows down and stops. Still records just fine, just kind of unfortunate to have a 4 track with a section that allows for memory/scenes to be saved and it not be particularly useful cause another deck must be used to rewind. Any ideas?

    1. Just the same as the answer on the Tascam forum most likely a Idler tire has broken or been worn out. Most likely broken
      due to age.

  232. Congratulations on your clear and simple blog.
    Write so simple that even google translate lets understand the content. Fantastic. I read you from Italy (Tuscany).
    I am 65 years old but it is the first time I would like to come back young to be one of your “Boys” in your workshop. When I was young, I sold a lot of tape recorders and now I try to restore them. If you help a lot.
    Congratulations and THANKS.

    1. Hello Andreas,
      I am glad that you find my blog so helpful and understandable. If you need additional help do not hesitate to send me your question by E mail as I help a lot of people that way. People that it would not be practical for them to ship the unit to me.
      In the end through some explanations and help we seem to get the job done. I communicate with Leonardo in Italy as he is a well known Dr. Walkman. I just can’t get him to work on Open Reels though. He has his hands full with three years worth of Walkmans.

  233. Hi Sam.
    I have a Teac A 4300sx that sounds good and I had it for quite a while .
    Recently I’ve noticed that when recording only the left channel records.
    You can here both channels with the record mode on source but as soon as you go to tape no movement on the needle and no sound output on the right channel.
    Any help?.
    Buy the way to send you the unit to recap,alignment calibration and the works what would be the turn around time and overall cost.
    Thanks in advance for your kind services and information.

    1. We are currently swamped with older units to get out. The cost for the repair can not be estimated blindly as the right channel out can be any number of things. Some are more expensive than others. I have to concentrate on getting fewer units here in back log so that I have room to work. It turns out the demand for service is just too great which is why I am training new guys to help me. Perhaps next month I can offer a time frame.

  234. Hi Sam.
    What can cause a left tension arm on a Teac 6100mkll to wiggle so much while rewinding and hit the top portion with a click loud sound,?
    Now here is the strange part,when that happens it causes the left reel to wind the tape on the inside,between the remaining tape and the interior metal part of the reel destroying all that section.
    Its driving me insane as I’m loosing a lot of tape.
    Any help?

    1. The A6100 Mk II has a servo tension system on that tension arm and coils have been known to be damaged. The deck needs to be looked at by a Technician who has the service manual and a Tentelometer so the tension can be adjusted correctly. All fancy devices such as tension control can have their malfunctions.

  235. I have a TEAC A-6100 standard model, not a MKII, reel to reel. But, inside it has 3 PCB boards that vary from the standard TEAC A-6100 PCB boards as listed in the TEAC A-6100 / A-6300 Service Manual.
    1) The Record/Meter PCB Board is the model board from an A-6100 MKII, and I have that schematic, so no problem,
    2) But, the Power Supply Board and the Relay Board both vary from the boards as listed in the
    A-6100 Service Manual in number, appearance, and circuit structure.
    The Power Supply Board numbers given in the A-6100 Service Manual are PC Board (unpopulated) // Power Board Assembled (with parts) 51671061 // 51681062 respectively. My Power Supply board has the number 51671660 for the bare power board, I don’t have the number for it when it is populated with parts. It does have Teac printed on it along with the number.
    The A-6100 Service Manual gives the following numbers for the Relay Board: 51671051 // 51681051. My relay board is number 51671651, that is the number of the PC Board, again I don’t know the number of the Relay Assembly with parts on it. It does have Teac printed on it.
    So, my TEAC A-6100 has 2 unidentifiable boards on it. For both I only have the board numbers as printed on the actual PC Boards, that is the PCB part numbers. I have no schematics for these boards and it is difficult to figure out exactly how a few of the wires should be wired into the overall unit. This unit did work well when I first got it from its previous owner. But since then it has needed work, and in the process of repair I lost track of the proper placement/hookup of a few wires.
    I cannot find the 2 boards that my unit actually has for the Power Supply and the Relay in the A-6100,A-6300, or A-6100 MKII Service Manuals. I have checked the service manuals for ALL Teac reel to reel models put out in the late 60s, through the 70s, and the 80s. I cannot find these 2 boards anywhere. I have checked at Hi-Fi manuals, vintageshifi, manualslib, and other sites. I have also contacted Teac, they don’t respond.
    I thought this variation might be a change in the model sometime during its production history, thus these 2 boards would be covered by a TEAC Technical Information Sheet, but I cannot find one covering this change. I don’t know if it is a legitimate production change, or if someone just changed out these boards on their own. But, these boards are not listed in any available service manuals that I can find.
    This TEAC A-6100 did work well for a year. Somehow it does wire up. Have you any knowledge of these boards and this variation in an A-6100?
    The 2 mystery boards are: Power Supply 51671660, and Relay Board 51671651. These are the numbers actually found on the boards themselves and are, I assume, the Printed Circuit Board model numbers and not the number of the Assembled Boards when populated by parts.
    Any guidance or information you could give me on these boards would be greatly appreciated!! I am unaware of any other ideas as to how to find schematics for, wiring diagrams relating to, or information on these two TEAC boards.

    Sadly enough I am good at repairing fighter jet radios at board level, have restored an Otari MX7800 1″ tape, reel to reel that was stored on a dirt floor for 5 years in an Iowa garage without heating, and have repaired a few other reel to reels, but even after laying out this entire A-6100 power supply and comparing it to the WRONG schematics for clues, I cannot figure out a few wires and switches. HELP !!
    Thank you very much for your time, Andy, December 27, 2019

    1. Well there are two ways to go on this- If the unit was working with these boards in the unit at some time then it does no good to worry about what board is in the deck as it evidently worked. On the other hand if some Hobbyist is in there changing boards all over the place trying to fix the unit then what you have is a hodge-podge kit that I don’t know how you will deal with that. I tell beginners all the time to fix a board do not replace it. When a butcher gets into these unit the time to put them back back and restore the original circuit can fly to the stars. So which is it- a hobbyist or a deck that used to work? Personally I don’t look at board numbers and don’t care what the part numbers are as they are of no good anymore- you can not get Teac parts anymore. Now that we are Third party repair parts only, then the present boards in the deck have to work or the deck ends up a parts machine. I have a few schematics of decks depending on version but I just go and fix the machine as it is. They mostly need full recaps these days and the belts plus oiling of the motors and in some cases a new Motor pulley as the motors are slowing down and the only way to get the speed up is a new larger pulley- I seem to be the ONLY one doing this and I don’t know why.

    1. Take the part off and fill out the form and send it to Terry at this website. This is how I do it. Print out Pdf file and fill out and follow instructions. This is made with fresh rubber not 30-40 year old part.

      He has done at least 100 rollers for me over the years and every one is a perfect part.

  236. Hi Sam, my name is Steve Duval. I have a TEAC X 10R open reel to reel tape recorder with a serial number of 16427 . I believe that it has a bad capstan motor . Part number 7105018000 EM 1446 . I have replaced the capstan belt and cleaned the capstan flywheels. The pinch rollers do jump up and engage with the tape , but no transport of tape movement at all in play mode . The fast-forward and rewind motors both work fine. My plan of action would be to ship the capstan motor and the PCB assy,capstan servo to you for evaluation . Once that is completed could you advise on repair of capstan motor?

    1. Hi Steve,
      The Capstan motors can burn up if people use them beyond the time that they indicate stress. What I do with a motor is first see if motor voltage is going to it. This in stop mode will be between 31-33 Vdc. This is different than the voltage going to the servo card which is 24Vdc regulated. The TO-220 transistor on the servo card can open and stop the motor from turning. It is a 3A transistor and so when motors are over stressed then they can fail. If I take a motor out of a deck with the entire thrust plate, I first rotate a non working motor and listen to what it sounds like- if there is a crusty sound in the unit as you turn it most likely it has been burned up. If not you can take it off and open it for cleaning and evaluation. If the carbon brush is down to 1mm or less then it may not have much more time and can be saved for parts. Some motors fail due to abuse by the fields in the rotor being shorted or compromised. These will have resistance less than the good field windings. There is not much to be done with a rotor that is like that except to have it rewound. There are fuse resistors on power supplies that can go out and even I have seen burned up Bridge rectifiers on the X10R model a few times. People have asked to send in a motor part like you have and I answer that it does not work that way. The deck has to be evaluated as a whole as a new or restored motor still will need speed adjustments that involve the mechanics of the deck. There are no preset DC motors sold- every one must be adjusted once in the deck. So the first thing to do is find out where the malfunction is. The need for a new motor is not good as they are getting more costly all the time. The last motors I got in were $178 without the servo card. The original motors were used up many years ago. You now have to take a good servo control card and put a new motor onto it. We have placed a BR20 motor into X1000R and X2000R decks so far and they do work. This is what I know and if you want to converse further on this I can do so either at skywavebe@sbcglobal.net or at 708-334-2260 cell phone.

  237. Hi Sam,
    I have a TEAC X 7 open reel to reel tape recorder . I have replaced the capstan belt and cleaned the capstan flywheels. The pinch rollers do jump up and engage with the tape (after cleaned the old grease , lubricate and exercise it) , but no transport of tape movement at all in play mode . The fast-forward and rewind motors both work fine. Would you please help me troubleshoot it?

    1. Hi Antonio,
      Is the capstan motor and flywheels turning? If not then that has to be going and that is often grounded by the microswitch on the left tension arm. I don not know what no transport movement means as you need to be more detailed in the description of the condition of the machine. The capstan motor needs to be turning any time the tension arms are up.When changing the belt which should be a 16.8″ belt, did you pull the flywheels out and put 5 drop of good oil in the capstan bearings? These kinds of things can not be ignored as it needs it. I use AMS oil Signature series 0W30 motor oil which is a synthetic. It work wonders in these decks. Always clean the capstan shaft off after inserting them in the bearings as the oil will be on the shaft- I clean it with denatured before pressing the play button.

      1. Hi Sam, Thanks for your reply.
        I will follow your advice with the oil and purchase a bottle from you if you have it available.

        The motor is not turning when the tension arms are up (I do have a 5″ inch reel tape and take up reel with tape to test it). I measured the Voltage on the board connection cables (white and green) going from the control board to the motor and it’s showing 36 volts, but no rotation at all (When
        tensions arms up and pressing the play button). The FG Brown cables (AKA as Frequency Governor)going to the motor are showing 0 Voltage. (Which I believe is correct).

        I removed the motor and it is turning freely by hand without any noises, but not further test performed (eg desolder the power cables from the board and apply a 12 or 24 volt current to check if motor is good)

        I rather prefer to try with the microswitch..Would you please help identifying or troubleshoot the issue with microswitch on the left tension arm?

        Thanks for your time and patience I really appreciate it

        1. Hi Antonio,
          Often times when a motor does not start or it starts once in a while I meter with respect to that chassis as ground the terminal of the motor switch. With arm down there will be a voltage on it but then when arm is lifted the voltage should go to ground. The terminal that doe snot change is the ground signal. If the switch is resistive as in has a bad contact in it, it should be changed.
          When I do my measurements and find the voltage does not go to ground like it should I change the switch and motors run after that. Further, there are two power supplies fed to the motor PCB. One is called motor 33Vdc roughly and the other is regulated 24Vdc. These all have to be present. Also the large transistor on the servo board heat sink sometimes a 2SD880 or 2SD234 can open if it is damaged. If this is the case it is the only ground to the motor so this can be checked with a DVM on diode test. (DVM ) is term used as Digital Volt Meter- in olden days they were called ohm meter or voltmeter. I use a Fluke 77 which I have had for many years already but there are many hundred that will do the job. There are fuse resistors on the power supply feeding the motor- these sometimes open as that is why they are called fuse resistors. They are large white blocks for 5 watts- they usually are a lower ohm value like 3 ohms or in that area. Check further and see what you can find. A bad microswitch on the left side can be jumpered across with a alligator lead and if the motor then works then the switch is surely bad. Many little tricks learned on the bench. A motor can still be bad and often times needs to be taken apart to clean out and see what condition the brushes are in. I put AMS oil in the end bearing too which helps a lot. AMSoil can be found at automotive supplies store or ordered on Amazon. A quart will last you a long time- I think since I started using it exclusively I still have not used a Quart and it has been about 3 years.

  238. Thanks Sam,
    I disassemble the motor……no luck…
    One of the brushes is gone, and the upper part of the coil (7 cores) is fractured and one quarter is missing therefore 2 cores are disconnected… inductors look bad (like burned) with external carbon residue unable to test it…..
    So It looks like I will need a complete motor assy. It is a shame….
    It looks like the Em1446 motors are expensive and scarce….is there any other option?

    1. Hi Antonio,
      Yes they are expensive and usually at least $150 for the part but the motor part can be replaced by itself if you buy a BR20 motor. This needs to be wired into the old working servo board but I have done it in the past for both X1000R and X2000 decks. The BR 20 motors I got were like $175 with shipping.
      Like I was telling another guy just today there are 5 wires to be hooked in a white and blue or other color then the shield. The brown wires are the FG coil and so no polarity or voltage is applied there.
      If the motor turns the wrong way then the wires white/blue are reversed and so just switch them. These machines are nice decks when running and often bring $1500 or more depending on head condition. I just took one in that does not work today.

  239. Thanks Sam.
    I will wait until my pocket is in better shape and hunt for a good working EM1446 replacement.
    Appreciate your help.
    Be safe with the COV-19.

  240. I am working on a Tascam 464. The capstan belt had turned to goo, so I replaced the belt. The tape head assembly would not engage due to a broken C gear, so I replaced that and it works find now. But the capstan is not turning when I push play. I don’t hear the motor running, and I have checked that the belt is in place and that the flywheel turns freely. I suspect I created a third problem somehow. Seems unlikely that the transport had a bad belt, broken C gear and something else. I cannot find a service manual online, and I would be grateful for any advice you have to offer.

    1. There are often cassette in switched that can be out of place or might be tarnished. These have in some cases stopped the motor from turning and then it might be the power supply also- is the motor getting voltage and when it does does it spin when no load on it? The melted belt just like in open reel deck can ruin a motor as it holds it still with power cooking the inside. These motors are not made to take a lot of abuse.

      1. Your last guess was on target. The motor would not spin even though it had a steady 12v supply and a reasonable A-B differential. I pulled the motor out and popped the back off. The motor control IC, a UPC1470, looked cooked. The filter cap on the board, a 4.7@35v had high ESR, but I don’t think that is the root of the problem. The motor itself–sans PCB–runs fine from my power supply. So I ordered a UPC1470. I cannot find the exact motor online. The original is marked EG530KD-2B, 1600-3200 rpm, ccw. I see a number of 2400 rpm motors with the same model number, cheap!, but I assume that they are not compatible. I’ll be adventurous and try to fix the original motor.
        I have a couple of concerns. When I popped the back off the motor, a part went flying. I found a small brass spring that clearly came from the motor, but I am not sure that it was the only escapee. It appears to serve as a ground between the metal back of the UPC1470 and the inside of the metal cover of the motor. Hopefully I found every thing.
        My other concern is that I was not able to get in a timely way the UPC1470LM. I ordered instead a UPC1470H. It has the same case style, but I don’t know what the suffix indicates. The online datasheets were no help. I could have gotten the -LM if I had ordered it from Bulgaria, Italy or Wuhan, China (no kidding!). I’ll give it a try and see what happens. Thanks for your help.

        1. Not seeing what you are dealing with I found this on E bay where a lot of these parts can come from.
          It looks like a TO-126 type transistor with 4 leads. The parts that boing out may be a heat sink transfer device- in other words the spring make contact to the transistor and then that heat is transferred to the case through this spring. They usually do not ground a part with a spring.
          The motor parts are the ones that go bad. You might find out that most motor core parts are soldered to the PCB in terminals at 180 degree locations. This means if you but a EG530 motor of any kind, the Rotor can be transferred onto the working servo board and it will work. The danger is when you try and take the actual rotor from the motor case under the while nylon part that holds the bearing. Then in order to do it correctly you need to pull back the brushes to get the rotor out but there is no reason to mess with this as that part can only be replaced- the rest is just fooling around. The brushes get so worn that any other work is usually not helpful. If spraying deoxit into a motor might give you a few days longer service but it will not be the same as replacing the motor part under the servo board. To change motors parts you need to take the rear cover of the case and then have a solder sucker to desolder the motor terminals. Most Technicians I have known use the Edsyn Soldapullt.
          This web site is just an example as you might find it cheaper elsewhere-
          I have used this kind of device for 35 years at least. I have about 5 or 6 of them around and also a Hakko gun but I usually use the Edsyn unit.

          1. I do have a solder sucker of the type you recommend, but I prefer to use solder wick and flux, especially for finer work. I have already desoldered the PCB from the motor in order the check the parts on the hidden side. It came off easily. The motor itself runs smoothly and noiselessly with 4 or 5 volts across the terminals, so I’m hopeful that it will work well after the motor controller IC is replaced and PCB re-installed. I agree about the spring’s function, though the transfer would be marginal. But there’s no other heatsink.
            Thank you for the link. I’ll pursue that as a backup. I’ll let you know how it all turns out.

  241. BTW, the link to the UPC1470LM is one I considered when I ordered the IC, but the supplier is in Bulgaria, and with the virus slowing down shipping, I chose to get it from a domestic supplier in Chicago, even though it didn’t have the “LM” suffix. I’ll let you know how/if it works. The suffixes on ICs often refer to characteristics having nothing to do with its electronic function, such as case style (metal vs. plastic tab). Hopefully, I can make it work.

    1. OK, It should work if that was the only problem- why do you think it blew out? To tight a belt?
      I have on one occasion took the trimmer out of the motor and put the wires into a 10 turn trimmer so that the client who likes to adjust things could get at it better. it was still inside the deck but he did not need any special tools this way.

      1. It worked! The motor had failed because the UPC1470 got cooked. I was concerned that the UPC1470LM would be in some way incompatible with the UPC1470H. But the case style and electronic function are apparently the same. The deck runs like a champ now. To your question about why the IC burned out. The belt had turned to a tar-like goo and was no longer connecting the capstan and motor. But it is possible that as the belt wore, at some point it locked up the motor and overheated the 1470. The PCB underneath the 1470 was dark brown from heat. Side note: that little heat transfer spring actually lies horizontally between the back of the 1470 and the motor’s lid. Thanks for the advice.

  242. Well, it worked for a while. After running for over 15 minutes, the motor controller IC overheated and failed again. So either the motor armature has a defect and is causing the motor to draw too much current, or the lubricant gums up at speed (it spins freely and feel fine), or something in the control circuitry is stressing the motor. I most suspect the motor armature winding. I think by best bet is to find a replacement motor online and see what happens. Any advice?

    1. Yes, when the brushes wear through there is a metal piece floating around in the rotor area and when it get jammed or shorts then the controller will be damaged. This is why most find it necessary to put new motors in and start at 0 hours than try and make an old motor work again as it is unknown how long it will be before failure.

  243. Thanks. Lesson learned. I could not find a 530KD-2B on Ebay, so I ordered a 530YD-2b. I’ll have to re-engineer the control circuitry to make the speed correct, but I think this can be done. I wish I had been able to find the same speed with CW rotation because then I could have simply reversed the orientation of the little PCB.

    1. You know these motors are not that different from one another and I am sure some study and experimentation with a tachometer
      could get you to the right speeds you need. We are all finding parts that you can not get anymore. Dan called me and said Mouser does not have 1uFd 50V caps anymore. They are cutting back a lot of caps that us regular guys use while probably expanding the junk SMD market. I will not buy any SMD parts so they can forget that- they are not made to last- they are for throw away electronics.
      Dan is one of my Trainees and he works on cassette decks and Nakamichi specially- he is here with me in the north IL area.
      If you need a Nak done right Dan can do it.

      1. Thanks. I’ll keep Dan in mind if I have a Nakamichi come in. I deal with a wide spectrum of electronics here on the Oregon coast. The population here is small, and I have to be diverse to stay afloat. The downside is that I have to innovate and retool all the time. But I have a background in broadcasting for the early 80s, so tape decks are familiar territory.
        I am puzzled by Dan’s word on caps. I see a number of choices for 1µf @ 50v radial in the just the Nichicon line on Digikey. Why would Mouser quit carrying such a common component? It’s nuts. There are a lot of devices that still use these parts.
        I made a lot of money fixing Mac motherboards with leaking SMD electrolytics back in the late 90s. They were little time bombs, as you say. Dumped their electrolyte on the board and ate up any trace nearby.

    1. Yes, It would be unlikely that all those 1uFd caps would disappear at once. I have been using the Wurth caps with good success from Germany. I only use 105* grade caps- I think he was used to using certain ones that are UKL or something and they simply don’t want to produce that product anymore. In working with this older stuff we need to be practical and be flexible in the use of some parts- we are not going to get original parts anymore. Caps wise, who would want a 40 years old Electrolytic anyway? I had another scare some time ago about JKL 8 V pigtail lamps and they still have them and are probably one of the hotest selling items. They are used in deck meters all the time except Technics that supply 5 V to the lamp the DA403 is not available anymore but the DA513 is.

  244. What part should I corner the market on today so that when I’m 90 I can make a killing on Ebay?
    I do a lot of adapting for replacing things like old dial and pilot lamps. It’s hard to get the nice warm incandescent glow with LEDs, but not impossible.

    1. It is hard to predict what will make a killing but there are already some 50 cent motors on E bay that are going for $25 or more than that. The motor is a precision type device that 3D printers can not duplicate so easily. It is hard to say what will be needed tomorrow unless you have a connection to the future and demand as it might become. I suppose Ventilators and masks as well as that alcohol gell stuff would be a big demand item. Even toilet paper in some areas. It all comes down to those people that buy one roll and then depend on the store to have the next- that is kind of bad planning I would say. Try ordering a case of 96 rolls from an office supply like I did some months back- no panic here.
      I have tons of LED in stock in case I want to make meter illumination devices. The difficult part and the reason most flashlight level people do not succeed is they make them obnoxious in color or brightness. These characters really do not have a clue. Use of the proper amber colored LED with a diffusion strip and a LM317 type regulator can allow brightness to be adjusted and the light to be better dispersed than how the idiots do it. It is like they throw them in there and never look at the result. If the meters are lit up too bright I could not say anything more for their other adjustments of the deck as they are also probably as far off.

  245. I bought a new motor with a slightly different native speed and added a resistor to the speed control circuit to bring it within adjustment range. Worked great. The new motor cost less ($8.50 incl. shipping) than the speed control IC that I bought to fix the original motor. Lesson learned. Thanks for your advice. The unit developed a new problem during my repair. The audio failed completely. I found a cracked solder joint on the 12v regulator IC in the power supply. I think this Tascam unit qualifies for the “snake bit” repair category, but it’s out the door now.

    1. Well in these days of non-oem parts we often have to make things work in some creative ways. Got a motor that turns the wrong way? Take it apart and reverse the control board 180 degree on the rotor section- now turns the right way. Servo speed in wrong range? Change the internal components to get you the right speed- within reason. I once wired in a 20 turn pot to a motor to get the adjustments much better accuracy wise. It does not keep the motor on speed but allows you to pick the starting point. There is a reason they refer to these motors as 50 cent motors. They probably paid that much to put them in the machine. Now the Chinese are trying to make a 50 cent motor for a nickle and often times the quality shows but that is all we have to put in. There are more expensive solution but then the customer does not want to pay for that so in goes the 50 cent motor.

  246. Sam, I sent you my Sony WM-D6C, which you have marked as case #SW1614, four years ago.

    The last time you responded to me, you told me that it had been serviced previously, and badly. I told you that you clearly had mixed mine up with someone else’s, fo