Space Echo gurus...

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williamsongs
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Space Echo gurus...

Post by williamsongs » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:17 am

My beloved RE-301 is just back from the shop with a new pinch roller, lubed up motor, tape path/tension adjusted and so forth.

But the same problem that brought me to take it in has occurred after only 4 hours of use. The tape sticks to one specific head, so much so that it stops the roller from rolling and threatens to burn out the motor if I don't notice it and pull out the damn tape.

My first thought was that the tape path adjustment (heads, roller tension, etc) was off so that's why I brought it in to my guy in the first place. I've always cleaned the heads and path every couple of uses, and demagged every week or so.

Now, my wild guess is that it is the tape itself, however, why would it always stick to the same one head? I've been making loops with RMGI SM911 tape.

Anybody with a lot of knowledge of the space echo see anything obvious that I'm missing? If it's as simple as "use different tape" that's great, but why is it always sticking to the same one head, and so damn tightly?

I can easily pull out some other type of used reel of tape to try if that really is the issue, I just have a bunch of the RMGI tape on hand so I use it.

Any help is appreciated. I love the thing and won't abandon it. I've had it since 1990 for pete's sake. When it works it's like chocolate ice cream...
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The Scum
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Post by The Scum » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:03 am

I'm not a guru, but I hang here and read what other folks do.

Try searching here, and I think you'll turn up a source for special lubricated tape.
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Nick Sevilla
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Post by Nick Sevilla » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:08 pm

Hi,

Just a note about demagnetizing the tape path :

Do it only if you need to do it.

Do you have a magnetometer? This measures if there is any magteic field.

magteic= magnetic. Darn iPad and my bad eyesight!

If there is NO magnetic field, you may be creating one with your cnstant demagnteizing.

Cheers
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E.Bennett
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Post by E.Bennett » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:45 pm

You should be using lubricated tape like what is used in cart enclosures. Not really up on current manufacturers, just do a search. I just pilfer old 8-track cartridges, make a loop and yell, "take that, tom jones!"

kslight
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Post by kslight » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:17 pm

You want lubricated tape...

http://www.mytapeecho.com/

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Neil Weir
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Post by Neil Weir » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:30 pm

I realize this is slightly off-topic but does anyone know how to replace the VU meter lamp in a Space Echo?

I have an RE-150 and the lamp has been burnt out for a few years...
Neil Weir

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Darlington Pair
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Post by Darlington Pair » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:09 am

Neil Weir wrote:I realize this is slightly off-topic but does anyone know how to replace the VU meter lamp in a Space Echo?

I have an RE-150 and the lamp has been burnt out for a few years...
When you take the lid off, there is a box that butts up against the front face, remove the two screws and the bulb is right there. I added a current limiting resistor and replaced it with an LED, no more burnt bulb worries.

Answer to the original poster, +1 on lubricated tape for carts or 8 tracks, I loaded up on the stuff a few years back and store it in vacuum bags (the kind that you can remove the air, not clean your floor)

Who knows if somebody is going to wise up and realize there is a market for new production lubed tape considering tape manufacturing is for a niche market now anyways, why not fill all the niches?

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Post by TapeOpLarry » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:56 pm

I learned the hard way: You will never "improve" the Space Echo with studio quality tape! It always jams up and the splice is screwier. I use tape from NOS blank 8-track cartridges from thrift stores. Really.
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williamsongs
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Post by williamsongs » Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:29 pm

You guys are freakin' awesome. This was exactly the type of answer I was hoping to tease out of the TOMB. I can't wait to smash an 8-track cassette and pull out it's juicy innards and feed them to my hungry space echo.

Lubricated tape seems to be the clear answer to the problem I'm having.
Thanks everybody!
"Sounds to me like you're just a little bit cranky"

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Marc Alan Goodman
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Post by Marc Alan Goodman » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:58 am

They nailed it. Lubricated tape. NOS blank 8 track cassettes are getting harder to find but you can still get reels of the stuff here:http://www.joaonline.com/catalog/index. ... 0bbdedfc37

ckeene
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Post by ckeene » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:23 pm

Where'd you send your Space Echo to get tuned up? Mine at the very least needs new rubber. Maybe a cleanup, too.

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Gregg Juke
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Post by Gregg Juke » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:31 pm

>>>>I can't wait to smash an 8-track cassette and pull out it's juicy innards and feed them to my hungry space echo.<<<<

Larry, here's an opportunity to recognize serious writing genius! It's like one of Lester Bangs' opening tease statements, if he were writing an audio technical article.

GJ

williamsongs
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Post by williamsongs » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:22 am

Hey there, I took my space echo to a dead Hi-Fi shop in Syracuse, NY (Clark Music) where a guitar player that I have known for a very long time does their repair work on stereo equipment and such. But I know him as the only guy who has MRL tape and still remembers how to maintain all this old shit that I love.

But to be honest, he told me he doesn't want to see any more tape machines again, including my space echo. Tube amps are still OK, he says. I think I can sweet talk him into keeping all my shit to spec, but we're friends.... for a stranger, probably not so much luck. Sorry.
"Sounds to me like you're just a little bit cranky"

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Darlington Pair
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Post by Darlington Pair » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:01 am

Years ago I got tired of paying people to put non lubricated tape in my machine and not actually fix it and blow up my amps. I learned electronics so nobody would ever touch my stuff again. Spent a bit of time as a pro audio repair tech, now I'm a senior technician at a radio observatory. That broke ass space echo started a career for me.

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Gregg Juke
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Post by Gregg Juke » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:50 am

Williamsongs, where are you in Syracuse?

GJ

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