Tascam 38 noise. NOT tape hiss. Pleez halp!

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Magnetic Services
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Tascam 38 noise. NOT tape hiss. Pleez halp!

Post by Magnetic Services » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:00 pm

Pretty sure this is in the right section. Gear talk, maybe?

Anyhow, my tascam 38 has a noise that I'd like to be rid of. It's not the anticipated and manageable tape hiss, rather it's a scratchy, crackly sort of noise. I'll post some samples tomorrow, but for now I will give you the lowdown:

It is present on all tracks, to subtly varying degrees.

Printing hotter does not entirely mask it, but definitely helps. (it is not noticeable during busy, intense music, but is definitely too much during more sparse parts.)

It is definitely not my mixing board, because I have also tried taking that out of the equation and testing it through my m-box. It was still there.

It's still present after swapping cables.


And here are the things I have done since purchasing the machine:

Got new belt for the motor.

While I was under the hood, I cleaned and lubed all moving parts.

Hit every input, output, and insert jack on both the 38 as well as on my board (ramsa wr-8118) with contact cleaner spray as well as cotton swabs with alcohol.

Cleaned and de-magged heads, tension arms, pinch roller, and anything in the tape path. (very thoroughly the first time, and also before every recording.)


so now, onto my actual questions:

With the machine, I also got 6 used half-inch tapes. Mostly 456, but also a scotch and some other kind. Could it just be that my tapes are old? They shed like god-damned cats.

I'm thinking I may have to replace the heads or have them restored (also, track 8 does not play back off the repro head, only the sync head.) can anyone point me in the right direction? I have heard of having heads re-lapped, but don't know much about this process.

since I have a project coming up very very soon, I'm thinking as a temporary fix, just getting a noise reduction/restoration plugin and processing my final two-track mixes with that. Anybody got any recommendations?

Thank y'all very much!

Mach Schnell
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Post by Mach Schnell » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:28 am

Checking the caps and various resistors in the power supply is a good place to start being that the noise isn't just isolated to one channel.
If it's too loud,...go away.

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Brian
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Post by Brian » Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:57 am

From what I'm hearing, the caps on the output amp are likely, but, tape isn't supposed to shed that much, your tape needs baking or replacing before you use it. Don't use tape that sheds.
The card for your repro head sounds like it's dead too, so it needs a lot of repair.
Maybe nothing major.
Recapping at it's age sounds very likely.
Harumph!

Magnetic Services
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Post by Magnetic Services » Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:09 pm

Brian wrote:From what I'm hearing, the caps on the output amp are likely, but, tape isn't supposed to shed that much, your tape needs baking or replacing before you use it. Don't use tape that sheds.
The card for your repro head sounds like it's dead too, so it needs a lot of repair.
Maybe nothing major.
Recapping at it's age sounds very likely.
since I wrote that post I've noticed that the "repro" head is actually just another of the same sync head that I already have in the same machine, so I just use the fully functional one. Going to have it relapped very soon. Any advice or recommended reading on the recapping process?

Edit: I have been reading a lot of this (http://antiqueradio.org/recap.htm) and learned a lot about types of caps, identifyng them, and replacing them correctly. while I have not yet taken a look at my power or amp PCBs, I checked out the schematics in my manual and found that there are just a shit-ton of them. Are there a few key caps that I should replace first, or is it better to just suck it up and do all of them?

http://antiqueradio.org/recap.htm

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johnny7
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Post by johnny7 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:00 pm

I just pulled my old 38 out of the closet. Pinch roller has gone gooey. Where did you find one? Saw one on the Bay for $75. Seems a tad steep...

dfuruta
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Post by dfuruta » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:54 pm

jackalope season wrote:Are there a few key caps that I should replace first, or is it better to just suck it up and do all of them?
Electrolytics (and tantalums, if you've got those) are the only ones that are likely to fail. Make sure the voltage ratings are high enough (higher is of course fine), and be absolutely sure you put them in the right way! Polarized caps will explode if backwards.

EDIT: whoops, this is old! hope it turned out ok.

wkrbee
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Post by wkrbee » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:00 pm

Pinch roller and belts and lots of other parts for Tascam and Teac tape decks can be gotten from...wait for it.........wait for it.......The Parts Dept at Teac/Tascam,(if you are in the U.S.) 323-726-0303 ex 840 or Parts @ Teac.com-Cheaper than EB@y
Grandpa sez"common sense ain't that common"

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