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Reel To Reel All discussions pertaining to reel to reel decks. These include general usage, recording, playback, and service questions. For subjects related to tape itself, see the Open Reel subforum under this one. Obscure service subjects that don't quite fit go in the Help and Do It Yourself subforum.

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Old 06-14-2013, 11:55 AM
banighs banighs is offline
TapeHeads Newbie
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 2
Tascam 22-4 problem

Hello, first time poster here.

I have a Tascam 22-4 that I purchased new in 1981. Used it well for many years, put it away in 1997 in a closet for about 8 years. Upon bringing it out, powered it up, but it would not play. Had it serviced a couple months ago, everything worked fine until a couple days ago.

I am in the process of digitizing all my old multitrack tapes, about 45 in total. I have done about 25 so far. All 7" reels, these were recorded variously at 15ips and 7 1/2ips, some with DBX, some without. I have only in the past couple weeks acquired a Tascam 4X4D, so up until then have been digitizing non-dbx tapes, including 7 or so that were Ampex and I baked those prior to transferring, and have now moved on to the DBX encoded tapes that are from '82 to around '92.

I mention that because there is a mixture of recordings on the tapes that requires me to change speed between some songs, punch different channels up for dbx, in other words, there is some starting and stopping involved.

Everything was going fine until several days ago I am digitizing a reel at 15ips. There is a squeek-squeek-squeek (not squeal), which I take to be a warped take up reel, so I keep going and seems fine. At about 3/4s thru the reel, the tape starts slowing down, slower and slower, with no bottom in sight. I adjust pitch control, thinking maybe this tune was recorded at lower pitch, but nothing changes, and it just gets slower and slower. Finally, I just turn it off.

Next day, start from the place where the slow down occurred, works fine. Put in another tape, same thing occurs, about 3/4s of the way thru the reel, starts slowing down. There was also a tiny bit of squeek as last time, but less. I look inside, just to see if something has crawled into the motors, everything looks ok. The next morning, I start where I left off and it plays the rest of the tape fine.

Same thing the next day, but no sqeeks at all. All 3 of these tapes at 15ips on Maxell UD 35-90 1800', gold and black boxes, about 22 mins total playing time each. Next day, tape plays from where i left off fine.

This morning I put on a black and white box (slightly more recent vintage) of the same tape, mix of 15ips and 7.5 ips, seems to play to the end fine, about 40 total minutes, with me stopping and starting for speed and level changes.
BTW, I have been live-monitoring all the reels from the beginning of this digitizing project, so this has not seemed to occur on the previous 25 or so reels (although I plan on re-reviewing at some point).

It's almost like the deck just got tired after 15 mins of play (until the tape this morning) and slows down (except for this morning). I have kept the tape path clean, and don't seem to have much residue of any kind (although the baked tapes left just a bit of black coating debris, but that's another story). The deck has been used a couple hours a day at most.

So, this sounds like an (intermittent) electronic issue to me, but I don't know. I am not in the least any kind of tech, nor do I seek to be.

My inclination is to keep going as is and see what happens. If it keeps this up, I can live with it, unless it quits entirely before I finish digitizing. But this is just weird.

Anyone have insight into the cause(s)/solutions(s)? I figure if anyone does, it will be here.

Old 06-14-2013, 12:33 PM
Skywavebe's Avatar
Skywavebe Skywavebe is offline
Skywave Tape Deck Repair
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bensenville, IL
Posts: 14,162
Hi Brent,

You are the classic case of a Capstan motor complaining to you where as soon as that happened you should have stopped and got the unit to a service person. When the capstan motor start to fail they give signs but most times people ignore them and then wonder why they end up with a $200 cost to repair the unit. When the motors insides get hot and burn up hot enough to melt solder then it makes it necessary to put a new motor in and that is where the expense rises. I have had motors on the bench that made this sound and I reconditioned them and they are probably still running today. Those motors that burn up there is no hope for them.
When the machine complains- pay attention if you don't start saving up the money for a new motor.
Some how I get the impression that I have been dealing with you recently. Is this true maybe?
Best regards,

Sam Palermo, BSEE , ProSquad Member
Skywave Tape Deck Repair- Chicago area
(630)616-0932 Office/ Email skywavebe@sbcglobal.net
Past Teac/Tascam Lead Service Technician at Chicago Factory Service still doing repairs.
Now accepting MC, Visa, Amex & Discover Cards!

Last edited by Skywavebe; 06-14-2013 at 12:53 PM.
Old 06-15-2013, 09:31 PM
banighs banighs is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 2
Hi Sam!

Yep, it's me. Thanks for the quick reply.

Looks like it's time to get this deck benched.

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