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  #1  
Old 07-14-2017, 12:25 PM
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DaveInVA DaveInVA is online now
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Tapesonic 70 (tube model)

Next project - To recap the 2 Tapesonic Model 70's I have. These are tube models from the late 50's. I also have 7 Tapesonic 70T's that are soiled state.
First I am making a shopping list of all the caps I need and order enough to do both stereo machines.
One machine is in far nicer cosmetic shape than the other and mostly works. The one in the following pics is the one thats not as nice. It also had some transport problems including a bad series resistor used to set the take up spool tension. I replaced that. And like the Sony I just worked on it also has a broken tape speed switch. I still need to deal with that. This one has a rare optional factory counter. These use Nortronics 9000 series heads like Crowns.
I will recap the electronics chassis of both units at the same time. Both chassis have one channel dead.

Some requisite bad cell phone pics, My Canon EOS SLR died so thats why my pics have been worse than usual.







Dave
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  #2  
Old 07-14-2017, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveInVA View Post
These use Nortronics 9000 series heads like Crowns.
Do you mean they can use Nortronics 9000 series heads? When this machine was made I didn't think Nortronics had a 9K series yet.
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  #3  
Old 07-14-2017, 01:50 PM
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Yes your right, I was thinking of something else, brain fart.


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  #4  
Old 07-14-2017, 02:45 PM
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That's going to be a fun project I'll bet. When I built my Ampex 351s I used Nortronics 8000 heads. I wonder if Mr Sam Miller would have even used them. I would suspect they are 5000 series.

When you rebuild these, perhaps try to stay with original style resistors and capacitors in the signal path. The reason (from personal experience) is that both playback and record equalization will be affected to some degree. And you may not have enough adjustment to compensate. You probably already know this but the values chosen were for paper caps and carbon comp. resistors. Plastic capacitors have a faster dielectric constant that favors high frequencies, meaning they tend to get emphasized. Metal film verses carbon to a lesser degree. I see a lot of micas in there too. If I were doing this, I would leave them be unless known bad.

Lastly, I don't know if you plan on reworking the transport like replacing bearings. Ceramic ball bearings are something to think about. Smoother, freer & quieter. But that's a whole other topic.
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  #5  
Old 07-14-2017, 03:37 PM
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I always leave mica's alone as they virtually never go bad and they are in the EQ circuit so that will all remain the same. I plan on using similar caps as I want to keep the same. Putting something like PP's in there will likely make it cleaner sounding but will probably change the character for the worse.
I used to use one of these 2 often back in the 70's but its been sitting ever since and now one channel is dead in both units so its time to go over them. The speed change Switchcraft lever switch is bad on one and its like a 8P2T switch and I haven't been able to find a replacement so I will likely replace it with a similar 2P2T and have it operate a relay.

Dave
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  #6  
Old 07-16-2017, 12:20 PM
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I am now in the process of collecting up the 40 signal caps and 20 filter caps needed to recap 2 of these units. I am leaving all the original mica caps in place.
In the meantime I am triaging the transports to see what they are going to need. I already knew the speed switch was bad on one. Its not the usual Switchcraft leaf switch that is usually seen from this period. This one has no maker markings but does have a number. It uses rubber rollers to push the leafs from one position to the other and of course they rotted away. Its an 8 pole 2 pos switch. I found a Switchcraft equivalent at Apex Jr that looks like it might work.
These use Bodine spool motors and a large 2 speed direct drive outer rotor scrotor motor for the capstan . This gives 3.75/7.5 ips and 15 ips with a sleeve. Like the Crowns they use DC dynamic braking so filter caps need replacing here also. An interlocking slide switch is used for transport control just like what Magnecord, Crown 700 and others used then. One of the units has an optional counter. Also of note is the use of a rotary swollenoid for the pinch roller.
The other unit is interesting in that is has a tag inside stating it was mortified in 1961 to relay control and the Switchcraft assembly was replaced with tAmpex 350 style pushbutton switches. It also has a tape tensioner device installed to the right of the pinch roller.

Some more crappy cell phoon pics. I love my Motorola X but the camera only randomly takes decent pics. I will have a new camera shortly to replace my croaked Canon EOS. The first pic is the speed switch. The transport is shown with its 15 ips sleeve installed. These typically get lost and my other one has it missing. Would love to get some made up sometime.
The last pic is of the other unit which I haven't taken apart as yet.











Dave
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Last edited by DaveInVA; 07-17-2017 at 09:15 AM.
  #7  
Old 07-16-2017, 01:57 PM
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The heads look mint. Direct drive too, wow. This is a thing of beauty. Im gonna have to pray to the TapeGods everyday until i find one.

Did these have remotes as well, or was this before remotes were invented,,lol
  #8  
Old 07-16-2017, 02:19 PM
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These do not have remote control jacks but other machines that use interlocking switches to control the transport such as the Concertoad model 60 use a remote that also has interlocking switches so it can be done but it wasn't offered from the "factory" on these.
You'd be really lucky to find one of these as the stereo tube model 70's rarely come up on Fleabay. I don't think I've seen of these for sale in more than 10 years. I got these decades ago. I haven't even seen any of the soiled state model 70T's for a long time either. Probably because I have most of them . Well 7 of them anyways and some spares. And 2 of these tube models.
This company was pretty much a one man operation so there aren't a ton of these out there. And it seems the people that have them keep them.
No 2 of these are ever exactly alike either which is kinda cool.

There is an early Tapesonic mono tube 70-C on Fleabay....


Dave
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Last edited by DaveInVA; 07-16-2017 at 02:26 PM.
  #9  
Old 07-16-2017, 02:45 PM
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I know there has been talk of why companies dont produce reel to reels again.
Is there just no genius makers out there to do this sort of thing. You say Tapesonic was basically a one man operation, where is Mr. Tapesonics grandkid, and would someone tell him to get the maschines working again. I think theres a market for a simular model as this. Forget all the digital counters and 100000 caps to change out. And build me quality tank reel rollin goodness, with a decent tube preamp. Maybe get TubeNirvana to make the preamps then combine it with a CNC operator and youd have a new reel to last the next 50 years+..... oh well. I guess i just miss the times when inventors Were bountiful and it was affordable to do live the dream.

I remember this guy trying to sell it before, not sure i can handle mono. Its tempting though

Last edited by earczar; 07-16-2017 at 02:55 PM.
  #10  
Old 07-16-2017, 02:50 PM
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Sam Miller was probably too busy assembling these things to have kids



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  #11  
Old 07-17-2017, 04:43 AM
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Yeah, every time I look at one of these I think, "yeah, if we were to build a tape deck from scratch, it would look like this". That is meant as a compliment as there is a beautiful simplicity to something that is designed for ease of manufacturing at low volume.

As long as we can buy motors and heads, the rest of a tape deck can be fashioned by a machinist and electronic tech. That doesn't make it easy or cost effective unless you just relish the challenge of making things from scratch. We do have some modern technology (microprocessors and integrated circuits) that would allow higher performance than possible in the 50's. Dynamic tape tensioning would be cool...
  #12  
Old 07-17-2017, 06:37 AM
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After the Second World War New York and especially Long Island had a great many electronics establishments. When I see the insides of a vintage tube fired system it becomes apparent that making anything from scratch today might be easier with tubes. If not easier then more conducive to hand construction.
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  #13  
Old 07-19-2017, 12:21 PM
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A quick update:

The Switchcraft switch from ApexJr came in today but unfortunately it won't physically fit unless I enlarge the slot for the lever and drill 4 new mounting holes which would mess up the lettering on the front panel.
I think I am going to try a way to make some new rollers for the old switch. They must be insulated as they push on the energized leafs. The originals were hard rubber. The new Switchcraft switch uses Nylon rollers the wrong size but maybe I can find something that will work.


Dave
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Last edited by DaveInVA; 07-19-2017 at 03:32 PM.
  #14  
Old 07-20-2017, 10:40 AM
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I'm checking my junk for a switch. If you can find a single pole DT switch that fits, have it run an pair of 4PDT relays.
  #15  
Old 07-20-2017, 11:08 AM
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Thats what my first intention was to do. Then ApexJr had a Switchcraft switch that looked like it had the same mounting arrangement. But of course it didn't as per Murphy's Law. The original switch has a part number but no makers mark or logo. I may be able to make the old one work by replacing the 2 rotted rubber rollers with stacks of nylon washers the right diameter. Thats my next project.


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  #16  
Old 07-20-2017, 11:46 AM
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How about using phono cartridge spacer tubes? or cut a nylon standoff to the correct length?
  #17  
Old 07-20-2017, 12:00 PM
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If I can find a spacer with large enough diameter that would work. I haven't measured it yet but its at least 3/8". The main thing is it has to be non-conductive as it pushes directly on the switch leafs.


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