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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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  #1  
Old 03-08-2017, 12:31 PM
altppt altppt is offline
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TEAC A-4010SL - Right Channel Issues

Hey guys - I inherited an A-4010SL and have been trying to get everything in working order. The unit had been sitting in an attic for probably the last 30+ years. Pretty much everything was frozen on the unit, I took apart the unit and replaced the belts, cleaned/lubed the capstan assembly, cleaned the tape heads, deoxit on the control knobs.

The left tension arm was also frozen, and I was able to remove it and clean it but didn't have any appropriate grease yet to lube it properly (not sure if related to the issue but felt this important to share).

The issue: On playback, the right channel is only low-end frequencies. I've tested it with commercial reels I have, recordings i've done through the mic inputs and the line inputs in the back, all with the same result.

Any ideas on what to try next?

The deck works great other than this issue. Recordings on the left input/channel sound great as well, as does playback.

Thanks in advance!
  #2  
Old 03-08-2017, 12:40 PM
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DaveInVA DaveInVA is online now
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The first thing would be to check the condition of the play head. If its worn, damaged or dirty that would cause missing highs. It could also be out of alignment.
The capacitors used in these units are infamous for failing and any 4010 should be recapped.

Dave
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  #3  
Old 03-08-2017, 02:26 PM
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Left tension arm, just need heating carefully with a heating gun, in order to loosen up the "bee wax" like grease.

Then you clean the shaft really good with normal 90% or more iso alcohol.

Just use normal hobby oil when you relube the shaft.

check and clean the heads, really really good. If the deck was not used, maybe there could be some really old sticky tape residue stuck there. Or use some chrome polish (Autosol) for cars in order to buff up the heads, and then of course only use q-tips

if the heads are gone, there are a suitable replacements on ebay. Or maybe get the Ferrite heads from a 4010GSL.

Kind regards

Emil
  #4  
Old 03-08-2017, 02:42 PM
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I have one of these, and it's been pretty unreliable due to it's age. There are a LOT of reasons for the issue to occur. I would first work on the transport. Lube the tension arm pivot with lithium grease or similar, oil the reel and capstan motors. If there is a smooth spot on the capstan, rough it up with sandpaper. How hard is the pinch-roller? If it's too hard, it won't grip the tape very well. The high frequency loss could be the tape not contacting the head properly, as well as being dirty, or an electrical issue.
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  #5  
Old 03-08-2017, 05:58 PM
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dhnash dhnash is online now
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Quote:
Lube the tension arm pivot with lithium grease or similar, oil the reel and capstan motors. If there is a smooth spot on the capstan, rough it up with sandpaper.
Just a few bits of additional information - Sam Palermo (AKA Skywavebe who is our Teac expert) recommends using Lubriplate 105 lithium grease and AMSOil Signature Series 10W30 oil. Here is a thread describing the procedure he suggests for texturing the capstan shaft if a smooth area has developed on its surface.

http://www.tapeheads.net/showthread....+shaft+texture
  #6  
Old 03-08-2017, 06:34 PM
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Skywavebe Skywavebe is offline
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The problem can be heads and if the tilt of the head is wrong one channel can wear out before the other. What the heck- I would advise just replacing the two play heads with a single 4 channel head and then put a new record head on it and go from there. I typically recap the power supplies first thing and then all of the audio section. You need good caps in or the gains will not be right in the audio section and adjustments just do not make it.
I know it is a pain but that is the way it is.
On the good side the mechanism is real strong and the deck with an AC motor should last a long time. It is not the most beautiful model out there but remember this was made back in Vietnam days.

The larger heads did not last as long as the smaller A3300 type heads.
The ferrite heads just like the Akai life time heads do wear out and become garbage. Just put the better metal ones on that are available.

Left tension arm- I have posted it before and not all that often. The arm needs to come out and be taken apart. The thing completely cleaned. THEN I use the damping grease that I sell 8ml bottles of on my website to grease the arm. There are some parts on deck that are expected to have a damped reaction not a loose one. This is one of those spots as well as all others. Why is it damping grease- the start up of the record function jerks the tape when this happens the dampened arm takes up this motion. Everything works like it should. Clean and oil this arm for real fast movement and then you will find that at start up of a recorded tape the tape will bounce off the erase head leaving a blip on the tape. Why does this happen- No damping in the arm. Now you need to take it off again and put the 300,000cSt damping solution in the arm like I said in the first place. If you use bulk erased tape or virgin tape then you may not notice this but it is still there.

Why do you suppose I spent all this money on the Damping grease in the first place? It is $400/ Gallon but I ended up talking to Chris and turns out her was the head guy and sold me a smaller amount. After two years or so I still have 1/2 a pint. I sell it not for profit but to help those people out that can not find the stuff. One small bottle should be enough for 10 tape decks and probably up to 15. I use these small bottles on all my benches as it is easier to deal with than the larger jar.
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Past Teac/Tascam Lead Service Technician at Chicago Factory Service still doing repairs.
http://s609729863.onlinehome.us/tape...uipment-repair
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  #7  
Old 03-09-2017, 10:02 AM
altppt altppt is offline
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Thanks everyone, really helpful. I had seen Skywavebe's recommendation for the tension arm on the forums before and I plan to apply the damping grease. Since I didn't have it on-hand, and it was frozen solid, my first goal was to get it free moving and clean the original grease off. I was able to do this and it didn't affect the playback issues at all so I've set that aside for now.

Will take another look at the heads tonight, when I cleaned them I didn't put much effort into it.
  #8  
Old 03-09-2017, 10:36 AM
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macman007 macman007 is offline
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Hello and welcome. Sounds like your heads are dirty, usually muffled sound on one side and OK sound on the other is because the heads have tape oxide or other corrosion/ garbage blocking the gaps. It doesn't take much at all for garbage on the heads to do this, sometimes it looks clean, but needs several heavy passes with the tight stuff and elbow grease a plenty. Don't be afraid to put some effort into it as long as the head itself isn't flexing on its mounts your fine. Do not mess with any of the head adjusters in any circumstances.

I use Denatured alcohol wood alcohol or 99% isopropyl alcohol as a last resort, and a good cotton swap, all 4 scrub scrub scrub. Some people use acetone, just be careful with the stuff and don't get it on anything BUT the heads. Use a magnifying glass to inspect all the heads close up for cleanliness and condition. I use NuFinish car polish when I'm done to polish the heads and remove anything left over., corrosion, etc. A good metal polish will do the same thing once done a few times. I like the NuFinish because it leaves a protective layer on the heads and tape transport giving enhanced tape contact and measurably better performance.

Once you get past this point, if you have no success with the problem, we'll investigate other possibilities. On this particular unit there are several other things that could be at fault. take them one at a time depending on your time, experience and comfort level with this type of work.

Again welcome to Tapeheads!
  #9  
Old 03-09-2017, 04:47 PM
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I wouldnt bother with old used metal heads. Either you install brand new heads, that can mostly impossible to source out for that type of machine, or you go with a Ferrite head block from 4010GSL.

Or you can try contact JRF magnetics, to hear about replacement heads for your machine.

Poor frequency response have nothing to do with bad electrolytics capacitors, thats bad tape to head contact. So make sure its all clean.

And then you need a good brand new reference tape. Those are available on Ebay.

If in doubt, snap some pics of those heads, so we can see them.
  #10  
Old 03-09-2017, 05:13 PM
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DaveInVA DaveInVA is online now
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I don't think anyone suggested the response problem could be caused by bad electrolytic caps.
I pointed out however that this model is famous for its PIO caps failing and meant that as one more thing that needs attention on these besides head problems.
And yes replacing the metal heads with ferrite from a GSL version would be the best fix if the metal heads are to worn to use.
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  #11  
Old 03-10-2017, 04:09 AM
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Yes i read that, but techs do jump on the "Lets recap the whole thing and that will fix your problem" in their writing and i say no to begin with.

If in any doubt if you got a head or electronic problem: Swap the leads!

Glad we agree on the ferrite heads. I just bought a complete 4010GSL ferrite block on Ebay. I paid 35 dollars, plus 25 in import tax. I had them checked, and they are fine.

its a small project for a Sansui SD-7000 with VERY worn heads! :D
  #12  
Old 04-03-2017, 04:24 PM
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garyheard garyheard is offline
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My A-4010SL left tension arm was also frozen

Thanks for the heads up. I didn't want to purchase a heat gun so I removed the mechanism by loosening the screw then sliding it out. I kept all the pieces together in my hand, as not to change the spring tension. A little difficult with only two hands, but I accomplished cleaning the shaft and the inside of the removed mechanism. I realized that someone prior to me did not put the spring completely over the heximal (base-6) post. That is why the mechanism jammed. It works perfectly now.
Retested fast forward & rewind and pressed the STOP button. Absolutely perfect. It will no longer break the tape. That was the last step in the restoration of the machine. Everything working perfectly.

P.S. - I purchased the capstan belt and counter belt from theteacman on eBay. He provided fast delivery and also provided a free syringe oiler when I purchased the belts. Excellent seller and great communications.
I tried earlier to get a syringe from a drug store, but they wouldn't sell me one, unless I had a prescription (i.e. a diabetic).
Link for Teac belts.... http://www.ebay.com/sch/theteacman/m...1&_ipg=&_from=

Last edited by garyheard; 04-03-2017 at 09:35 PM. Reason: Added link to purchase Teac Belts
  #13  
Old 04-03-2017, 04:36 PM
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Skywavebe Skywavebe is offline
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Many things I would say here.
One is you can heat the left tension arm to loosen it and clean it but it still needs damping solution put into it as it is NOT suppose to be lose.

Ferrite heads are examined in bright light and with magnification. Many of them have open gaps and no one seems to notice this. Ferrite or not the gaps can not be open or compromised or no deal.

CAPS: I know some do not want to replace them but to be truthful they are all past their failure time and should all be replaced and I do not even warranty this model unless it is recapped.

Brake are dried and yellow usually. Replace the brake pads- you need to put some new parts in if you want to use this long term. Not doing the right stuff will have you back in the unit countless times until you get aggravated and throw it out. It is repairable but not by a person who is too lazy to change out the caps. The Pinch Roller is likely to need a rebuild- they shrink.

There is no getting out of it. Any deck from the Vietnam age is going to need it or they will be unreliable. If you do not do the required work do not blame the deck.
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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.
http://s609729863.onlinehome.us/tape...uipment-repair
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  #14  
Old 04-04-2017, 05:52 AM
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Ebzen Ebzen is online now
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no.

Ferrite heads needs to be inspected under high magnification. I know a few guys who can do that in UK, so when ever i get a machine in for a full service, i send the complete head block away, as i cant make the judgement my self.

They also test the heads, and relap and polish them up.

In the mean time, i am mostly recapping boards while i wait for the heads to arrive back. I got test head blocks for most machines
  #15  
Old 04-04-2017, 10:46 AM
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Skywavebe Skywavebe is offline
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The Ferrite head also makes it condition know in the view of abrasion on it's surface. If a Ferrite head has a lot of that as well as a path seen there are a ton of hours on it. Of course the alignment tape playback is the final judge.
I don't go looking for Ferrite heads at this point I just put the new ones on that we can get.
There is a relay at the rear right side that can get tarnished contacts in it.
People that say a cap can not do this do not know their circuitry. What do you think is in the play eq circuits- there are caps and I have recapped that board.
It is located in the electronics section on the left side. The head wires plu into it with what looks like a tube socket. It can also be a dirt put if the heads are not worn out.
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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.
http://s609729863.onlinehome.us/tape...uipment-repair
Now accepting MC, Visa, Amex & Discover Cards!

Last edited by Skywavebe; 04-04-2017 at 11:32 AM.
  #16  
Old 04-17-2017, 03:29 AM
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garyheard garyheard is offline
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A-4010SL fixes including the 60 cycle Ground Loop hum

I spent a long time explaining all the problems and fixes to my Teac A-4010SL.
I also included how I resolved the 60 cycle Ground Loop hums but the site timed out me out and never posted it.
I guess one day, I will have to retype it on notepad first or sign in with REMEMBER ME.

Last edited by garyheard; 04-17-2017 at 03:33 AM.
  #17  
Old 04-17-2017, 08:01 AM
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Yeah, I'm with Sam on this. If your playback EQ is out due to a bad cp, it COULD produce muffled audio, or lack of clarity.

I did not know this deck came in both the old style Mu-Metal heads and Ferrite heads! Live and learn.
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  #18  
Old 04-17-2017, 09:05 AM
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Skywavebe Skywavebe is offline
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There is more a chance of putting in new heads of the regular types than those that could find a Ferrite head of new condition. Plus Ferrite heads have a price starting at $90 usually and may be even more today.
If I was given a machine to restore, it would get new heads if needed that are the same types as used on the X1000R or A3340S deck. The 4 channel head will allow the playback of both directions for less cost due to only one head being used for the purpose. Having the electronics up to standard is a must because working with new heads with worn out caps is not going to be a solution as much as some think it is possible.
Ferrite heads like glass heads are not your friend and most glass life time heads out there are not meeting specs if measured. Chicago can not be a special place where all tape decks heads are worn out it must be the same everywhere else
Occasionally machine will be found with no use on it- that is your only chance but they are very rare.
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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.
http://s609729863.onlinehome.us/tape...uipment-repair
Now accepting MC, Visa, Amex & Discover Cards!
  #19  
Old 04-18-2017, 07:23 AM
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Ebzen Ebzen is online now
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@Skywavebe:

Once again you dont read what i write:
'
Ferrite heads needs special inspection and tools to measure it. Only someone from JRF can do that. Or a few suppliers in UK have that knowledge. Just because a ferrite head is over 40 years old, it can still be in good condition.

And i was able to purchase brand new TEAC Erase and Rec combo Ferrite heads from a supplier in Germany.

I also got brand new SONY F&F heads in stock here.

I have seen user damage on heads & gap chipping. That happend with the early style of SONY F&F heads. Thats why the partnumber changed all of sudden.

BTW:

Sony F&F heads are not glass heads.

This is what i do when i get a machine in for service and the costumer is saying one channel is "Muddy" compared to the other:

SWAP THE LEADS on the playback head!

And if the machine got a reverse playback head, and you got low volume or crackling sound, but it sounds fine when running forward? Then i would take a look at the head switch relay or some kind of head switch!
  #20  
Old 04-18-2017, 08:17 AM
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ynpguy ynpguy is offline
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You got new erase/record head combos?? for a Teac? I have only seen one deck with those, and I've got 2 of them - the A-4070. One of the first bi-directional recording decks. They have a very special type of head.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 4070 erase rec head.jpg (38.5 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 4070 head.jpg (46.5 KB, 6 views)
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