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  #1  
Old 08-06-2012, 07:58 AM
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Jbova Jbova is offline
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Teac A 3440

My Teac A 3440 is being moody.I was going to play a Tape,that sounds easy.So I hit the play button and all was okay.But after a second or two the pinch roller started to disengage and engage and then noting it stayed disengage.Open up the back to take a look.I checked the two mic swts and they were okay,I moved the power board to check the solder pass-thru's but still not working.Now the pinch roller has been cleaned and lubed.
Joe
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  #2  
Old 08-06-2012, 01:03 PM
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Hi Joe,
You are shooting around the item but missing the target. This kind of thing is hard to figure out from a distance but looking at the soldering at the power supply for thermal broken joints may prove to be enlightening. Otherwise take a scope and on the positive side of the Pinch Roller solenoid
watch what happens when it does this on off thing. This has not been a thing that has been reported in high numbers before.
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Sam Palermo, BSEE, past Broadcast Engineer
Skywave Tape Deck Repair- Chicago area
(630)616-0932 Office/ 708-334-2260 Cell, E mail:skywavebe@sbcglobal.net
Past Teac/Tascam Lead Service Technician at Chicago Factory Service still doing repairs.
http://www.thumbtack.com/il/bensenvi...tascam-repairs
Need Tape? http://www.splicit.com/index.html, The BEST SM are from Stereomanuals.com!
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  #3  
Old 08-06-2012, 01:58 PM
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Could be intermittent tension-arm switches. Test them with an ohm meter or rap on them and see if it changes symptoms.
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  #4  
Old 08-06-2012, 02:53 PM
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I did see this kind of symptom on a cassette deck that drove us crazy for a time until we put a storage scope on it and found out the diodes were failing in a intermittent way die top age. The new rectifiers slightly upgraded of course did the job. I have seen X1000's do this but that is a different transport and if tension set too high can cause a diode to over heat. The tension arm microswitch would also happen on fast wind but he did not describe that. Only in play- also the hold voltage supply could be too low or that diode dropping out. The solenoid get a flash voltage that is higher to pull it in after a second or so the hold voltage is left on the solenoid to keep it in. This comes into the solenoid through a diode.
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Sam Palermo, BSEE, past Broadcast Engineer
Skywave Tape Deck Repair- Chicago area
(630)616-0932 Office/ 708-334-2260 Cell, E mail:skywavebe@sbcglobal.net
Past Teac/Tascam Lead Service Technician at Chicago Factory Service still doing repairs.
http://www.thumbtack.com/il/bensenvi...tascam-repairs
Need Tape? http://www.splicit.com/index.html, The BEST SM are from Stereomanuals.com!
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  #5  
Old 08-07-2012, 01:04 PM
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Thanks Sam.I'll check the swt's out .I already put my OHM meter on the swts and they checked out that way to Skywavbe.Its funny it was working great then this happen's.Thanks again.
Joe
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  #6  
Old 08-10-2012, 12:47 PM
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Sam,I did what you stated,and the swt was bad.It ck out good on the OHM meter but it was not.I replaced both swt's just because.Thanks again
Joe
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  #7  
Old 08-11-2012, 10:05 PM
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As an A-3440 enthusiast, I'm glad to hear you were able to get the issue resolved, thanks to Sam, he's the man!

I'm just curious if you can check the serial # on the back of yours, which indicates the manufacturing date (the digits on the right side of the s/n).
I believe the A-3440 was introduced in '78 (not sure if was the beginning of the year, or more toward later), along with its matching 2A mixer. (My older brother bought one new back in '79, when I was a teenager).

The Tascam 34 came out in '82-'83, but I find it interesting that the A-3440 didnt seem to be discontinued, and was still being made at the same time as the 34. Does anyone recall what the $ price difference between them was?, just curious. I have a collection of Teac/Tascam literature, and it appears that the A-3440 and 2A were still around as late as 1984. Anyone know if the 40-4 made it that far as well?

I was also curious if there were any revisions made to the A-3440 during its production run. Is an '83 A-3440 exactly identical to a '78 model, or are any circuit boards and components, etc different? I know the Model 2 (2A) mixer had a few slight changes- the knob colors and fader controls, and also had the raised meter bridge with faux-wood panels... Just a few lil' details I find interesting, if anyone else might also relate.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:10 AM
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I Teac A 3440 came out in 1979 -1983 list was $1,199. I got mine from the Air Force PX in 1979.I payed around $800.I had a friend get it for me.
Joe
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  #9  
Old 08-12-2012, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbova View Post
Sam,I did what you stated,and the swt was bad.It ck out good on the OHM meter but it was not.I replaced both swt's just because.Thanks again
Joe
So did it turn out to be bad tension-arm switches? (See post #3).


-

Last edited by tapetech; 08-12-2012 at 12:44 PM.
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  #10  
Old 08-13-2012, 08:11 AM
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Tapetech,Yes .the two micro swt's that the tension arm makes contact with.The one that engages the pinch roller was bad.Teac p/n is 51300010.
Joe
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  #11  
Old 08-13-2012, 09:01 AM
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Very Good Tapetech as you were on the right path. The switches are very low plunger tension switches so just do not try to put in the wrong ones as you will then find out. All the times I have researched a compatible part here in the USA and no matter who had one listed they were always out of stock. I have them in stock. PM is you need some.
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Best regards,

Sam Palermo, BSEE, past Broadcast Engineer
Skywave Tape Deck Repair- Chicago area
(630)616-0932 Office/ 708-334-2260 Cell, E mail:skywavebe@sbcglobal.net
Past Teac/Tascam Lead Service Technician at Chicago Factory Service still doing repairs.
http://www.thumbtack.com/il/bensenvi...tascam-repairs
Need Tape? http://www.splicit.com/index.html, The BEST SM are from Stereomanuals.com!
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  #12  
Old 08-13-2012, 05:37 PM
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Sam,I work as a aircraft mech.I had these micro swt's that were new in my tool box for 9 years,that were part of the bag door warning for a Beech 99 airliner.The size ,color and screw holes were the same.I got lucky.
thanks for you help one more time
Joe
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  #13  
Old 08-19-2012, 12:54 AM
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Enjoying some music listening on the hi fi system w/ A-3440 tonight in the basement:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1..._Fred/hifi.jpg
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  #14  
Old 08-19-2012, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeatleFred View Post
Enjoying some music listening on the hi fi system w/ A-3440 tonight in the basement:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1..._Fred/hifi.jpg

NICE!!!

Some great gear sitting there.

Marc
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  #15  
Old 08-19-2012, 07:08 PM
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Thanks, Marc. Thats a vintage 1978 Sansui G-9000 receiver (160 watts) in the hi fi setup. The power meters on it match well with the vu meters on the A-3440 I'm hoping to have my basement remodeled when I'm able to afford it, I would then be able to rearrange everything in a more organized & space-efficient mannar, but for now it'll do (I have more music & hi fi stuff stuff elsewhere in the house).

I just wanted to get reacquainted with the 3440 as its been a while since I used it, and I'm hoping the calibration/servicing that was justdone came out well, so I started last night by just recording some music from cd's onto tape (the seller who did the Cal provided some Ampex 631 tape. (I think the pic I took would have come out looking nicer with the larger 10.5 silver reels).

Recorded some Dire Straits, Ry Cooder, and Beatle songs from cd and just experimented a little with adjusting the 3440 input and output levels and seeing how the recording matched to the sound of the cd. For now, I just connected the A-3440 to Tape inputs of the Sansui receiver, but when I have more time, I'll hook up the recorder to the 2A mixer and MB-20 meter bridge, as well as to the RX-9 noise reduction unit.

I dont know if Sam is reading this, if so.. just wondering: is it ok if there is a slight "swivel" coming from the supply reel as a tape is playing, in other words- the tape moves slighty up and down a bit as its leaving the supply reel? Is there a certain procedure to wind tape so that it doesnt leave "ridges" (uneven packing) when you look at it sideview? Can the output level just be set at the max of 10 on the 3440 and then control the overall volume of sound playback with the volume control knob of the stereo amplifier? (in other words, whats the point of lowering the output level of the 3440 to say, 5, and then have to increase the volume on the amplifier?) When just recording music cd's onto tape, is the RX-9 unit a necessity to have in terms of providing a noticeable sound improvment (expanded dynamic range), compared to not using one at all? I imagine its beneficial when doing your Own recordings, but for just cd music onto tape, wasnt sure if it was as important. And, if someone doesnt have an RX-9, can a dbx model be used instead? ( I have three of them: 3BX, 200, and a 1BX III), I imagine they would be connected differently to the A-3440, as they dotn have the RX-9 connecting cable. Any info greatly appreciated, and Long Live the A-3440!
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  #16  
Old 08-19-2012, 07:13 PM
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ps: Oh, and another thing: I know that there are common issues with the older Teac recorders, but I was wondering if the electronic components on the various circuit boards are prone to typical age-related problems? In other words, are there many electrolytic caps that would benefit from replacement and further improve the sound quality of the A-3440 (and ditto the 2A mixer), or when a Calibration/Servicing is generally done, its more focused on the other parts- capstan, pinch roller, etc, and the ckt bds themselves are considered still good and usually dont need any attention?
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  #17  
Old 08-19-2012, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeatleFred View Post
ps: Oh, and another thing: I know that there are common issues with the older Teac recorders, but I was wondering if the electronic components on the various circuit boards are prone to typical age-related problems? In other words, are there many electrolytic caps that would benefit from replacement and further improve the sound quality of the A-3440 (and ditto the 2A mixer), or when a Calibration/Servicing is generally done, its more focused on the other parts- capstan, pinch roller, etc, and the ckt bds themselves are considered still good and usually dont need any attention?

It seems the caps in these Teacs have held up better than say the Revox decks, but at some point even they will need to be replaced. Everything has a limited life. I'd look into it when the deck malfunctions or no longer meets specs. There is no reason to do a "preemptive" cap job since the 3440 does not use known troublemakers.

Marc
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  #18  
Old 08-19-2012, 09:09 PM
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...............

Last edited by BeatleFred; 08-19-2012 at 09:30 PM.
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  #19  
Old 08-20-2012, 08:47 AM
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Hi BeatleFred,
The items in the A3440 that need attention are pots, capstan motor and belt as well as the Pinch Roller Linkage for grease issues. I have had a few electronics failures in the past but I would say that the electronic failures will come more often due to caps than in the past. The changing of a lot of Electrolytic caps by a good technician can not be that hard as the cards pull out the bottom and can very easily be done on the bench. Much easier than an X1000R or A3340S. They should be changed as they are going to be drying up. After 30 years of sitting and power being applied scarcely they can not be that long lasting plus this is not a large investment in parts.
Who knows, in 2 or 3 years the current Electrolytic capacitor might be all gone due to lack of manufacturing and then everyone will be scurrying around trying to find some and end up with the Chinese caps that won't be a plus to use. Nobody sees this better than I on the front line.
Get them done, date the board as to when and move on using a well operating machine.
The RX-9 is a unit that could have problems due to the high use of relays.
The real solution is to use the better DX-4D unit as they do both jobs all the time- the is 4 encoders and 4 decoders all the time. The control cable is not needed in that case as it was for encode and decode switching depending on mode. They (RX-9) are going to be costly to repair as well.
The dBx units are used for NOISE REDUCTION and nothing else. They do not make the music more dynamic and if they do that is because the deck is out of calibration and is showing a double error in the record process. When you use two track you can get away with no noise reduction, when you strat mixing the noise adds up. When you get to 8 tracks you for sure need it. With 4 tracks that can be a matter of opinion and a part of the recording process. I used it in many demos I did and it worked well all the time- then again my machines were well calibrated at the time unlike some peoples' decks that can be far off and the dBx just makes it worse. The FV cable and circuit in the DX-4D can be removed and circuit disabled- I have done a few and there is no need for that cable anymore. The DX-4D can then work just fine as long as the proper nominal levels are put into it.
Output levels and mixer settings. The reason a mixer or tape deck is set at what is called specified output level is that this is a setting which is giving a known output at approximately a 70% gain setting. Most mixers have a grey area on the panel at 70% area. This is put there not to make it pretty but to give indication that this is the unity gain setting of that circuit. The Unity gain setting is one where neither gain or attenuation is used for the signal. Gain adds noise as the signal is too low, attenuation is needed because the signal is too high. Due to power supply rails, it is best to stay inside of the good operating position of the power supply rather than having the decks output at max (again a gain setting) and to allow the deck to put out a sufficient signal without hitting the clipping point or that of exceeding the power supply rails that an Op Amp can handle. In studios I always set my machines up for the specified output position and then leave it there.
Tape pack is one thing that the newer better machines do best. They should all be this way but over time the tape deck makers did not start all of their decks out with the most latest technology. The decks like the Tascam 52 can wind tape with little scatter. The spooling mode packs the tape as if it was just played. The Tascam 42 does the same thing but looses some control over the tape due to the arm configurations. That is why the Omega drive was made and included in the 50 and 60 series decks. All you can do on a A3440 is to use good back coated tape and to make sure the reels you use and TZ612 are in good shape and to try and not get the reel tables damaged. The tension arms need to be kept clean and edges to a minimum and polished. It can make a world of difference like when JRF gets done polishing a head stack, there is no tape handling problem when he is done and the overall performance is enhanced due to it. This does not make the tape pack different but it travels across the heads much better.
Oh, the electrolytic caps should be changed prior to calibration as the better caps will make gain changes. I don't know of anyone who is willingly using 60 year old Electrolytic capacitors in their circuits.
I hope this addressed all the questions you had.
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Sam Palermo, BSEE, past Broadcast Engineer
Skywave Tape Deck Repair- Chicago area
(630)616-0932 Office/ 708-334-2260 Cell, E mail:skywavebe@sbcglobal.net
Past Teac/Tascam Lead Service Technician at Chicago Factory Service still doing repairs.
http://www.thumbtack.com/il/bensenvi...tascam-repairs
Need Tape? http://www.splicit.com/index.html, The BEST SM are from Stereomanuals.com!
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  #20  
Old 08-20-2012, 10:12 PM
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Hi Sam,

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply, as usual, your response was very informative & helpful, and much appreciated!

I forgot about using the DX -4D as a substitute for the RX-9, good idea.
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