BR20 may be the newest item but parts still hard to find

Discussion in 'TASCAM Analog Forum' started by SkywaveTDR, Oct 13, 2021 at 10:41 AM.

  1. SkywaveTDR

    SkywaveTDR Well-Known Member

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    I had sent to me a deck that was hooked up to a system that got hit by lightening. One channel was said to be low and what I found out was between cal and uncal of the output the Pot was being switched by a 2SJ40 FET P channel transistor. Well I went looking for them and they are not all that plentiful. I ordered some and they are on the way but the parts such as the pot and this FET are not very easy to get and so you should consider this in the selection of models. The BR20 is an excellent deck- like the X2000R I still do not like that head mounting type as it has very limited movement and is more difficult to work with.
  2. BRDTS

    BRDTS New Member

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    much!
    Interesting that you mention this.

    What, in your opinion, are, say, the two most-easily serviced 2trk and 4trk quarter-inch Tascam reel machines at the moment?

    A Studer a827 is sooo full of specialized eprom microprocessors etc, that I really worry about anyone owning those longterm.

    On the other hand, Chris Mara can fully restore a jh24 to run for the next 50 years via parts from Walmart :)

    As I've mentioned around here over the years, I was one of the first 10 US authorized dealers in the 70s for 90-16, series 70, 80-8, 25-2 etc....and then on to the later machines as well as for Otari.

    At this point in time, I'm thinking of grabbing several 2trk, 4trk machines strictly for creating down-generation dumps back & forth from the daw.

    I also still own a couple of tsr-8s (which as I remember you don't like) that I still love for their synchronization capability in the compact size. But they are actually a little too pristine sounding for some of the dump projects.

    I can certainly get grit via 4-6 passes through a 3340 (non-solenoid) or 80-8 with n/r off. But I'd like to keep things to quarter-inch and I don't really ever want to deal with 3340s again (oh how many times I had to send customer 3340s/2340s out for servicing).

    Opinions? By the way, I'm in LA. You're in Chicago, right?

    I used to visit Montebello regularly. Knew Chang etc. In fact, one afternoon, Chang and I sat in the lobby while he hand-drew resistor changes on one of the foldout schematic pages for an 85-16b so that it would do 30ips (which I did and then un-did a few weeks later) as well as he (and as I remember a guy named Rick was sitting there as well) troubleshot and corrected two 85-16bs not synchronizing correctly.

    I had both 85-16 machines up there (as you remember, they would dismantle enough to throw in the back of a car), those ungodly snakes of umbilical cables, the autolocaters, if-1000 and all those split-out cables that had to route to four diff connection spots, plus the synchronizer.....it was a nightmare!

    But Chang got them to work! Specifically, neither one liked to revert to ext sync slave. At the time, Chang and I discussed how I had been in NY for the 1977 AES and Tascam had two synchronized 85-16s there in the booth. He scrunched up his face and said "yes, well we didn't implement sync the way we needed to, but we've got that corrected for future machines".

    Which, imo, they did end up implementing beautifully for all the future machines after ms16.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021 at 5:21 PM
  3. SkywaveTDR

    SkywaveTDR Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I talked to Mr. Chang a bunch of times as he was in charge of the Employee sale and I was one of the largest buyers there. In CA I dealt with Jimmy Siccaguchi, Merlin Morgan, Jim Finch and a number of people that were let go a time ago. Carlos was in parts. Matt Suzucki was Manager at the time and he works at Fostex Now.

    The best deck to get for 1/4" seem to be the best ones they made which is a 4 channel deck called a 44OB. It has Woelke heads in it and a very good transport. They did not make a 4 channel 50 series deck or the ATR60-4 was probably 1/2" tape.
    I am outside Chicago at the SW corner of the O'Hare Airport. Paul Mara will not be keeping machines going for 50 years as he will not live that much longer. Plus Walmart does not have any parts that I have ever seen to go onto deck and most the stuff they have there is Chinese junk.
    The A7300-2T or the 4 track version was a direct drive machine but we started having trouble with the motors and the edge connectors in the audio section are cracking at ends. That hard black plastic does not last as long as these machines can and they really need to be replaced but trying to find 14 position connectors is pretty hard to do as if they do not make them anymore. it would be easy to put different connectors but the cards mount by use of the connector. Other decks like the A6600 did not use these but still had connectors.
    Sometimes it is best to stay with simple designs like the A6100 and then I have a pulley made for motor speed slowing which I have encountered over the years- no one else seems to do anything about that and it makes me wonder why?
    Synchronizes was Jim Finch's specialty as we in Chicago never had much to do with them. I have a 85-16 in my basement with new heads on it but it is not a complete unit from a fire we had in 2005 but I am sure it is good for spares.
    The A3340S is a great machine but you need to do the mechanicals right and then be careful with the head switch system as those switches are not available anymore I had designed a new PCB that is always cracking but then can not get the old 6 pole switches. The A3440 deck had it's problems too but they are not on there or the 30 series decks. I work on all machines except the real old ones that would be those before the A4010S. The A2050 has Idlers in it and a lever transport so it is not worth it. The A5300 and A5500 were a wreck as designed by Fostex people. You can tell by the use of model car motors for the reel drive. I asked management once why after all the great machines they made did they have to come up with A5300 and A5500 decks and the answer was Fostex did it.
    The 80-8 and 40-4 suffer from the relay problem as well as their dBx units but I might have a retrofit for them at some point as Kurt Jacons is making retro kits for the S301 in X2000R and also now X1000R kits for all those Alps reversing switches.
  4. SkywaveTDR

    SkywaveTDR Well-Known Member

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    There are very few of us left that still work on this stuff. Myself, Russ Bachmann in NJ and maybe Jim Finch in Oregon although he hurt his back and may not work on larger stuff anymore. I am training guys but it takes some time to get them up to speed. Adrian Pro Audio over in CA is almost done. Tom in Nashville now only does cassette decks. There is no wonder why I have 185 almost all the time in back log.
    -mjk- likes this.