TSR8, plays fine, signal shows on meters, will not record

Discussion in 'TASCAM DIY Repairs and Mods' started by Sean Kerns, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. Sean Kerns

    Sean Kerns New Member

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    Gear:
    TSR8, 38, 32, 22-2, 122
    Hi all,

    Working on a TSR8 that I inherited from my father. He used it to do voice-overs in his home studio in the 90's. I have several reels of 1/2" which play fine, his and mine, but when I try to record on it, I get nothing.
    Signal shows on the meters as expected, record arm lights work on the channels and the red light on the record button comes on, but when I play back, the tape is still blank. This same tape, BTW, has some stuff recorded earlier which plays back.
    Any ideas what to look at here? The machine overall seems to be in good shape.

    It does have a couple of other weird things though, that I'll ask about if I can solve the record mystery.

    Thanks,

    Sean
  2. cmaffia

    cmaffia Moderator Staff Member

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    From:
    Queens, New York
    Gear:
    2 x DM3200, DA-3000
    I had this machine in the 90's. Sold her and the Tascam Mixer as well in 2009. When you play back on the track you recorded to, do you see any signal?
  3. Sean Kerns

    Sean Kerns New Member

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    Hi,
    Newly "recorded" tracks do not show anything on the meters (or make any sound) when played back. Previously recorded tapes play back fine.
  4. cmaffia

    cmaffia Moderator Staff Member

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    From:
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    Gear:
    2 x DM3200, DA-3000
    Sounds like it could be your outputs from mixer to the TSR-8 are incorrect. Are you able to monitor the signal of what you are trying to record before recording?

    I remember the TSR-8 having 8 x 8 RCA I/O. Assuming you're wiring is correct, I recall having to make sure monitor input (ALL or Auto Input) is not engaged upon playback. It's been a long long time since I used this machine so this is all from fuzzy memory.
  5. Sean Kerns

    Sean Kerns New Member

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    You are correct that All Input does cut out the playback, but I have tried every combination of the others, to no avail. I put audio in 1-2 input in the back, I can see it on the meters, I record arm tracks 1-2, hit play/record and the blinking lights go solid, but when I play back, nothing on the meters or the output. I'm at a loss.
  6. cmaffia

    cmaffia Moderator Staff Member

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    From:
    Queens, New York
    Gear:
    2 x DM3200, DA-3000
    It's quite possible that it will require servicing. I would suggest finding a Tascam Authorized dealer in your area and give the machine a complete overhaul. Before I sold mine I had this done and they still service these older machines.
  7. soul

    soul New Member

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    Gear:
    TSR-8
    Hey Sean,

    Bringing your thread back from the dead, hoping I can bring my TSR8 back too. Did you ever figure out why? I am having the same problem. Everything's wired up right, tape is good, I clean the heads. I would love to know what you ended up finding out. thanks!
  8. soul

    soul New Member

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    Hey, solved it. Had to clean the recording head really well. I was just cleaning it carelessly. Made a difference to get up close and really clean it. Now I'm trying to figure out why its slowing down on playback, guessing tape tension.
  9. soul

    soul New Member

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    New problem for anyone out there with TSR8 knowledge or general reel to reel troubleshooting skills. So I got the tension adjustments on the tape two sides pretty even (i dont have a tentalometer so cant tell for sure) but it will play normal speed, then all of a sudden it will start playing at double speed and random change. Any idea what is causing this? Is it a bad board? or do i just need to do a better job setting tension?
  10. SkywaveTDR

    SkywaveTDR Well-Known Member

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    From:
    Chicago area
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    Teac, Tascam, Sony
    It is wrong to touch the tension when not having the right gauge to set the tensions. I do not suggest it but then I have 7 of them in my shop- Are they important to have? Hell yes.
    The slowing might be a belt getting lose and even if the belt is still good many people go and change belts thinking they are smart but never pull the flywheel out and oil the capstan bearing.

    I don't even know what they used for oil but in view of all the other things they did wrong, I don't trust their oil so I clean the bearings out and put AMS Signature series synthetic motor oil in the bearing and in the tests and machine I have done the capstan shaft feels very slick when going in the bearing and the wow and flutter numbers bear this out. I had a Teac A2000R that was well used give me a wow and flutter of .02%. This reading without that oil had never been seen before. Listen to the pros that find out what is good. The oil I use is 0W30.