X-300 conversion to half track repro

Discussion in 'TASCAM Analog Forum' started by Laszlo, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. Laszlo

    Laszlo New Member

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    I have a nice example of X-300, and I am about to archive some old 1/4 inch half track records.
    I can play the tapes with the quarter track version too, however I think the quality will be better with the half track, and the information on the tapes ise unique.
    As far as I know, there is no half track version of the X-3 and 300, thus I cant buy a second head stack. Does anyone have some suggestions what other heads are good to try (with certain mechanical conversion) and put on a spare head assembly and use it for the purpose?
    I just had a look at the service guides of Tascam 32-2 and Teac X-300, and it seems to me that although head assembly layouts are different, the mounting holes look like identical, suggesting that I can put that head on the X-300 head assembly.. Can anyone confirm that? It might resolve my problem..
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
  2. SkywaveTDR

    SkywaveTDR Active Member

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    I do not suggest these kinds of ideas are followed through as it wrecks a working machine and amateurs usually do not know what they are doing changing head stacks for decks that were not designed for that is a mistake. There was a X-3 version that was a 1/2 track and it is called the Tascam 22-2. It is better to just get a 1/2 track machine to do the job.
  3. Laszlo

    Laszlo New Member

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    Hi Sam, thanks for taking the time and responding me on this matter. Specifically myself have the neccesary instrumentation and skills not to vandalize these nice old machines, that is not the intention. I believe putting in a second identical head assembly with a mechanically compatible half track head does not make any harm, I just get a more versatile machine at the end of the day. Not to talk about the fun and learning factor..Also, I do not have the budget and space to buy a new machine for each and every ideas of mine, my test bench is just in the half of my office room.
    Thanks for identifying the 32-2, I wonder if you are aware that the mounting holes of the heads of the 32-2 are also mechanically compatible?
    Cheers,
    laszlo
  4. SkywaveTDR

    SkywaveTDR Active Member

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    The heads are mounted the same way. The head base structure may not be the same. Mounting different head mounts does not mean the heads will be in alignment. Even heads I get from JRF are still off and it is the job of the technician to set them right. He does a optical alignment but I am not sure what that means- ever deck has different mechanical differences and to make the audio more correct these must be adjusted to. I have checked many deck that have plug in head stacks- ALL of them went tested are off but yes they work. The plug in head stack idea reduces you to the standards of Akai- nothing of quality but if sound comes out or not. I do not allow my machines to be that imperfect. Once I adjust a deck and calibrate it then the warranty is over if the heads are taken off or played with. The smaller 2 track deck was the 22-2 not 32. It is basically a X-3 with a larger pulley on capstan motor and 1/2 track heads with a small amount of variation in design for the motors and levels. I just finished working on a A6600 that was modified- the stripped out screws in the back of the deck tells me a lot about who worked on it. But suffice it to say it did work forward 1/4 track and reverse was 1/2 track. The 2-3dB level difference was there but when I was done with the unit the difference was less than 1/2 dB between the two.
  5. Laszlo

    Laszlo New Member

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    I always enjoy your writings since you bring in your vast experience, thanks for that. The 32-2 has the larger housing (for the 10" reels) and very similar transport, except that they put a dual capstan with the same single servo controlled DC capstan motor..(I dont think it helps a lot..). Hence the base plate of the head assembly is different, but the mounting holes look exactly the same..That is why I am hoping..but never seen an X-3 and a 32-2 head side by side, that is why I am asking..
    BTW, realigning and adjusting the head stack for me is a means of practicing and learning..that is my hobby, and I dont mind..just the opposite of your position (which I fully understand), which is dealing with the lack of labour and running against the clock to return the machine perfectly serviced to the owner..I respect that!
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
  6. Laszlo

    Laszlo New Member

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    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
    Evgeny and -mjk- like this.
  7. Evgeny

    Evgeny New Member

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    laszlo, thanks for the table from openreel! Very usefull info.
    I think, you know about different equalizations? Of coarse, you can use EE-position for tune X-300 to 70 us, but what you should do with 3180? I think X-300 is not the best choice for old records. I'd prefer MechLabor STM-310, it is much better, especially its late versions (like -32, for example).
    Hint: X-300R is not exactly 2-track version, but it can grab 2-track DIN-records better then X-300 (without R) providing that 1&2 channels of repro-head will be connected to left repro-amp and 3&4 channels - to right one. :)
  8. Laszlo

    Laszlo New Member

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    Evgeny, I do share your concern regarding tape handling, however I do not have too much choice. I have the X-300 to do the job. I have a tascam 34B too, but it does not do 3 3/4 IPS which I need for the tapes, and the transport is the same anyway.. The tapes are badly stored sticky, rigid and thin tapes. Probably the archiving will be their last action in their life..I am still thinking how to move on with this. Maybe lowering the tape tension of the X-300?
    Yes, an STM-310 would be the solution, but I dont have one, neither the space it needs ;)
    BTW, the Mechlabor Studio Tape Recorder section got purchased by a former employee, including all tools, plans and licences..I am hoping for them to revitalize STM (and head) production..
  9. Laszlo

    Laszlo New Member

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    BTW, any hints how to mod the 34B for 3 3/4 IPS? Maybe it is better than replacing the head stack in the X-300..But I doubt it cant be done with a simple electronic add plus EQ setting..
  10. -mjk-

    -mjk- Moderator Staff Member

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    You'd better bake those tapes first or you might not make it though them without destroying them in the process. Please don't ask how I know!
    Laszlo likes this.
  11. Laszlo

    Laszlo New Member

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    Yep, just found a great collection of trusted methods to do that. I have a food dehidrator, so I will do it with that..
    -mjk- likes this.