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Thread: Tascam 48-OB Story...

  1. #1
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    Tascam 48-OB Story...

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    Well friends, whilst I wallow in indecision about what caps to purchase to recap the PSU in my invalid 58, I itched to do something, so I dove in and started refurbing the 48-OB that I got with my 58-OB a couple years ago...I figure with my skills at second-guessing myself with caps the 48 will be up and running before the 58...

    Anyway, it is a very clean and straight low-hours 48...solenoid cushions are goo so I got two of the three solenoids cleaned up and cushions replaced last night. This 48 will also need a reel motor as I robbed one out of it for my 58 before I had a parts 48...and I can't recall from where but somehow I have two other reel motors as well now so I should be able to find a good one in there.

    Overall I'm hoping the refurb process will go much faster with the 48 than it has gone with the 58 since the 58 has had to wait for all the learning and acquisition/fabrication of all the right tools to do the job, but now armed with said gear and some knowledge it should be much easier.

    I know the 48 has also got a channel card that is not passing audio, but I have yet to see if it just needs to be reseated, and if it is more than that I do have the parts deck.

    Here is a shot of the heads:


    Of course it needs some cleaning up...

    So next I'll get that third solenoid cleaned up, get a reel motor put togother and installed, clean it up and start checking/adjusting systems.

    Here is a shot of the 58 and the 48 together right before I went to pick them up...

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    Ahh.. another 'Tascam _ _ _ _ _ _ story'.. I LOVE THOSE!!

    Very low use tape path you've got there.. Kinda reminds me of my own 48.

    Cory, shhhh, between you and I, don't go overboard with the refurb job on this one.... I lova ya man but that '58-OB story', especially toward the end, brought a tear to my eye, not to mention an anxiety or two...

    ---
    I think if your album is good and your live act is even better... that's when you know you're listening to one of the greatest musicians/bands of all time.

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    Cory, shhhh, between you and I, don't go overboard with the refurb job on this one.... I lova ya man but that '58-OB story', especially toward the end, brought a tear to my eye, not to mention an anxiety or two...
    You and me both, pal...you and me both. Its been a learning process on several fronts.

    If you've read the latest on the M-520 Story thread you might have picked up that I am starting to learn something...I finally decided to dash ideals, finish getting the board cosmetically clean and then get it into the control room and start using it; dealing with repairs updates as I go rather than not using it until its "all done"...it doesn't work that way.

    The only upside to the catastrophe on the 58 is that (thanks to Ethan and others) I've learned a ton so far in the process of resurrection which will speed up other issues as I come across them in the future, but believe me, your words don't need to be hush-hush. I am openly over the top and get myself over my head. I will try to exercise good and careful judgement on when and when not to "go there" with the 48. I might be able to track to analog after all with that demo project that has been delayed...I've met with the client and we will be tracking scratch vocal and piano tracks to the DAW in the next couple weeks, and who knows? The 48 might be ready by then. I'm not going to push it though. If it works out it works out. Pushing takes all the fun out of the refurb.

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    The word is 'Glutton' lol. But seriously, those heads look near perfect, get that baby going!


    having said that, I look at my !#$#$!^#!@ Otari 4-track trying to decide what to do about the loose recording head (hence it works/doesn't work etc.) I have been SO tied up with my real life I just can't seem to find the energy to get my song demos recorded - I need a vacation followed by two more vacations to re-energize.



    AK

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    AK...What's the deal with the record head on your Otari???

    Stripped mounting screw or something?

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    So I got the third solenoid (pinch roller) cleaned up and the new cushion installed this eve, and found a good reel motor in my bunch. The lead is short, so that may get a little tricky getting it installed once its soldered to the Joint PCB, but I think it'll be okay.

    Some observations on the 48...

    I'd stated some time back in my 58-OB Story thread my preference for the 58 over the 48 for a number of reasons...
    1. more robust tension arm design with roller bearings on the 58
    2. 1/4" aluminum mounting plate for all transport mechanisms vs. the formed steel version on the 48
    3. front access for channel cards and cal trimmers on the 58 vs. underside access on the 48 (which was an issue for me since the rack the 58 is in is fixed-position, but now that I have a CS-607 rack...)
    4. and of course the capability for a full-function remote on the 58...
    5. Cool EDIT scrub-wheel on the 58
    6. triple-guide with scrape filter tape path vs. 2 guides and no scrape filter
    7. nothing beats a really big head-gate either like on the 58...its just a cool looking deck IMO...

    Well, after the fracas I've put myself through by partially cooking my 58 and getting really familiar with its innards whilst I slowly repair it, I can tell you something the 48 has over the 58 hands-down...The 48 PCB mounting design/frame is WAY better...what I'm talking about is the overal logic in how/where they mounted all the PCB's. For one thing, though it may be an inconvenience to have the channel cards accessible from the bottom, it is worth getting over because all the trimmers are accessible at the edge of the channel card vs. three layers on the 58 cards. Plus, all the other PCB's are so nicely accessible. On the 58 it is a major chore to access the PSU PCB and the interface PCB for example...removing the Mother PCB was a mother. All the 48 PCB's are all mounted horizantally on guides. Two screws and the PSU PCB slides out...likewise for the interface PCB. Just a much smarter, more serviceable efficient design. Other 48 positives are the slick ceramic capstan shaft (BTW, hope you never have to pull the capstan motor on a 58...I still haven't figured out how to get to the capstan PCB on the 58...the 48 capstan motor is right there), no achilles-heel RCA jacks on the 48, and all the PCB access is gained by removing the upper bonnet panel in the back and then tilting the I/O panel out. If I was a field tech back in the day I would bemoan a call on a 58. Even the mechanical layout on the 48 is more logical...solenoid linkages are more robust and direct. So while the 48 lacks some of the professional robustness and features of the 58, it makes up for it in refinement. It commanded my respect as I sat there and marveled at the construction revealed by the yawning I/O panel.

    That's all for now.

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    The reel motor I picked wasn't running so hot, and the wire lead was really short so I opened it up, cleaned the commutator gaps out with a hobby knife and soldered in a longer lead from a different motor. Tested it out sitting on top of the 48 and it is a sweet motor. Runs quiet and fast with lotsa torque. Hopefully install it tonight.

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    Cory, thanks for an A / B on the 48 / 58. My thoughts exactly as I've owned both. I mean, I still have the 48 and one of the reasons I decided not to service the 58 [but rather sold it], was the horrific internal design / access. I always say that if TEAC married the positives of both units and removed the negatives, you'd have a perfect design, like going with the 58 robust, bomb proof, transport and making servicing / access more user friendly, like on the 48.... and yeah, throwing out that RCA design / mounting [on the 58]....

    --
    I think if your album is good and your live act is even better... that's when you know you're listening to one of the greatest musicians/bands of all time.

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    Here I go again....

    I wonder if there is a way to retro-fit the 58 head mounting plate to the 48....

    I have a parts 58 on the way thanks to member Paul Warp...maybe I'll mess around with that between the two parts decks. Sick...wrong...I'm thinking that it will entirely not work now as I picture the two plates and the tape path in my mind...I have to look though and see if there are extra mounting holes in the 48 plate for another guide or the scrape filter...I've got the one removed from the parts 48 so I can hold it up to the 58 a get a real good visual comparison. I'm not going to pursue this one unless the simplicity of it jumps up and bites me.

    The other thing I was wondering about is if I'm a bit too jaded about my opinions of the tension arms...a proper sleeve bearing like on the 48 tension arms may actually be quieter than the ball bearing rollers on the 58 depending on the age of the two. I also like the placement of the tension arms on the 48 better than the 58 from a statics point of view. I really noticed it when I was trying to resolve that tape path issue on the parts 48...do you remember that, Daniel? The tape was getting pulled toward the deck in REW? Anyway, I never resolved that issue, but that was the first time I had run tape on a 48 and the 48's tension-arm position seems to be able to handle transient load changes better than my 58. I think it is interesting that, since the 38 and the 58 came out at the same time, yet they differ so greatly in the tape path configuration, and the 48 that came out later follows the 38, but the MS-16/ATR60/ATR80 decks are like the 58...who knows...

    And here would be a really hairy project...wire up a 48 to utilize the RC-51 full-function remote. Doable having the schematics of both and assuming that many of the circuitry conventions are likely the same. I'm not going to do it. Nope. Need to actually record something first. Yup....promise...I do...yup. But I have the basic 58 remote, the RC-50, and I don't want to buy an RC-71 too...wonder if I can make an ELCO to RC-71 style adapter and use the RC-50 on the 48...

    Cory, thanks for an A / B on the 48 / 58. My thoughts exactly as I've owned both. I mean, I still have the 48 and one of the reasons I decided not to service the 58 [but rather sold it], was the horrific internal design / access.
    Yeah...in all seriousness, when I go back and forth looking between the 48 and the 58 opened up, the 58 is sort of Wing-Ding Dilly-ish, for those of you that know the story...No disrespect meant to the engineers and design department, but in some ways it looks like somebody said "Okay, where are we gonna stick the PSU then?" and then somebody goes "We still got some room over here in the side...couldn't we just tuck it over there?", whereas the 48 looks like a group sat down and said "Okay people...We have this space here. How can we fit these components in to utilize the space efficiently and maximize access while minimizing wire runs?" That last point I forgot to mention too...the PCB's are ordered more or less from top down in logical order...the PSU is right under the transformer, and then the Control and interface PCBS on one level right below that and so on. Very logical.

    Pictures of both for perspective:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 58-rear-parts-location_1_1-jpg   48-rear-parts-location_1_6_1-jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    in some ways it looks like somebody said "Okay, where are we gonna stick the PSU then?" and then somebody goes "We still got some room over here in the side...couldn't we just tuck it over there?", whereas the 48 looks like a group sat down and said "Okay people...We have this space here. How can we fit these components in to utilize the space efficiently and maximize access while minimizing wire runs?"

    Pictures of both for perspective:
    Cory, were you listening when I pretty much said the same exact thing upon examining both machines? HA!

    Yeah, it's like somebody threw everything but the kitchen sink into the innards of the 58, with little thought involved but the 48 looks like they really obsessed about it and it looks it. For people like myself, who are obsessed with order, cleanliness and such, the 48 is a God send.

    Excellent pictorial perspective of both machines. Thanks!

    BTW, I like your creative thought and passion that you have for the machines but lets not go crazy with the tinkering, OK?

    EDIT: Were you not able to align the tension arms using the screws underneath?

    ---
    I think if your album is good and your live act is even better... that's when you know you're listening to one of the greatest musicians/bands of all time.

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