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Thread: 388, engaging play spins reel too fast

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    388, engaging play spins reel too fast

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    I'm looking to buy a 388. I found one for a decent price (for these days, anyway, as the price is shooting up...). However, the seller told me that when engaging play, the reel spins too quickly. He claims that all that is wrong is that a new drive belt is needed. Does this sound like a plausible assumption? How many other problems could potentially cause this? I'm wondering how much I will actually spend at the end of the day to get my 388 functional, and whether I WILL get it functional. Otherwise, the unit is said to function 100%.

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    What do you consider a decent price? A problematic 388 doesnt have much value, and if the tape side is non functional, you are left with a very large heavy 8 channel mixer

    As far as the reel spinning too quickly, the reel tables are direct drive while the capstan is belt driven, so I do not think it sounds like a belt issue.
    If a tape is not loaded, and you hold up the tension arms and press play, the takeup reel WILL spin very fast....its the capstan that regulates the speed of the tape, and the takeup reel motor just keep a constant tension on the takeup side. if there is no tape loaded, the takeup servo/motor is trying to tension up a non-extent tape and will run like blazes. If there is a tape properly loaded and it runs fast, then check to make sure the capstan roller is pulling in against the capstan shaft. It it is not, the takeup reel motor may still pull the tape at a fast speed, and the problem lies with the pinch roller solenoid. If the tape is loaded properly, the capstan and roller are engaged, and the thing STILL runs fast, then .....I'm not sure, but there probably is an internal speed adjustment for the tape speed. It should not have so much range that the tape is screaming thru the transport however.....


    Oh yeah, make sure the varispeed is set to internal and is shut OFF.

    Check it out and let us know.

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    Thanks for your reply, technoplayer!

    I suppose it's a decent price for a *working* 388. I've seen them go on ebay for 750$ + shipping (another 150$). I found it for significantly less than that.

    I'm going to speak to the seller tomorrow and ask him to see the unit in person so I can try to test as much of what you're talking about as I can. He may not even have tape loaded when he's checking the speed and claiming it's too fast... Who knows, I'll find out.

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    Yeah, test the heck out of it before you commit.
    EBAY is not necessarily a good reference point...often this seem to be overpriced and over-described there.
    My "reference": I see local pickup 388's going for the $200/ $300 range on Craigslist here in Dallas. I paid $200 for my current one, and it came with a stand. I bought one recently for parts in ok shape with a supposedly non-functional tape side and paid $50, figuring the parts I could salvage for my good 388 and what I could sell to other board members was worth that. Turns out it hust needed fuses and adjustment.

    I think top end market price for a "perfect" 388 ifor someone who rellay wants one is maybe $400-$450. Other board members may have a different take....just my opinion.

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