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Thread: My new Tascam 388

  1. #1
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    My new Tascam 388

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    Hi there, just recently bought a Tascam 388 for 350$.

    The overall cosmetics is really good but thereīs a few things that bothering me. First of all, channel 8 seems quite dead.
    I tried to put my microphone to channel 1 and reassign it to all the channels and activates the rec buttons for channel 1-8 and puts the pan controls to center position, i talked in the mic. and looked at the VU-meters, all the channel showed the same input levels except channel 8 that did nt move at all, or just slightly.
    I have managed anyway to get signal to the channel but at high levels the sound is distorted, and I really have to push the rec. levels at maximum to even get there..

    Is there somethong I can do about it??

    Track 3 also distorts when recording to itīs inputs, but you can record tracks on it by using other inputs and reassign them to track 3.

    And another problem,,, When I tried the access jacks on of the sockets fell off:
    I put the socket away thinking Iīd fix it later and went ahead on another channel instead, same thing there, the socket fell off when I plugged the cable into it!! A few minutes later I sat with 6 sockets in my hands, all from the access jacks and one from the input on track 5... I tried to put these things together but I had a really hard time, and did not succeed. Any tips on how this should be done. The inputs works anyway even if loose and put in place together with the cable, but I have to fix it sometime anyway.

    If this is TOO hard to fix, can I buy a patchbay and connect every access snd/rtn from the studio 8 into the patchbay and always have them connected this way. Then I wont worry about them being loose????

    Sorry if the questions is kind of stupid, but I am not really technical and also new to analog recording, but what the hack, if you donīt ask then you donīt learn..

    Have a nice day, and thanx for the quick responses

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    Bump ... come on y'all, don't make me look bad! I told this person to re-post in here (instead of the tascam forum) because he'd get more hits probably!
    famous beagle

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    It could be a number of things but, based solely on your description, it looks to me like this unit sustained some type of internal damage, perhaps during shipping and may show cracked or loose PCB's and connections.

    Try to carefully re-seat the audio cards, accessing them from the top of the meter bridge, for the problem channels. If that doesn't work, try swapping for good channels.

    Alarm bells went off when you describe that "access jacks on the sockets" fell off. What exactly do you mean and can you provide a photo?

    --

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    Arrow I agree with cjacek,... this is not good.

    The Access Snd/Rcv jacks should only be used if you're patching effects inline to the signal,... otherwise they should be "empty". That they fell off doesn't bode well for the overall condition of the machine,... and if I may say, is highly unusual. Pics would help, but I don't wanna repeat e'thing cjacek said so well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Bob
    ... subtleties of sound make a difference to those who really listen.

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    Thanxs guys for the fast answers!! I am swedish so my english is not the best perhaps.. ... I donīt know the words for every part of the unit and I dont have a camera to provide you with pictures.. but Iīll try to explain which parts that fell off.....

    When I plugged in an ordinary bass guitar line cable into the access jack the jack simply fell off. And when i say "jack", I mean the black part where you put the cable into, and the hex nut that is supposed to keep it in place.
    No parts from the inner side of the unit fell off, just the visible part..
    Do I make any sense at all?????

    I can still put the jacks in place and stick a cable into it and use the jacks, but whenever I pull out the cable the jacks will fall on the floor.


    this happened to 5 of the access jacks, including one line in jack. I have to mention that it ONLY happened when I used the bass guitar line in cable, which is quite heavy, with the patch cable I have it didnīt happen... Which cables should you use anyway?? The manual say you only should use Tascam cables, but I donīt know where to find those, and wonder what type of cables they are??

    If the jacks cannot be repaired and stay stable, I need a solution for the use of the snd/rtn jacks, as I will use them a lot. Is it really a bad Idea to have them permanently connected to a patchbay of any kind, and just connect the effect box to the patchbay instead of the studio 8??

    Iīm quite new to reel to reel recording and I guess Iīll have a lot more questions about my new unit that Iīll ask you guys from now on,,,, I really want to be able to record beatiful music with this machine.

    Thank You and have a lovely day..
    /Hans

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    Arrow Your description is adequate.

    Still, it's highly unusual for these jacks to fall off, with the nuts becoming detatched. I'm not sure if that would indicate a prior trauma to the back of the machine. Perhaps, if the jacks were being used and plugs were in them, and the back of the unit received a sharp hit, it could break these jacks off as you've described. If they're not used (empty), I hardly see how a back panel hit could break them,... but anything is possible and apparently that's what you're dealing with. I'd consider epoxying them to the back plate with the nut, but that would preclude ever taking them apart for maintenance, if that ever came about.

    Routing the Access Snd/Rcv jacks to a patch bay for ease of use is a workable idea, if you consider one thing. The Access Snd/Rcv are both a "normally-closed" socket/jack. If you route the Access Snd/Rcv jacks to a patch bay, you're opening up the signal path of the channel. To implement this properly, you'd either need to have the effect/accessory always plugged inline, or you'd need a "jumper" cable between Snd & Rcv, to complete the signal path when effects are not in use or hooked to these patch points.

    I don't think the required cables for the Access Snd/Rcv jacks are any different than your standard guitar/line cable with 1/4" plugs on it.

    A factor in my analysis is that I typically never use these jacks or efx, for the most part. It's hard listening to new users receiving their 388s in damaged condition. Access Snd/Rcv jacks being broken is a new one, though!
    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Bob
    ... subtleties of sound make a difference to those who really listen.

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    more on my tascam 388

    Thanxs for the answers, Iīll take your advice about the loose sockets a reel person, and thanks for the info about patchbays.

    Iīll try to reseat the ch.6-8 audio card, but before Iīll do that, I think I need a little tips on how to do that properly without any risk to damage the unit.

    I have also found more errors on the machine thatīll need to get fixed. Iīve noticed that the monitor pan/gain controls doesīnt work on channel 5.
    I can record and hear the track while recording, but when I playback I hear nothing, only when I go to remix mode and have the red L/R assign switches down, then I hear it all perfectly. So there must be something with the Monitor Pot(s) on that channel.

    there is also some problems with the left pinch roller. Sometimes when I ff for a while and press stop, it makes some noice as it stops, it looks like itīs somewhat a little bit loose and shaking a little bit. I also noticed that the left wheel is a little bit windy when it moves, not as stable as the right reel.
    Iīm pretty sure Iīve threaded the tape correct, using the left as feeder reel, but it packs the tape very uneven, actually I think it touches the flanges slightly. How can I try to fix this???



    Before Iīll use this machine to record stuff with my band I need to know that itīs in good shape and I would really want to do some kind of calibration. Iīve read through the manual and realised that itīs quite a tough job to do the complete calibration without basic knowledge of electronics. Itīs especially hard for me because of the fact that itīs not written in my native language. Is there a quick calibration method, just to check the most basic stuff??

    Iīll try to post some pictures of the heads, which I think are in good shape.
    I connected the studio 8 to another tape player (ONKY TA-2026,1985) and pushed REC on both the tape deck and the studio 8, i then played some chords on a clavinet connected to the studio 8, and then rewinded the tape and rehearsed the recorded signal. Everything was recorded by the tape deck and when I compared the unrecorded line signal vs the recorded signal, I couldīnt hear any difference in the freq. response. That would at least indicate that the tape heads are in decent shape at least??


    Iīm really thankful for any advice, and Iīm hoping a lot for you to answer as I know you guys really know this machine...
    thank you and have a great day
    /Hans

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