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Thread: Tascam 38 Problems with playback and recording

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    Tascam 38 Problems with playback and recording

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    Hi,
    I have just purchased a Tascam 38 which looks great but, is currently not working properly. It hasn't arrived here yet, but this is the problem with it as described by the seller:- 'Meters light, and all channels except ch2 display input on the VU's and work on the sync head, however I can"t get any channels to record. There was some audio on another tape I played back, but it was muffled and of low level, though showed fine on the meters.'
    Does anybody have any idea of just what I have let myself in for here! I mean is it the heads or something else? I hope someone can help me as being a Tascam reel to reel I just couldn't resist it at 150.00 ($236.00) and there is no possibility of me being able to afford buying one without some problem to solve on it. They are just to expensive to buy in tact here in the UK!
    Ed:

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    Just to be clear, have you cleaned the heads? They should be shiny and metallic. If they're black or brown it usually means they're choked with oxide and that would cause problems similar to what you're describing.

    Related to that, what kind of tape did it come with? If it's Ampex tape, it will tend to disintegrate and coat everything with goo, with similar results.

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    Hi,
    I am still waiting for it to be delivered to me. I am just hoping that the guy that I have bought it from hasn't already done what you have suggested. It sounds interesting though. As soon as it arrives i will take a good look and come back to you. Many thanks!
    Ed

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    Oh, I missed that it hadn't arrived. I assumed you had seen the problem first-hand. Might have been better to post a 'should I get this?' thread first, but there you go. I have some DBX units for a '38, if you're interested. (And if the '38 works correctly)

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    Hi again,
    I had to make a quick decision as I saw it in the closing minutes of the Ebay auction. I thought I could always move it on for spares if I can't get it to work. It would be great to restore it though! I don't know much about the DBX side if things I'm afraid but it would be interesting to know what you have!
    Ed

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    Quote Originally Posted by ed_thebear View Post
    Hi again,
    I had to make a quick decision as I saw it in the closing minutes of the Ebay auction. I thought I could always move it on for spares if I can't get it to work. It would be great to restore it though! I don't know much about the DBX side if things I'm afraid but it would be interesting to know what you have!
    Ed
    I have a pair of 4DX noise reduction units which I got around 2002-2003. I was planning to get a '38 myself, but instead found a TSR-8 going for a song. Those have built-in DBX, so the units have been sitting on the shelf since.

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    Hello,
    I have had this tape with me for a few days. I have gone trough it and cleaned everything. The heads were as you said with an Apex tape on board. I have included some images of the heads which I hope are clear enough for some sort of opinion on them if not from you then maybe from another member of the forum. I can see that there is wear, but I don't know enough to tell if they have had it or not. Also my eyes are not so good these days. Hope you can help. I have a new tape & demagnetizer on order.
    Ed

    heads-1-jpgheads-2-jpgheads-3-jpg
    Last edited by ed_thebear; 02-19-2012 at 03:00.

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