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Thread: Tascam 688 MIDISTUDIO Story...

  1. #11
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    I scored a 688 for next to nothing from a buddy, it just needed a belt and a bit of cleaning. I love it, it’s become the center of my home studio. If I’m not using the tape function, I still sent everything through it on the way to my DAW. It’s kind of complicated, but it’s been fun learning all of its features.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    That’s awesome about your friend’s 688...cool!

    And no I haven’t cracked open the case on my 688 yet. But it’s high on the list once I do a little more poking around on my new-to-me console. Dealing with the battery and affirming my suspicion I need to order a capstan belt are the two main goals for that first look inside. I suspect the “real time clock” battery is referring to the same battery noted in the manual.
    I hope that's the case, because that means it should be an easy replacement. I'm hoping it's not some proprietary impossible-to-find part at this point.
    famous beagle

  3. #13
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    Hey Cory,

    So I got the 688 last week. The short story is that everything was working (mixer channels, displays, aux sends, meter bridge, etc.), and the transport was FF-ing and RW-ing, but it wouldn't play. As I suspected, the old belt was toast. So I replaced it tonight, and the transport is purring like a kitten. So that's super exciting.

    After a recording test, I learned that tracks 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are all recording strong signals (identical to the source as far as I can tell). Track 2 is very weak (almost inaudible), and tracks 7 and 8 are only about half the signal of the good tracks.

    Of course I cleaned the tape path, but that didn't change anything.

    The next thing I wanted to try was to exercise the ribbon connectors that run to the heads. And that brings me to my question. Have you opened this thing up yet? I've opened the right front panel to access the transport (obviously), but when I tried to remove the mixer-side panel, it wasn't coming up when I thought it would.

    I was just wondering if you'd been inside yet and if so, figured out how to remove the mixer-side panel.

    Thanks!
    famous beagle

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  5. #14
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    I haven’t opened mine up yet...but I know how it’s done. I don’t know how anxious you are to get in there, but I hope to be digging into mine in the next month and was going to make a YouTube video bringing the steps from the service manual to life.

    Very cool you picked it up, cool your buddy passed it on to you!

  6. #15
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    A video would be awesome. I look forward to it!
    famous beagle

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    Recording on all eight tracks then flipping over the tape and playing will show if the problem in on the record side or playback side.

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  9. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkrbee View Post
    Recording on all eight tracks then flipping over the tape and playing will show if the problem in on the record side or playback side.
    That's a great idea, thanks!
    famous beagle

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    I fixed my 688!

    After getting the mixer panel off and getting access to the connectors for the head assembly, I unplugged them all (one by one, of course), flushed them out with contact cleaner, and plugged them back in. Now all 8 tracks are working perfectly!

    Sweet success!

    So that's one free fully-functional 388 (which I was only able to get working 100% thanks to the unmatched generosity of sweetbeats!), and now one free fully-functional 688! I think all my years of bad luck with analog recorders are finally paying me back.
    famous beagle

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  12. #19
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    LOL that’s awesome!

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    Well I can say I have been inside. The one thing that makes these hard to work on is the lack of a couple of extra feet of wire. I have though of making extender cables but it takes time to find the right connectors. The 488 is also a pain in that the same thing is true, they cut cost so much but a couple of feet of extra wire would be a good thing to have in there. Most the wires I talk about are not audio wires but basic DC type wires.
    Since they have come out I have serviced many of them and there are a good many Porta Studios that have the Gear C problem like the 122 Mk III. The 112 is not direct drive but a very much cheaper design.
    Sam, Skywave Tape Deck Repair, Chicago
    Best regards,
    Skywave Tape Deck Repair, Chicago area

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