DIY Alignment and Calibration

poopchute

New member
I know this is an old thread. But I wanted to add something. Do you ever notice how on youtoob there are videos for this and that. There are videos that show how to disassemble specific types of receivers (hi-fi stereos) and even how to troubleshoot old guitar amps. But there doesn't seem to be ANY videos that go thru and show someone how to calibrate a consumer level reel to reel.
I personally learn much better if I see someone do whatever it is that Im trying to learn. And honestly, even with as smart as I am, (genius level) there are some areas of calibrating a reel to reel that I dont understand.
If I knew what I was doing I would be more than happy to do a video for my Tascam TSR-8.
Is there anyone out there that is up for doing some videos?
 

miroslav

Cosmic Cowboy
There are plenty of YT videos showing the basics of how to calibrate a R2R...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUMtN2kQtqw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW5kifLh598

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgxpHlkhdAo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr7_2XeKDj0

etc...etc...etc...

Thing is...not all consumer grade R2Rs have as much alignment capability like the more pro decks do....but for those that do, the basic procedures are the same...though each deck will have some specific steps that only apply to that deck, like the location of adjustment points, etc...you just have to figure out how to apply the process to your specific deck if you don't have the step-by-step procedure from the manual.
I'm sure someone here has a TSR8 manual with with procedures....plus, you need certain tools to do an alignment.
 

poopchute

New member
miro, those last two videos are along the lines of what I was thinking. But it still would be so nice for more knowledgeable members to do more videos especially for some of the consumer grade machines. Like some of the most common Tascams, 22-2, 32, 34, TSR-8 and so on. The first two videos I have seen before, but altho the procedure may be similar. There is nothing like seeing someone work on the exact machine you happen to own. Think about it like spreading accumulated knowledge for newbies and potential newbies so that people can get or stay excited about Analog machines and recording. Cause, if we dont help other less knowledgeable people it really will die out and then there would be even less people to talk with and learn from...
thanks
 
I often hear of people buying all the equipment and then still having trouble doing the calibration. This is because what they did not get is a part that is badly needed which is called experience. This can only come from an old timer that has been doing things the right way for many years. Yes I use a scope and none of those computer gimmicks that can be harder to understand for a beginner than a real scope- why make things harder in trying to make a compute a scope or an I phone for that matter.
No wonder I get all these question and when I find out the DVM is being used for output measurement I make corrections on that right away. The most common part used on a bench is the AC millivolt meter such as the Leader LMV181A and of course a switch box to route all the channels to the meter. On one bench I have an Audio precision one plus and have bought one for bench 2 as well. These can for a cost supply you with most all that you need for tape deck calibration. It take a little bit of time to learn to use them.
I do train people at my location to a limited extent due to lack of room when I have 200 units here to work on. I am trying to get rid of them.
 
miro, those last two videos are along the lines of what I was thinking. But it still would be so nice for more knowledgeable members to do more videos especially for some of the consumer grade machines. Like some of the most common Tascams, 22-2, 32, 34, TSR-8 and so on. The first two videos I have seen before, but altho the procedure may be similar. There is nothing like seeing someone work on the exact machine you happen to own. Think about it like spreading accumulated knowledge for newbies and potential newbies so that people can get or stay excited about Analog machines and recording. Cause, if we dont help other less knowledgeable people it really will die out and then there would be even less people to talk with and learn from...
thanks

I help people all the time by E mail and phone but there is no time to do videos as it take too much set up- I do not make video like some do on the ocean. Videos are not always the answer but talking to a guy who has worked on all those units hundreds of times will be of the most benefit. I have worked on all of those many times and so working at Teac factory Service did not hurt.
 
Watching a person do a calibration on a 2" deck costing thousands of dollars and try to apply that to cheaper decks will not be all that helpful as they are two entirely different type of products and are actually adjusted in different ways. I have done both so I would know.
 

shakemake

New member
skywave hiya!

I am in the process of aligning the heads and calibrating my tascam 238. and needless to say i am very lost. got a test tape which doesn't work and then to make matters worse i tried doing some level calibration with this! didn't work surprise surprise. yes, i am very silly. anyway, i was wondering if you (or anyone else) would be able to give me any advice as to what i'll need to perform this calibration.(so far i've gathered i'll need a test tape, an unopened tape of the type i intend to use on the machine, a voltmeter (particularly confused about this, most of the ones people use on videos on youtube are old analog ones but i presume you can use a new one provided it is a true rms rated in the audio range, is that right?), and an oscilloscope (can i use a computer for this).
My god that was a long bracket, anyway, I guess any help any of you kind and very knowledgable folk could offer me i would be very grateful for.
Thank you
FInn
 
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