Well, the MSR ain't gonna have NR

Seeker of Rock

The One and Only
My tech said he replaced capacitors or transistors (sorry, I'm electronically challenged) in the bad Dolby amp cards but it did not fix the problem. He A/B'd it with and without Dolby and said there is little difference, it is not producing much undesirable noise. He suggested I use it without the NR, so it looks like that's what I am gonna do. Sucks that he wasn't able to fix the NR, but so be it. I'll work with what I have to work with. I am happy that I finally get to pick it up and take it home, though. :) :) :)
 
Does this mean that you are not going to have noise reduction on all the channels or just the defective one or ones?

If it's a matter of only a couple of channels not having it, I don't see a major problem as you can use those affected channels for recording parts that have a pretty consistent part to them in level and bandwidth like a rhythm guitar or keyboard part that can effectively play loud and constantly enough to mask the hiss. But, if we are talking about the entire machine going without noise reduction on all 16 tracks, that could pose a more serious issue as hiss is a cumulative thing that will become pretty noisy with 16 tracks all hissing away at the same time. If that's the case, I would strongly suggest finding a more competent technician who can properly fix the technical issues.

Cheers! :)
 

Han

New member
Everything is repairable, the MSR is quite noisy without NR so it'll better be fixed. Do you have the manual with the schematics? I do have it from the MSR24S if you need any copies.
 

FALKEN

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u can probably get by without NR by using GP9 tape.

if the dolby is only affected on two channels I would say you are good to go ahead and use it. you can even do a 'poor man's' dolby on those two channels.

if u are totally bummed out someone is selling a G-16 on gearslutz that looks pretty sweet.
 
B

Beck

Guest
Seeker of Rock said:
My tech said he replaced capacitors or transistors (sorry, I'm electronically challenged) in the bad Dolby amp cards but it did not fix the problem. He A/B'd it with and without Dolby and said there is little difference, it is not producing much undesirable noise. He suggested I use it without the NR, so it looks like that's what I am gonna do. Sucks that he wasn't able to fix the NR, but so be it. I'll work with what I have to work with. I am happy that I finally get to pick it up and take it home, though. :) :) :)

Time to call Tascam Service Dept.

Does this tech know what he's doing? These cards are rarely beyond repair, unless the main Dolby IC is toast. And he should only be replacing parts if they test bad, not guessing.

I may have already posted this link in previous threads concerning your MSR, but make sure you've got someone qualified.

http://www.tascam.com/service_centers.php
 

Seeker of Rock

The One and Only
TASCAM Service e-mailed me back saying the same thing...they cannot service the Dolby cards. Amp Services is a qualified TASCAM repair center, and after doing a search of other, closer places, seems to be the most qualified place in Florida. Maybe I'll call TASCAM service just to get a more personal message and info than the e-mail reply they sent saying "No. We cannot service that."

Ghost, the MSR Dolby is activated in groups of 8, so chls 1-8 activated separated from 9-16. I asked him to group the good cards to the front channels so I could at least use the Dolby on those channels, but apparently it does not seem to be in the cards now. After replacing some parts on the offensive cards, apparently the machine was quiet but then acted up again, so Beck it may be as you said, the IC for the Dolby system is bad.

He suggested as an alternative to internal Dolby, to use an outboard Dolby SR unit (or two, I guess, if they are only one channel) as I go out of the L/R main outs into the mastering deck. Would this be effective? And I guess I'm still a bit puzzled on where the Dolby is applied...before going onto tape between signal and tape input or after onto tape going back out. Seems to me it would be before going onto tape.
 
B

Beck

Guest
Ok, I went back and refreshed my memory from your older posts.

Too bad about the NR.

I would keep knocking on Tascam’s door though – phone calls up the chain until you’ve run out of options there.

Some of the old-timers there are very familiar with known issues like a common failure in those Dolby circuits. It’s taken me two or three transfers to get answers for some issues. They have some gatekeepers that will keep you from the people in the know.

It wouldn’t hurt to call around to other shops, even out of state with the chance you will reach a tech that has dealt with the specific problem.

Dolby is an encode-decode system… the audio goes through an encoding process as it goes to tape and then back through a decoding process from the tape on playback.

For now 68 dB S/N is not the end of the world, which is about what you have on that unit without NR. Keep your levels hot and give some other tapes a go. Both EMTEC/BASF SM 468 and SM 911 have a slightly better S/N ratio than 456… every dB counts.
 
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Seeker of Rock

The One and Only
Thanks, man. Calling around is probably the best thing for me to do. First things first, though. I am going to do some all channel record tests this weekend and see how bad it is. To get more substance (width of the tape for recorded signals) I plan to record to two tracks from single sources on softer songs, so there will only be 8-10 of the tracks being used. Higher number tracks will be on the full bore songs where, as Ghost pointed out, the hiss may not be as noticeable. Oh well, I'll test it this weekend and see if I want to look into fixing it or not.
 

FALKEN

*************************
I dont think doubling up tracks is going to do anything for yer noise problemo. it will probably make it worse, in fact.
 

Seeker of Rock

The One and Only
Doubling up is just for tape saturation...you more signal on tape when I'm not using the other tracks. Obviously the more I use, the more hiss potential.
Anyway, I'm not as concerned about the hiss after plugging in the MSR and hooking it back up to the board. I'm a little more concerned now about the fucking LEDs all reading a steady -7 across all channels. Hmmm, I thought to myself...that doesn't look quite right. After making the connections, more good news...a nice electronic hum that is obviously what those meters are reading. Now this is present without any connections so Merry Christmas Seeker of Rock, now your machine is more fucked up. Damnit, I can't win for losing. The tech is supposed to return my call before he leaves today. I have a couple of questions for him. ;)
I think it is time to call TASCAM. Now it will be around $100 shipping for each way. I would hate to spend that and hear "we're sorry, we can't fix it." But after my experiences thus far, and this guy is TASCAM authorized, that I would trust anyone locally. At least with TASCAM I think I will get a definitive answer at the least, a fixed machine at best.
 

Seeker of Rock

The One and Only
Yeah, and what it's reading is a nice buzzy, electronic hhhhhuuuuuummmmmm. Ya know what, I think I'm going to make lemonade out of my lemon...I'll just market myself as the artist that deliberately records with hum...it will be my gimmick. Humor important in times of despair. Well, it wasn't really good humor, but can't blame a man for trying. :)
Oh yeah, Tom the tech says, as I put the phone up to the monitors so he could have a little listen, "I've never heard a reel to reel do that before." No shit Sherlock, I may be green in the electronics field, but no shit, me neither. He says "it wasn't doing that at the shop." Well I want to believe he is an honest guy, he seems genuine, but I personally drove the machine home and took great care along the way. Yeah, it wasn't doing that when I dropped it off to him last month either. Sorry, venting a little. :(
 

Han

New member
You know, I'm working right now with old Agfa PER 555 tape on the MSR, without Dolby S and this tape is really quiet, much more quiet than Ampex 456. Emtec 900 is a very nice sounding tape and very hot too.
 

arjoll

New member
Seeker of Rock said:
Yeah, and what it's reading is a nice buzzy, electronic hhhhhuuuuuummmmmm.
Try taking it somewhere else and plugging it in there, just to eliminate power as a problem - not that power would explain why it wasn't doing that before.

Next step - get a new tech.

Also I'm not sure what consumer laws are like where you are, but if you've paid him anything then in NZ you would have a case under the Consumers Guarantee Act to claim at least a portion back, or have him pay the other tech for his services. Would pay to talk to your local Community Law Centre (if you have such a thing) and find out what options you have. I know Americans like suing at the drop of a hat :eek: so surely there's some option ;)
 

arjoll

New member
A footnote - keep trying with the MSR.

Last month I went up to Dunedin to transfer some work I'd done in '93 (on sticky 456) from an MSR16 (dbx version) onto the PC, and was reminded what a nice machine this was to work on. 12 years and one baking later everything still sounds great, and once I get some decent monitors I'm going to have fun mixing it the way it should have been done in the first place.

You could always just pop it in a crate and come over with it and I'll see if there's anything obvious wrong :D
 

FALKEN

*************************
Seeker of Rock said:
Yeah, and what it's reading is a nice buzzy, electronic hhhhhuuuuuummmmmm. Ya know what, I think I'm going to make lemonade out of my lemon...I'll just market myself as the artist that deliberately records with hum...it will be my gimmick. Humor important in times of despair. Well, it wasn't really good humor, but can't blame a man for trying. :)
Oh yeah, Tom the tech says, as I put the phone up to the monitors so he could have a little listen, "I've never heard a reel to reel do that before." No shit Sherlock, I may be green in the electronics field, but no shit, me neither. He says "it wasn't doing that at the shop." Well I want to believe he is an honest guy, he seems genuine, but I personally drove the machine home and took great care along the way. Yeah, it wasn't doing that when I dropped it off to him last month either. Sorry, venting a little. :(

where have you been taking it to?
 

Seeker of Rock

The One and Only
Always wanted to see New Zealand. That is a tempting offer, but the plane tickets would kill me. :D
Yeah, I love the sound, well I used to. The tech says "well, do you want to bring it up and I'll see if I can find out what is making the hum?" I'm sure it would be without charge, obviously, because by deductive logic I can be pretty sure it was doing this before it left the shop. Damn, I should've had him plug it in before I left with it. Anyway, I think I'm going to call TASCAM to at least see what they say. Like I said before, $200 to ship to and fro, but I am assuming I would get a definitive answer. Either that or I start shopping for another, which does not seem like a bad idea at this point, and sell it as is to someone for dirt cheap who knows what they are doing and can fix it. Hmmm...that Otari MX-80 is sounding a little better now, if I was to take it somewhere locally and get it checked out first. Guess I have some decisions to make, and I'll start with a call to TASCAM.
 

FALKEN

*************************
the MX-80 is gone, unless u know something I don't. :D

May as well take it to the guy if its free.
 

Han

New member
Seeker of Rock said:
Yeah, and what it's reading is a nice buzzy, electronic hhhhhuuuuuummmmmm. Ya know what, I think I'm going to make lemonade out of my lemon...I'll just market myself as the artist that deliberately records with hum...it will be my gimmick. (

The MSR is quite sensitive for the electromagnetic field of transformers. My MSR24 was suffering from a fair amount of hum in the first eight channels and a little less in the next eight channels during playback. It turned out that this was caused by an Alesis wallwart which was at some 10" distance from the machines left hand backside. After removing the Alesis sucker the hum was completely gone.
 
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