Well, the MSR ain't gonna have NR


New member
FALKEN said:

this is a quote from the usrecordingmedia website. This section is on how to choose a test tape:

maybe a re-bias isn't necessary?

I just ordered a some 1/2" 456 and GP9 and some 1/4" 456, GP9, and 406 for mixdown (they still don't have 1/2" 406) to do some "experiments".

If anyone's interested I can post a clip of the first song I recorded on my E-16 which was on GP9 (biased for 456) and another song on 456 to hear the differences. of course you can't conclude much from one song but I am going to do a whole bunch of songs and switch the tape a couple times just to see which is best for my needs.

Re-bias as well as checking tape tension IS REQUIRED if you want your heads to survive 2006 with GP9 or the hoards of other high-output tape formulations.

Seeker of Rock

The One and Only
witzendoz, good info. The tech replaced the capacitors on the cards linking to channels giving the most problems. I believe he also replaced transistors on the cards? I'm electronically challenged, but I believe that is what is was in addition to the capacitors. He was relatively sure this was going to fix things, but unfortunately did not. I don't think, and I'll tell you about that in a second. The top guys at TASCAM, at least the guys substantially familiar with reel to reel units and particularly the MSRs, have stated it is likely an IC problem, which they do not have access to the chips.
Now I have the MSR back and plugged it in today. Faulty arcing cable is fixed, everything sounds fine in idle, not meter readings at idle, etc. Now I went through the Dolby again, and it was like this before since I have owned the machine, and this is what I find. I know from my tech that the machine was recently tampered with, the internal guts. I wonder if they reversed the Dolby so it is on without engaging the switches and vice-versa. Without Dolby engaged, the machine is quiet, even as I recorded all 16 tracks simultaneously today, nothing but a little hiss, very small and only really noticeable when I am running the monitors at about 8 or 9 on a scale of 10. Now when I engage Dolby, you can hear very intermittent noises that you know are not supposed to be there, but the hiss alone is what you notice. ALOT of it at the same level. Nothing obscene, just kind of like my 488MKII WITHOUT it's NR engaged. Weird, but whatever the case, I think after putting all 16 channels into record and hearing the result, I don't think I will even come close to having a problem making this work for me, as there is not a lot of hiss.
Still need to order the GP9 tape, and plan on doing it today. Thanks for the links Beck :) :) :) BTW, the tech said the same thing about the 456...sure use it as a scratch, but expect some high-frequency loss on it.

Haven't recorded anything new, I don't really plan to except for just referencing my drum kit levels until I get the GP9, but played back short drum tracks I already had on the tape, just scratch tracks, and man did I miss the sound of that machine. I absolutely love the sound of it, and that's even going through (I know, cough cough, shun shun) cheap Nady monitors. :) :) :) :) :)


Senior Member

What you will find is that on the MSR24S there are 12 cards in the back that pull out, one for each pair of channels, on each of these cards there are 2 Dolby noise reduction cards. It is the capacitors on the Dolby cards that need replacing. To get to some of the capacitors you need to unsolder the Dolby card from the main board.

I will have a look round in the next few days and see if I can find what values we used, I do know they where common parts that only took a few days to find. We did try only replacing the dud ones the first time we did a board, but the other capacitors went out of spec about 6 months later so replace all the caps on the noise reduction boards.

We originally thought there was an IC problem but replacing the caps did the trick. If the problem remains or a new problem appears, check the soldering around the tracking on the circuit board, one of the boards I had fixed did not work at all when it came back but I managed to fix it myself as there was a bit of solder across one of the tracks. This is very fiddly work.

On the subject of tape I always used EMTEC (BASF) 911 for the last 10 years, hard to find now but was great on the MSR machines.




Great info Alan,

I'm intrigued. It makes sense considering aging caps are probably the #1 bane of the vintage recording world.

Thanks for the input,


Senior Member
More info if the photos load,


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Senior Member

The capacitors are off the shelf parts, in actual fact you will find that you can get capacitors with the correct values but with a better spec. Caps with a better spec will last longer and the manufacturing of the caps has also improved since the original boards where made.

Glad to see the photos where of interest, I try to help out where I can as I hate to see a great recorder out of action due to a few dollars worth of parts.

When you find a tech that can do the soldering, they will know where to get the parts from. Finding the tech is the hard part.