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Thread: TSR8 - Registers signal on meters, plays back fine, will not record?

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    TSR8 - Registers signal on meters, plays back fine, will not record?

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    Hi all,

    Working on a TSR8 that I inherited from my father. He used it to do voice-overs in his home studio in the 90's. I have several reels of 1/2" which play fine, his and mine, but when I try to record on it, I get nothing, on any track.
    Signal shows on the meters as expected, record arm lights work on the channels and the red light on the record button comes on, but when I play back, the tape is still blank. This same tape, BTW, has some stuff recorded earlier which plays back.
    Any ideas what to look at here? The machine overall seems to be in good shape.

    It does have a couple of other weird things though, that I'll ask about if I can solve the record mystery.

    Thanks,

    Sean

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    Typically,if the tape is not threaded wrong,playback with no record means there is no record bias.Also,because the previously recorded tape is not erased,also points to no bias.Meters always show input,unless playing back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wkrbee View Post
    Typically,if the tape is not threaded wrong,playback with no record means there is no record bias.Also,because the previously recorded tape is not erased,also points to no bias.Meters always show input,unless playing back.
    I've only tried recording on parts of the tape which had no prior recording, but I'll look into setting the bias.

    Thanks.

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    Maybe a dumb question, but how the hell could the bias be so off so as to not record at all from just sitting???

    It almost sounds like the tape is loaded wrong. As if the oxide side is on the outside.

    (Except for the fact that the tape plays)

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFR View Post
    Maybe a dumb question, but how the hell could the bias be so off so as to not record at all from just sitting???
    I wonder the same thing, honestly. I mean, not record well, maybe, but not at all? Nothing? I've been wondering if there's a single component which could be responsible for this, if it had say, shaken loose on the car trip back from IL, or a relay that could be stuck, that kind of thing. It's an awfully complete failure to just be an adjustment problem. And this 356 is the tape my Dad used on it. The actual same tape, in fact.

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    Well, i dont know the answer, but if the thread stays close to the top, sooner or later someone with knowledge will chime in.

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    Regarding tape, 356? Never heard of it.
    Are you sure it's not 456 and gone sticky?

    Are the heads clean? Just running a sticky tape for a little while can gum up the heads.
    I dont know if it can completely stop recording, but have experienced it severely degrading it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seankerns View Post
    I've only tried recording on parts of the tape which had no prior recording, but I'll look into setting the bias.

    Thanks.
    If you don't know what you are doing, attempting to"set the bias" will just make it worse.
    Take the same portion of tape that has recording on it and see if it erases.If it does not- there is no bias.There are test points on the record playback cards to verify bias with an oscilliscope.Poking around while not knowing what you are doing will just make it worse.There are plenty of basic tape recorder theory docs online to get a handle on the how/why a tape recorder works.

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