Saturday, July 31, 2021

"First Light" with TEAC A-4010SU

 And the verdict is.....It's running too fast. I'll have to go into the Service Manual and see how to check and adjust the speed. I tried several of the recorded tapes "The Colonel" gave me, including the Bob Hope tape after I was sure the deck wouldn't eat it, and they sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks. I recorded some songs from a local FM station using  the Pioneer receiver at both 3-3/4ips and 7-1/2ips, and they play back great, so some components or adjustments have shifted between when the tapes were made on this deck and now.

You can tell it's Bob Hope talking, but the tape is sped up to the point that it's not really listenable.

I looked up some of the artists whose names are listed on the tapes, and they're mostly from the 1930's and 40's, swing, and big-band stuff. And a couple of the artists had notes on their bios that all their master recordings  were destroyed in the 2008 Universal Studios Fire. I don't think these tapes are "valuable", but I'll ask around on some of the vintage tape forums.

So the radio and speakers work fine, and I can play records on the turntable without crazy feedback, and if I make my own recordings, I can play them back fine, but to me, the deck still has a problem.


  1. There should be a speed selector on the front panel - the tape version of 78-45-33. There was on my dad's, there was on mine. Which makes sense. There was the hi-def record and then the lower-def extended play, it's how you get a 40-60 minute tape and an 8 hour tape, on the same size reel with the same length of tape.

    Like right on the front panel, somewhere near the heads on the lower third.


    What tells me that there is a speed selector is the tapes are recorded on one speed and yours are recorded on aonther.

    1. The deck has two speeds, 3-3/4 and 7-1/2. Even the slowest speed is too fast. The service manual mentions checking the pinch roller pressure on the capstan, but that checks out. The only other thing it might be is that I somehow got the capstan drive belt on a "wrong pulley step" per the manual, but the belt path is a straight shot, with guides on it, so I don't see how I messed up.

  2. Congrats on getting her running.

    I learned to bounce tracks and edit with a cutting block and razor blade on an otari mx-5050 in college. I just checked prices and they are NUTS.

    At my frat house, we ran all our party music off of reel to reel. One guy built the tapes, and they played all night without any intervention needed. Good times.


    1. I was an "A/V Geek" in high-school, and I used to keep the machines in the language lab clean. Did a lot of tape (and film!) splicing back then and in college. Made my party tapes the same way. Later, I dubbed them to cassette for friends. This is fun as it brings back memories.

  3. Ouch... That's going to take some work to sort out.

    1. The motors are AC motors, so their speed is locked to the line frequency. Since the deck is rated "115V/60Hz", that's not a problem. I suppose I could have goofed up installing the belt, but "It Just Fit Right", with proper tension, and the alignment looked good.

      Oh, well...time to take the front panel off so I can peek in there. Once the belt is in place I don't have to pull the screws mounting the assembly, like I did to get it in there.....


Keep it civil, please....

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