Saturday, July 24, 2021

TEAC A-4010SU Tape Recorder

 This one's a big SCOOOOORE!

Not only is it cleaner than expected, I met the original owner, who's the grandfather of the young guy who listed it. He bought it new, at the BX, while he was stationed in "Viet Nam" with the Army.

The heads show some wear, but it's what I consider "acceptable", and the tape path, pinch roller, and capstan are really clean. He said he took good care of it, and it shows. It's got some smudges on the front panels, but they're easy to clean with some of the stuff I used. The wood case is in amazing condition considering he had it so long, and it was shipped around while he was in the Army.

They gave me a head demagnetizer, and a bag of spare replacement parts, including a new pinch roller, capstan, and TWO complete sets of belts for it.

And the original manual, warranty card, and bag of accessories.

Even before the young guy brought the deck out, he said his Grandpa also had these two boxes of "Tapes and Stuff" that I could have if I wanted. Not having any tapes, or empty reels for that matter, I said sure, and we loaded those in the car.


I was given Fifty-Six Ampex tapes with program material on them, Eight brand-new sealed-in-plastic tapes, Ampex 341 and Maxell Low Noise tapes, and Six brand-new empty take-up reels.

This is over $800 worth of free goodies, and I'm indebted to them.

 And one of the tapes is a live recording of a Bob Hope USO tour, two reels worth.

So I'm stoked about this, and will do a "Cleaning/Lubrication" check per the manual, and then see what's on some of these tapes. I don't need several reels of "Beer Barrel Polka" and several reels with "Sound of Music", "Sounds of Lerner and Lowe", and "The Music Man" on them. I'll check the tapes to see if the media matches what the box says, and run them through a bulk eraser.

Looks like I won't need to buy any recording tape for quite a while.....


  1. Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude...

    I bow to your dudeness.

    Total score.

    Dad had one, and it was wonderful.

    Wife bought me one, and the cats destroyed it via liquid means. Along with the really nice Yamaha stereo (not as nice as the stuff that Dad got from Japan when he was in Korea or the stuff obtained via air transport from others in Japan, as in "Hey, Bob, going to XXX in Japan, whaddya need? Stereos, guns, scuba equipment, housewares?" And they'd be aboard a C-141 sometime next week... Ah, the good old days.

    Seriously, good score. Good God, you scored.

    1. Thanks, Bean!

      The guy was a seriously cool Old Guy. He was a Colonel in the 635th CSG, and some of the tapes are stamped "388th CSGp Welfare Fund".

      He told me one of tapes had LBJ speaking to people, but he didn't know which tape. Wonder if it's on the Bob Hope tape?

  2. WOW! What a good haul! And a Teac to boot! Congratulations!

    1. I was looking at Pioneer decks at first to match the receiver, and then I started reading about which companies made "Really Good Stuff", and realized TEAC was just about top of the heap.

      TEAC was always out of my price reach back in the day, and I went with Sony.

      Quite a deal for $350!!

  3. Nice! Had one of those back in the day. A word of caution on the tapes. They are OLD and can/will flake if there is something you REALLY want to keep (Bob Hope concert), recommend recording it as it is played.

    1. I was worried about that, too, until I found this website:

      Some tapes were VERY prone to flaking, or getting "sticky", or getting a "white powdery residue" on them. This website has the rundown on all the brands of tape, tape formulations, which are "bad" tapes, and which are "good" tapes.

      Turns out all the Ampex, Maxell, and Scotch tapes he gave me are in the "good" category, and suffer much, much less degradation over time than a lot of the the other tapes.

      But yeah, I'll probably digitize that tape as I play it. And start looking for another deck, which I might have to sneak in "after hours".....

  4. Very sweet!

    I don't think I've even seen that many tapes in one place. For sure not since the college library in the '70s. Just deciding if anything is worth keeping could keep you busy for the rest of the year.

    1. Yeah, I'm going to have to buy a bulk tape eraser!

      It's apart on the bench right now. The main drive belt was in three pieces when I pulled the front panel to lube the motors and capstan. Luckily I found a YouTube video showing how to replace it, but it's quite a job.

      Oh, least it will get a "Full Factory Service", new belts, lube, cleaning, and tightening all the hardware and ground points.

      And I put a new AC input socket on it that uses a current 3-wire power cord. The original AC socket had a twp-wire cord, and since I didn't get a cord with it, and it was easy to swap connectors, I went ahead and did it last night.


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