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Author Topic: Help With DAT Recorder/Repair/Purchase used???  (Read 6253 times)

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Offline flphish

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Help With DAT Recorder/Repair/Purchase used???
« on: February 15, 2015, 04:06:09 PM »
Long story short, I went to bust out my old Sony PCM-M1 recorder today after a few years to listen to some old DAT's when low and behold I remember it is not functioning! It plays tapes but then they come out with a couple of inches of tape sticking out! In the past I would to go to Pro Digital (Paul) but I am pretty sure he is out of commission. Does anyone have any suggestions or know where I could pick something up for playback that is not too expensive or where I might be able to get this one repaired? Thanks in advance.

Offline schoepsnbox

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Re: Help With DAT Recorder/Repair/Purchase used???
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2015, 01:14:21 PM »
Long story short, I went to bust out my old Sony PCM-M1 recorder today after a few years to listen to some old DAT's when low and behold I remember it is not functioning! It plays tapes but then they come out with a couple of inches of tape sticking out! In the past I would to go to Pro Digital (Paul) but I am pretty sure he is out of commission. Does anyone have any suggestions or know where I could pick something up for playback that is not too expensive or where I might be able to get this one repaired? Thanks in advance.

Paul and pro digital is still in business new location and phone number:
610-690-4444

Offline H₂O

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Re: Help With DAT Recorder/Repair/Purchase used???
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2015, 02:24:49 PM »
You can pick a Sony PCM-R500 or similar deck for around $100 - It is probably not worth the cost to have Paul repair a portable deck at this point in time - run at least $180

Here's are PCM-2600 (direct predecessor to the R500) claimed to be in good working order currently for about $100 shipped:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sony-PCM-2600-Professional-DAT-Recorder-Player-Works-Well-WATCH-VIDEO-DEMO-/191512719089

Paul does charge much less for full size deck repairs as they are easier to work with (less labor costs).

Also full size decks much more reliable then the portable decks.
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Offline danlynch

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Re: Help With DAT Recorder/Repair/Purchase used???
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2015, 02:52:22 PM »

I just bought a used Sony PCM R-300 for $100 on ebay.  Arrived in 5 days and its extracted 3 DATs very well. 

A few tips:

1.  A lot of decks on ebay are "working" because the person turned on the power and it lights up.  Many people don't have the tapes to actually check if its good working order.  Make sure that the deck has been tested.  The one that I bought last week was reported to be tested by two techs, and so far that has proven true.

2.  Lean towards decks that come from studios, for several reasons.  The studio people know its a dead medium and have no attachment to the deck.  They'll sell a fine working deck for $100 just to get rid of it.  Also, the deck was likely maintained and not overworked.   Home deck people tend to be like us, they have an attachment to the deck, think its worth more than it is, and probably beat the living hell out of it.  I ran my DAT decks night and day back in the 1990s, cloning like mad.  All of my decks were/are toast.

3.  Be patient.  The decks will come.



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Offline H₂O

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Re: Help With DAT Recorder/Repair/Purchase used???
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2015, 04:40:36 PM »
As I have stated in a number of previous threads, IMO If you buy a used deck I would only buy one of the following 4 motor Sonys decks period:

Sony PCM-R500, R700, 7010, 7030, 7050, 7040, 2600, 2800

Sony DTC-A8, A9

The best by far is the 7040 but it will not playback 32Khz or LP tapes - it has advanced error correction with a large 1MB buffer and reads through tapes the others won't

I presently own a Panasonic SV-4100, Sony PCM-R700, a Sony PCM-7040 and 8 or so SGI SDT-9000 DDS3 drives

I have owned D8, DA-P1, SV-3800, Fostex D-5 - I have never regretted selling these

I always go the DDS route first and if I get errors go to the PCM-7040 for 44.1/48 Khz tapes or the R700 for 32Khz or LP tapes - I only have kept the SV-4100 as it's the only deck I bought new

All of the decks I own I can easily repair myself as well - The 4100 is a little harder then the Sony's but not much - The 7040 uses a Sony DDS drive transport so you can easily find replacement parts as well (except the heads and boards)

Most decks ebay that are listed as having issues probably only need the pinch roller replaced (which is a $20-30 part) - When a pinch roller goes appropriate preasure is lost across the capstan motor causing the tape to slip (possibly leading to the eating of a tape - if bad enough) - They are rubber and will eventually fail over time - I have replaced these on all my decks over the years.

It is hard to tell who is selling a good deal or not but on the Sony R500, R700, 70x0 series you can have the seller give you the head hour counter to give you a good idea of how much use the deck has on it.
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Offline phanophish

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Re: Help With DAT Recorder/Repair/Purchase used???
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2015, 08:49:42 AM »
So I have a related question.  I've got a Sony PCM-R300 that worked fine before I stored it away at least 4 years ago.  I purchased it new and it has been lightly used.  I dug it out a few weeks ago to transfer a show for a buddy and it is throwing errors on the heads.  I'm reasonably sure the heads are in good shape to I'm hoping it is just in need of a good cleaning or something in the transport is causing the tracking to struggle, hence the errors.  Any tips for cleanup and maybe likely issues to look for ?

Thanks in advance!
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Offline GLouie

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Re: Help With DAT Recorder/Repair/Purchase used???
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2015, 11:58:41 PM »
It could be your buddy's tape - it's deteriorating, or the machine it was recorded on was adjusted slightly differently than yours.

The easy practical way to clean is to use a DAT/DDS cleaning cassette. These don't actually clean the tape path very well, but can usually wear away general tape head clogs and get you going. The common wisdom is that they are very abrasive and may cause excess head wear if used too much. IMO the best way to clean is to open the unit and use video head flat chamois sticks VERY carefully to clean the drum and head poles. I use ordinary cotton swabs in alcohol on the rest of the transport. If you've never done this, I don't recommend you start now.

Offline H₂O

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Re: Help With DAT Recorder/Repair/Purchase used???
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2015, 11:01:24 AM »
You will need to open it up and watch it load and play a tape

As I have stated a million times if the deck sits for a long time the rubber components can dry out (pinch roller and belts)

Pinch rollers tend to become concave as they dry out and the tape will have the wrong tension across the heads
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Offline phanophish

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Re: Help With DAT Recorder/Repair/Purchase used???
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2015, 07:36:40 AM »
You will need to open it up and watch it load and play a tape

As I have stated a million times if the deck sits for a long time the rubber components can dry out (pinch roller and belts)

Pinch rollers tend to become concave as they dry out and the tape will have the wrong tension across the heads

The playback issue is happening with multiple tapes so i am comfortable it is not a tracking issue.  Any idea on sources for replacement rollers and belts?  I'm thinking that may be my issue. 
______________________________________________
Audio: MBHO 603/KA200N or AKG C2000B>Edirol R44
http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/phanophish

Photo:  Nikon D300, D200, 35mm f/1.8,  50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.8, Nikon 17-55 f/2.8, Sigma 18-50/2.8 Macro, 18-70 f/4.5-5.6, 24-120 f/3.5-5.6 VR, Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6, Nikon 70-200 f/2.8VR, SB-800

Jake: What's this?
Elwood: What?
Jake: This car. This stupid car. Where's the Cadillac? The Caddy? Where's the Caddy?
Elwood: The what?
Jake: The Cadillac we used to have. The Blues Mobile!
Elwood: I traded it.
Jake: You traded the Blues Mobile for this?
Elwood: No. For a microphone.
Jake: A microphone? Okay I can see that.

 

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