Firing up an old TEAC A-2300SD

Discussion in 'Tape' started by judsonw, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. judsonw

    judsonw Active Member

    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    After it has spent over a decade wrapped in plastic in my parent's garage, I have finally took my dad's old TEAC A-2300SD to my apartment and will be setting it up next week. (Note: my dad is still around, but about 15 years ago he was planning on getting rid of the old reel to reel with all of the reels he had, and being in high school, I said I would take them instead).

    Anyways, interior when viewed through the grating on the top looks dusty, and I have not yet checked to see the state of the rest of it. Any pointers for things to clean or check before hooking it up and putting on the first reel again?

    I am excited to look through the reels again; almost all of them are bootlegs of concerts he recorded off of NPR broadcasts in the 70s including the broadcast of the 1978 White House Jazz Festival, with Jimmy Carter singing "Salt Peanuts" with Dizzie Gillespie and Max Roach. I will post pictures later when things are set up and organized.
     
  2. audiojones

    audiojones Jonesin' for audio Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,732
    Location:
    Central NJ
    You're probably going to need to free up the pinch roller linkage at this point, the grease between the inner sleeve and the outer linkage pivot dries out and hardens up preventing the pinch roller from snapping into and out of position. There are tons of threads and YouTube videos on doing this, it's a really common issue with the A series TEAC decks.

    Clean the heads and tape path guides thoroughly with rubbing alcohol and Q-tips, clean the pinch roller with rubber cleaner or Windex on a swab, oil the motors and the capstan bearing as per the service manual (available on hifiengine). Demagnetize the heads too, see if your dad had a head demagnetizer in his stash of stuff for the deck. Read up on using the demagnetizer before using it though, if you do it wrong you will actually magnetize the heads.
     
  3. rojoknox

    rojoknox New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Gresham OR
    Greetings from RojoLand!

    The capstan belt will almost assuredly need replacement as well. I got lucky with my long-stored A-6300, but two other Teacs recently acquired had belts that had turned to goo or were laying in pieces all over the place. Also quite common. Good luck with your A-2300SD!

    Take care,

    J. E. Knox "The Victor Freak"
     
  4. judsonw

    judsonw Active Member

    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    Thanks for the input. I will sign up for HiFiEngine when I get home from work, and with the help of the service manual, I will start looking into the state of various components. I did check and was happy to find that capstan belts are not expensive (should mine need replacing).
     
  5. audiojones

    audiojones Jonesin' for audio Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,732
    Location:
    Central NJ
    Very often on the A series single direction decks the capstan belt is ok even after all these years (depending on hours of use) but definitely check it out. On the X series decks the capstan belt will almost always turn into a nasty gooey mess of liquid tar. If your tape counter belt has a little slack that's ok (not supposed to be very tight) just make sure the counter runs reliably and doesn't stall out. You can often find a deal on both belts as a set, and A series decks aren't very finicky about what belt you use if you do need one.
     
  6. dr*audio

    dr*audio Fish fingers and custard! Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,028
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    The pinchroller should be resilient and should give a little when you put a fingernail into it, and should be dull black and not shiny. If not it will have to be rebuilt by Terry Witt.
     
  7. judsonw

    judsonw Active Member

    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    I was not planning on doing anything until Sunday.but then my plans for this evening changed. I checked the pinchroller, and it seems to be in good condition. It was a little sticky at first, but with gentle encouragement it now engages properly.
    SAM_0303.JPG
    '
    The belt in the back seems to be in good working order. I slowly turned the wheel to make sure it did not stick:
    SAM_0301.JPG

    I have not oiled anything yet (as I need to get some) nor have I demagnetized the heads yet (since I need to see if my dad still has his or if I need to get one).

    Because it has been awhile since I used this, I wanted to confirm expected function of the counter. I first noticed that (without a tape in), it moved at the same speed regardless if the speed was high or low, and it went backwards. I then realized that that left reel was moving in reverse. I assume this is so that it provides some back tension that the right reel pulling can easily override?
    SAM_0302.JPG

    (with the sides, top, and back off).
     
  8. dr*audio

    dr*audio Fish fingers and custard! Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,028
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Yes, the left reel motor provides back tension but the right reel is not what moves the tape, the capstan and pinch roller do that. The right reel just gently takes up the tape. The pinch roller looks ok, but the capstan is filthy. Clean with alcohol until nothing comes off.
    The pinch roller arm pivot needs to be properly cleaned or it will start sticking again because the grease is hardened. You must disassemble the machine to get to the arm, take the arm off and clean the pivot with alcohol, then re-grease it.
     
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  9. audiojones

    audiojones Jonesin' for audio Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,732
    Location:
    Central NJ
    Yep, that sticky pinch roller linkage will probably come back to haunt you. Often when the linkage is pushed into place by hand and starts marginally working it means the inner pivot point is stuck to the outer sleeve and when it was forced the inner sleeve came partially unscrewed causing the whole assembly to pivot on the sleeve threads as a stuck together unit. This is a great deck and well worth fixing properly when you get time.
     
  10. judsonw

    judsonw Active Member

    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    Good to know. Thank you all for your input and insight. I am not in a rush and I definitely want to do it correctly. Presently researching what type of oil is needed, grease, etc. I found a thread here (http://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/reel-to-reel-oiling-recomendatons.363747/) that had suggestions for oils to use including sewing machine oil (which may result in me checking out the sewing and vacuum shop here in town) and there is someone selling synthetic oil on ebay for TEAC Reel to Reels that seems to come with the long spout I need for the oil tubes.

    As for grease, looking around the web and audiokarma, it seems white lithium grease is a good option?

    Edit: I fully admit this is my first big upkeep project like this, so I appreciate all of the input and patience. I want to make sure I do not rush, I do things well, and that in the end it works well and will not damage the tapes.
     
  11. audiojones

    audiojones Jonesin' for audio Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,732
    Location:
    Central NJ
    I like to use this for the motors, capstan bearings and anything that rotates and needs oil:
    [​IMG]

    and this for the pivot sleeve and anything that slides and needs grease:
    [​IMG]
     
  12. judsonw

    judsonw Active Member

    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    Thanks. The thing I found on ebay was Liberty Oil. I had not yet really done much searching for the white lithium grease, but I will keep an eye out for that.
     
  13. oldvinyldude

    oldvinyldude AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,608
    Location:
    Buckeystown Maryland
    Any auto parts store should have the lithium grease-just get the tube, not the spray.
     
  14. audiojones

    audiojones Jonesin' for audio Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,732
    Location:
    Central NJ
    You can also find the tube of white lithium at any home center like Lowe's or Home Depot. It's a pretty big tube o' grease but it's very useful so it'll get used eventually.
     
  15. Northwinds

    Northwinds Huh? Turn what down? Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,932
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I have a very nice one of these, great sounding deck indeed!
     
  16. judsonw

    judsonw Active Member

    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    I enjoyed playing with it in high school (and it probably needed all of this maintenance back then). I look forward to going through the reels of NPR concerts and finding what is on all of them. But first, ordering and buying the stuff that I need to make it run as well as it can.
     
  17. safebet

    safebet Long live vintage! Subscriber

    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    New England
    That's a fine tape recorder you have there - enjoy!
     

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