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My new Concertone/TEAC 93-2

Discussion in 'Tape' started by LexDM3, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. LexDM3

    LexDM3 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,712
    Location:
    Arlington, MA
    Please help me celebrate the way cool R2R I picked up last night for a ridiculously low price. I saw the ad in my local Craig's List and was the first to jump on it.

    Documentation on these decks is hard to find. The Concertone 93-2 is a TEAC/Concertone hybrid but seems to be mostly TEAC. Except for the lack of a tape counter, it seems to be the same machine as a TEAC R-310.

    When I went to look at it, I was surprised to see how big (and heavy) it is. It's a full 19" rack machine and the transport faceplate is 1/4" aluminum. It looks similar to an Ampex 351-2 but is not a true 24/7 recording studio deck like the Ampex. I've used an Ampex AG-440B.

    Everything is there including all of the cables. It belonged to the grandfather of the guy I bought it from. He built the walnut veneer cabinets for the transport and preamps. He only used it for his own recording so the heads look very good.

    You will notice the "2T - 4T" switch on the right side of the head block cover. Setting the switch appropriately should allow this deck to play back stereo tapes recorded in both 2 track and 4 track formats but I'm not sure which of those format it records in.

    The preamps are full of Matsushita 12AX7, 12AT7, 12BH7 and 6X5 tubes. There are a lot of gray Suzuki electrolytics that should and will be replaced. Since it's a 3 motor deck with big TEAC motors, there are no belts to worry about. The motors, capstan, and tension arms all seem to move freely when I manually move them.

    I didn't power it up and won't until my friend or I replace caps and give it a good going through. I moved the 10.5" reels over from my TEAC 3340S for these beauty shots. The deck came with the NAB hubs but no reels.

    So what should I do with this cool machine? I bought it mostly to keep some other buyer from taking it apart, junking the transport, and only using the preamps. I don't have room or a real need for it in my house at this point so it's going to be loaned to my friend Vic who will use it in his small recording studio. Since I'll never see another one of these come along in this condition for a good price, I don't want to sell it. Loaning it to a friend who will use it seems like the best plan for now until I have a place for it.

    Yep, I got lucky! But isn't that what Fridays are for? :banana:

    DM Concertone 93-2 Front All.jpg
    DM Concertone 93-2 Transport Front.JPG DM Concertone 93-2 Preamps Front.JPG DM Concertone 93-2 Heads 1.JPG Concertone 93-2 Preamps-Cab Rear 1.jpg
     

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    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
    mhardy6647 and turnitdown like this.

     

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  2. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

    Messages:
    25,950
    Location:
    Athens, TN
    This is a nice machine, but it is also very far from an Ampex 350. A 351-2 Stereo weighs around 250-260 pounds in console and is far more massively built. This Teac based Concertone is very nice. And one of the nicer Japanese machines of the day, basically this would have been Crown or Magnecord competition. And those machines are plenty fine. An Ampex 351-2 would have cost $2325 new then. The Concertone you have would have been half the price or less new ($700-$900). I'd repair and use this classic, and enjoy it. It's a nice unusual machine, and should perform well. The old Suzuki capacitors need to be replaced before using it, they're known for problems.

    In the USA, Concertone was marketing these machines to AM and FM radio stations, and aiming at the Crown, Magnecord, and Ampex 600 and PR 10 customers. In short, typical small to medium market radio where $1000 budgets for a tape machine was their budget. Teac by 1967-1968 when they changed their name, became very popular in the $300-$1300 tape machine market for home users, audiophiles, and some broadcast users. Ampex didn't have a 10 1/2" capable, 2 or 3 motor, full track mono, or half track Stereo tape machine in the $800-$1200 price range small broadcasters could afford, that lack of a suitable offering is why Teac and ReVox were so common in broadcast facilities.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  3. LexDM3

    LexDM3 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,712
    Location:
    Arlington, MA
    Yep, I agree. I edited my original post. Thanks.
     
  4. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

    Messages:
    25,950
    Location:
    Athens, TN
    However, also, your Concertone was one of the earliest Teac machines in the USA. It's the beginning of the Teacs which commonly replaced Ampex 600 and PR 10 machines in USA AM and FM broadcasting, along with the Magnecord, Crown, and ReVox A 77 machines which took over that market segment, and also were often found in high end use at home as well. When Teac changed their name in the USA to Teac, invested massively in advertising and building up their USA parts and support operations, and marketing their machines to Americans, that paid off handsomely. So, your machine is very much a piece of American Broadcasting History, as most of those machines sold here, went to broadcasters. Teac bought Concertone from Bert Berlant, and launched their gradual beachhead in the USA tape machine and audio marketplace from there, and by 1967, didn't need the Concertone name. I wish I had documentation for this. And I'd love to see it restored and preserved, and used. It's a very cool machine, and very uncommon.
     
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  5. rojoknox

    rojoknox Active Member

    Messages:
    124
    Location:
    Gresham OR
    Greetings from RojoLand!

    Congrats on that find! I too have a Concertone rig — the S510-R. Your rig should have a capstan belt — not direct-drive — and it records two-track only (has two- and four-track PB heads). I don't see a tape counter like on my S510-R (and the similar Teac/Concertone 505), but you do have a reel-size switch those decks don't. It's also hard to tell if your rig has a removable capstan sleeve. On the 505 and my S510-R there's a capstan sleeve and small pinch roller for 7-1/2 IPS, and a larger pinch roller (remove the sleeve) for 3-3/4. Is your set single-speed?

    Take care,

    J. E. Knox "The Victor Freak"
     
  6. LexDM3

    LexDM3 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,712
    Location:
    Arlington, MA
    Thanks Rojo! The deck is actually not here now. As I mentioned above, it went to my friend Vic the day after I bought it. He will go through it and use it in his studio. BUT it's still mine so it may come back here at some point.

    Since I can't look at it, I can't check to see if it has a capstan belt or whether the capstan has a removable sleeve and swappable pinch roller. But I know that it's a 2 speed machine (7.5 and 15 ips, I believe). No tape counter. The TEAC R-310 looks identical to my deck except that it has a tape counter. I'm guessing that my 93-2 was mostly if not completely built by TEAC in Japan.
     

     

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