So after coming back from Texas, I was informed that the 20 pallets of reel to reel equipment and the 6 pallets of vintage audio gear that was going to Innovative Audio in Surrey had arrived ahead of schedule. Apparently many truck drivers run in teams of 2, so that they can literally drive 24/7 on the road. Speedy indeed! The shipment went to the depot, and was then brought to us in three 5 ton truck loads to my house. The only casualty in the shipment- one broken caster, as it hung below the pallet, and a forklift tine sheared it off. That was my fault in packing, and no harm done to the decks. Those are stats that I can live with!
Then came the daunting task of packing all of the boxes away. Thinking ahead of time, I did pack a bunch of the heavy parts and decks into double wall boxes, so that I could stack them 3 or 4 high without fear of the bottom box collapsing under the weight. Between a storage locker and the shop, I was able to pack all of the shipment away, and also managed to organize my parts area much better than it was previously. I’d sold and repaired CRT video projectors in a former life, and had a bunch of the cardboard parts bin boxes left over from that, so they got retagged for all things reel to reel. With my sound company sold, and the last of the inventory leaving my shop at the end of January, it also freed up a bunch of shelf space so that I could store more of my junker parts decks neatly.
That took the better part of a week to take care of. I decided to work on the high end Studer decks first, so that I could recoup some of my investments, and claw back some of my shop space. I looked at the Studer A820s, the A812, and a couple of the A810s first. As expected, none of the decks worked, although a few powered up. Several were dead, thanks to shorted capacitors that are super common in all Revox and Studer decks. A full recap was mandatory on all of these high end Studers, and a literal bidding war resulted regarding the Studer A812 and the two A820s. As of this writing, I am still fighting an intermittent tension problem with one of the A820s. Fortunately with two decks here, it really helps in narrowing down the faulty part. So far I’ve found a ton of parts and modules where the problem is NOT.
As I started unpacking the tons of parts that I received (only about 10% is unpacked as of this writing). I uncovered all sorts of treasures in the boxes that I didn’t get a chance to look through when they were being packed up in Texas. There was new old stock head blocks, spare tape heads by Nortronics, and a ton of other spare parts for the various decks.
April 22, 2023
Oops, a month has gone by and I still haven’t finished this article. Barn finds # 2, 3 and 4 got in the way (more on these later).
The two really nice Technics 1500 series – already sold!!!!
Since the original writing of this part 3, I have been able to run through a number of the decks that came in, and a number of the decks have been refurbished and sold. Getting to know the high end Studers was an interesting challenge, accompanied by a bit of paranoia that if I damaged something while servicing and recapping, parts for the Studer A820 and A812s would be almost impossible to come by. Fortunately, short of a capacitor problem with one of the Studer A820s, things went smoothly, and all three Studers performed flawlessly. If you ever get a chance to listen to or work with any high end Studer, these machines truly are dreams to work with. The tape handling is second to none, and the adjustments that can be made to the machines are beyond anything I’ve seen before. All of the Studer A810s that I received in are sold, and all had the typical capacitor problems that Revox/Studer are known for. Interestingly enough, I also pulled out one of the nicer Crown CX824s in the bunch that came in, and it too needed a full recapping, due to shorting capacitors as well as ones that were way off value. I’ll add that to the ‘mandatory service’ article elsewhere on the website.
It will still take months and months to run through each item that came in from Texas, and I will post about them on my RTRTech Facebook page, and list them on Reverb as well.