Author Topic: New Tape Delay Day (photo links updated - 2018)  (Read 10085 times)

culturejam

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Re: New Tape Delay Day
« Reply #45 on: April 17, 2014, 12:36:46 PM »
I'm still learning how to repack the cartridges and all that. Got some plans in the works, and Ben and I have exchanged emails to hash out some ideas.

The sum of my experiments and findings so far as that I can see where there isn't an existing DIY tape delay project.  ;D  It's really hard to come up with a plan that is easily repeatable by anyone. This is because the mechanicals (tape transport, etc) aren't really being made anymore, so each build will require a lot of individual engineering, and the resulting functionality of each build would vary quite a bit. So basically a paint-by-numbers project is more or less not possible. Not without a Kickstarter campaign to provide thousands of dollars of R&D money, anyway. I could see *someone* engineering one from the ground up and making it into a kit like how a lot of CnC and 3D printer projects do on Kickstarter.

But anyway, I plan to forge ahead and see if I can make my own tape delay by hacking up some existing electronics. Ben and I both think the 8-track format would be a great platform for several reasons: the machines are cheap and easy to get, they are available as small/portable units, the tapes are pretty easy to get, the cartridges themselves are self-contained tape loops, and long tapes would last a long time before wearing out. The Univox unit tapes are just like 8-track but with 1/8" tape instead of 1/4", so we know that type of setup works.

I'm also checking out the feasibility of using a mini reel-to-reel machine as the base. These have 3" reels, are quite compact, and take DC power directly already (batteries). Some of these are actually rim-drive instead of capstan-drive, which for pure audio playback is generally bad because of increased wow-and-flutter, but that's a big part of the magic mojo in a tape delay.

peAk

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Re: New Tape Delay Day
« Reply #46 on: April 17, 2014, 02:05:12 PM »
That's great.

Well, I will be interested in the progress you guys make so be sure to update this thread from time to time.

lincolnic

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Re: New Tape Delay Day
« Reply #47 on: April 17, 2014, 10:35:19 PM »
That's great.

Well, I will be interested in the progress you guys make so be sure to update this thread from time to time.

Me too!

culturejam

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Re: New Tape Delay Day
« Reply #48 on: August 02, 2014, 02:17:45 PM »
Just to update you guys on this whole thing...

I now have two EC-80s and the EC-100. Got all of them working.

Most importantly, I figured out why the EC-100 has motor whine in the audio and the EC-80 doesn't. The 80s both use a fixed magnet as an "erase head" (this is common on cheap tape decks...the good decks have a dedicated real erase head). The magnet sits just next to the record head and wipes the tape before it passes the record head. The 100 has a mode for looping, which is a simple switch that defeats the record head. In order for this to work, there can't be an erase magnet. So basically the motor noise isn't getting removed, and recording over it alone isn't enough.

So I'm going to add the magnet to the 100, as it's the best sounding of the three units. I use really long tapes, so looping isn't very practical, so it's no loss to me. And if I did want to use it, I could just remove the magnet. It sits in a bit of metal that is screwed into the cassette housing and is easy to add or remove.

I just got a 3D printer, so I plan to make the little magnet holders for the 100 and the other 80  (which came with the magnet removed, which is how I figured out the noise in the 100).

lincolnic

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Re: New Tape Delay Day
« Reply #49 on: August 02, 2014, 10:49:50 PM »
That's pretty cool! I've never seen an EC-100 in person, so I know very little about it. We were rocking the EC-80 in the studio last week for some guitar tracks, though. Sounded rad. Keep us posted on how your DIY erase head comes out!

culturejam

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Re: New Tape Delay Day
« Reply #50 on: August 03, 2014, 02:52:46 PM »
That's pretty cool! I've never seen an EC-100 in person, so I know very little about it.
The 100 is very similar mechanically to the 80. Same motor, flywheel, tape housing, chassis size, etc. The circuits are quite a bit different, though. The 80 is all transistors, whereas the 100 uses op amps.

The 100 has more headroom and the repeats are a bit less murky in my opinion.

culturejam

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Re: New Tape Delay Day
« Reply #51 on: June 11, 2018, 11:25:13 AM »
Bumping this because I replaced the old Photobucket links with Imgr links. Somebody at TGP was asking about an EC-100 issue and photos would be useful.

thenewnoise

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Re: New Tape Delay Day (photo links updated - 2018)
« Reply #52 on: May 21, 2019, 02:44:51 AM »
Not sure this is still going but I'm a huge Univox Tape Echo fan. I have 2 EC100's and 3 EC80's. 1 EC100 is fully working ( I LOVE IT, especially the playback function). 1 out of 3 EC80's working (barely). The one that works barely I managed to get almost new in the box with 3 tapes (one still shrink wrapped!!!), also came with Factory printed out schematics. I could scan and upload if that's any use to anyone here :). The Echo on the 80 is a little faint compared to the 100 (is that normal?). I'd also love to get my other 100 working, any insight on that? Would also love to experiment with getting a longer delay time on both...  Where to get parts for that? Experienced in soldering but not with this particular unit... Thanks everyone!