I've got my first vintage tape delay :D

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I've got my first vintage tape delay :D

Post by adamstan » Sun May 08, 2016 12:31 pm

Yesterday I got vintage tape delay unit, made in 1979 by SOCHOR in ?ód? (PL). It uses a slider that moves rec head to adjust delay time - much like old Echoplex units.

The guy I got it from said, that it died on him some time ago, and currently wasn't turning on at all. I was lucky - as I opened it up, I've instantly spotted the wire that got disconnected from power switch due to dry solder joint. But turning the unit on was just the beginning. The tape was missing as well, so I made new loop. It also required new pinch roller, as the old one got flat spot, or even dent, from sitting pressed to capstan for long time - the rod that pushed pinch roller lever to "pause" position was missing as well.

Here are some pictures:
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So, with new tape, new pinch roller, and after re-greasing roller shafts, it works like this:


Still, there is too much flutter I think - probably motor needs some good oiling as well, as it is direct drive unit - but it is great fun already :D

It uses heads and pinch roller from domestic half-track reel-to-reel recorder ZK120T, which was licensed from Grundig (model TK120deLuxe)
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Re: I've got my first vintage tape delay :D

Post by pflosi » Sun May 08, 2016 8:30 pm

Sweet, enjoy! Good old Soviet tech :thumbright:

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Re: I've got my first vintage tape delay :D

Post by salwa » Sun May 08, 2016 9:06 pm

Not Soviet, Polish! ;) Here's mine. Later model probably?
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Re: I've got my first vintage tape delay :D

Post by Dr. Phibes » Sun May 08, 2016 9:34 pm

Nice work! always got respect for people that save weird & wonderful old gear from the skip.

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Re: I've got my first vintage tape delay :D

Post by adamstan » Sun May 08, 2016 9:48 pm

salwa wrote:Not Soviet, Polish! ;) Here's mine. Later model probably?
Yes, it's later, upgraded - and AFAIK most common - version. It uses DC motor with belt drive, and different rec head mounting.

I just made some more tests and experiments, and it seems that flutter, which can be heard in my recording, isn't caused by tape speed alone, as the transport runs pretty smoothly now. It seems to be caused mostly by vibrations from transport being transmitted to REC head. The felt pad that had to insulate it's mounting from chassis (can be seen in fourth photo, under the PCB) has probably deteriorated, and additionally the head became magnetized over time, so it exhibits microphone effect - every vibration of the head (for example when you tap on it gently with a fingernail) gets recorded on tape, and intermodulates with signal being recorded.

So probably it requires new piece of felt, and new head - or good degaussing.
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Re: I've got my first vintage tape delay :D

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Sun May 08, 2016 10:01 pm

The tape and head arrangement looks suspiciously like a Dynacord Echocord Mini.

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Re: I've got my first vintage tape delay :D

Post by adamstan » Sun May 08, 2016 10:22 pm

Yeah, quite similar :D
Image

I've heard some rumours of it being more or less the clone of Echocord Mini. The main difference seems to be around the capstan/pinch roller assembly. Echocord uses normal way, where tape runs between capstan and pinch roller - but that requires CW motor. Sochor has CCW motor, so it uses pinch roller as kind of idler wheel, with the tape running around it.
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Re: I've got my first vintage tape delay :D

Post by Bitexion » Mon May 09, 2016 4:29 am

The lead sound you're playing, it just sounds beautiful. Is it pulse+saw or just two saws in near unison?
I seem to hear a square wave in there aswell.

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Re: I've got my first vintage tape delay :D

Post by adamstan » Mon May 09, 2016 6:04 am

Bitexion wrote:The lead sound you're playing, it just sounds beautiful. Is it pulse+saw or just two saws in near unison?
I seem to hear a square wave in there aswell.
Thanks :-) It is saw and square in near unison. I named that preset "MiniLead" ;) At first attempts some years ago (as can be heard in early demos of my synth) I indeed used just two saws - but there was something missing, when compared to the Mini recordings I tried to imitate. And then I found out, that I needed a square wave on second osc, to add some "roundness" to the sound.

Sometimes I feel like I could noodle with this kind of sounds and scales for the whole day :D

As for the echo - yesterday I've ordered new heads, they should arrive tomorrow.

I was also thinking about modding the unit by adding second playback head (there is some space available next to the erase head), and make them switchable with a "range" switch, so I could get longer delay times. The longest time currently available is ~400ms - I could probably double it with a second head.
Last edited by adamstan on Mon May 09, 2016 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I've got my first vintage tape delay :D

Post by joeboy » Mon May 09, 2016 8:16 am

Sounds great.

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Re: I've got my first vintage tape delay :D

Post by Crisp » Sun May 15, 2016 9:24 am

There can be only one! Respect.

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