Certified Electronics Technician
$40/hr - 1 hr minimum
Vintage Audio Specialist


If anyone is trying to use a TASCAM PORTA ONE but does not have the original PS-P1 adaptor, here is some info...

The original was:

15V DC, 400mA, center NEG, 5mm outer barrel 

The machine states 11-15V DC beside its jack, and requests that you only use the original adaptor.

I service these machines and from time to time see an original adaptor, but not often.

Many ads online claim to be PS-P1 equivalents but I have my doubts...

The funny thing is, I have tried apparently equivalent warts only to find varying degrees of 120 Hz hum in all the audio. Two 12V DC 400mA adaptors produced quite different results, both bad.

I just popped out and found a used 15V DC 1200mA adaptor and that works great (no hum).

Modern switching adaptors often don't work at all. You might see the machine struggling to turn on (blinking power light) as the motor's surge current shuts down the switching adaptor over and over again.

The lesson is, get a good 15V DC adaptor with sufficient current handling ability in order to get proper performance, or use 10 C batteries haha!


An incomplete list of some types of gear I am dealing with lately - the focus is TAPE, but I will still take on synths and organs and anything interesting, from time to time. The shop is wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling with broken things, so I can't be taking on more for now, though ...

ELK Tape Echo
SONY TC-5550-2
TASCAM Porta One
TASCAM Porta 02
TEAC 144
TASCAM 488 mk II
TASCAM MidiStudio 688
TASCAM 424 mk II
TASCAM Mini Potra 02
EML 500
FARFISA Professional
AUDIOMAT Opera Reference (again, DSP problem ha)
... as well as FOSTEX and YAMAHA multi-trackers
... and your general bits and bobs ...


PORTASTUDIO family portrait

Well, last year was a quiet one for me. I focused more energy on music and project building and less on customer repairs. I still did a whack of interesting repairs and restorations including the usual assortment of integrated amps, tube power amps, effects pedals and tape decks.

This year, however, I am jumping in full time. E.C.H. is going to be your dedicated tape machine restoration destination. I feel that there are a lot of cassette 4 tracks and 8 tracks being abandoned which could be saved!


Rubber will degrade and belts, at least, will need to be changed. I have found that in most cases minor mechanical issues will stop a machine from working long before the heads are worn out.

I can replace your belts, pinch roller, rubber idlers etc. and strip and clean your tape transport mechanism. Some common fatigue-stress faults can be repaired in many cases. Your contacts, pots, faders and jacks can be cleaned and replaced if needed.

Signal path problems or output problems are likely just bad caps or a bad op-amp.

E.C.H. will perform a tape transport restoration and full cleaning of your multitrack for - 

$150 CAD (maximum)

new belts, pinch roller, idler tires if needed
transport mechanism cleaning and repair (where possible)
motor speed calibration
head cleaning and demag
cleaning of all contacts/ pots/ faders
electronic troubleshooting and component replacement 
full test of all functions

I offer a six month warranty for my work and will happily troubleshoot any new problems that arise.

I am happy to fix machines shipped from outside Toronto

Contact me if you are having trouble finding a TAPE TECH and let's figure it out!



Spring is nearly here and I will become more active again. Like the great Canadian Black Bear, I am thin and hungry and ready for electronics. I will be taking on more work starting in April and May, as the shop warms back up to a reasonable temperature.

Due to an overwhelming number of inquiries I will only be able to reply to emails when I believe I can reasonably be of service. Thank you for your business!

SHORT HOLIDAY Oct 11 until Oct 21

Hello! E.C.H. will be closed until Oct 21st. Any pending pick-ups can be arranged after that! 

See you all soon.


Summer has passed us by. I was in the garage. Missed it altogether! Here is a sample of some of the things that came through recently.

Drip Electronics PULTEC EQP1A kits x2. These kits were partially built by the customer. I finished the wiring to the panels and tested and calibrated the units.

Drip LA2A Levelling Amplifier - Testing and troubleshooting.

1176 Limiters x2 - ground issues and power supply cap replacement.

FENDER PRINCETON REVERB Amp - faulty ground connection causing oscillations and noise and a failed resistor in the HT supply.

FENDER SUPER REVERB - Early 70s Fender bassman that face-planted. Confirmed safe operation, isolated bad pre-amp tube. Confirmed bias and all voltages.

HAMPTONE Tube pre-amp - Recap.

D&R Mixer - IC replacement, resistor replacement (bad IC cooked power supply).

LINE 6 Delay Unit - power supply (internal) repair. Fault caused by incorrect wall wart (common issue).

PHILLIPS 209 Automatic Turntable - a cranky TT from the early 70s. Had problems with the discrete transistor flip-flop circuits in its brain. Totally degraded rubber parts (idler wheels, belt) and other frustrations. Fully restored to working condition.

ALLEN & HEATH DJ Mixer - headphone jack tip stuck in jack. Bleeding fader. Repaired jack and cleaned fader.

Various Headphone repair - cable replacement etc...  a pain in the butt but often worth it.

ELECTRO-VOICE Dynamic Mic repair - changed to XLR high-impedance from original 5 pin cable (mic has 2 impedance options wired internally).

PIONEER Tape Deck - stuck tape preventing door from opening. Disassembled and removed.

TECHNICS 1200 x2 RCA replacement.

MARANTZ 1530 Receiver - bulb replacement and cleaning.

STANTON DJ Turntable - ground issues, motor issues. Repaired, lubricated.

HOHNER Symphonic 320 organ repair. Adjusted several oscillators that had drifted causing the overtones to dominate the tone. Ds sounded like As, Bb sounded like F, etc... Minor calibration restored the tuning. THIS WAS JUST ME (much of my own gear is in need of maintenance)! I have possessed this organ for years and am happy to have it back in shape.

...and certainly more that I have forgotten as well, as usual.


The Tube Tester was needed for some tube testing recently and I had to get in there and troubleshoot a few problems. There was B+, but no bias voltage or heater voltage. This machine uses two separate power supplies to generate the needed DC. A 5Y3 Rectifier tube had finally gone bad in the low voltage supply. Replacing this tube as well as the AC cord (brittle) and cleaning all sockets and switches (particularly the NORMAL/LIFE TEST switch) restored proper functionality and the machine can be used again! Basic maintenance after 60 yrs.


SHARP VZ-3500 Linear TT / Cassette Boombox (speakers not shown)

Spring is here and with it comes spring cleaning and fresh starts. Why not freshen up your sound system? I have been delighted to spruce up a variety of integrated amps and other stereo equipment for some people lately. In almost all cases the problems have turned out to be minor and fully addressable. Here are a few examples that required next to nothing in parts cost (one TT motor, a 12V bulb, some LEDs) and minimal labour. All of these units were brought back to fully working condition for less that $100, often much less.

NIKKO ND100W Cassette deck - high frequency noise on playback
 - cleaned internal record switch. Bias oscillator signal was leaking into playback.

MACKIE 1202-MZ Mini Mixer - unreliable
 - full cleaning including master send select buttons (causing intermittent drop-outs)

TECHNICS SL 1400 Direct Drive Turntable - left channel dead
 - New RCA installed

CEC HD53 Headphone Amp - erratic left channel
 - Cleaned and reseated all ICs

ROTEL RX 602 and 202 - erratic, noisy, dropouts
 - full cleaning of all pots and switches

LUXMAN L-410 - condition unknown, pulled from extended storage
 - full cleaning and testing of all INS/OUTs

LUXMAN M-02 Power Amp - distortion at all volumes, VU backlights dead
 - cracked/dry solder in driver stage and protection relays repaired.
 - LEDs to replace VU backlights.
 - full cleaning of all pots and switches.

LUXMAN C-02 Pre-Amp - erratic, noisy
 - full cleaning of all pots and switches

HARMON KARDON hk330 VI Receiver - LCD screen dead, volume knob loose
 - new 12V mini-bulb for LCD backlight, tighten volume pot

HARMON KARDON 430 - no output right channel, turner dial broken, bulbs out
 - right channel speaker protection fuse blown. Cleaned selector switch and tested for safe operation (expected output levels, low DC offset). Repaired tuner assembly. Replaced fuse-style bulbs with LED equivalents.

MARANTZ 2235 Receiver - no output, bulbs out
 - cleaned speaker protection relays, replaced fuse-style bulbs with LEDs.

TECHNICS SLBD 20D Turntable - too slow (progressively slower after exteded use)
 - Confirmed defect of DC servo motor, replaced. Strobe calibrated, confirmed working.

SHARP VZ-3500 Linear Turntable Boombox - not working at all
 - cleaned degraded belt from TT assembly, replaced belt. Replaced Linear Motor belt.
 - cleaned all pots and switches. TT, tape and radio working again.

CASIO CZ-3000 - two broken keys
 - repaired keys, full cleaning and testing.


YAMAHA MT 4X motor replacement

I recently revitalized a YAMAHA MT4X 4 track recorder that had stopped working. The unit in question had a dead motor (exploded capacitor inside the motor, worn brushes). As these motors typically run the entire time the machine is powered up they burn through a lot of hours of use. Everything else in the machine seemed fine however, including the belt.

A new motor was sourced on the internet - a Sankyo SHU2L from a small company in Australia called PROBE - and installed. A transistor controlling motor voltage switching was replaced as well. The machine works fine again and should for many more years.



I have an INSTAGRAM profile now. I will try to put exciting pictures of the insides of things and outsides of things from time to time. My main activity is actually spending time fixing things so don't expect too much action in the digital realm.


MORE RECENT JOBS - February 2017

In the last few weeks I have had the pleasure of restoring or modifying:

LAST MONTH at E.C.H. - January 2017

A brief summary of some of the pieces to pass through E.C.H. last month, with a complete lack of exciting pictures!


ECH now has a facebook PAGE for social media basic representation!


E.C.H. has a new logo! Thank you to ALICIA'S KLASSIC KOOL SHOPPE for the assistance in the brainstorming and excellent implementation. This logo incorporates a SINE wave which is (approximately) what the electricity in your wall looks like and also a fundamental of sound (look up Fourier analysis sometime). 

BELL & HOWELL Filmosound 285

Bell & Howell FILMOSOUND 285, modified for guitar


JUNO 106 CPU replacement