Friday, January 29, 2021

SPACE ECHO REPAIR



It used to work a lot better, I think!? 

Don't be sad!

I can make your Space Echo work again!

The reason it isn't working well (or at all) is most likely just a lack of scheduled maintenance! Would you ride a bike with flat tires and a rusty chain?? No!

Out of all the Space Echos I have serviced I have yet to find a bad motor, completely ruined pinch roller, or bad bearings. All the wow and flutter is caused by the sum of all the physical frictions in the tape path.

Cleaning the heads, posts, and tape bin baseplate, replacing felts, and then cutting a new loop and threading it correctly will be very useful!

Loops wear out and should be replaced. They shed substrate, crinkle and stretch.

I charge $10 for a new loop when I repair a machine. I splice them here using NOS 1990s Maxell UD 35 micron tape and professional splicing tape. The original loop was 10 meters long, 1mil in thickness and had a lubricated backing (like 8-track tapes), to reduce tape-on-tape friction inside the bin. 

Poor record level is as likely to be poor tape-tensioning or incorrect tape placement as an old loop or dirty heads. The copper leaf-spring is maybe the most important point! Too little tension results in poor recording of the echo signal, too much leads to wow and drag.

A motor that does not spin is more likely to be caused by Power Supply problems than a motor failure.

Loss of reverb can be traced to the tank, cables, bypass switch, level pot or drive or recovery amp and associated Power Supplies.

Uneven fidelity between head settings is caused by head mis-alignment.

Bias level is adjusted for a compromise between low frequency distortion and hi frequency fidelity. Bias frequency is fixed at approximately 60 kHz.

Once these things are addressed, we can set your feedback and self-oscillation point to 3 o'clock, or wherever you prefer (I like it at noon).

The only Space Echos I have not been able to repair were gutted by previous owners before they arrived here!

I love 'em! 

I will take care of 'em!

Typically $120 - $150 for a full service.