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tape machine is "warbling" Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 20th December 2010
Gear Head
serraprop's Avatar

tape machine is "warbling"

hey all
i have a tascam ms16 thats never given me problems. now i put a reel on and its playing as if im adjusting the vari-speed. just warbling all over the place. I did have some issues with the hubs but recorded plenty of stuff while the hubs were shaking and this is the first time ive noticed this pitch problem.

tape alignment problem?
bad tape?

Old 20th December 2010
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Check the pinch roller... is it hard? It should be somewhat soft and pliable... if its a rock it needs to be replaced. Needs to be done every few years at a minimum.

Another possible culprit is that the motor tension/torque has drifted and are spinning at different speeds. That needs to be checked/adjusted at least a few times a year... like changing the oil in your car.

There's a lot of other things it could be, or several things in combination... but the pinch roller and motor torque are the first things to check.
Old 20th December 2010
Gear Addict

Check the tape. If it is old it may have stuck together too tightly and the motor isn't powerful enough to keep the spidles rolling smoothly. I had the same problem with the Tascam until I tried new tape.
Old 20th December 2010
Lives for gear
loujudson's Avatar
Just a dumb suggestion to ask if you clean it religiously and properly? Every tape?
Old 21st December 2010
Lives for gear
12ax7's Avatar

This may help on all the "grippy" rubber parts (like belts, pinch-rollers, etc.):
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