Philips Stereo Maestro.....HELP
My elderly landlord gave me a problem to solve one day. He had this big old heavy tape recorder and a box of tape reels. He said to me, your interested in electronics, I've seen the things youve fixed and built, here is something for you to try and solve.
It had belonged to his brother who was a professional broadcaster or something to do with that, and he had interviewed people and recorded sports games with this tape recorder. He had bought it in the early 60's,
and the landlord told me that he thought one of the reels had media on it which contaned his brothers voice. He had passed away in the 70's.
So I told him I'd do my best. The recorder had been sitting high up near the ceiling on a shelf, for areound 15-20 years, and had endured HOT summers and bitter winters while sitting up there. I saw it one day, inquired about it and thats how this all started.
So I bring it to my apartment, examine it. It is very clean, well taken care of.
Didn't work. Opened it up and spun the flywheel by hand and unfroze the mechanism. Now that the dogs of war were running and the tubes warmed up, I loaded a tape in. The tape head mechanism was turning and pulling the tape, but the reels were at a stand still. The amplifier was in a bad state, very weak. The controlls seized mostly. So I removed the front cover/facade.
The drive belt that went from the motor, to the take up reel to the counter to the drive wheel and back again was gone!
No not really, I looked down and there was this black goop trail running around like a shadow of where the belt used to be. So... with the heat of the tubes, the 20 years of summer up on that shelf at decayed the rubber belt, and turned it to goooey tar/calking.
I spent an hour cleaning the crap out, took the ullies apart and cleaned the groove out. What a sticky black goopy mess!
Grabbed a rubber band of all things and tought myself how exactly the belt was wound in the mechanism. Success! The reels turned!
I played a few tapes and the audio from the amp was bad.
Turns out the pile of tapes didn't have a recording of his brothers voice, which meant it was all useless to him. So he gave me the whole load to keep.
Or else its going in the trash.
Hooked up my laptop and played FLAC music, very weak quality from the tape player. If I ht the controls I would get sporatic volume, strong volume then weak again.
This thing aparently was top of the line in 1961. Very nice craftsmanship, brass, wood and steel. Obviously the pre-amp and amp need a complete recapping, The drive mechanism needs a REAL belt, everything needs degreasing and relubing, and all the controls need cleaning and lubing.
I know this thing is a classic, a piece of history. But I will be moving back to Euope and I can't take with with me. Can't store it here either.
Don't want to throw it away, what an insult if I did! It needs work and tender loving care I can't spare for it right now. Can't sell it nobody here wants it, or doesn't appreciate what it is.
I heard the belt is impossable to obtain. I don't have an inclanation to re-record tapes for ths thing from flac, as I have a HD full of my music and this laptop to listen to it.
In order to save it, I wonder if I could remove the amplifier/preamplifier
stages, controls, input sockets, transformers, and recap them. Then box them in a small box for laptop headphone listening and have speaker jacks for small speakers. Bring it with me.
Would this be right? Or would I be commiting a major NO-NO to an antique.
Has anybody else done this, are these more common than I thought,
Am I fretting for nothing??
Can I assume that the transformer has taps I can change the input wiring to?
Because I think if I plug it in at home when I get there next month, the 220v will just blow it to smitherines.
This pre-dates the automatic switching most of my things have with the rest having that little switch I click over
If you can measure the belt length with some string, you proabably could find a belt with the same dimensions
The transformer probably has taps to match the incoming VAC, it is likely a euro production machine, and has 220/240 taps. If you open it up its likely you would see if they are there.
Got more action out of the machine this time. However I am havng trouble
with getting stereo sound out of the old beastie. Saw another page and somebody else had the same problem hooking the external speaker and getting stereo.
But the transformer thing: I read a German paper, top to bottem, and I see that they mention a small bit about changing voltage. Refering to the diagram I see a bunch of posts whihare unused.
The label on the back of the machine I have does say it was made in Holland.
That said, I can asssume depending on where they ship their models, they set the ones going to the US to 110 and add the right plug, the ones staying in Europe, solder the cord to different posts and leave the 220v plug end on.
OK, please answer my question:
Are these things rare and would my pulling the amplifier guts out of this
be a serious violation of antique moral code or something? Do people do this kind of thing? I read a story about a guy who got a brand new Macintosh G4 tower computer for X-Mas. It was 2004 or whenever the G-4's were top class. Anyways he had no use for a mMac and so he gutted the beautiful aluminum Apple case, hacked ground and screwed in PC motherboard, powersupply and I/O backplate.
The horror! Aparently in a short time after he put the article of what he did on the net, he recieved dozens of emails screaming to him what a sick fock he was, and he even claimed that somebody claimed when he sqw his article of what he had done, they actully cried.
So I ask the group, I have this 1960 tape machine, have no use for it as a tape player,
can't lug it back home to Spain with me, but will have a good use for the compact audio circuitry. Is doing this "right" or am I cutting up a rare sports car to make a dune buggy?
And another question: I'm sure you are familier with the amp design in this thing; is it worth it?
Please post, why do I have to clobber people to answer?
No ideas, no comments?
Old reel-to-reel machines have provided parts for many diy projects- yours will certainly not be the first.
If you don't take the amp, everything will likely end up in the landfill.
IMO, you are 'in the clear' to take what you can use from it- assuming your landlord is OK with that.
Just don't blow it up! ;-)
Well he didn't say the last part, but his intention before I expressed interesting in having it, was that he was going to throw it right out.
Thank you for giving me a clear concious
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