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Old 28th February 2013, 08:45 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Default Echoplex restoration

hi guys. sorry if this is the wrong subforum for this post. i was wondering if anyone has experience restoring solidstate echoplex units (EP3).

i was wondering:
1) should i replace any of the capacitors other then the power supply filter caps?

2) how can i tell if the power supply filter caps have been replaced at some point already, and if so, is it still a good idea for me to replace them now? the unit i found has Sprague Atom 500uF/50VDC capacitors. are those original to the echoplex EP3?
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Old 1st March 2013, 12:49 AM   #2
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lansing, Michigan
May I suggest checking the unit for operation, then fixing any specific things that are wrong. Once you have a working unit, THEN is the time to start updating parts.


If caps need replacing, it really doesn't matter if they were original or not, for an EP3, caps that were replaced when it was 15 years old are themselves now 25 years old.
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Old 1st March 2013, 02:31 AM   #3
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well i've got a funny situation with this thing. the unit needs some mechanical repairs which i am not confident i can deal with on my own (a bent capstan and misaligned tapeheads).

it powers up fine but i dont want to put tape in it and run it until i get these mechanical issues dealt with. i just assumed i was going to have to replace all of the electrolytics because it is such an old piece of gear.

i could wait until i get someone to fix the mechanical issues but the only person i have found in my area who knows how to fix this stuff is kind of stingy. he said he doesn't want to work on it unless he can do a complete overhaul. so i figured i could save myself a bunch of money by doing some of the easier maintenance myself before he gets his hands on it.
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Old 1st March 2013, 04:57 AM   #4
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lansing, Michigan
OK, I can actually sympathise with that tech. I know you want to save money, but as a professional tech, I don;t really want to do half a job either. It isn't because i am a money grubber, it is because my name is on the repair. If I do half a job, and someone else sees it, and the owner says "Oh I had Enzo work on it" that witness will walk away thinking I do hack work.

A bent capstan might be tough to "fix." Replace is more like it. Tape head alignment is no big deal. All that needs to line up is the record and playback, we don;t worry that the tape will work in any other deck. You can align them by ear.

I know there are some good Echoplex web sites, but there is also a number of discussions of various repairs over at Activity Stream - Music Electronics Forum in the effects section. We don't have a lot of need for mechanicals, but there is some, but we have discussed tuning the bias traps and peaking the oscillator and stuff like that.
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Old 1st March 2013, 08:14 AM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2013
the tech explained the capstan issue in a somewhat confusing way. he said something about drilling a larger hole to fit a replacement in it. i dont really understand. i am hesitant to work on it myself because the last couple times i tried to do mechanical repairs to cassette players i totally failed.

i should do some more research, maybe i can do this.
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