an analog audio blog
A blog where I share hopefully useful information on audio gear.
I’m intrigued as to what leads you to have an interest in analogue tape. Are you maintaining machines for use in modern recording? Is there a big enough market for it?
Simon, thanks for writing the first comment ever. I’m happy you did as I noticed there wasn’t a proper about page here, this reply will do as a temporary about page now. I took the picture above to celebrate!
> I’m intrigued as to what leads you to have an interest in analogue tape.
First let me say that other topics, beyond tape, will be covered. I happened to be servicing my half track last week when starting this blog, so I had tape-related resources handy for early posts.
My broad interest in analogue comes from the need for a sense of balance and completeness, having producted digital audio tools as a profession. Analogue devices act as sources of inspiration to me, as they provide quite a different user experience when interacting and/or listening.
Beside generic motivations related to analogue technology, I’d like to add one thing specific to tape.
Personally, additional interest in tape machines relates to the way I (was trained to?) perceive artworks. That would be: main content in foreground, some form of substrate in background. The substrate being canvas for paintings, dusted and scratched film for movies, grainy film for B/W photo prints.
I tend to view the substrate as integral part of the artwork. It provides foundation and contrast to the foreground. It reveals itself by emitting artifacts (noise, glitches,..) and/or colouring the foreground (saturation, spectral alteration, …).
Analogue machines are beautiful sources of such partially unpredictable textures. The name of the blog is a little joke about this, in latin: “audio ex machina”, literally “I hear something from the machine”, in my intention doesn’t refer to signals normally reproduced by a sonic machine but rather to additional noises generated by the machine itself, be they expected or not.
> Are you maintaining machines for use in modern recording?
Yes, I do basic mantainance on some analog device (however the devices that I know inside out are the Echorecs, which are delays and technically are wire recorders, using metal instead of polymers as substrate) but that’s for my personal use (recording projects, measurements for developing prototypes related to digital projects). I don’t perform servicing as a business.
> Is there a big enough market for it?
Regarding tapes unfortunately I’m not in the position for answering, being a user. There’s surely an active market worldwide but maybe too sparse for running a large business. Otari still makes a deck, and another one is from Nagra (mono).
In France Pyral should start making tapes this year. There’s no much left regarding new products, however there’s plenty of second hand, top-quality devices on sale on the internet. The most important supply would be new tape, let’s see what happens in France.
Thank for now Simon, I’ll visit your cool blog often.
I am looking for help getting a schematic/ manual or both for my recently acquired Binson Echorec T6F-A
Can you please help?
Congratulations for your new Echorec! A section of this site will cover specifically the Binson Echorec soon. Meanwhile I’m sending you an email right now.
Would you mind resending more info to me? I think I found a tech to help me! I need a schematic
Material sent to you right now!
Binson Milan in 1982 built an echo called Electronic Echo EL20 based on MN3005 very similar to the model MONACOR EEM 3005. It is not clear if this machine is sold but there are prototypes available.
I have pictures, AD and schematics.
Yes Luigi, great info. I’ve seen pictures of one single EL20 at a repair shop earlier. At present it isn’t listed on the Echorec Bible as it isn’t an electro-mechanical unit, however the bible will be later expanded with other Echorec-related items, such as the Binson Tube Reverb and probably the EL20. Thanks.
Great to see your site! I have a T6F-A in Arizona. Can I also get that schematic/material you sent to Alldaylongrecords? Thx. This one is complete, dry signal comes through, magic eye works, but delay signal is not coming through….Thank you
Welcome Kevin, I’ve just sent you the schematic by email.
Thank you. I appreciate your help.
Thanks for posting and organizing all this amazing info on the Binsons.
I have wanted to see if I could get your opinion on a couple problems I have had with my Echorec. Keep up the great work!
Yes, feel free to post your questions here, you’re welcome.
Hi, wonderful site loaded with very useful information for us Echorec fanatics! I very much could use a copy of the T6F-A schematic for my restoration.
Check your mail, schematic sent right now. Thanks for visiting the Echorec Bible.
Hi, first of all I have to say this is awesome site! I bought a binson echorec p.e. 603 t-6 and I have to fix it becase it’s a very bad shape, anyway I need of the schematics for this model and I can’t really find it. May you help me please?
Excellent choice! Transistor or tube model?
sorry for my late. It’s a transistor model, I found the schematics but I’m still on work with my binson. Really it was in worst conditions. This morning for the first time I turned it on, the motor ran, the lights were on but I guess there is some cable in not the right place. Little by little it will be perfect.
Any recommendations for replacement Binson 2 tube sockets?
You’re looking for Noval B9A sockets. See if you can repair them (they are simple components) before considering replacement as non-original parts impact on the unit’s value. Always look for NOS (new old stock) parts first when deciding for replacement.
Hmm… my Binson’s sockets look like this http://imgur.com/41h3v My tech says he is having a hard time sourcing replacement sockets. He can’t troubleshoot because the sockets are corroded past the point of repair/cleaning. Should I try to find the ones pictured or get the one’s you suggested?
To me, they look like Noval, like the ones I suggested. Good news is that they are still produced today.
Note that Noval sockets come in two flavours: chassis and PCB mounting. On one of the Echorec2′s here (a T5E with point-to-point wiring) I have chassis-mounted Novals, with a couple of screws holding each socket. In your unit, which uses a PCB instead of point-to-point, you have the socket pins soldered directly to the printed circuit (PCB).
That being said, just do an Ebay or Google Image search for “noval pcb” and you’ll recognize the sockets you’re looking for. (if you type “noval chassis” instead, you’ll find the sockets used in the T5E, with holes for the two screws mentioned above).
The metal skirts (or collars) you see around your sockets are grounded and meant to hold in place optional aluminium caps. You can mount sockets without collars (so, no caps), but you’ll find also sockets with collars on sale. If you look closely the collars of your sockets, you’ll see a small bump: that’s for locking the cap in place. If you order Noval sockets with collars, be sure they have a similar bump, as some types include springs (or other methods) and you don’t want them.
Just BE SURE to order the version for PCB mounting, not for chassis mounting. Some versions are compatible with both chassis and PCB mounting, even with collars.
Online shops usually provide tech specs and drawings, check mechanical measures and verify by measuring your original sockets. If you’re unsure, show what you found online to your technician before ordering and let him decide.
In any case, take the original sockets when removed and keep them in a safe place for a possible future restoration (by you or another owner).
OK that makes more sense. the first image I stumbled upon was this: http://i15.ebayimg.com/06/i/08/7b/f1/4b_2.JPG and I was a little [lot] confused. Thanks for the La5YO explanation.
Understood. The pic you linked displays a chassis-mount Noval. Note also the small holes in the metal pins: those are for soldering cables. In your case (PCB-mount), pins don’t have holes as they fit into the printed circuit tracks, and there are no cables to be soldered.
On stock 2 Binson ECC83 sockets, 1 Binson ECC82 socket, original parts.
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