Category Archives: Spare Parts

Studer-Revox Interest Group in Germany, Provides Servicing, Parts, Devices

A little known gem, the IRS e. V. (Studer-Revox Interest Group) is a private association of fans in Hamburg (northern Germany) devoted to preserving the heritage of Willi Studer, died 84 years old on Friday, March 1 1996.

IRS e. V. has a paid membership program including:

  • repair and servicing for two devices a year, at the sole cost of parts, no labor costs
  • delivery of spare parts at the club’s cost of purchase.
  • a two-week preemption right on devices on sales
  • discount and warranty on devices on sale
ISR - Studer-Revox Interest Group

ISR - Studer-Revox Interest Group

The IRS e. V. clubhouse is open during weekdays (and weekends on appointment) for Studer-Revox fans to visit. The IRS e. V. website is here.





Upgrading Tape Recorder’s Electronics: Tube Preamps

An interesting way of modifying an open reel deck is to take the direct output from the playback head and route it to an external, higher quality, preamp bypassing the internal one.

Bottlehead, located near Seattle, produces hand-made dedicated tube repro preamps.These units are intended for 2 track systems.

Their top end model, Tube Repro, features:

  • XLR-balanced outputs +4dB
  • RCA-unbalanced outputs +10dB
  • CCIR  EQ
  • NAB EQ

Different custom EQ curves available on demand.

Bottlehead Repro

Bottlehead Repro

Another model, the Eros Tape Head Preamp, is available as a kit. To my knowledge this is the only tube repro kit available on the market as of 2012.

Eros Preamp

Eros Preamp

Bottlehead also sells upgraded replacements for mechanical parts along the tape path (Otari and Technics decks)
Visit their site here and head to the Reel To Reel section.

NORTRONICS Tape Head Guide

Professional tape head replacement guide by Nortronics, in pdf format.



The document is still hosted on the Nortronics site however the company’s stock of over 56.000 heads has been acquired by JRF Magnetics after liquidation and items are available for purchase.

View the Nortronics tape head guide here.

Magnetic heads: reconditioning or replacing?

JRF Magnetic Sciences provide a relapping service for magnetic recording head reconditioning, from 2 to 24 tracks.

Inspections before relapping:

  • Gap Condition (Optical Comparitor-50x/or Microscope up to 1000x)
  • Depth of Wear (Optical Comparitor)
  • Inductance (Digital Bridge/All tracks)
  • D.C. Resistance/All Tracks

Reelapping and polishing process. Ferrite heads are polished by utilizing diamond compounds and vapor spraying technology.

After relapping:

  • Complete Optical Inspection (up to 1000x)
  • Inductance (all tracks)
  • Mounting, Wiring and Optical Alignment (optional)

A report on the whole process is sent to customers after completion.

JRF Magnetic Sciences also sells original and 3rd party heads in case replacement is preferred. They even have their own PLX line of replacement heads.

Visit JRF Magnetic Sciences here.

Pinch Roller /Idler Wheel Rebuilding

Terry Witt at specializes in rebuilding rollers and wheels for almost every tape recorder brand I’ve heard of. And also for the Echoplex tape delay.

Here is the impressive list of brands serviced:

  • Akai,  Ampex, Awia
  • Bell Sound, Decoder, Echoplex,  BSR, Dynacord, Brunning, Dual,  Elmo
  • Ferrograph, Instromedix, Lyrec,   Magnavox, Magnacord, Mitsubishi,  Lenco,  Garrard,  ITC,  Motorola,  Nagra,  JVC
  • Nagra, Otari, Philips, Pioneer,   Nakamichi, Panasonic
  • RCA, Rec-o-kut, Revox, Roland, Sound Craft, Realistic,Scully, Sony, Stellavox, Stancel, Studer
  • Tape Drives, Tandberg, Tape-Athon
  • Tascam
  • Teac, Technics, Telefunken,   Webcor, Westinghouse, Webster,Zenith, Viking/Telex

Visit terrysrubberroller here.