Otari MX-5050 MKIII-2 Static

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I have a total beginner's question for the group. I recently purchased an
Otari MX-5050 MKIII-2 reel-to-reel deck in order to transfer a large
collection of family recordings to CD. The deck is in excellent condition
and all functions seem to perform as expected. There's one thing that does
worry me, though. Perhaps I'm just paranoid, but it seems like it
produces a lot of static (hiss) just by having the power on. Without
playing a tape, there is the same amount of static if I listen through my
headphones connected directly to the deck as there is through the rear
outputs. So the problem seems to be internal. Is this normal for an older
piece of equipment such as this?

While searching through Google News concerning a problem I came across a
post from way back in 1998 which I think might have a bearing on my
problem. Here it is:

http://groups.google.com/groups?q=otari+5050+static&hl=en&lr=&selm=
19981109162149.00770.00001699%40ng30.aol.com&rnum=1

Thanks for your help.

Timothy
13 answers Last reply
More about otari 5050 mkiii static
  1. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Static and hiss are not the same thing.

    You probably have the volume turned all the way up. Regardless, the only way you
    can know for sure is to ACTUALLY PLAY A TAPE.

    Stop theorizing, and DO SOMETHING.
  2. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "William Sommerwerck" <williams@nwlink.com> wrote in
    news:10mrnm0a71i7b85@corp.supernews.com:

    > Static and hiss are not the same thing.
    >
    > You probably have the volume turned all the way up. Regardless, the
    > only way you can know for sure is to ACTUALLY PLAY A TAPE.
    >
    > Stop theorizing, and DO SOMETHING.
    >
    >

    Wow, what a friendly reply. :)

    Yes, it plays just fine. I have the Otari hooked up to my Layla24, and am
    able to record to my computer. I was just wondering if it is normal for an
    older Otari reel-to-reel to generate a considerable amount of noise all on
    its own.

    T.
  3. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    TTiiMM wrote:

    > Yes, it plays just fine. I have the Otari hooked up to my Layla24, and am
    > able to record to my computer. I was just wondering if it is normal for an
    > older Otari reel-to-reel to generate a considerable amount of noise all on
    > its own.


    It's not that old!
  4. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "Don Cooper" <dcooper2880890@comcast.net> wrote in message
    news:416DE7D7.B89F5A5F@comcast.net...
    >
    >
    > TTiiMM wrote:
    >
    > > Yes, it plays just fine. I have the Otari hooked up to my Layla24, and
    am
    > > able to record to my computer. I was just wondering if it is normal for
    an
    > > older Otari reel-to-reel to generate a considerable amount of noise all
    on
    > > its own.
    >
    >

    without some quantitative information from you we cannot answer the
    question.

    using a meter (or your soundcard) play a standard level test tape. establish
    a level (like zero dB).

    next pause the tape. measure the level... is it -40 dB? -50dB?

    then compare to the specs listed in the service manual.

    if you don't have a standard test tape you can use a test tone as the
    reference.
  5. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    >> You probably have the volume turned all the way up. Regardless, the
    >> only way you can know for sure is to ACTUALLY PLAY A TAPE.
    >> Stop theorizing, and DO SOMETHING.

    > Wow, what a friendly reply. :)

    I'm sorry if you're offended, but people too often ask questions without having
    actually gone through the basic steps of testing something, and their postings
    leave out 90% of the information needed to make any kind of intelligent
    assessment. This happens over and over and over and over and over again, in this
    and every other UseNet group.


    > Yes, it plays just fine. I have the Otari hooked up to my Layla24, and am
    > able to record to my computer. I was just wondering if it is normal for an
    > older Otari reel-to-reel to generate a considerable amount of noise all on
    > its own.

    Basic answer... If you're playing a properly recorded tape (that is, its peak
    levels hit 0 or a bit higher) at a normal listening level, and you hear audible
    hiss when the tape is stopped -- yes, something is almost certainly wrong with
    the deck. A paused or stopped tape deck -- be it open-reel, cassette, or
    digital -- should not produce audible noise.
  6. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    In article <Xns9581D5DDDEECDTTiiMM@216.168.3.44>,
    TTiiMM <TTiiMM@--SPAMICIDE--myrealbox.com> wrote:
    >I have a total beginner's question for the group. I recently purchased an
    >Otari MX-5050 MKIII-2 reel-to-reel deck in order to transfer a large
    >collection of family recordings to CD. The deck is in excellent condition
    >and all functions seem to perform as expected. There's one thing that does
    >worry me, though. Perhaps I'm just paranoid, but it seems like it
    >produces a lot of static (hiss) just by having the power on. Without
    >playing a tape, there is the same amount of static if I listen through my
    >headphones connected directly to the deck as there is through the rear
    >outputs. So the problem seems to be internal. Is this normal for an older
    >piece of equipment such as this?

    Static is not hiss. These are two different things.

    Whether or not you have too much hiss depends on whether you can hear it
    with signal. If you play back a blank tape, and the tape hiss is much
    louder than the recorder noise floor, everything is fine. If the recorder
    noise floor drowns out the tape noise, it's not.

    I strongly suggest you do a full alignment on the machine before you make
    any judgement about noise, though. If the playback level and EQ aren't
    set right, noise will be exaggerated.

    If you have quarter-track heads on the machine, you can expect the noise floor
    to be a little higher than if you have half-track heads just because the signal
    coming off of the head will be lower.
    --scott

    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  7. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    > I strongly suggest you do a full alignment on the machine
    > before you make any judgement about noise, though. If the
    > playback level and EQ aren't set right, noise will be exaggerated.

    True. But he's saying the deck is audibly noisy even when the tape isn't
    running.
  8. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    William Sommerwerck <williams@nwlink.com> wrote:
    >> I strongly suggest you do a full alignment on the machine
    >> before you make any judgement about noise, though. If the
    >> playback level and EQ aren't set right, noise will be exaggerated.
    >
    >True. But he's saying the deck is audibly noisy even when the tape isn't
    >running.

    Yup. But if you crank the level control all the way up and you crank the
    high end EQ all the way up, you'll hear all kinds of noise when the tape
    isn't running. But, this is not the normal state that the machine should
    ever be running at.
    --scott
    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  9. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    >> True. But he's saying the deck is audibly noisy even when
    >> the tape isn't running.

    > Yup. But if you crank the level control all the way up and you crank the
    > high end EQ all the way up, you'll hear all kinds of noise when the tape
    > isn't running. But, this is not the normal state that the machine should
    > ever be running at.

    That's why I asked whether he actually played any tapes. (He hadn't said.)

    I'm curious as to what sort of component failure could cause both channels of
    tape deck to become extremely noisy.
  10. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    In article <Xns9581DA771787CTTiiMM@216.168.3.44> TTiiMM@--SPAMICIDE--myrealbox.com writes:

    > Wow, what a friendly reply. :)

    Well, it's correct. If you push anything electronic beyone its normal
    operating range, you're very likely to hear an abnormal amount of
    noise.

    > Yes, it plays just fine. I have the Otari hooked up to my Layla24, and am
    > able to record to my computer. I was just wondering if it is normal for an
    > older Otari reel-to-reel to generate a considerable amount of noise all on
    > its own.

    It's perfectly normal for anything to generate noise, and if you
    amplify it by turning the volume up well beyond normal, you'll hear
    that noise. If you want to try an experiment which may be destructive,
    turn the volume up to the point where you find the noise to be
    objectionable and then start playing a tape. You'll probably blow out
    your speakers or headphones. If it's sufficiently quiet at normal
    playback levels, it's fine.


    --
    I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
    However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
    lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
    you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
    and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
  11. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Thanks everyone for your insight and suggestions.

    Tim
  12. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    > Thanks everyone for your insight and suggestions.

    Let us know what you find out.
  13. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    In article <10n2iu8q2a1snf4@corp.supernews.com>, williams@nwlink.com
    says...
    > > Thanks everyone for your insight and suggestions.
    >
    > Let us know what you find out.
    >
    If you have switched mic./line I/p's make sure they are switched to line
    & turned down.
    Might also sound noisy if you are using balanced outputs wired
    incorrectly.

    Pip pip
    --
    Chris Notton
    Replace "nospam" with my surname to reply by email
    Sostituisca il "nospam" con il mio cognome per rispondere
    }<////(*>
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