Skip to main content
Community forums, blogs, song critique, press & more...

80-8 - rebuild or junk it?


A couple years ago I stupidly bid on a Tascam 80-8 + M30 rig on Ebay. Let's just say the 80-8 was beat by the time it got here. The reel tables were warped and the hubs broken. I should have fussed about that but I did buy it "as-is", so that was a $490 lesson. :(

Anyway, it had so many things wrong with it that it ended up in the basement. Here's the list of what it needs:

head relap, capstan bearings, reel tables, hubs, pinch roller, and the channel cards need refurbishing as they're noisy and 2 of them won't pass record or erase bias.

I'm guessing it'd cost close to a grand to fix this thing. Is it worth putting that much into, or should I just put it out to the curb and chalk it up to experience?

I should have stuck with the 388 in good nick I was trying to bid on at the time. Oh well. C'est la vie or something like that.


TP :confused:


Ken Weeks Mon, 06/18/2001 - 08:57

Heya Todd. I'm new on reel-2-reel but since nobody really qualified to answer has jumped in, I'll bite.

I'd definitely sell your 80-8 off as a parts machine and start looking again.

Check out, the "Analog and Vintage Gear" forum if you haven't yet paid them a visit. Lots more old hands there who could give you a more complete assessment. But from your description, I don't think this is a very hard decision.

A quick search on the 80-8 turned up one fellow on the board saying that users should get a parts machine if they're interested in restoring it. Parts *can* be still be found if you're determined, but you will spend a lot more time and money than you could ever recover when you sell the machine and buy that wicked nice 2" deck with the JRF Ultimate Analog 8-track conversion... (-;

I was fortunate to have a fellow Tascam TSR-8 owner on hand to tell me his horror story about buying a "bargain" TSR-8 on E-bay. It took quite a bit of work and money to bring his machine up to "usable" condition.

So, with the benefit of his experience, when I bid on mine I went for a "creme puff" machine, barely used in a home studio, complete with manuals and remote. Cost me a little more ($649+shipping) but it allowed me to start exploring the analog tape world without having to fix the machine first.

There are a lot of great analog bargains out there in working condition, I'd bail on the old girl and start fresh.

B3Nut Mon, 06/18/2001 - 15:56

There are a lot of great analog bargains out there in working condition, I'd bail on the old girl and start fresh.

Hey man, thanks. Looks like that's the plan. :)