How To Hook Up a Pioneer SA-9800 + RG-2 + SR-303 + SG-9800 + CT-F1250

DISCLAIMER: I AM NEITHER AN AUDIO TECHNICIAN, ENGINEER, NOR ‘PHILE. NONE OF THIS ADVICE IS MY “PROFESSIONAL” ANALYSIS, RECOMMENDATION, OR OPINION. I AM JUST A GUY WHO LIKES VINTAGE AUDIO GEAR BECAUSE IT CONJURES FEELINGS OF GREAT NOSTALGIA. WHAT FOLLOWS IS THINGS AND STUFF I’VE LEARNED IN THE 10 YEARS SINCE MY OLD MAN SURPRISED THE SHIT OUT OF ME BY GIVING ME—HOW DID HE STILL HAVE IT AFTER ALL THOSE YEARS???—HIS ORIGINAL PIONEER RECEIVER AND TURNTABLE. QUITE CLEARLY THERE ARE GAZILLIONS OF MORE AUDIO SAVVY (MOSTLY) DUDES LURKING IN EVERY CORNER OF THE AUDIOKARMA (AK) FORUMS. IF YOU WANT EXPERT—BORDERING ON SNOBBISH ELITIST—ADVICE, I VIGOROUSLY RECOMMEND YOU READ NO FURTHER AND GO THERE NOW!

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED…CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN PERIL…

Back when I was a young lad of 39 and had just become the steward of my father’s Pioneer SX-780 receiver, PL-400 turntable, and some random Technics cassette deck, which I promptly flipped, I was suddenly faced with a dilemma:

How do you hook dis shit up?!

Honestly, connecting a turntable to a receiver or amp is not rocket science (just don’t forget to hook up the ground wire). And the definitive YouTube vid on that process has been done 16,728 times. I won’t bore you with the details, but that’s why it’s missing from the forthcoming diagram to which I’ll allude a dozen more times before I actually plop the damn thing on this blog post. I have a pair of turntables: a Pioneer PL-630, and a PL-560 hooked up to my basement rig. When you (eventually) look at the diagram, those TTs are hooked up to PHONO1 (PL-630) and PHONO2 (PL-560) on the back of the SA-9800 integrated amplifier.

OK, back to my story. I went a bit bananas after my father shocked the hell out of me a decade ago. I figured he’d tossed out the stereo of my youth when he moved. I was 39 when he gave it to me. I had likely last listened to it when I was 10. It was a bit of a mind-blow to have him produce it and give it to me nearly 30 years down the road.

Since that fateful day, I’ve acquired a number of rigs and a condition known as “audiophilitis”. This malady causes the sufferer to continuously purchase, rotate, and sell various vintage audio components. Let me introduce the current line-up(s):

This is the one I’ve been assembling and reassembling for a decade. The task was a labor of endless love and countless dollars. It’s been in this state for just over two years with the acquisition of the pièce de ré·sis·tance, the crowning achievement: the RT-909. It features all of Pioneer’s top of the line (TOTL) fluoroscan units from the 1978-80 time period along with Pioneer’s TOTL turntable from that era: the PL-630.

The basement rig (a.k.a. “The Wall of Sound” or “The Altar“)…

Top to Bottom…

  • Pioneer RT-909 Reel-To-Reel
  • Pioneer DT-400 Digital Timer
  • Pioneer RG-2 Dynamic Expander
  • Pioneer PL-630 Turntable
  • Pioneer SR-303 Reverb
  • Pioneer PL-560 Turntable
  • Pioneer SG-9800 12-Band Graphic Equalizer
  • Pioneer SA-9800 Integrated Amplifier (100 WPC)
  • Pioneer TX-9800 AM/FM Tuner
  • Pioneer P-D70 CD Player
  • Pioneer CT-F1250 Cassette Deck
  • Pioneer HPM-100 Speakers (100W)
  • Pioneer HPM-100 Speakers (200W)
  • Pioneer SE-305 Headphones
  • Pioneer SE-2P Headphones
  • Pioneer SE-L-20A Headphones
  • Pioneer SE-L-40 Headphones

Just last fall, I became aware of a wondrous thing called the Pioneer Progression IV system which came out just before Christmas 1985. It was Pioneer’s first foray into a “shelf stereo”. Because 13-year-old me would have thought he’d died and ascended if one of these was under the tree, I (obviously) had to track down all of the components.

The other basement rig (a.k.a. “The Teen Dream Machine“)…

Top to bottom…

  • Pioneer SG-X700 7-Band Graphic Equalizer
  • Pioneer F-X700 AM/FM Tuner
  • Pioneer A-X900 Amplifier (75 WPC)
  • Pioneer P-DX700 CD Player
  • Pioneer CT-X700W Dual Cassette Deck
  • Pioneer PL-X300 Front-Load Turntable
  • Pioneer S-700X Speakers (90W)
  • Koss HV/1 Headphones
  • PIONEER CU-X700 Remote Control

Because it’s too arduous to pull any of the other rigs in the house apart to test new components or troubleshoot “tricky” ones, I’ve assembled a makeshift audio workstation, which can be easily accessed from the area under the stairs. I also use the dueling ’90s JVC tape decks for making all manner of mixed tapes.

Another basement rig (a.k.a. “Frankenstack” or “Frank” or “The Blender“)…

Top to bottom…

  • Dual 1018 Turntable
  • Teac AG-55 AM/FM Receiver (160 WPC)
  • Teac RC-335 Remote Control
  • JVC TD-R441 Cassette Deck
  • JVC TD-W209 Dual Cassette Deck
  • Magnavox AK698P BK01 CD Player
  • Pioneer HPM-40 Speakers (40W)

Then, there is the more classy main level rig for quiet dinners, rip-roaring cocktail parties, and everything in between. It took nearly four years to track down the dueling pairs of Pioneer CS-22A’s—the only Pioneer CS Series speakers that fit into the cabinet.

The main level rig (a.k.a. “Gatsby“)…

Top to bottom…

  • Pioneer PL-530 Turntable
  • Pioneer RH-65 8-Track Tape Deck
  • Pioneer TX-7800 AM/FM Tuner
  • Pioneer SA-7800 Amplifier (65 WPC)
  • Pioneer CT-F900 Cassette Deck
  • CS-22A Speakers (2 sets 10-40W)

Then there’s the rig that started it all. By the time the old man gave me his stereo a decade back, I’d long since converted my entire (500) CD collection to MP3 and donated it to the public library. In those digital days, I didn’t have a record, cassette, or CD to my name—LOL!

My Daughter’s bedroom rig (a.k.a. “The Old Man’s Rig“)…

Top to bottom…

  • Pioneer PL-400 Turntable
  • Pioneer DT-400 Digital Timer
  • Pioneer SX-780 AM/FM Receiver (45 WPC)
  • Pioneer CT-300 Cassette Deck
  • Pioneer HPM-60 Speakers (60W)
  • 3M Wollensak A1050 Speakers

Then there’s the garage rig (aka “Cooter“)…

This is a Panasonic SE-3280 AM/FM Stereo Music Center (AM/FM, 8-Track, Turntable). Four matching Panasonic SB-207 Speakers (36W) pump out the sound for those long afternoons of pulling weeds or tearing apart components and cleaning pots with Deoxit on the workbench.

Anyway, those are my credentials. That’s all I got. So, take the following information/advice with a shitload of salt grains.

I often post photos of my stereo altars on my Instagram feed. I received a comment on my latest post from one @jjuniorrssobrall. Just as I once was, he was baffled as to how to hook up numerous “sound altering” components to an amp or receiver. He saw my photo and, as he has nearly the same setup, begged for help (in Spanish). Needless to say my three years of high school Spanish are buried too deeply in my subconscious—thank you Google Translate!

I truly felt his pain. I once asked this very same question on the AK Forums and was promptly referred to this thread, which apparently answers all questions, except it doesn’t. I was sent these two diagrams by one kindly soul. They are quite helpful, but are far from the complete wiring diagram for my ludicrous basement rig.

Essentially, this is the visual representation of what everyone was debating in the aforementioned AK Forum thread. I took the first approach. I call it the “sound loop”. Maybe others call it that as well. Some call it a “tape loop”. It’s a loop, regardless of what the hell you call it.

I sent these to @jjuniorrssobrall, and while he seemed appreciative (in Spanish), he begged me to provide detail of how I hooked up my main basement rig. He then sent me a photo of his stack, which was nearly identical to mine.

I thought about this. a lot. There is a line in the Lori KcKenna tune “Humble and Kind”—popularized by Tim McGraw—that goes like this:

Don’t take for granted the love this life gives you
When you get where you’re going don’t forget turn back around
And help the next one in line
Always stay humble and kind

Humble and Kind, Lori McKenna

I’ve been a fan of Lori’s for as long as I’ve had this hobby. My wife and I saw Lori at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville on 10/13/2014 long before she was famous. We didn’t have advanced tickets, so we got there three hours early and drank beers from the service station a block away and waited. We were #7 & #8 in line. Needless to say, we got in!

At that time, she was just a traveling singer songwriter trying to sell a few tunes and make a little money. She closed the Bluebird show with “Humble and Kind”—it was her encore tune and not on the setlist. It was the first time I’d ever heard it, as it had never appeared on any of her albums at that point.

And that last verse it pretty heavy, poignant.

When I got a series of follow-up DMs from @jjuniorrssobrall desperate for assistance, and I remembered how desperate (and frustrated) I once was, I decided that doing a full schematic for my basement rig was my Karmatic duty.

Without further adieu, I present: How To Hook Up Pioneer a SA-9800 + RG-2 + SR-303 + SG-9800 + CT-F1250

I can’t technically explain how this works, but it does. The “loop” utilizes the Tape 1 component—the CT-F1250 in my case—as a switch to turn on or off all of the sound altering components. This is done by simply pressing the Tape/Source (Monitor) button on the deck and appropriately flipping the Tape Monitor & Duplicate switches on the SA-9800. Obviously, you need a tape deck with a Monitor button for this to work.

Additionally, you can switch off each sound altering component separately on the component with the respective on/off switch. I’ll explain all that in detail, as it took me forever to get everything switched/dialed properly. The basement rig is truly teenager-proof, parent-proof, and spouse-proof. I’m the only one who can even turn the damn thing on—ha!

While the RT-909 is not theoretically part of the loop, it is part of the duplicate metering display process. In other words, if you engage the loop, and you want to watch the RT-909 meters bounce in time with all of the other meters, you have to do a couple of things. Hence, I’ll include it.

I won’t include the Tuner, CD Player, or the turntables. They are not part of the loop, and you don’t need to do anything with them specifically. I’ll describe three scenarios and how the components should look in each one.

Scenario #1 – Listening to the turntable, tuner, or AUX (CD player, in my case)…

SA-9800

On the amp, the only thing you need to do to engage the sound loop is to set the Tape Monitor switch to: 1 — by doing this, you are engaging whatever is plugged into the Tape 1 inputs on the rear of the amp, which in this case is our sound loop.

Setting the Tape Monitor switch to: Off disengages the sound loop, but allows the meters to keep bouncing along with the beat.

Switching the Tape Monitor switch between 1 and Off allows to you hear the impact of all of the sound altering components on whatever noise is emanating from your speakers.

Audiophile rule: Always set the Tape Monitor switch to: Off when listening to your turntable. Anyone who would dare alter the sound of a record is a neophytic barbarian noob and does not deserve to even hear records, at all, ever—dammit!

My rule: It’s your ear, it’s your gear, do whatever sounds good to you—I’m not here to judge.

CT-F1250

First off, the Monitor toggle button has two states: Tape and Source.

  • Generally speaking, you want it toggled to Tape when, not surprisingly, you are listening to a cassette.
  • Generally speaking, you want it toggled to Source all other times, including when you want to hear the sound loop.

Next, there are two important volume knobs: Input/Line and Output.

  • The one labelled: Output controls the volume of the output of the deck when you have the Monitor button toggled to Tape.
  • The one labelled: Input/Line controls the volume of the output of the deck when you have the Monitor button toggled to Source.

If you are listening to a cassette:

  • Make sure the Monitor button toggled to Tape.
  • Make sure the Output knob is not turned all the way down. I’m not going to discuss what it should be set at—it definitely should not be set at 0. It does default to 6—you’ll feel a sort of click at 6—but there are plenty of discussions about this in the AK forums. If you want to waste hours of your life, read through them. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

If you are listening to…say…the tuner and want to hear the sound loop:

  • Make sure the Monitor button toggled to Source.
  • Make sure the Input/Line knob is not turned all the way down. I’m not going to discuss what it should be set at—it definitely should not be set at 0. Unlike the Output knob, it has no default, but there are plenty of discussions about this in the AK forums. If you want to waste hours of your life, read through them. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

RG-2

First off, the RG-2 needs to be on.

The Tape Monitor button has to be engaged (red light). On any of the sound altering components, toggling this button off will break the entire loop.

The Processor button can be toggled on or off depending on whether or not you want the RG-2 active in the loop. Toggling it off will not break the loop, it will simply take the RG-2 out of the loop.

The Input Level knob has to be set to something for the loop to function. Turning it all the way down will kill the loop. I generally set mine to 3.5, but you can experiment to your heart’s content.

SR-303

First off, the SR-303 needs to be on.

The Tape Monitor button has to be engaged (red light). On any of the sound altering components, toggling this button off will break the entire loop.

The Reverberation button can be toggled on or off depending on whether or not you want the SR-303 active in the loop. Toggling it off will not break the loop, it will simply take the SR-303 out of the loop. Sadly, it will also dim the super groovy cosmic display.

The Reverb Time and Depth knobs can be adjusted for maximum or minimum reverb. They also affect the super groovy cosmic display.

SG-9800

First off, the SG-9800 needs to be on.

The Tape Monitor button has to be engaged (red light). On any of the sound altering components, toggling this button off will break the entire loop.

The Equalizer button can be toggled on or off depending on whether or not you want the SG-9800 active in the loop. Toggling it off will not break the loop, it will simply take the SG-9800 out of the loop. Sadly, it will also dim the super groovy slider lights.

RT-909

First off, the RT-909 can be on or off, it only matters whether or not you want to see the bouncing meters. If you do, it needs to be on.

The Monitor toggle button has two states: Tape and Source. You need it set to Source if you want to see the meters undulate to the sound emanating from your speakers.

Scenario #2 – Listening to a cassette…

Everything above is the same except:

  • On the SA-9800, the Tape Monitor switch needs to be set to: 1
  • On the SA-9800, the Tape Duplicate switch needs to be set to: 1>2
  • On the CT-F1250, the Monitor button needs to be toggled to: Tape
  • On the RT-909, the Monitor button needs to be toggled to: Source

By doing this, all of the sound altering components will be in play, and the meters on the RT-909 will bounce in time with whatever cassette you are rolling on the CF-F1250.

Scenario #3 – Listening to a reel-to-reel tape…

Everything above is the same except:

  • On the SA-9800, the Tape Monitor switch needs to be set to: 2
  • On the SA-9800, the Tape Duplicate switch needs to be set to: 2>1
  • On the RT-909, the Monitor button needs to be toggled to: Tape
  • On the CT-F1250, the Monitor button needs to be toggled to: Source

By doing this, all of the sound altering components will be in play, and the meters on the CF-F1250 will bounce in time with whatever cassette you are rolling on the RT-909.

Also, on the RT-909, make sure the Output knob is turned to something other than 0.

Really, that’s all there is to it! Once you have the dozen (or so) switches and knobs dialed in properly, it all lights up like the Eiffel Tower on Christmas Eve…


© 2020 – ∞ B. Charles Donley

Saving My Heart For You

Out of the blue, I received the following message via FB Messenger…Untitled-1

I get it that no one reads this blog. I mean, I have access to the stats, so I know that NO ONE reads this blog.

However, if you are one of the one who does, you know how vital cassettes were to my survival in this particular lifetime, especially during my middle school/high school epoch. Therefore, an offer like this indeed registered on my personal Richter Scale.

The stellar human, total dude, and polymathic stud—he’s possessed of mad wood working skillz, he’s woke on podcasts, he has total nostalgia recall capabilities, and he’s hella gracious—who made the offer, just happens to live in the other neighborhood I periodically inhabit. You see, I split my time betwen Minneapolis (where my kids live) and Atlanta (where my wife lives). Trust me, you’ll understand it after I write my magnum opus and accept my academy award for “Best Adapted Screenplay”. But for now, just go with it as a “different” normal.

Anyway, being offered a two Nike shoe boxes and a Case Logic 15-cassette caddy overflowing with cassettes is not an unheard of experience for someone like me: an “audiophile” who covets all recorded music mediums (save 78s and Edison Phonograph Cylinders—gotta draw the line somewhere). But to be offered this volume and caliber of  recorded music on compact cassette tapes, which incidentally are “Better Than You Don’t Remember“, was a straight thrill—I ain’t gonna lie!

Full disclosure: when I get an offer like this, I’m torn. On one hand, I obviously want a well-curated compact cassette collection from the late ’80s—duh! On the other hand, I know what it would mean to me if I still had my own collection rather than hawking it at Down in the Valley in the early ’90s, only to turn around, literally, and buy copious amounts of used Eagles, Bob Seger, and (The) Who CDs with the proceeds.

My total dude southern neighbor assured me that “getting back into cassettes” was not on his radar, or his kids’ radars, or the radars of anyone with whom he was aware, related to, or casually associated…except me!

Yay me!

On a sunny March afternoon in ATL—sun in MSP in March is as rare as an OG cassette copy of Sublime’s Jah Won’t Pay the Bills on Skunk Records—my wifey and I swung by and picked up the magnetically coated polyester-type plastic film booty. It was a kick—I ain’t gonna lie!

Needless to say, the Pioneer mothership soundwall is located in a basement rumpus room in MSP, not in the unfinished basement storage zone in ATL.

And my big bad TOTL Pioneer CT-F1250 was exactly 1,117 miles away from the two boxes of tapes and one Case Logic caddy that I was cradling in my arms. Hence, I was going to have to endure the tedious yet familiar two hour and two minute return flight from ATL > MSP before I could hear the majestic notes of someone else’s teenage dreams.

Upon arriving back home from my trip home, I carefully unpacked all of the jewels and dropped them strategically in the open slots of one of the myriad wall-mounted Napa Valley Box Co. wooden cassette caddys that adorn my basement walls.

Tape by tape, I rolled my way through my neighbor’s teen epoch. In the process, I picked up a decent amount of music knowledge, such as…

Roger Waters’ Radio K.A.O.S. has been short shrift’d by AllMusic.

As I’ve always suspected, John Hiatt has one of those so-distinct vocal styles.

.38 Special was indeed special!

Anyway, I can’t adequately describe how delightful my trip through my latest acquisition has been. As my idol Bruce Springsteen once said…

“There is nothing so satisfying as busting the plastic seal on a new cassette, cracking open the case, and inhaling that new cassette smell.”

Actually, it was I who said that. And, older tapes present a completely wonderfully different bouquet—like that new record smell vs. an older mustier gem.

As I perused the cache of old-new stock tapes, I was struck by something.

Important.

Crucial, actually.

Among us diggers, there is a thing commonly referred to as: “record Karma”. It’s a pretty simple concept that takes a bit of time to explain and is best understood via example. I’ll give a first-hand account form my own experience, as only a first-hand experience can be accounted…

There is a Goodwill a scant three miles from our MSP home. Without getting mired in the intricacies of my custody arrangement, I see my kids every other weekend (and other days during the week). On my weekends, my daughter and I usually hit as many thrift stores as we can, and we hit ’em hard! We are ninja-like in our dismantling of any given outlet, and we know each store’s strengths and weaknesses.

On one particular trip to our local Goodwill, I ran across a freshly donated collection of AOR standards hastily crammed into the makeshift LP rack—actually a repurposed magazine rack—at the rear corner of the store. We’re talking High Infidelity, Against the Wind, On the Border, and so on, and etc…

Normally, despite previously owning at least a half-dozen different copies of each of these LPs at any given point since my 2009 vinyl Renaissance sparked my thrifting Odyssey, I’d snap them up for any number of rational (and irrational) reasons. Mainly, I’d snap them up strictly on principle. But, on that particular day, I was struck by the need to contribute to, rather than draw from, the well of record Karma.

I left that vein of vinyl gold and platinum—every LP in the run had been certified gold or platinum (many times over in some cases)—in that rickety white metal magazine rack for the next teenager, hipster, or oldster to discover. I wanted those records, but someone else likely needed ’em. I hope whomever needed ’em got ’em.

To my simplistic way of thinking, I believe that if you stack up enough of these displays of restraint, grace, and gratitude, really cool shit like your neighbor gifting you like 75 cassettes happens.

That’s what I’m going with anyway.

Thanks Matt! Your tapes will be graciously absorbed into my collection of 900+ cassettes and live to roll another day…many other days in some cases (like that Warren Zevon tape).


© 2020 – ∞ B. Charles Donley

Music, When It Hits Ya, You Feel No Pain

That lyric, as I first heard it sung by Bradley Nowell of Sublime, goes like this…

One good thing about music
When it hits you, you feel no pain
One good thing about music
When it hits you, you feel no pain
So hit me with music
Hit me with music now yah
Hit me with music
Brutalize me with music

Later, after learning everything I could about yet another ’90s front-man who’d danced with Mr. Brownstone too often and too hard, I learned Trenchtown Rock was a song penned by another legend who’d died too early, Robert Nesta Marley. In fact, according to Wikipedia

Trench Town is the birthplace of rocksteady and reggae music, as well as the home of reggae and Rastafari ambassador Bob Marley.

Sublime’s unvarnished version features Nowell pleading, rather than singing, Marley’s lyrics. This is what hit me when I heard it for the first time. Although I’d go on to become obsessed with Sublime—once owning over 350 of their CDs, cassettes, LPs, VHS tapes, promos, bootlegs, and whatnot, actively participating in the late ’90s bootleg market with biff5446 as my handle, and even running an all-things-Sublime website called: The Sublime Zine—I was never obsessed with this song. And though the tune never resonated with me like much of their other work, those words perpetually ricocheted around my mind—they still do…

I offer that background as explanation for the title of this blog post that has nothing to do with Sublime, or Trenchtown Rock, or Bob Marley. But, it has everything to do with the live-saving power of music, and how, a few lifetimes back, like many, I brutalized myself with music to drown out adolescent pain.

I won’t rehash it here, but you can read my rescued-by-music story in this blog post titled: The Best Friend I Never Had. If you are not into reading long rambling dissertations, it goes something like this…

melifemusic

And back in that era of confusion, naivety, and strife, music was the only thing that could assuage my teen angst.

Today, I’m approaching the apex of this lifetime. I figure after 50, it’s a nice leisurely downhill meander toward the inevitable. That is, unless I decide to have my head cryogenetically frozen so as to come back as a cyborg at some indeterminate future moment. Honestly. I’ll probably just bow out gracefully, die, and call it a good run.

In the meantime, I feel compelled to give the “life saving” gift of music to the next generation of music-obsessed souls to plant the seed of music appreciation, to show how sound can light the way when shit gets really dark.

Besides being music-obsessed, I’m thrift-addicted. There is no place more full of endless possibility and hopeless junk than a thrift store you haven’t frequented for a week. And although I look at anything and everything strewn amid the shelves, I’m always honed in on a few specific classes of relics. One such class is stereo equipment produced before the era of cheap Chinese audio gadgetry really dominated the market—the analog era, let’s call it.

I snap up this stuff mainly in hopes of reconditioning/repairing it and giving it a second life. I don’t experience any existential angst if I make a few bucks in the process. I’ve been called a “fucking flipper” more than once on Craigslist, as though fixing broken gear and selling it at a fair price is unforgivable debauchery. Another reason I like to rescue these relics from certain death in a recycling center, is that most of the stuff that is “broken” doesn’t require much effort to “fix”. Better to be fixed up and have a second life than to be dismantled and made into some cheap Chinese gadgetry, I always say.

In addition to literally hunting high and low for salvageable stereo gear, I also buy records, cassettes, and 8-tracks. I’ve yet to fall into the quagmire of flipping through jewel cases, but it just might happen some day.

About five years back, I noticed that I had snapped up about 50 (or so) duplicate LPs throughout the year. My old-souled, 9-year-old, music-obsessed daughter and I decided that rather than peddling the duplicates for $2-$5 a pop on eBay, we’d put a “Free” ad on Craigslist and give them to someone who had a music-obsessed kid of their own, who’d love them as much as we loved discovering them in dusty thrift store bins among other musty records. Needless to say, when we met the person who responded to our ad with the most compelling story—a mother with a 13-year-old son—it was a pretty damn excellent experience!

As a result of this initial foray into musical altruism, we decided this needed to become annual event. And each year around Christmas, we continued to gift the duplicate platters we had snapped up over the course of another year of thrifting. Eventually, it dawned on me that it would probably be momentarily life-altering to not only receive music but also the means to enjoy the music. In that spirit, I started to gather choice pieces of stereo gear throughout the year.

By the time this past Christmas rolled around, I had amassed the following rig…

  • Technics SA-160 Stereo Receiver Quartz Synthesizer Amplifier AM/FM Tuner
  • Fisher MT-420 Turntable
  • Insignia NS-B2111 2-way Coaxial Speakers
  • Sony MDR-CD180 Stereo Headphones

stereo

I won’t pretend that any or all of these pieces would make an audiophile—whatever that even is—blush. But, I couldn’t help imagining how excited 13-year-old me would have been if this was under the Christmas tree back in ’84.

So, my old-souled, now-13-year-old, music-obsessed daughter and I placed our “Free” ad on Craigslist. The father who responded with the most compelling story was so excited that it melted out hearts. He was going to give our second-hand rig to his 16-year-old daughter who really wanted a record player, so that she could play the old records he had never had the heart to throw out. Since this is how I first became music-obsessed kid back in ’81 (listening to my old man’s Beach Boys, Juice Newton, and Dr. Hook records), the utter coolness of this moment sort of overtook me. As we helped him load the gear into his car, I think everyone was a bit overtaken.

He hugged us both, and we waved as he pulled out of our driveway and drove away.

It is infinitely more rewarding to give a gift than to get one.

There is no gift quite like the gift of music.


© 2020 – ∞ B. Charles Donley

The Logic Behind the Case For Case Logic

Throughout my frequent thrifting operations, I occasionally run across nostalgically crucial artifacts, implements and devices. Sometimes, I’m totally floored when I run across something I’d forgotten ever existed.

Take the time I found an Advance Watch Co. Ltd. QUARTZ DIGITAL ALL PURPOSE CLOCK.

carclock

Sure, to the average human, it probably looks like a cheap crappy digital clock—clearly from the ’80s. Well, it is all that. It also happens to be the clock my father chose to affix to the dash of his 1981 light blue Toyota Corolla SR-5 two-door liftback.

Dad was notorious for luring my younger brother and I out on Saturday morning errands with the promise of a stop at Perkins for pancakes (my  brother) and French toast (me). After breakfast, We’d spend the rest of the morning staring at this clock (my brother from the shotgun seat, me from the back seat) praying that whichever hardware store, department store, or garage sale we were headed to was the last stop of the morning. Needless to say, I literally spent hours staring at this clock. Seeing it 35 years later in it’s original packaging  hanging on a peg in a thrift store nearly triggered a nostalgic seizure.

Other times while thrifting, I’m dogged by stuff that seems to follow me from thrift store to thrift store—things like: DVD players, Precious Moments figurines, and endless copies of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass’ six-time-platinum masterpiece: Whipped Cream.

whipped

Periodically, I track down things that I purposely hunt for at thrift stores. I never pass up a functioning Sony Walkman cassette or CD player. I buy every new or lightly used “Designed by Michael Graves for Target” gadget I find. And, I snatch up any Napa Valley Box Co. media storage caddy, case, or rack. The reason is that the difference between the thrift store cost and the market (a.k.a. eBay) price is generally enough to make it worth my while.

Along those lines, I generally lay claim to anything made by Case Logic. Mainly for the aforementioned reason, but also because I’ve likely owned and utilized at least two dozen of their portable media storage products over the course of my lifetime. Also, their products trigger nearly the same nostalgia hit as my dad’s car clock.

As a kid born in ’72, I saw both the cassette and CD revolutions come and go before my 30th birthday. I owned hundreds of each at various points in the ’80s and ’90s. Bewitched by the convenience of digital music, I dumped all my physical media during the great Napster revolution at the turn of the century.

Ironic twist alert: I’ve spent the past decade acquiring more cassettes than I ever owned in the late ’80s—nearly 900 tapes as of today—doh!

Anyway, as I headed off to college in August of 1990, I was war-torn between the two formats. At that time, CD burners were still years away from existing, much less being affordable. And before digital music files and players became the de facto standard for portable audio—”back in my day” anecdote coming—we were forced to haul our tapes and CDs along with us when music-on-the-go was the order of the day (or night).

On a recent thrift outing, I snapped up a Case Logic DM-24 portable padded nylon case. The only reason I know it was a DM-24, is that tucked inside one of the pockets was all of the original paperwork. Included in the usual stack of warranty cards, product registration cards, and index cards, was the 1993 Case Logic catalog in the form of a small yet colorful accordion-style brochure. It was too great not to scan for posterity. See if you can spot the DM-24

Scan0001Scan0002Scan0003Scan0004Scan0005Scan0006

Seeing the breadth of the Case Logic product line in 1993—arguably the height of the company’s popularity—didn’t quite trigger a nostalgic seizure, but it did vault me back to at least a dozen points in the past when I owned one or three of the products featured.

Specifically, the CL-15 Tape Case was always zipped and loaded each and every weekend we made the two-hour drive to visit my grandparents in rural western Minnesota. They had no TV reception to speak of, I was two hours from my friends, and my grandpa spun only polka music on his ancient Panasonic turntable. I needed at least 15 tapes to pass the time during two days in the most boring spot on the planet. I still run across these CL-15 cases all the time in thrift stores for $2-3. They are easily the most common Case Logic product I find, likely because they used to sell them branded and loaded with 15 TDK blank tapes at Musicland and Target.

These CL-15 cases generally fetch $15-20 on eBay depending on condition and color scheme—the more colorful the better, duh!

Eventually, during my college daze (1990-95), I drifted toward CDs and graduated to numerous of the padded CD cases (most likely the CD-15 and CD-30). Over the years, I may have even owned a CD-60, and it may have been grey. Unfortunately, Case Logic never produced the case that would have allowed me to tote my entire CD collection with me: the CD-500.

I hope I presented a compelling case for preserving these wondrous Case Logic catalog images on the interwebs for all of eternity…or however much time humanity has left.


© 2020 – ∞ B. Charles Donley

 

 

Building The Perfect Beast

Building the Perfect Beast is the second studio solo album by Don Henley, the lead vocalist and drummer for the Eagles. The album was released on 19 November 1984 on the Geffen label.
– Wikipedia

My affinity for Mr. Henley is well-documented. And so I felt that it was apropos to code-name this little endeavor: “Operation Perfect Beast”. You see, ever since we purchased a home back in the autumn of 2013, I’ve nursed this incoherent vision of the perfect music appreciation room. I’ve seen thousands of digital silver-gelatins featuring fantastic altars to the Gods of recorded music. Much of this renewed interest in vintage audio (mine included) has come on the heels of the vinyl revival. More than jealousy, envy or even mild hatred, these snapshots spurred me to eschew my incoherence and actualize the opaque schematic in my mind.

We finally moved into our new-to-us home this June after an endless renovation. Long before (and ever since) the move-in day, I’ve been frantically putting each thing that clutters our lives into its ideal newest final resting place. Afflicted with Precision Arrangement Syndrome (PAS)–I’m incapable of simply putting stuff away. Instead, I incessantly jockey, jostle and jell the artifacts of a lifetime into some illusory paragon known only to me. This often requires numerous iterations to complete depending on the primary task-at-hand and each accompanying sub-task-at-hand. My wife finds this ailment baffling, as does practically everyone else.

With the stuff that necessarily comprises a home, like cookware, software and underwear, this is not a particularly difficult process. Sure, it can be arduous, but not-so-much difficult. However, when it came to the space that would be my music appreciation chamber, my “man cave” (a term I loathe), my Rumpus Room, the PAS metastasized. I can recall numerous moments staring out into the landfill occupying my garage stalls and thinking…It’s out there somewhere – that thing I need. I wonder if I’ll ever find it? Shit, who cares if I ever find it at this point? It’ll turn up someday; it has to. The garage can’t stay like this forever. Fuck it–I see some vodka in the corner.

I’ve probably spent more time locating, constructing, arranging the various components of this solitary 12′ x 10′ x 7′ x 6′ (it’s L-shaped) room than all others in the house combined, squared. Throughout all of the iterations, I always knew that I had to build a custom stereo rack. And yet, I also knew I needed to listen to my music like yesterday–dammit! Hence, I just threw the old rack into the new room and proclaimed: “That’s good for now!”

On or about August 9th, Rumpus Room v1.0 looked like this in pano mode…

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And while the trusty old (hacked/modified) gray metal tempered glass rack was surely functional (after I dealt with the uneven floor issue), I still could not abide the impostor occupying the space where my dream rack was meant to stand. I did my best to ignore this uncomfortable, disappointing and glaring anomaly in an otherwise ecclesiastical sonic arcade.

Meanwhile, back in July, amid dueling 5x eBay bucks promotions and PayPal Credit no-interest deals, I purchased 100 1/2″ steel floor flanges. In case you haven’t priced these out at a big-box hardware establishment, they are about $5 each. Thankfully, I found a bulk dealer on eBay that was offering them at a considerable discount. I had to strike fast, as there were only a pair of 50-flange lots remaining costing less than half of the big-box price-tag. I took a photo, not only as inspiration, but also to remind me I had just dropped $170 on 50 lbs. of steel that was decaying somewhere on my garage floor. Now, I had to build that rack; I had committed to it, at least financially…

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Meanwhile, in a desperate attempt to find the penultimate rack for my Pioneer Silver Stereo components and save myself weekends of painstaking construction, I Googled hundreds (possibly thousands) of pre-fab racks. I perused racks of every shape, size and dimension. As I evaluated rack after rack in full LCD color, the same issues persisted:

  1. I wanted each component on a separate shelf
  2. The height of each component varies
  3. Therefore, I need numerous infinitely adjustable shelves

You’d think such a rack exists, right? Well…it does if, like most sane individuals, you have four components + one turntable. If instead you are slightly less sane and have eight components + a pair of turntables, the prospects shrink considerably. It’s like a minivan that works great until the fifth kid is born…and then you’re looking at a minibus. I promise you—with one exception, I was not going to spend $600 + shipping on a rack I could not first see in-person—no such rack exists.

OK, I’m kinda not telling the whole truth. If you are willing to compromise and purchase a modular horizontal rack system, you have plenty of options for an 8×2 component system. Here’s an example…

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All long, I wanted a wall—nay a monolith—of sound. I had little interest in a pony wall of sound. Thus, it was settled: I would build the wall! Only there was no chance “of course Mama’s gonna help build the wall” or daddy, or anyone else for that matter.

So for starters, I constructed a miniature prototype. Surprisingly, it seemed like a plausible design—I was gonna build the bitch!

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Over the past few weekends, my kids have endured countless trips to big box hardware establishments, hours of me in the garage and countless profanities floating through the air. But at least the project was well underway, and there was certainly no turning back. My daughter lent me her bear “Bubbles” for moral support. His assistance in that capacity was incalculable. Bubbles has a unique talent: he can sit on anything and not fall over. This was key to his ability to offer me moral support from numerous locations throughout the garage and basement.

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This was not an easy project (to be brutally honest). In fact, if I had to do it all over again, I’d buy the two racks from Target, screw them together and take up quilttng. But last night, the build was (mercifully) complete. I swear this rack weighs 150 lbs. I managed to lug it down the stairs without assistance. I was beyond determined to get this thing hooked up and the minor detail of getting it down the stairs all by myself was sure as hell not going to be my Waterloo. 13 stairs and a gallon of sweat later, I had the thing in my Rumpus Room. I loaded each component into its allotted space, and spun it around to meticulously hook everything to everything else.

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About three hours, much splicing, some shimming and a lot of cussing later, I had it level and lit. My dream rack was alive!

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The journey of 1,000 steps is on or about 998. Sure, there are a few accouterments in the Rumpus Room that could be painted to look more ravishing. Yea, the floor could use an additional coat of concrete paint to make its sheen shine. And yup, I need to file a few LPs currently residing in crates on the floor. But I shot a new panoramic this evening of the Rumpus Room v2.0. It gave me pause…then, bliss.

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In case you are curious, Part 1 – The first notes to pour over the wall of sound were from the Sturgill Simpson masterpiece “Turtles All the Way Down“ – on vinyl, of course. It was fucking fantastic…!

In case you are curious, Part 2 – allow me to introduce the band (right side to top to bottom):

  • Dual 1019 Turntable / Record Changer (da Beast)
  • Pioneer PL-560 Quartz-PLL Full-Automatic Turntable (da Plow)
  • Pioneer DT-500 Audio Digital Timer
  • Pioneer RG-2 Dynamic Processor
  • Pioneer SR-303 Reverberation Amplifier
  • Pioneer SG-9800 12-Band Graphic Equalizer
  • Pioneer SA-9800 Stereo Amplifier (da Heart)
  • Pioneer TX-9800 Quartz Locked Stereo Tuner
  • Pioneer P-D070 CD Player
  • Pioneer CT-F1250 Stereo Cassette Tape Deck
  • Pioneer CS-T7000 210W 8Ω Speakers
  • Pioneer CS-520 60W 8Ω Speakers


© 2015 – ∞ B. Charles Donley

 

Article: Minneapolis Central Library opens vinyl listening room to share collection

Minneapolis Central Library opens vinyl listening room to share collection

library

Summary…

On Saturday, Hennepin County Library hosted the first event in its new “Vinyl Revival” series, which aims to bring attention to the thriving audio format. Through June, artists will present vinyl-themed programming and curate records from the library’s stacks, many of which are the works of local musicians.

The library also converted a small meeting room on the third floor into a listening room equipped with a turntable and headphones, which people can reserve to listen to the artist-selected picks.

h/t Minneapolis Star Tribune

Blather…

Considering the considerable financial barrier to entry that vinyl presents (if a proper turntable, receiver/amp, and speakers are utilized), this is a pretty kick-ass endeavor for budding vinyl junkies fans to get their feet wet.

A Pioneer CT-F1250, A Rebuild, A Saga

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Blake Donley
Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 2:06 PM
To: Tim

Hello Tim!

I was referred to you from the fellas at Pacific Stereo.

I have a CT-F1250 that was finally diagnosed by a local vintage audio repair shop as having a bad motor. My local shop tried to replace it with one that would fit and found it was not a perfect fit. I know these motors can be rebuilt, but I am not confident enough to undertake that task in a DIY manner. Do you offer any type of service in regards to CT-F1250 motor rebuild or replacement? If so, do you accept units shipped to you (I’m in Minneapolis). If so, what’s a ballpark on the cost of such an undertaking? Thanks for your time.

~~BlaKe~~
Tim
Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 11:33 PM
To: Blake Donley

Yes, I can repair or replace that motor if you ship the unit to Music Technology.

To do that repair would be about $250 .

The cost could be more if it needs new belts (3), new pinch rollers or an idler tire.

Also, the heads in theses decks often have some wear and that means it may not be 100% as far as specs. New heads are not available. The record calibration system on this deck is not well designed so if you want to record on this deck, it’s best for me to set the deck up internally for a tape so you don’t need to use the cal system.

-Tim
Blake Donley
Wednesday, July 06, 2016 3:06 PM
To: Tim

Tim –

10,000 thank you’s for your reply!

So I had this deck serviced three separate times by the same techs up here at Alex Audio & Video. I believe they replaced belts and rollers and rebuilt the idler. That said, you come highly recommended, so I trust your judgement.

Basically, I want this baby as close to new/spec as possible for a 40-year-old deck. As long as you give me a head’s up as to what the repair and cost will be after you give it the once-over, I’ll be happy to have you work on it.

I will likely never record on this system, so no heroic measures are needed along those lines.

My next questions is: so how does the process work? Do I just mail you the deck, you assess it and send me an estimate? I’m cool with whatever your preferred approach. Just let me know.

This deck is the sound-loop anchor of a stack of Pioneer silver I’ve been collecting for six years. Plus I have over 400 cassettes that I can’t currently play. I really just want is serviced and serviced by someone that knows what they’re doing. I’m quite excited you will work on it.

Thanks!
Tim
Fri, Jul 8, 2016 at 9:32 PM
To: Blake Donley

You just mail it in with a $75 deposit check. That 75 gets applied to the repair bill once the deck is finished.

And as I mentioned, that deck will very likely have a fair amount of head wear, so it won’t be “like a new deck” when I’m done.. It will sound decent, however, and be reliable As long as you are ok with that. New heads are not available.

Pack it well! No hard styrofoam or peanuts. Lots of soft padding.

-Tim
Blake Donley
Sat, Jul 9, 2016 at 10:11 PM
To: Tim

Sounds most excellent.

It’ll be in the mail Monday morning.

Thanks Tim!!!
Blake Donley
Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 12:49 PM
To: Tim

The unit shipped today UPS Ground; they said Friday it will arrive. I told them no Styrofoam. It is insured in case they goof up the shipping. There is a $75 check enclosed along with a printout of the page with your instructions.

If you needed to officially enter my information as a customer, it is as follows:

Blake Donley




Just let me know the grand total for getting her back to fightin’ condition—thanks Tim!
Tim
Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 7:21 PM
To: Blake Donley
Sounds good. I’ll keep an eye out for it.

-Tim
Tim
Wed, Aug 3, 2016 at 9:53 PM
To: Blake Donley

Estimated total is $530 with an estimated balance due of $455 (since you already paid 75).

-new reel motor
-2 new pinch rollers (they are 100% shot)
-3 new belts (they are the wrong size)
-repair tape guides (deck is damaging tapes)
-you would have to buy the belts from Marrs for $30 (not included in estimate)
-playback only

Let me know if you want to proceed.

-Tim

Blake Donley
Wed, Aug 3, 2016 at 10:41 PM
To: Tim

So if I buy the belts would I have them shipped to you?
Tim
Wed, Aug 3, 2016 at 11:01 PM
To: Blake Donley

Correct. Have the belts shipped to the shop.

-Tim
Blake Donley
Thu, Aug 4, 2016 at 8:25 AM
To: Tim

Sounds like a plan. If you can get me the info on which belts to purchase and the website where I am to purchase them, the rest sounds good. I am already invested in getting this deck to work, so let’s do it.
Tim
Thu, Aug 4, 2016 at 6:43 PM
To: Blake Donley

Go here:

http://www.marrscommunications.com/pioneer-supreme-cassette-belts-10-year-guarantee

Now in the box that says “brand/model” enter Pioneer CT-F1250 and then hit “buy”

Hopefully they can ship direct to my shop. Perhaps email them first about that.

-Tim
Blake Donley
Sun, Aug 7, 2016 at 12:21 PM
To: Tim

I ordered them to be shipped to:

… c/o Blake Donley


Hopefully you will receive them this week or next.
Tim
Sun, Aug 7, 2016 at 8:13 PM
To: Blake Donley

Sounds good. I have the new reel motor on order.

-Tim

Tim
Tue, Sep 6, 2016 at 9:19 PM
To: Blake Donley

Still waiting on the belts.

-Tim

Blake Donley
Tue, Sep 6, 2016 at 10:04 PM
To: Tim

I know they were having issues with flooding down there. I’ll ask for a status.
Tim
Tue, Sep 6, 2016 at 10:11 PM
To: Blake Donley

The new reel motor has arrived, but not installed or tested.. I’m going to wait for the belts before I do that.

-Tim
Blake Donley
Tue, Sep 6, 2016 at 10:13 PM
To: Tim

Sounds good. I sent them a request for status. They did update their site to say as of 8/30, orders were taking 7 days. I assume mine got lost in the chaos, but I forwarded them the paypal transaction. Hopefully you’ll get the belts soon.
Tim
Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 9:53 PM
To: Blake Donley

Have they received payment form you? As in your CC or Paypal has been deducted the cost of the belts.

-Tim

Blake Donley
Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 10:52 PM
To: Tim

Yep, I paid with PayPal and have the receipt. I have sent them the receipt each time I have inquired (which is not five times). Today I simply asked them to email back and acknowledge the receipt. I have not heard anything as of yet. I’m assuming I won’t until they finish their move.
Blake Donley
Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 5:42 PM
To: Tim

I finally heard from Marrs today via email. Someone there forward my inquiry to someone else there and copied me. I have not heard from the someone else yet…
Tim
Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 6:46 PM
To: Blake Donley

If you want to just get your money back, I can install belts from another company. Or you can wait for Marrs. Either works.

-Tim

Blake Donley
Sat, Sep 24, 2016 at 12:41 PM
To: Tim

I’ll wait…for now…only because it took them six weeks to acknowledge the order. Lord knows how long a refund would take…

I’ll let you know when I hear from them–nothing as of yet.
Tim
Sat, Oct 22, 2016 at 9:22 PM
To: Blake Donley

I have the belts from Marrs now. Will proceed with the repair. Perhaps a week to finish it all.

-Tim

Blake Donley
Sun, Oct 23, 2016 at 7:52 AM
To: Tim

Thanks for the update!
Tim
Sun, Oct 23, 2016 at 10:21 PM
To: Blake Donley

BTW, the new reel motor modification works great. You will have the first CTF1250 with a brand-new, higher-quality reel motor installed. It is not NOS (new old stock). The original reel motors were very unreliable and rebulding them often did not work at all or it was something that would eventually fail again. It was not a good-quality motor to begin with.

-Tim

Blake Donley
Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 7:44 AM
To: Tim

I’m giddy! I have over 800 cassettes just waiting to be heard again. Thanks for all the hard work and patience!
Tim
Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 7:03 PM
To: Blake Donley

Another first for this 1250 repair is that it will have new Teac pinch rollers. Previous pinch roller options were poor: 1 recover the original rollers at Terry’s. Those did not work well due to the small size. Option 2 was new rollers from Germany. Those are poor quality and super-expensive. These new Teac rollers are very high quality and have a good price.

-Tim

Tim
Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 11:37 PM
To: Blake Donley

It is done, but I should test run it for two days before you pick it up. I will let you know.

Recommend you keep Dolby off and EQ switch set to STD. This is to compensate for the play head wear issue that I told you about (that all old 1250 decks have). It will give you more highs (treble).

-Tim

Blake Donley
Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 5:18 PM
To: Tim

Awesome! Thanks for everything!
Tim
Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 8:56 PM
To: Blake Donley

Also, it depends on which type of tapes you are playing. If they have Dolby B encoding, they may sound better with Dolby off. If they were recorded with CrO2 EQ, they may sound better with STD EQ. Again, this is due to play head wear.

-Tim

Tim
Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 12:52 AM
To: Blake Donley

It’s ready for pickup. See hours below.

-Tim

Blake Donley
Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 9:47 AM
To: Tim

Thanks Tim!

If you recall (and it’s been forever, so you probably don’t), I shipped the unit into y’all from MN. I will need it shipped back…

Blake Donley

Just let me know the balance (plus return shipping), and I can call in and pay it.

THanks!
Tim
Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 8:48 PM
To: Blake Donley
Yes. I forgot it was mailed in.

It is packed and ready to go.

Kat will call you for payment.

-Tim

Blake Donley
Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 2:24 PM
To: Tim
Hey Tim,

I got the deck back today and put it back into the stack. When I went to fire it up, nothing much worked on it. Here is a video of FFWD/RWD/Play

I just hooked up the RCA cables and plugged it in. Was there something else I needed to do?
Tim
Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 9:20 PM
To: Blake Donley

Make sure the tapes are good. If you put a Bic pen in the tape hub and verify that the tape turns freely.

If the tape turns freely, then the deck must have been damaged in shipping. Unfortunately, that happens one or twice a year when we ship things out.

I test ran the deck after repair for about 20 hours with many different tapes and they all played flawlessly, so it was 100% functional when packed.

If your tapes all test good, then ship the deck back. Use a much bigger box with more packing this time. The box and packing you sent the deck in with was marginal.

-Tim

Blake Donley
Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 9:30 PM
To: Tim

I tried about a two-dozen tapes in hopes it was a bad cassette. All the same…

I too noticed the half-assed packing job. I walked into a UPS store (with the bare deck) and said: “This needs to make to VA w/o a scratch on it. Please pack it carefully.” I paid for them to pack it. What I got back, which I can only assume is what you received and sent back to me, made me ever so sad. I’m going to pack it myself—so much for leaving it to the “professionals” (a pair of college kids on summer break from the looks of them).

I’ll be in the mail on Monday. Thanks!
Tim
Fri, Nov 11, 2016 at 9:40 PM
To: Blake Donley

I found a brake lever was knocked off it’s track. A strong jolt during shipping likely caused this. I have fixed it so that won’t happen again. Deck plays tapes perfectly now.

I want to test run the deck for about 5 days to be sure everthing else is good and stays good.

I will not ship it back to you it that box and packing. I will see if we have a good shippng box for it in our shop

-Tim

Blake Donley
Fri, Nov 11, 2016 at 9:53 PM
To: Tim

Awesome! Thanks so much!
Blake Donley
Mon, Nov 14, 2016 at 10:00 AM
To: Tim

Just an FYI. I am leaving for vacation on Tuesday 11/22, and I will be gone for 14 days. If possible, could you ship it in time to arrive on Monday 11/21. I’ll sacrifice a full 5 days of testing for having it arrive before I depart.

Thanks so much!
Tim
Mon, Nov 14, 2016 at 8:02 PM
To: Blake Donley

Sorry. Can’t do that. It needs a full 5 day test and then another full bench test before I ship. Also may take a while to find or buy a new shipping box.

I don’t want you to have another defect show up when you get it back. This is a very old deck and they must be checked carefully.

-Tim

Blake Donley
Tue, Nov 15, 2016 at 2:31 PM
To: Tim

OK, I appreciate the diligence. Is it then possible to delay shipment until 11/30? I’m just worried that the unit will be delivered when I am not there and after three attempts they will send it back.

Tim
Tue, Nov 15, 2016 at 8:46 PM
To: Blake Donley

Yes, I can delay shipping till 11/30.

-Tim

Blake Donley
Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 9:55 AM
To: Tim

Thanks!

Tim
Sat, Dec 3, 2016 at 8:14 PM
To: Blake Donley

I was test-running the deck and it ate one of my tapes for the first time ever.. It has not repeated that, however. I have run about 12 tapes through it with zero problem. I need to run it some more to find the problem. May take about a week to find the problem because it is very intermittent.

-Tim

Blake Donley
Sat, Dec 3, 2016 at 8:25 PM
To: Tim

Sounds good. Thanks for the update.
Tim
Wed, Dec 14, 2016 at 12:22 AM
To: Blake Donley

I could not duplicate the tape-eating incident. I lubed and adjusted some items, but never did see the deck eat a tape again. Played about 20 tapes in a row with no problem at all.

Unit is packed in a new, larger box with better packing.

Re-boxing fee is $60. We will pay for return shipping.

Kat will call you for CC payment very soon.

-Tim

Blake Donley
Saturday, December 23, 2016 9:25 PM
To: Tim

IT WORKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can’t thank you enough for everything. So I have a wonky CT-F900…interested?

cdcover


Copyright © 2018 – ∞ Blake Charles Donley