Tandberg 9200 series


I have three RTR's that are Tandberg. I only have two of them working; the 10XD has a bad capstan motor. The TD 20A works 99.9% of the time. On rare occasion, it will dump tape on the floor because the take-up table freezes. If I remember to let the machine warm up about 3-4 minutes, that seems to work. 

Now the 9241 has a problem. I did it, so I take the blame. But this machine has a long history of service tech buggery that I won't go into here. Suffice it to stay that I got everything stabilized yrs ago and primarily use it as a playback deck only.

I was playing a tape and it was near the end. The stop feature always works and being in a hurry to get to the store, I left the deck running. I know, I know....I deserve what happened. As you might guess, this was the one time the stop light feature malfunctioned and I got back home about 25 minutes later with the take-up reel wildly spinning and fragments of tape everywhere.

After that, either the FFW or RW was dragging towards the end, when their respective reels were full. Yesterday I took the panel off and tried some tape so I could see what was going on.  I didn't really see any brake drag, but I assume that might have been possible. But the more I worked the functions, the stronger FFW and RW got. Eventually they were OK again without having to adjust anything....making the usual noises.

Before all this, the tape packed on perfectly smooth like a baby's butt and even while playing. Now the FFW and RW packs are terrible and the playing pack is barely acceptable with 'ups' and 'downs'.....but smooth.

Is it possible the right table moved a bit as it sat and spun for 25 minutes? There's an opening in the frame as you look down at the table motors and I see what looks like a recessed set screw of some kind. I think I have a SM for the deck somewhere, so I could check table alignment....but have never done it myself....how difficult is this to do?

The pinch roller is nice, clean and supple and not that old.

Oh and as an aside....Tandberg used like a hard rubber/plastic fitting to hold the spring in on the end of the reel locks. The OE parts are split and useless...most of them by now. Quite by accident I found that the protection end cups they use on kite framing work perfectly if you find the right size.


I do have the SM on a CD. When talking about the turntables, they just say to measure them in place, before you replace with another. I could take the measurement of the left table and compare to the right? There's a long procedure in there for checking alignment on the tape path.

But playing detective though....all the poor packing happened after the take-up reel spun on its own for 25 minutes. Wouldn't it seem logical that it was related?



I just checked the Soundsmith website.  It says you need to contact them regarding the Capstan motor and capstan circuitry upgrades.
They were the service agency for Tandberg products.




I'm very familiar with the Soundsmith 'upgrade' at what was once almost $400....probably more now. It's simply an AC motor instead of the original Hall effect DC motor. Tandberg had a great idea/design with the DC Hall effect motor, but chose a crummy quality production version for their decks. The motor inside is not dielectric with air and corrodes from day one until it self destructs. And it's almost impossible to open without destroying the motor. 

Soundsmith's expensive solution is to add in the noise inherent of a AC motor with a simple circuit board for $400.

We even had a Swedish forum member here that was going to the factory to see if they would be interested in making some better DC motors that would fit. The problem is space...the 10XD decks decks are pretty narrow compared to other deck manufacturers of the day. 



We talked about this subject a lot in the past and I talked with my NYC Tandberg tech at the time (since retired). His opinion was that using the Soundsmith motor would introduce noise into the recordings.

Soundsmith's kit always looked to me like they threw it together. The motor they use is nothing to brag about and certainly not something you would expect for $400. My guess is that they're passing on the R&D to all customers that buy this kit. I never found a living soul that actually put in their kit and lived with the deck long term afterward...comparing the sound to the OE issued Hall effect motor set up.

The deck is 40+ yrs old. If you had Soundsmith refurbish your 10XD for over $1,000 and add the capstan motor kit for another $400....you'd be sitting @$1,400+ and the cost you paid for the deck....plus all the shipping. Honestly, you'd be better off finding another deck from a better manufacturer. Or buy the TD 20A that replaced it....they're more serviceable than the 10XD. None of the newer Tandberg decks are robust enough to be considered 'pro'. In fact it's some kinda Norwegian voodoo that they sound as good as they do.