Fixing Echoplex EP-3 warble?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by gnd567, Feb 18, 2020.

  1. gnd567

    gnd567 Tele-Meister

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    I've been using an EP-3 for a couple of years now and it's been sounding great. It was in pretty good condition when I got it. But recently, the repeats have started to become very warbly and out of tune sounding which I don't like at all as I mainly use it for slap back echo. I have a new tape on the way but was wondering if it may be the rubber roller needs replacing or something else?

    Does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing?
     
  2. reckless toboggan

    reckless toboggan Tele-Holic

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    Head cleaning.
    Roller rubber.
    New tape.
     
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  3. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    These units have electrolytics that need replacing just as our amps do. I have an EP3 that I need to overhaul since it was non-operable when I bought it.
     
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  4. sjwieczorkow

    sjwieczorkow Tele-Holic

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    Don't forget to demagnetize the heads and the capstan. Make sure you bring the demagnetizer towards and away from the parts very slowly.

    99% isopropyl alcohol is good with some cotton swabs. New roller can't hurt. Sort of expensive, but it will last a long while. Don't forget to clean the roller as well. Frankly, I think dish soap and warm water is fine. There are rubber "conditioners" for sale if you want to get fancy. Try not to use anything that will dry it out.

    I would advise against using the abrasive mastering tape as you risk wearing little grooves into the heads.
     
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  5. sjwieczorkow

    sjwieczorkow Tele-Holic

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    Duplicate
     
  6. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    Warble on old tape machines of any type is referred to and measured as "wow and flutter".
    It is common (to some degree) on all tape machines, but when it is not longer a tolerable amount, there are several culprits.

    Any/All of these could be contributing to the problem.
    1. Stabilize the motor assembly.
      • As Wally states above, these old unit are more than due for new electrolytics, and that will go a long way in assuring the motor stays stable.
      • I believe the EP-3 is belt drive. If the belt is worn, wow and flutter increases. It is also important to keep every location the belt is in contact with clean.
    2. The pinch roller and capstan are another source for "wow and flutter". These must be kept clean. If they are worn out, they need to be replaced.
    3. Although I agree with those above that say "clean the heads".... that is a tone thing, not usually a source for wow and flutter.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
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  7. SoK66

    SoK66 Tele-Afflicted

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    Good advice already so I won't repeat. I sent my EP-2 off to a guy who's supposed to be the best at service & restoration on Echoplex's. To say I was less than thrilled with his work was an understatement. Be careful who you let work on it.
     
  8. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Afflicted

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  9. Alamo

    Alamo Doctor of Teleocity

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    How bad is it, compared to this one?



    Perhaps you should do a recording of your EP3 in its current state, just for comparison.
     
  10. Papa Joe

    Papa Joe Friend of Leo's

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    I had one given to me about 40 years ago,not working..Then about 10 years ago I decided to get it repaired..
    Found a place on line (think it was in AZ) with good reviews..
    They completely restored it to better than new at a good price..
    It sounded great..
    Sold it for $1200..
     
  11. CWP0126

    CWP0126 Tele-Meister

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    Hey Papa Joe, do you recall if the place you sent it was Orbitz Electronics? I have one of their metal tape cartridges and it is great, but I’ve never used them for service.

    OP, here is a link to the Orbitz site. They have a page with info and maintenance tips for these units.

    Good luck!

    http://www.orbitelectronix.com/
     
  12. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

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    Hmmmm, I’d always thought that that sound was supposed to be part of the charm of the echoplex.
     
  13. Papa Joe

    Papa Joe Friend of Leo's

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    I do believe that's the place..Great service..
     
  14. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I'm guessing it's the roller, typical of tape machines, they get old, hard, out of round. But try a new tape first.
     
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