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Dilemma - Tascam MD-350 - to sell or not to sell

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Hi all - some advice please. By a stroke of good fortune I have come into possession of TWO Tascam MD-350 decks, plus a Sony MDS-JE520 deck. I've already put the Sony up for sale on Ebay as most of my recordings are in LP2 (the Sony pre-dates MDLP), and I'm planning on keeping one of the Tascams for myself.  My dilemma is what to do with the other one - should I keep it as a back up, or sell it on for a nice quick profit?  The Tascam I'm planning to keep did have an issue when first switched on as there was a MD stuck inside, but having opened it up and fiddled with the mechanism a bit I was able to eject it and it seems to be working fine now.  I think the mechanism got stuck as apparently these decks hadn't been used for five years or so.  Both Tascams are in pretty much pristine condition.   

I do have 3 Sony portable recorders so if the Tascam does break I will still have equipment to play my MDs on - its just the Tascams are so damn pretty and sound so good I'm thinking I should keep them both!      

Any thoughts gratefully received....

    

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You're asking the wrong folk here - the answer is, "You can never have too many minidisc machines".

From another pristine MD-350 owner (amongst quite a few more machines now it would seem...)

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Unless you really need the space or the money then I would definitely keep it. The price of decks seems to be going up and you may find it more difficult to acquire a replacement in the future if you ever needed to. 
 

Oh, and as Kevin says, you can never have too many MiniDisc machines ;-)

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Thanks both, I had a feeling this would be the response!  I'll think about it over the next few weeks.  Whilst I am tempted to keep it I do think these machines need to be used and enjoyed rather than sat in the back of a cupboard, so I may end up selling.  Selling it would also put me in my wife's good books!     

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Based on my MD experience since 1998, I would say Keep if at all possible, especially given the two machines are the same model. Or, you could just wait for something to go wrong. Even though my MXD-D400 (JPN) is still up and running, I now wish that of all the MD decks I sold, I had kept the MXD-D400 (US). Yes, I have backup for the existing D400, but not that same model.

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There must come a time where there is a dwindling supply. So unless you are an oldperson looking at the clock or in poverty or have limited space ,or  move around a lot,  I see no point in getting rid of it. I have just had an Audiolab dab tuner  fail on dab, so they can just go wrong....... what then?

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Thanks all - food for thought.  I'll definitely not rush into selling it and take a view once the initial euphoria of getting hold of these units at a bargain price has worn off!

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Well, those of you who advised me to hold on to both units have been vindicated already as I'm already having problems with one!  After several days of use without issue I recorded a couple of tracks to an MD I'd not used in some time.  All seemed will until I came eject the disc - I then got a 'UTOC writing' message with the MD whirring away for a  minute or two then got a 'rec error!!'  message.  This happens whenever I try and eject the MD so its stuck in there.  I seem to be able to record to the MD without issue but it doesn't seem to be able to write the TOC correctly to allow me to eject the disc.

Popped the top off and everything looks ok but reluctant to mess with it too much.

Anyone any advice?  Does the MD-350 have a  service mode to enable me to force it to eject the MD?  I'm hoping its just a corrupt disc but fear the worse...

 

 

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you got the disc out? have  you tried another disc? I wonder how long the discs will last as they are NOT just like cdrs - as they have a lubricant on one serface for the magnetic record head as it actually touches the disc surface i think.

Maybe try a cleaner. I think there are 2 types - one to clean the optical laser reader/media heater-up-er and another the magnetic  write head. 

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Hi - no the problem is I can't get the disc out.  The deck seems stuck in a loop where if I press eject its tries to write the TOC and I then get a 'rec error!!' message.  The MD is not ejected and when I press eject again it goes through the same loop.  I'm hoping its a corrupt disc but difficult to test that theory if I can't get it out!   

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Right we need the deck to forget the dirty TOC. Possible idea - pull the mains plug out just after pressing eject. Then after repowering have your finger on eject. 

If not then possibly we need to find the service mode runes to do a forced eject. 
 

If nor that then the lid needs to come off to wind the gears to get the disc out (once we’ve freed any OWH).

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Thanks kgallen. Unfortunately the pulling plug method doesn't help, still in the same loop. I've found the service manual online but no mention of a service mode!

I've had the lid off previously and tried winding the white gears but whilst I could get the head(?) moving along it just reached the end and then stopped. Didn't want to apply to much force mind.  What does OWH stand for?

 

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10 minutes ago, Bulman said:

Thanks kgallen. Unfortunately the pulling plug method doesn't help, still in the same loop. I've found the service manual online but no mention of a service mode!

I've had the lid off previously and tried winding the white gears but whilst I could get the head(?) moving along it just reached the end and then stopped. Didn't want to apply to much force mind.  What does OWH stand for?

Agree I've just been looking at my copy of the service manual and as you say no mention of service mode which is... maddening. I've also been having a good google since my last post and have found nothing better.

So the gears you've been winding have been moving the sled along. This carries both the OP (optical pickup - the laser assembly) and the OWH (overwrite head) which is the floppy bit that comes down on the top side of the disc if the disc needs to be written.

On Exploded View-2 (SM p13) OP = item (15) , OWH = item (25)

On the drive in the Tascam MD-801R, there is a gear that lifts the OWH off the surface of the disc, then continues rotating to eject the disc. I don't know the mechanism in the MD-350 but you need to be looking for something similar. It may have a cam that traces in a gear. Admittedly I can't see anything like this on Exploded View-2 although it's not the clearest copy I have.

Whatever, we need to get the mech to lift the OWH from the surface of the disc and then eject, otherwise we're going to ruin it.

So leaving alone that one that moves the sled, can you find anything else accessible that you can rotate (other than the disc itself). Unless you can see it operating the OWH lifter or elect slider mechanism, as you did above, don't force anything beyond where is happily wants to move.

 

Kevin

 

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Thanks Kevin,  following your tip I managed to get the MD out! Everything seems to be working ok but will do a full test in the morning and post back here, with an explanation of what I did and pictures if I can post them here. 

I tried the offending MD in a portable recorder and it wouldn't even fit in the slot properly so something very wrong with it.  Not sure if it was like that before or is due to its experience in the tascam, but needless to say I've binned it.

Mark.

 

 

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Was it perhaps a Data MD? Not sure if they are a different shape. I'd be glad to see pics of the offending object if it's not too late. Rather curious.

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Ok just to update for anyone who encounters this problem in the future.  Following Kevin's advice I looked for some kind of gear that raises the record head and / or operates the eject mechanism.  Couldn't see anything like the two gears at the rear of the unit that moves the sled left and right, but noticed that if it was recording, when I stopped the recording there was some movement on the right side of the mechanism (as you look at it from the rear).  I seems the eject mechanism is on the outside of the right hand side of the mechanism's metal case.  I attached a picture which you can hopefully see.  I basically just pushed that entire bit in the left hand side of the picture back towards the rear and this operated the eject mechanism and the MD was free.  Simple when you know how! 

In terms of the offending MD, its just a standard BASF 74 minute disc.  I think I acquired it used many years ago when I purchased a second hand portable, and as far as I can recall have never used it before.  On closer inspection I have noticed the sticker on the top of the disc has started to lift slightly which was causing the issue when trying to put it into a portable.  Once stuck back down it goes in without issue.  Whether this caused the original problem I don't know.  I've attached a pic but have now put it back in the bin to be on the safe side. 

 I've now hooked up the Tascam to my stereo and it is playing back an MD without issue as I speak.  I also tried a short recording and this was fine - no issue with writing the TOC or ejecting the MD.  I'll be testing it further over the next few weeks to make sure there isn't an underlying problem with the mechanism.

Thanks to everyone for their help, especially Kevin for putting me on the right track.

Mark.

IMG_20200704_091714.jpg

IMG_20200704_091743.jpg

Edited by Bulman
Corrected a mistake in orientation!

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Great news! Thanks for the follow up and pictures which will no doubt help others. At least we’ve had one success this month - they’ve been in short supply recently!
 

Kevin

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Definitely the sticky label at fault. This is my BIGGEST objection (and why I don't personally indulge) to the printed minidisc all-covering labels. I think they're really neat but I never want to have to go through what you've just experienced, again. Once was enough.

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unlike the Sony decks not a single tiny rubber eject belt insight to stretch and refuse to eject? if you are happy with the sound then thats one extra reason to keep the other deck as a spare?

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Thanks. Very happy with the sound so will definitely be keeping the spare tascam, at least until I'm happy there still isn't an issue with the other one.  Will then see how I feel. It's currently on top of my wardrobe which seems a waste in the long term. 

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