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Bought a 351 mono transport. Sort of a throw back to my college radio days in the mid seventies, used one a lot back then. Forgot what a behemoth these things are. The face plate essentially 1/4" thick stainless with 3 hefty motors. 50 lbs I bet. Its in pretty good shape, the heads look good, motor bearings are quiet & tight. Starting off replacing the motor caps, the electrolytic & selenium rectifier in the control box. Then I go and break the flat spring that holds the tape tray closed..damn..where to get one of those?! Don't have the electronics yet, would like to have a 351 unit but they are pricey as their reputation as a good mike preamp jacks up the price. Probably end up with a 350, even those are pricey for the same reason.
-you're sure you really broke it or did it just come out and you can't sort out how it goes back in?
You are correct, they are pesky. I didn't break them as it turns out, its all back together. I am doing further maintenance right now, re-capped, selenium rectifier replaced, etc. Recently acquired 351 electronics, that looks to be fun.
The filter cap and that selenium make the transport stop playing.
The filter caps in the 351 electronics are also tricky due to the 1" size used. But I would start there...
I might have a spare 351 channel if you are thinking of making that unit stereo.
There is an old fashioned listserve dedicated to those maintaining old professional AMpex equipment. Most of the contributors are audio engineers or other people with experience maintaining Ampex equipment. It is free, and I'm sure you can find advice there.
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