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Old 9th Feb 2020, 1:20 pm   #1
donutty
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Default Scrap or Save?

There might be another thread of this nature kicking about, in which case I apologise (but I could not think of the right combination of keywords to positively identify it).

I would like some opinions on whether I should Scrap (harvest for parts) or Save (restore) a:

Walter 101 tape recorder.

In its favour:

1. Complete unit but missing accessories (mic, output leads etc)
2. Untouched. It was not working but fault was broken wire from on-off switch to transformer
3. It's cute-ish
4. Quite a rare brand
5. Decent amp system (EL82 + ECC83)
6. Tiny magic eye
7. It has life (powered up on limiter, nothing on playback (reels move) but crackles of life occasionally. Maybe it's a blank tape?


To its detriment

1. Research here points to them being pretty dismal performance and construction-wise (but it is all metal with fairly good assembly; in my unit)
2. It has good harvest-able parts (mains TX, output TX, EL82, ECC83 etc) - maybe just take the amp as-is (all on a PCB) and re-purpose?
3. Who needs tape recorders? I have a Ferrograph series 4 and an Akai upright R-R and never use them
4. As per #2 in 'favour' - it has no accessories
5. I have enough projects on the go


Or the other option is to sell it. Any takers?

I got it the other day in a charity shop for a fiver. I would pick it up again at that price but am torn between life and death only because of the fact that it might be quite scarce.

PS. The reason that this is not a poll is to encourage discussion - who will be the advocate for this poor old machine?

Last edited by donutty; 9th Feb 2020 at 1:22 pm. Reason: Justification for not having a poll
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Old 9th Feb 2020, 1:26 pm   #2
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Default Re: Scrap or Save

If space is not a pressing concern, I would see if you can sell it for a fair price, ideally to cover the value of the parts at least. With this sort of thing, there will almost certainly be *someone* out there after just such a set. If it is not a wreck I always resist breaking older machines up - once they're gone, they're gone.
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Old 9th Feb 2020, 1:29 pm   #3
donutty
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Default Re: Scrap or Save

Absolutely an option Ben. Maybe it should be titled 'Scrap, Save or Sell' ?

The only thing that prompted this post is the reports of how cruddy it (and all from this make) are...
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Old 9th Feb 2020, 1:48 pm   #4
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Default Re: Scrap or Save

I would vote save if it is complete, (apart from assessories). One day someone will think "Walter 101, cheap & nasty, not worth saving" and it will be the last example left! I know what you mean though about having more than enough projects to be getting on with! Saying that if it were to appear for sale at a reasonable price I would be tempted to give it a home.
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Old 9th Feb 2020, 1:54 pm   #5
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Default Re: Scrap or Save?

When I think of the items I broke up for parts back in the '80's I could weep! Nowadays, with anything like this, I'd always keep it in one piece. If that means moving it on for space reasons, so be it.

Of course, then there's the problem of what the subsequent owner decides to do with it. However, I'm not in the business of trying to tell people what they can and can't do with possesions they've paid for so what can you do?

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Old 9th Feb 2020, 1:56 pm   #6
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Default Re: Scrap or Save?

Save it but pass it on to someone who will restore it not strip it for parts.
As Martin says it may well become the last one.
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Old 9th Feb 2020, 2:41 pm   #7
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Default Re: Scrap or Save?

It's all very well telling people to preserve everything, but who other than a specialist collector is going to want a poor quality domestic tape recorder? Nobody will want to actually use it as there are better options available for little money - even one of the cheap TD2 based recorders will give better results.

If it were mine I would offer it for restoration for what I paid for it plus a bit more for the time and trouble. If there were no takers I would dismantle it without a second's thought.
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Old 9th Feb 2020, 5:47 pm   #8
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Default Re: Scrap or Save?

When it comes to reel recorders, the saying 'one man's meat is another man's poison' would appear to apply. Take this example:

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...d.php?t=124858

After advertising said R-R (I thought it was about as desirable as leprosy), a fellow from Poland got in touch. He duly sent a pal around and collected the unit. Out of idle curiosity, I checked a link to his recording studio. It transpired that he has one of the wildest facilities I've ever seen. Virtually everything was valve, with a plethora of rare and interesting kit. He obviously knew his kit and I doubt he would've lugged a boat anchor to Poland for no good reason. Maybe he knew something I didn't?
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Old 9th Feb 2020, 6:05 pm   #9
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Default Re: Scrap or Save?

That might actually be of some use to somebody. The Wearite deck is to 1950s semipro standard, and can give a good account of itself in the right circumstances. A Walter 101 is a very different kettle of fish
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Old 9th Feb 2020, 7:58 pm   #10
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Default Re: Scrap or Save?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
It's all very well telling people to preserve everything, but who other than a specialist collector is going to want a poor quality domestic tape recorder? Nobody will want to actually use it as there are better options available for little money - even one of the cheap TD2 based recorders will give better results.

If it were mine I would offer it for restoration for what I paid for it plus a bit more for the time and trouble. If there were no takers I would dismantle it without a second's thought.
Agree totally.
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Old 11th Feb 2020, 1:57 pm   #11
Ted Kendall
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Default Re: Scrap or Save?

I did scrap mine eventually - don't recall any useful bits coming off it. Cheap tat.
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Old 11th Feb 2020, 7:22 pm   #12
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Default Re: Scrap or Save?

I don't like to see anything broken up for spares, passage of time will eventually make it more interesting.

Taking the LONG view, it is only a decade or so after the start of domestic tape recording ( I don't know much if anything about this model and I assume as it early 1960s?) and 5 odd decades have passed since it was made.

Put it in the loft and let wait. Pity it has an ECC83 in it kiss of death if it is sold too cheap!
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Old 11th Feb 2020, 11:34 pm   #13
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Default Re: Scrap or Save?

Remove the valves { about three if I remember } screws ,nuts and bolts speaker and chuck the rest !. load of old rubbish.
Mind you ,
Someone did want the one I had and it was sent to the other side of the world and I believe it was restored so it didn't end up on the tip as planned. So I was pleased it was of use to in the end..
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Old 11th Feb 2020, 11:39 pm   #14
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Default Re: Scrap or Save?

Quote:
Originally Posted by reelguy View Post
Someone did want the one I had and it was sent to the other side of the world and I believe it was restored
This just proves my earlier point. Someone will (nearly) always want what you think is junk! Obviously you have to find each other, but in this day and age with the internet that's easier then it used to be. And that person will be eternally grateful that you did not scrap the unit in question I have acquired many rare language learning tape units that to 99% of tape users were only fit for breaking for a handful of spares, but to me were valued and usable additions to a collection.
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Last edited by ben; 11th Feb 2020 at 11:54 pm.
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Old 12th Feb 2020, 10:39 am   #15
donutty
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Default Re: Scrap or Save?

OK, thanks for everybody's input. I know it is a controversial topic and some people wouldn't give it a second's thought before going a-harvesting. Also some can see the other side of the coin and would opt to let it have a second chance at life. Therefore I will take a two-step approach.

I will see how it fares on sale and if it doesn't have any takers I have potentially a fate worse than death for it:

DIY tape echo!!
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Old 12th Feb 2020, 10:44 am   #16
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Default Re: Scrap or Save?

I think it's good to keep an example and record of not just the high end vintage equipment but the lower end as well. I don't think anyone would be restoring this reel to reel to undertake any serious recording! It's also not always just the high end equipment that is most desirable after all Dansette was not the best quality in record players!
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Old 12th Feb 2020, 11:43 am   #17
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Default Re: Scrap or Save?

I had a similar situation with an old Grundig tape recorder a few years ago. No-one wanted it - or I guess the postage costs alone put most people off. It wasn't particularly collectable, not a high end unit, not in great condition, no appeal basically. I scrapped it and kept the valves.

We shouldn't become overly precious about and feel obliged to store laissez faire vintage items that were sold in their thousands and as i say, no-one else wants to take off our hands.
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 3:28 pm   #18
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Default Re: Scrap or Save?

Transformers and motors may be as interesting to keep as the valves. They have more scrap value as well, but that can pay for keeping them around for a few years.
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 3:43 pm   #19
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Quote:
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Transformers and motors may be as interesting to keep as the valves. They have more scrap value as well, but that can pay for keeping them around for a few years.
That depends on the individual. Personally I have no interest or need to store motors and transformers for items that I didn't want in the first place. You have to stop somewhere or you end up storing everything. For many people storage space is already stretched and the last thing you want to be doing is storing stuff you simply don't want or need.
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Old 17th Feb 2020, 8:59 pm   #20
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Default Re: Scrap or Save?

I looked at it from the other side: parts that break and can be hard to obtain. On a Dutch forum, there was a recent discussion about keeping parts for other peoples benefit, and/or storing parts in a central location. A French collectors club has a webshop for this purpose.
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