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Binson Echorec Care & Maintenance

Some useful information on keeping your Echorec running well and sounding fantastic (if it sounded fantastic in the first place – most machines we receive are in need of extensive restoration to function safely and as they should…).

Binson Echorecs have a reputation for being difficult to own and care for. However, the reality is that regular maintenance of one is not difficult or time-consuming, and actually the most important thing you can do (beyond keeping the disc clean and lightly oiled – see below) is to USE IT regularly.

Read on for plenty to help you to be a responsible Echorec owner, plus you will find manuals and some other trouble-shooting information.

Binson Echorec B2

This page is a work in progress. So far below you will find:

  • A growing list of basic Binson Dos and Don’ts
  • Information on cleaning and maintenance.
  • Some info about dealing with lack of jockey wheel pressure
  • An extra note about care of Varispeed modified machines

For more general information about these machines and other useful links head to our main Binson Echorec page.

Binson-Echorec-2-T7E-Disc-Echo-13_1

BINSON DOS AND DON’TS:

(Just a few to get you started – more coming soon!)

DO:

  • RTFM – understanding how to keep your machine running well will save you time (and quite possibly money) in the future. It also makes you a Good Person. Scroll down dig into that manual now!
  • Use your Echorec as often as possible – this will bring you deep joy, and it will also help to keep it at peak performance. At least once a month.
  • Let it warm up before you worry that the sound isn’t right – some machines can take 20 or more minutes to reach optimum temperature under cold conditions.

DON’T

  • Adjust heads or drum!
  • Over-lubricate the drum – an oily drum or oil-soaked pad will reduce fidelity, feedback, and can result in the jockey wheel slipping causing ‘seasickness’
  • Try to adjust the heads to “improve” contact with the drum – this requires skill and care – if you have one of our machines speak to us before being tempted to make your own adjustments!
Binson-Echorec-2-T7E-Disc-Echo-14_1

Instructions for Cleaning the Heads & Drum of an Echorec:

Tony’s going to add his own version here shortly, adapted from the original Binson manual.

You can download a full scan (14MB) of a Binson Echorec manual (however when you buy a Soundgas Binson we supply an amended version, tailored to your model and its modifications)

Binson-Cleaning-Instructions

Video of the process from Marcello, designer of the modern “Special Binson”:

OTHER ISSUES:

Binson disc not spinning/starting slowly or warbling repeats caused by lack of jockey wheel pressure:

First thing to do – clean capstan and jockey wheel with a cloth moistened with isopropyl alcohol. If the jockey wheel surface is in a bad way acetone can be used to remove a thin layer of rubber and improve drum. Clean the lower section of the drum (where the jockey wheel makes contact) with liquid lighter fluid (naptha/petroleum ether) if excess oil is causing the jockey wheel to slip resulting in poor drive.

If that doesn’t cure it, carefully/slightly slacken off the screw below and apply a little extra pressure to move the silver piece (may also be a spring type assembly) towards the capstan, then re-tighten screw.

Do not force it or leave jockey wheel tightly up against capstan (it should not cause the jockey wheel to compress): this can wear motor and leave a dent in the jockey wheel, which when left unused for a time which will cause an audible warble. We’re talking a slight adjustment to make the wheel engage more readily. It’s worth leaving the cover off for a few days while to see if you’ve got it right.

Binson-disc-not-spinning-starting-slowly-or-warbly-repeats1

Varispeed Care & Operation:

Some extra information for owners of one of our varispeed modified machines – you can find out more about this mod here.

Cleaning – extra notes:

Read the cleaning instructions above! Regular cleaning is essential – a little and often best. I find it’s best to apply a drop of oil to your finger tip (or a cotton bud) and use that to apply to the disc while rotating (make sure your hands are clean first!). Excess oil will cause more noise – this will be exacerbated in varispeed machines where you can get the disc to spin much faster than normal. If the disc starts squeaking or squealing, it’s probably too much oil (remove with a cotton pad or bud).

Operation:

These machines can take time to warm up. During the first few minutes of use, you may get crazier modulation on repeats (or less repeats), which can be good. If the machine’s not been used for some time, you may need to remove the plexiglass cover and help the disc get started: Binsons need regular use to stay on top form.

On “standard” design T7E-type Binsons the varispeed control knob is found on the same side as the inputs/outputs – be careful to protect it when the machine is in transit. This is a simple variable speed motor control so the bias will change and noise/fidelity increases/decreases – and the number of repeats/ease of self-oscillation – depending on the speed selection.

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Any problems or questions about your Soundgas Binson please get in touch now and we will help.

Didn’t buy your Binson from us? Still get in touch, but be aware that our customers have priority access to our time and tech department.

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