Working on a beautiful, elegant machine like the SE-500 makes me feel the same way as when I work on a Rhodes piano: a bit less ashamed to be a human.
I might post a detailed explanation of how a tape echo works a bit later, but now I just want to share all these photos of the mechanisms.
I was lucky because though it had gone through a long period of disuse, this echo unit hadn’t been subjected to severe abuse or neglect. However, the worn out and misshapen felt pads in the tape path were causing the tape to slip out of its path, then get jammed up and wrapped around the pinch roller.
Work done: replaced power supply capacitors, checked oscillator signals and so on. Cleaned everything up on the top– tape heads with head cleaner and various other surfaces, nooks and crannies with IPA, removed pinch roller and cleaned and re-lubricated its shaft and bearings, cleaned rubber surface of pinch roller with pinch roller cleaner. Demagnetized heads, replaced felt tape guide pads with new felt and loaded new tape.