Tapes, walkmans, mods, loops etc

I’ve recently fell in love in cassettes and things that Hainbach, Amulets, BlankFor.ms and others do. I want to try it by myself. Simplest thing is basic motor speed mod for walkman or portable tape player and I’ve ordered both of them and I’m waiting for packages.

But I’ve found this beauty:

-wood elements
-runs on battery
-this pocket on left side is ideal for installing mods (pots and switches)

It just have one downside: It has vintage mic in port I think it’s DIN 5 (?)
Is there any way to mod this so I can connect jack? I’ve seen some DIN 5 to jack cables but they all have male jack so it won’t work for me.

Also If you could look at the schematics and tell me if motor mod will be possible here? I’m total noob and have no idea what I’m doing :smiley:
Schematics: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/v17sbh8etkwq6iq/AABk4-550a7d2QGCINiOihpUa?dl=0


The female 3.5mm to 5 pin din cables are around if you look.


Not sure if you’re looking for those or 6.35, or even whether you want mono or TRS. They’re not that difficult to make up if you can’t find one. Just take a MIDI cable and replace one end with whichever inline female you want.

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Cannot tell the pin angles from the photo, but if it’s a 180 degree 5-pin DIN, you can get MIDI connectors everywhere and build your own cable; e.g. they’re 30 cents/each at Tayda:


Other angles (there are a few variants, see the data sheet linked from that page) aren’t that hard to find either.


Yes, something funny about the way those sockets look from the photo. You may be able to get a schematic for this model from:



I’ve linked dropbox folder with schematics from this site but I don’t understand it. I guess I will have to learn reading schamatics

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If you make an account here you can download a schematic of a Saba recorder (https://www.hifiengine.com/hfe_downloads/index.php?saba/saba_rcr_352h_schematic_de.pdf) that is probably electrically very similar and you will be able to more easily mod the one you have.


For whatever reason, that Dropbox link just takes me to a blank page. If you are able to get a screenshot of the schematics there are plenty of able people here who will be can extract any useful information they might contain.


These links unfortunately don’t work unless you go to their homepage first.

Others have also said this, but making up your own cable should be quite simple. I’ve done it myself for a little philips amplifier set that still uses din5. You have the schematics which make this a fair bit easier also.

This motor is set up a little weird, but what you could try is changing this resistance (just a small amount!). I’m still not entirely sure about it though, so if you’re not confident, wait for someone else to chime in.


Dropbox link works for me.


Thanks. I eventually managed to see the PDFs using a different browser. The DIN socket marked with what looks like an alpha symbol is a microphone and remote control. This is the standard symbol for a microphone (or at least this was common in Europe in the seventies.)

Pinouts as follows:

  1. No connection.
  2. Ground.
  3. Microphone input, goes to audio preamp.

Pins 4 and 5, when there is a DIN plug physically inserted into the microphone socket, act as a motor control. When a switch shorts 4 and 5 together, a 9V DC current passes to the motor. This facilitates a simple remote control feature built into the microphone handset. This was a very common feature on portable cassette recorders.

Some later designs featured built-in piezo-electric microphones for convenience. This design doesn’t have that.

The DIN socket marked Radio is for connecting to the DIN line out of a typical 1970s radio receiver designed for the European market. DIN sockets were the nearest thing to universal connectors. As with the other socket, pin 3 is most likely for audio input and pin 2 is ground. I haven’t worked out the others yet, but I hope this helps. There is also obviously an earphone output, presumably mono 3.5mm jack, so that’s your best bet for audio output.

Edit: b addition to advice on motor speed given above, I think pins 4 and 5 on the microphone socket will control motor speed for recording only. Put a low value resistance across those pins and you’ll slow down the motor during record, resulting in that recording having a “fast forward” sound during normal playback.


I don’t think that’s the motor. It looks like a transformer linked to one of the tape heads. Since the head is labelled with an x in a circle, I suspect that may be the bias circuit for the erase head, which conditions the magnetic qualities of the tape surface to be ready to accept the audio signal.

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I agree, the transistor and RC circuit are part of an oscillator to generate an AC current for the tape head, I think.


I did this on a walkman, I don’t really know anymore but for the speed I think I just made a power starve pot.

I added a vactrol on the pot with a 555 for a pseudo LFO and some resistors for the push switch pitch

some tape loop test


From what I’ve seen in most walkmans is that they have a dedicated motor control chip. Usually finding the datasheet for those IC’s is pretty easy and thus they’re pretty simple to modify.


Thank you guys for your posts when I’ll get hands on this SABA beauty I will need some help :smiley:
But for now I’ve made my first mod and I have to say It was olny partially succesful :confused: I tried to mod SONY TCM 939 cassette-corder by adding pot between + cable going to motor. All the values of the pots I tried worked tha same: very aggresive (and I’ve tried everything from 1K to 500K lin and log). So I have to be very careful with moving pot.
Few days later I’ve remembered that sometime motors in cassette playeres have biult in trim pot so Ive made my way with drill to it - it doesn’t work as I supposed it will work but sticking things in this hole can make some crazy spped shifts - so I’ve named it SANITY controll.

For now I’ve only transported three of my old (and a little boring) music on tape. Two songs normally on tape and third (Lighthouse (intro) ) on a tape loop - it is 60 seconds song, so I have to wrap tape around things to be able to play it :smiley:


Another thought: maybe use a 555 circuit to provide PWM on the motor power.


yes like this



I had a 2 cassette tape deck from a 2nd hand shop before i moved but had to throw it way. Since this would be a DIY hack job, i wonder if it would even matter among these if the tape head is even any different. Probably would be just as well off with the cheapo. HiFi aint the point to me otherwise why would i use tape lol.


Here’s a video about a “synth” using the Byron Statics:

Not entirely impressed with the project generally but there’s information starting at 09:00 about bending the tape player itself.

Looking forward to your findings! I want a tape delay too. In kosmo or small standalone

I really love how this eurorack module looks:

But I’m never going to spend that kind of money on one module

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