MISC: Panasonic RS-888S

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medkill

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Nov 10, 2006
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Proctor, Arkansas
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Rarity of this item would be SCARCE. Explained below.
No price information, as I have no idea of its new price and have not seen any sold to know what else has been paid for one of these.

This is one of those "all in one' systems marketed by Panasonic. What makes this one a bit scarce is that it was only available in the European PX. I bought this one about 8 years ago at a 'junktique' store in West Memphis, AR for $60. The gentleman who sold it to me said his older brother had bought it when he was in Germany in the '70's. The service manual that I have since gotten also notes it as a 'European PX Only' system.
Features are: Cassette Play/Record; LP Record Changer; AM/FM/ FM Stereo receiver with inputs for 4 channel FM broadcast; 8-Track 4 channel play/ 2-channel record.
The 8-track also came with what was called "Pana-Ject", which was its auto-eject feature.
This system also had a manual switch which selected "Stereo/ 4ch matrix/ 4ch Discrete". The 8-track player does not have the 2-4 channel switch in the tape player itself, like most quad 8-track units. This is like a souped-up version of the Panasonic RS-862S, which I also have one of.
The 'up-close' picture of the 8-track part would not upload, so I'll fix this later, if anyone is interested.
Biggest problem I found is that the tape head 'up-down' mechanism can stick and freeze over time. I've had this on the '888 and the '862 (basically, they have the same mechanism).
This one I have was also neglected. The record changer was badly abused and still needs to be fixed/replaced. I'm also missing the dust cover for the top of the system.
Before I acquired my Pioneer QX-949A amp, the '888 was my big, bad system. At the time, I was running a Marantz CD-400 demodulator with this for my QuadraDiscs.
To make a short story long, I hope this may be seen by someone who was overseas in the military back in the day, and either bought or knew of this system.
 

medkill

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Nov 10, 2006
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Proctor, Arkansas
There is a Panasonic RS-862S (which I also have one of) that shows up a bit. The front appearance is similar to the '888, but the '862 doesn't have the cassette or the record changer. The '862 also does not have the "Pana-Ject" feature for the 8-track. I've revived my interest in these Panasonic systems, as these, along with my first system, an RE-8840, are what broke me into the world of 4-channel sound.
 

medkill

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Nov 10, 2006
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Location
Proctor, Arkansas
To me, they are a great room system, but not quite powerful enough to rock out all 4 corners of the world. Again, a great 'beginner' system if you can find 'em in decent shape. My '862 was found at a thrift store for about $8. It took a bit of cleaning up (it had served, at one time, as a roach motel), but once I got it de-bugged, it has since served as my favorite bedroom unit.
 

timbre4

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My first quad system was the first Panasonic offered in the states in June 1972; the RE7750 4 channel receiver with joystick balancer and the matching companion RS845US Q8 Deck.

What fun it was to use the balancer to isolate one channel or just listen to the rears, etc.
 

teamswaim

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May 14, 2011
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I have inherited a Panasonic RS-888S from my grandfather. Same story no plastic top with it. Everything works fine on the unit, however I need a new needle for the turntable. Any idea where I can get one or could you give me the part number for the needle. Thanks. I love this unit and plan to keep it!
 

medkill

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Nov 10, 2006
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Proctor, Arkansas
My record changer had a Audio-Technica AT-12s cartridge on it. I had gotten my replacement needles at www.garagearecords.com. I'm still looking to repair/replace the original record changer, which, if I recall correctly, is a JVC ARC-50G. I'm glad someone else has one of these. I have an original operator manual and schematic, as well as a decent pdf of the service manual.
 

medkill

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Nov 10, 2006
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Proctor, Arkansas
As soon as I can catch me a little slack time, I'll get 'em sent your way. The service manual I can send as a pdf to your e-mail. I'll verify it, but I believe I have a couple extra copies of the schematic that I printed onto Ledger (11x17) paper.
 

kg7yc

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Mar 30, 2013
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Wow! That would be great. I've spent a lot of time getting this thing up and running. The 8 track now works flawlessly after dissecting the switching mechanism and sanding the contacts. It was gummed up from years of sitting.IMAG0746.jpg

The turntable had the same problem. I polished the turret bushing with 1500 grit sandpaper and lubed it with 10 weight oil and some silicon lube. Non working bulbs were replaced with LED's. The 4/2 indicator has red/blue LED's and lights up correctly. The cassette runs a bit fast and I'm hoping your manual will give a clue on if the IC regulator can be adjusted.
All contacts were treated with the red Detoxit liquid including cassette and 8 track interconnects. One connection was flaky until treatment. The pots and 8 track recording slide switch were drenched with contact spray and blown out profusely.

Lastly the FM section is dead. Hopefully with a schematic I can get it worked out.
IMAG0760.jpg
Automotive headlamp restoration kits work phenomenal on scuffed covers and faceplates!
I've got mine for viewing here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sv3WNPcJfNs
 

medkill

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Nov 10, 2006
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Proctor, Arkansas
Dang nice lookin' unit! I actually have one now in about as good condition. I had gotten it, along with its speakers, on ebay late last year from its original owner. She told me that it was her high school graduation present from 1974. I think she said her dad was stationed in Japan at the time.
Only hang-up it had was the head mechanism was stuck. If yours hasn't had that issue, I'm surprised, as it seems that is a common ailment amongst these systems that use this mechanism.
I do have the service manual as a pdf file. It includes the schematics. I had purchased it on line a couple of years ago. I'd like to get the original paper manual, but that will be hard to find due to these being 'overseas' units. Just send me an e-mail address and I'll send it your way.
 

kg7yc

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Mar 30, 2013
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Great info. I didn't know it was that old. The mech. seems OK but I lubed it to make sure. You can send it to: [email protected]. Be great to get FM going.
 

kg7yc

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Mar 30, 2013
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Got your info. Thanks so much. There's information available on how to test the cassette tape speed but it doesn't have a way to adjust it. I might try finding a way to increase the weighted flywheel diameter.
 

The Hound

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May 15, 2013
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Hey, imagine this, someone still talking about these old systems.
I recently came into my fathers RS-888s, it is cherry.
Two of the speakers are still in the plastic in the original box.
All is there including dust cover and manuals.
I understand that the 8track is quad but what about the turntable?
That is were my interst lies.
Medkill you said,
"Before I acquired my Pioneer QX-949A amp, the '888 was my big, bad system. At the time, I was running a Marantz CD-400 demodulator with this for my QuadraDiscs."
My understanding of CD-4 is that, a special needle was needed, then into a demodulator, that fed a pre amp.
I see there's a phone out, as well as a 4 channel MPX out and line ins for front and rear.
Did you put the demodulator in between at this piont?
Did you have to change out the cartridge in the turntable or is the stock one set up for quad already.
Do the front preamp knobs work in this configuration?
Thanks, Houndy
 

medkill

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Nov 10, 2006
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Location
Proctor, Arkansas
Wow! Yet another proud owner of an 888! Hope it does you well. I have the pdf of the Service Manual, if you ever need it.

Now, concerning the record changer, the standard cartridge was a stereo needle/cartridge, which won't work for a CD-4.
The buyer could optionally buy the Panasonic EPC-451 Shibata-type cartridge/needle and a CD-4 demodulator.
It's spelled out in the operator manual, but if you had that cartridge, you then ran the phono out to the inputs of the demodulator, then ran the demodulator outs to the 4-channel auxiliary inputs of the 888.
My first, rough-condition 888 had an Audio-Technica AT-12 cartridge installed on it. This last 888 I picked up has the basic stereo cartridge.
As far as yours goes, you'd have to look and see what cartridge you have and go from there.
Hope this helped. At any rate, enjoy the unit. If the head mechanism is moving properly, you won't have much to worry about as far as the 8-track.

Frank
 

The Hound

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May 15, 2013
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Thanks medkill, I am awaiting the manuals, as they were left on the counter at Dads house.
:)
 

medkill

Active Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
Messages
62
Location
Proctor, Arkansas
Well, these 888's have really been coming out of the woodwork, lately. To those of you who have recently acquired them, I hope that the unit is doing you well and that you are happy with it.
 
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