This site is dedicated to servicing Tascam 238 and 238S, a popular analog rack-mount 8-track recorder that was sold between 1988 and 1994 that uses standard Type II compact cassettes. Many (most?) remaining units are affected by the capstan motor “runaway” issue, where it runs at much higher speed and makes a loud whirring noise. Sometimes it stops altogether, or its performance depends on temperature and humidity.

The cause is failed electrolytic capacitors on the capstan board. Replacing the capacitors usually resolves the issue.

This problem also affects the Dolby S daughtercard on Tascam 238S units that uses the same type of capacitors. Unfortunately, the fix is not as straightforward as on the capstan.