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Prep Work


As part of the prep work for The Gatherings, I had to dismantle poor #1037.  I'd just be bringing the guts with me---no need to crowd the car with the whole case.

Mellotron M400 #1037 ready for disassembly
Atop are all the tools you need---an 11/16" socket and a flat blade screwdriver.

Disassembly begins - removing the wood panels from the Mellotron M400 After you pull the power cord from the power supply, all the removable panels are removed.  This includes the top, the two cheek blocks (usually located on either side of the keyboard), and the front and back panels.
Removing the keyboard and tape take up box cover from the Mellotron The keyboard is detached using four thumbscrews, one at each corner.  Underneath the keyboard is the tape take up box cover, which is a piece of aluminum with a rolled edge (it is sitting on the flywheel for the picture).
Removing a tape frame from a Mellotron M400 Now visible, the tapes can be removed by the four thumbscrews indicated by the blue arrows.  First you loosen the yellow thumbscrews which are on a rod that is drawn back into the tape frame by the tapes as they are pulled by the tape frame springs.  Next the black thumbscrews loosen the main part of the tape frame and allow the frame to be removed.
Mellotron M400 power supply, motor controller, and track selector A look down into the Mellotron M400 with the keyboard and tape frame removed.
  1. Power supply
  2. Motor controller (in this case the SMS-2)
  3. The coily wire is a ground going from the preamp box (under #9) to the Mellotron's main frame
  4. Track selection mechanism
  5. Tape head block cable into the preamp
  6. Tape head block
  7. Pillow block and capstan
  8. Tape path
  9. Control panel (underneath is the preamp box)
Mellotron M400 power supply removal The power supply.  One power cable goes to the preamp, the other to the motor controller.  The smallest cable that goes into the power supply is for the audio.

You can see the large capacitors in the power supply.  Under the top of the power supply is a large transformer.

Close-up of the left side of the Mellotron, notably the preamp cables and track selector assembly Another view down into the Mellotron, now with the power supply removed.
The control panel is about ready to be removed from the Mellotron The control panel is held in by two screws.
Finally the main frame is removed from Mellotron M400 #1037 After the control panel is gone, the frame is left in there all by itself...but not for long.
Mellotron SMS-2 motor controller and main tape driving mechanism The main frame of the machine contains the tape path (guides, capstan, take up box), motor, and motor controller.

Top: The SMS-2 motor controller.


  1. Flywheel
  2. Belt
  3. Tape take up box
  4. Motor
Mellotron SMS-2 motor controller and new motor SMS-2 motor controller and brand new motor, both from Streetly Electronics.

Mellotron M400 #1037 dismantled

With #1037 all packed in the car (well, without the woody bits), Jerry Korb and I drove to just outside of Philadelphia to meet up with Jimmy, Nancy, and family for some cheese steaks and suds.  We spent some time in the basement working out some tunes for the workshop.  And we toured the area a bit, visiting the historic Brandywine area, courtesy of Jimmy's fine hospitality!

First things first:  Some prep work for the workshop...-->