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Old 12-26-11, 10:14 PM   #1
531Aussie
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Is there a hi-fi forum as busy as this forum?

I'm looking for a hi-fi forum that'll give me lots of responses to my question about my cassette decks. I'll probably get more replies here.

The busiest one I've found so far is this one:
http://www.avsforum.com/

Anyway, here's my question:

Is it worth getting my old cassette decks repaired?

I suppose the obvious answer is 'no', but it seems such a shame to throw them out. I have 3 half-decent decks (a Sony TC-K590, and 2 Yamaha KX-500A decks) that all have the same problem: when I push play, the heads engage; nothing happens; they stay engaged for a couple of seconds, then they disengage. So, in other words, they don't work -- they don't play
All 3 decks FF and RR fine.

I also have a Sony TC-K611, which has pretty much also gone. It plays a very slow speed, then slows down as it keeps playing. It also FFs and RRs slowly.

Are they toast? Thanks.

I can get decent used decks on Ebay for under $100, so I obviously wouldn't wanna spend that much fixing my current decks.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1382475
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Old 12-26-11, 10:15 PM   #2
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head-fi.org maybe?
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Old 12-27-11, 12:19 AM   #3
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Is there anything worth listening to on cassette?
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Old 12-27-11, 03:07 AM   #4
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Audio Asylum.

They are the best, and they have a forum called Tape.

http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/tape/bbs.html
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Old 12-27-11, 04:55 AM   #5
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Is it worth getting my old cassette decks repaired?

I suppose the obvious answer is 'no', but it seems such a shame to throw them out. I have 3 half-decent decks (a Sony TC-K590, and 2 Yamaha KX-500A decks) that all have the same problem: when I push play, the heads engage; nothing happens; they stay engaged for a couple of seconds, then they disengage. So, in other words, they don't work -- they don't play
All 3 decks FF and RR fine.

I also have a Sony TC-K611, which has pretty much also gone. It plays a very slow speed, then slows down as it keeps playing. It also FFs and RRs slowly.

Are they toast? Thanks.

I can get decent used decks on Ebay for under $100, so I obviously wouldn't wanna spend that much fixing my current decks.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1382475
Is this Latin you're speaking?
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Old 12-27-11, 05:11 AM   #6
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I strongly doubt that anyone will fix it for under $100 so I guess your out of luck. When you can buy decent units for under $100 its not worth anyones while doing it.

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Old 12-27-11, 09:16 AM   #7
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I guess the I-tunes forums is not gonna help... :\
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Old 12-27-11, 09:40 AM   #8
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Thanks.
I'll check out those forums
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Old 12-27-11, 09:48 AM   #9
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So whatever happened to the Digital Compact Cassette standard, anyway?
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Old 12-27-11, 10:57 AM   #10
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So whatever happened to the Digital Compact Cassette standard, anyway?
Died due to the burnable CD, and lately more and more people bring their tracks on a thumb drive.
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Old 12-27-11, 12:15 PM   #11
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So whatever happened to the Digital Compact Cassette standard, anyway?
I wore out my favorite copy of this years ago, and haven't been able to find another one.
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Old 12-27-11, 03:27 PM   #12
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That's DAT. Totally different.
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Old 12-27-11, 04:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
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That's DAT. Totally different.
Hmmm, I missed an entire format coming and going. The tape above is a spoof from a company known for putting humorous yet fake products in their catalog. http://www.aerostich.com/loud-pipes-save-lives-cassette-tape.html
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Old 12-27-11, 04:53 PM   #14
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I was a MiniDisc man back in the day... I guess I kept my MD stuff around for close to a decade after only really using it for 3-4 years.
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Old 12-27-11, 06:23 PM   #15
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Cassettes pre loaded with music had a pretty mid-fi sound at best, but a premium cassette deck with hi quality hi-bias or chrome tape could make a pretty darned fine sounding recording.

Still I never considered my tapes, even in it's heyday, to be anything other than temporary media.
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Old 12-29-11, 10:55 PM   #16
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If anyone's interested, I've since found Tape Heads and Audio Karma
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Old 12-29-11, 11:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 531Aussie View Post
I'm looking for a hi-fi forum that'll give me lots of responses to my question about my cassette decks. I'll probably get more replies here.

The busiest one I've found so far is this one:
http://www.avsforum.com/

Anyway, here's my question:

Is it worth getting my old cassette decks repaired?

I suppose the obvious answer is 'no', but it seems such a shame to throw them out. I have 3 half-decent decks (a Sony TC-K590, and 2 Yamaha KX-500A decks) that all have the same problem: when I push play, the heads engage; nothing happens; they stay engaged for a couple of seconds, then they disengage. So, in other words, they don't work -- they don't play
All 3 decks FF and RR fine.

I also have a Sony TC-K611, which has pretty much also gone. It plays a very slow speed, then slows down as it keeps playing. It also FFs and RRs slowly.

Are they toast? Thanks.

I can get decent used decks on Ebay for under $100, so I obviously wouldn't wanna spend that much fixing my current decks.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1382475
Deck set 1: Tape Head transfer mechanism is borked. It's not worth repairing.

Deck 2 (TC-K:611) If it's a belt drive capstan, then it may well be worth it if the belt is just shot and it's not a bad motor. If it's a direct drive capstan, then it's also borked (Bad brushes in the drive motor). Parts will be more than it's worth.

Replace them would be my take.
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Old 12-29-11, 11:10 PM   #18
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Part of me misses hunting around for good blank tapes. I think I bought my last blank tapes for a Materials Analysis class experiment in 1998, wherein I hacked up some Type I, Type II, and Type IV tapes and did various things to them. The only test I remember now was a thermogravimetric analysis. I used TDKs for the testing, but preferred TDK or Maxell for actual recording of mixes and taping of CDs.

After that, I got a car that had only a CD player. By the time I'd bought my next car that had both tape and CD (did not take CD-Rs), I used the tape deck for an adapter for my portable MD deck. That was followed by an Archos 4GB, a Creative Xen 40GB, and then I didn't have a car at all.

We don't have a tape deck in the house anymore, but the new stereo takes flash drives. One 4GB drive holds enough Raffi (I had a kid somewhere in there!) to kill a pile of tapes.
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Old 12-29-11, 11:26 PM   #19
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Man, I always hated cassette tapes, video, audio, and data. What a fragile, ****ty medium it all was. It probably didn't help that I always had cheap/old hardware, but still.

I recently found myself wondering if there is an underground of people who love music on magnetic tape. I figured there are probably reel-to-reel-o-philes, but wouldn't let myself search for the forum dedicated to cassette tape love (with the 8-track subforum), for sanity's sake.
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Old 12-29-11, 11:47 PM   #20
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I dropped my turntable at the repair shop yesterday. Actually I took it to the one and only record shop in town first, on a friend's recommendation, but their repair guy is on vacation so they sent me to the actual repair shop, and there I went. If I'd known they existed and I was going there, I would have brought my tape deck too. Maybe if I haven't cooled down enough I will drop the tape deck when I retrieve the turntable.

I'm not as retro as the friend who referred me to the record store for repairs, I mostly just use the tape deck and turntable to get stuff into the computer where I can work with it from there. But I like to have my options open!
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Old 12-30-11, 10:04 AM   #21
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Replace them would be my take.
Thanks. I think you're right
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Old 12-30-11, 10:06 AM   #22
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Part of me misses hunting around for good blank tapes. I think I bought my last blank tapes for a Materials Analysis class experiment in 1998, wherein I hacked up some Type I, Type II, and Type IV tapes and did various things to them. The only test I remember now was a thermogravimetric analysis. I used TDKs for the testing, but preferred TDK or Maxell for actual recording of mixes and taping of CDs.
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Yep, it is kinda fun and makes ya feel young. Ha! Playing with a tape deck sure makes you feel like you're stuck in the '80s.
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Old 12-30-11, 12:44 PM   #23
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Find a workable one and transfer all cassette taps to CD. Likewise with VCR. The tape is deteriorating over time both in recording content dynamics and tape stretch per playback. Eventualy, and without warning, one of the repaired tapedeck will get hungry and eat your tape!
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Old 12-30-11, 02:15 PM   #24
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Find a workable one and transfer all cassette taps to CD. Likewise with VCR. The tape is deteriorating over time both in recording content dynamics and tape stretch per playback. Eventualy, and without warning, one of the repaired tapedeck will get hungry and eat your tape!
Alternately, the tape can decay enough that the magnetic part will just flake off of the plastic backing.

Such decay was used to great effect in William Basinski's The Disintegration Loops series, but it's probably not as desirable when it comes to home videos and the like.
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Old 12-30-11, 07:50 PM   #25
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Ok, I should come confess: I'm not a music purist; I use the decks to record radio (both AM and FM) talk sport shows to listen to while riding and driving. The better decks have a timer record switch -- which obviously allows me to record radio shows when I'm not home or asleep -- and they're more durable and nicer to use.
Eh, I just like 'em. So, I'm not too fussed about perfect sound or the odd tape being wrecked.

My other 'issues' is that, about ten years ago, I bought 250 TDK SAX 100 blank tapes when the local shops discounted them to clear them out, so I'm still stuck with nearly 150 blank tapes to use.
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