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Old 23rd April 2012, 02:58 PM   #1
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Default Need help fixing a tape deck, if possible.

I just bought an old tape deck for fun. It's a Technics RS-TR373. It has electronically controlled head and door movement, but no newer features like skipping to the next song, and it says "made in Japan", so I am guessing it is probably from the late 80s or early 90s.

I cleaned up the head and the roller as best I can with IPA. I think the heads are squeaky clean now as far as I can tell, and it looks very shiny. But still there are a few problems with it.

1. The left deck sounds more muffled than the right one. At times it plays good for the first few seconds and then turn muffled. At times I can also hear both channels' sound modulating in loudness and treble response. The modulation is not in unison on both channels. Does this sound like capacitors needing replacement? Or is it something more dire and there is nothing much to do? I understand that there is no way that you would know what is going on for sure, but an educated guess or point me in the right direction are welcome here.

2. As I said, the right deck sounded better, but it has another sets of problem. That is it can't play in the reverse direction. When I do that it would output some soft static and then reverse or stop itself. This is probably something more complicated that I can't fix, but if you have any insight I'd be happy to hear. I've also notice at times the left channel turning very soft and muffled.

I downloaded the schematic online, but of course it doesn't mean a thing to me.

Last edited by Navyblue; 23rd April 2012 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 23rd April 2012, 03:02 PM   #2
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Try de-magnetising the heads.

Muffled sound is usually down to either:

1. Faulty components.
2. Magnetised heads.
3. Poor tape path.
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Old 23rd April 2012, 03:36 PM   #3
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get a screrw driver and realign the head on the left deck. Use your ears, get a really good tape. Auto reverse decks are a pain in the azz, always issues with alignments. At this point, you have nothing to lose.
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Old 23rd April 2012, 03:46 PM   #4
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Hi Navyblue,

This may not be so bad. I have a lot of experience with older Technics decks from the 70's and 80's. With any luck the low muffled sound and low volume is a dirty record/play switch.

Take off the cover and look for something about 8 to 10 mm wide and 50 to 80 mm long. Use some good contact cleaner and cycle the switch for a minute or two.

The reverse direction problem is usually related to insufficient take-up torque in the reverse direction or the sensor for the reverse direction. Sometimes you can clean the clutch and it will fix it. The sensor is a little more difficult to find without test equipment.

Hope this helps.
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Old 23rd April 2012, 04:21 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, those certainly helps.

KatieandDad,

I don't know if the head is magnetised in the first place, but in my reckless attempt to demagnetise it, I think I have magnetised it because it now sounded a lot more muffled than it was. So other potential problem aside, now I need a real demagnetising solution.

I see there are a few cheapish demagnetiser, most are from the US, which I assume they are for 110V mains, would they by any chance work for 230V mains? Since I assume they are just solenoids.

Or, can I just coil either the live or the neutral of a lamp cord on a screw driver or wrench and move it to the head slowly? I think there is a chance that it would work since coiling BOTH the live and neutral actually works on magnetising the head.

Aptquark,

I'll get to that after I fixed the mess I just made.

PDM,

You sounded like you will be my saviour. I 'll get to that after demagnetising the head.
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