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Sir Trefor 9th April 2006 04:44 AM

"Vintage" JVC Cassette Deck; metal bias?
I recently pulled out of storage a JVC KD-55 cassette deck that I have had for years, but really only used briefly due to some transport problems.

It has two seperate selector switches; one for "Eq" and the other for "Bias"; there are three settings for each-

Bias Eq
150 70
110 70
100 120

Tape types listed are- SF/Normal, FeCr (type III, wow! :bigeyes: ), and SA/CrO2

The fact that this tape deck has bias and eq circuitry for type III tapes tells me it's pretty old, so I want to know- is the high bias position on this deck is suitible for metal tapes? Or will I just be doing my music and my heads a disservice?

The transport is another story...

Before I put it away it was having this problem where it would play or record for a while and then stop. Before it would stop it would slow down(wohh wooohhh wwwooooohhhhh... *STOP*!).

I am listening to a tape as I type and I am having no problems; sound quality is great.

Does anyone know what could cause this problem that I have just described?

I want to keep this deck up and running long enough to test out the "Super ANRS"; JVC's version Dolby B.

I hate Dolby B, but Super ANRS is supposedly compatible, while actually being a few decibels better.

Netlist 9th April 2006 09:17 AM

This deck will not properly play Metal tapes. The list should include Type IV.
As for the speed problems, belts, pinch roller and idler wheel will need to be changed after so many years. The idler wheel is located between the two spindle platters. You will have to take off the metal plate behind the cassette or maybe dismantle the whole mechanism to replace it. If you can find a spare...
If you are lucky, just replacing a (few) belt(s) would make the deck run long enough to do the tests you'd like to perform.

Good luck.

/Hugo :)

Sir Trefor 9th April 2006 10:34 PM

Thanks, Netlist; good information to know before I take metal tape to my heads like sandpaper.

And you basically told me what I suspected the whole time- deteriorating rubber parts. A visual inspection of the pinch roller shows early signs that the rubber is starting to "crack." I cleaned it up with some Teac Rubber cleaner/conditioner, but that's temporary at best.

Are there any suppliers that carry replacement rubber parts(pinch rollers, belts, etc.) anymore?

It may seem silly to ressurrect this thing, but I love the sound quality of it. I stopped using it because of the transport problems I was having; but I like the sound of this deck even better than my TASCAM's. I was using it to record Jazz broadcasts off of NPR when I lived in Nevada.

Netlist 10th April 2006 07:29 AM

I looked at one of my suppliers who still stocks some of these old parts, without luck.
There is an online store somewhere that has a lot of replacement rubbers and belts for that old gear but I can't find it at the moment. If I do, I'll post the link.


peranders 10th April 2006 07:38 AM

Sir, you have a JVC friend, possibly

Netlist 10th April 2006 07:41 AM

Of course, how could I forget. ;)


jvc_graz 11th April 2006 02:00 PM

hi from austria!

first i will tell you something about the kd-a55:
- build 1980, ranking: KD-A8, KD-A77, KD-A7, KD-A66, KD-A55
- anrs is compatible to dolby b, super anrs is better as dolby c ...
(anrs=automatic noice reduction system)
- to get parts for your tape deck- it's not easy, for this problems i've a privat electronic specialist here in graz.
- if you want i can help you with the instruction book (pdf, 25MB!!)

regards, klaus

x-pro 11th April 2006 02:59 PM

It should be OK to play back metal "type IV" tapes on this deck. Just set the EQ to 70 (us) . Bias is only relevant for recording.


Sir Trefor 12th April 2006 12:54 AM

Thank you, Klaus!

please note, though, I do not have a JVC KD-A55, I have a KD-55.

The rubber parts are now (or are avancing in) deterioration. I am looking for all new pinch roller, belt, idler wheels, etc. Can you help me?


PS-Why don't they make the pinch rollers, etc. out of silicone, which is not affeacted by ozone or prone to deterioration?

jvc_graz 12th April 2006 07:51 AM

ups! sorry, next time i will read better....:-)

- build 1978
- ranking: KD-95, KD-85, KD-65, KD-55, KD-25, KD-10

sorry, but i only have the top 3 - and my specialist need the open original machine to find the right parts. maybe that the mechanism is similar. i will ask him on the weekend what we can do for you!
regards, klaus

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