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Old 14th May 2019, 11:46 PM   #11
Ian Greenhalgh is offline Ian Greenhalgh  United Kingdom
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Cheers Mooly, I'll have to look into alignment and how to do it yourself.
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Old 15th May 2019, 12:25 AM   #12
dreamth is offline dreamth  Romania
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Join Date: Nov 2010
The first step a manufacturer would think of when improving a deck would be to use better tape heads.
Best of the 2-Head Decks - Tapeheads Tape, Audio and Music Forums
Best of the 3 Head Cassette Decks Part II - Tapeheads Tape, Audio and Music Forums
The guys on tapeheads bluntly told you the truth and its not that they need to sell their expensive stuff.It's just the way it is...I wouldn't intervene there too...I already looked into both schematics and analyzed them.
ANT made a very useful chart with measurements of the tapeheads used in most good models:
53 heads for 3-head cassette decks measured

you can easily see that the higher the deck quality or price, the lower the head impedance...
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Old 15th May 2019, 07:20 AM   #13
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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Originally Posted by Ian Greenhalgh View Post
Cheers Mooly, I'll have to look into alignment and how to do it yourself.
If we assume you haven't any reference tapes then we need to come up with another plan.

Although this isn't anything like a recommended plan, it will get results assuming there are no actual faults with the deck.

1/ Listen via headphones to a selection of pre-recorded tapes (noise reduction off) and adjust the azimuth for best subjective treble performance.

2/ Decide if there is any gain imbalance (image shifted left or right) and increase the lowest channels replay gain to centralise the image.

3/ Record a mono test tone of around 400Hz at around -6db on the meters and check that:

(i) The output signal as monitored passing through the deck is equal on both channels (use scope). The only adjustment may be the user record levels but whatever, get the levels equal. The meters might have an adjustment as well, if so then once the actual levels at the sockets are equal you can alter the meter adjustment so that they read equal as well.

(ii) Now play back the recording and ensure the levels are again equal. If not then alter the record gain (internal adjustment) of one channel to achieve equality. Either channel, it doesn't matter.

4/ Now compare playback levels for a recording made at 400Hz and at 10khz . Again use a lowish level of around -6db.

5/ Depending on the result adjust the bias up or down (while recording) to equalise the playback levels of the two frequencies. You will have to keep recording and playing back to see the effect. Lowering the bias will increase the 10kHz level recorded on the tape.

6/ Now record again and set the record gain of both channels so that playback of a 400Hz tone you record is equal to the level you see when the tone is just passed through the deck in record mode.

Now record and playback music and make a subjective evaluation. Also try with noise reduction on and off.

That's probably enough for now
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Old 15th May 2019, 05:42 PM   #14
Ian Greenhalgh is offline Ian Greenhalgh  United Kingdom
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2018
Thanks for the tips on deck selection, I shall study those links.

Thanks for the breakdown Mooly, I might attempt to have a go at that process, when I'm feeling particularly masochistic. I do appreciate the advice very much.
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