..a proper cleaning and a belt replacement is likely in order, perhaps
followed by replacing the pinch rollers....
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Steven C. Barr
Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2005 8:38 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Nakamichi Tape Deck Problem
----- Original Message -----
From: "Sirnailhead JR Superfly" <[log in to unmask]>
> I'm sort of an amateur archivist, mostly working on underground bands
> of the last 20 years that may have only recorded demos on cassette. I
> haven't had the money for a new deck in many years and about 6 months
> ago I found a used Nakamichi 480 model from the mid 80's. It pulled
> tape and seemed to play and record fine when I turned it up and seemed
> worth the $30. I hadn't used it in a while, but when I tried the
> other day I found something rather strange. The tape will play
> clearly for 20-30 seconds, then will start to lower in volume and have
> sort of a muddy sound, not unlike a tape left in the sun. If I hit
> stop and play again it sounds perfect again for a similar amount of
> time, and it seems I can do this over and over with the same results.
> Any idea what the problem is? I cleaned the heads when I got it and
> there was nothing obviously wrong to my very amateur eyes. My
question would be is it worth the expense.
> There is a local shop that does work in Nakamichi and I'd bet it would
> cost $100 or more. Do older consumer grade Nakamichis hold up over
> time and would it be possible to get it "tuned up" to make sure the
> speed it correct, heads OK, etc? If I were to put $120-150 into it
> would it likely be as good or better as anything I could buy new in
> the same price range? I have piles of cassettes that I can't really
> do much with until I have a deck that works properly, but I'm not in
> the market for a new high end deck. Any ideas on what other decks I
> might consider if this one is beyond hope would be much obliged.
> Thanks. Randy
At a guess, I'd say the tape is drifting off-track (I once had this
happen with a r-2-r deck). First, get it cleaned professionally, and
check all the items that actually move the tape as well as anything it
passes over which could be dragging it. Beyond that, I'm unfamiliar with
Nakamichi, so I couldn't say specifically...
Steven C. Barr