One thing about cassette decks - as they age on particular component
deteriorates-and that is the slip clutch for the take up side of the
mechanism. There is a small fabric disc that is sandwiched between two
plastic discs. the whole assembly is held under spring pressure and allows a
variable take-up speed when the take -up "reel" tape is empty or full - of
course, it needs to turn more slowly when there is more tape - towards the
end of play for the side.
As oil contaminates this fabric disc, it puts increasing
tension on the tape and will stretch and damage the tape. The oil comes out
of the plastic parts themselves as well as any excess lubrication.
The solution is quite simple. There will be a small plastic retaining clip
in the top of the drive that goes through the cassette. When removed, the
whole assembly will come apart - and simply cleaning the fabric clutch part
with a product that will remove the oil - also clean the two clutch faces
that contact it. It should be clean and dry and free of oil. Re-assemble and
it will be as good as new.
The superior three motor drives in better quality decks work
in a different way and do not have the clutch assembly.-Mickey Clark
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M.C.Productions Vintage Recordings
710 Westminster Ave. West
----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve Smolian" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2012 1:25 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] compact audio cassette questions
>I no longer know where it is or on what date I presented it, but I did an
>ARSC talk a while back (late 1980s?), "The Cassette: Audio's Stepchild" if
>I recall correctly, in which I first hashed many of these issues. I took
>and still take the position that the ultimate best use rather than
>immediate gratification should be the measure of desired quality, and that
>this holds for spoken word as well as with music.
> Steven Smolian
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dennis Rooney
> Sent: Monday, October 29, 2012 4:03 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] compact audio cassette questions
> Dear Richard,
> In a case where a motivated archivist can be guided by an experienced
> professional, who is able to calculate the archivist's learning ability, I
> agree that certain kinds of material can be dealt with as you suggest.
> However, stringent adherence to good practice seems a sound way to proceed
> regardless of original recording equipment, however inferior. The job is,
> after all, to play back that bad recording as perfectly as possible so
> once it reaches the digital domain further work to improve it can be
> performed successfully. Azimuth and other mechanical adjustments are best
> learned through demonstration and, when the basic steps are understood can
> be performed by non-professionals with occasional communication for
> cases. Assuming, of course, that the non-professional can hear and know
> what he is listening for. Which is why the initial tutorial is critical.
> On Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 2:57 PM, Richard L. Hess
> <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>> Hi, Dennis,
>> The complexity of this is the level of the collection. Obviously, if you
>> have the RCA Living Stereo Collection, no you can't play catch-up and do
>> on-the-job-experimental learning. On the other hand, after a few learning
>> sessions, I think the motivated archivist with some audio interest might
>> successfully tackle what I see as a huge percentage of the audio
>> collections that are culturally important, but not sonically important.
>> While it may sound like a heresy, I think these can be preserved without
>> much attention to the last tenth of a decibel (if such a level of
>> ever existed in professional magnetic recording).
>> Let's take for example a major student oral history project, recorded on
>> Wollensak T-1500 half-track machines with the provided Wollensak ceramic
>> microphone. Once you learn about azimuth and levels and cleaning the tape
>> deck and say you're using a Studer A807 to digitize the tapes, there
>> too many things you can do on the ingest side that will degrade the audio
>> performance of the original tape. One archive I worked with had
>> with people who knew Richard Nixon as a child. That certainly is a
>> culturally important artifact, but it was recorded on the Wollensaks, as
>> described. This was actually the content that used volunteers under the
>> direction of the careful and conscientious archivist.
>> On 2012-10-29 1:51 PM, Dennis Rooney wrote:
>>> Richard offered the only possible suggestion to anyone responsible for a
>>> collection of important recordings who is inexperienced with the medium.
>>> There are too many solutions to operational problems that only
>>> can provide. Don't even think about "catching up". You cannot.
>> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
>> Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
>> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.
> Dennis D. Rooney
> 303 W. 66th Street, 9HE
> New York, NY 10023