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Universal Capstan Motor
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  #1  
Old 04-23-2013, 08:26 AM
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Any reasonable way to clean cassette tape?

Hi all,

I have a cassette that sound really good. I would like to try and save it if possible. Problem is that it leaves all kinds of crap on my machine heads and rollers. So tape sounds great for about three minutes or so before build up destroys sound. Is there anyway to clean a cassette tape that is relatively easy? If so what do you use to clean it? Or is it trash and not worth bothering with?

Thanks for any advice in advance.
Goodrat
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:32 AM
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brand/model/year of the tape?
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:41 AM
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Hi,

I don't know age. Pickup at Goodwill. It's a Bose pre-recorded cassette. Titled "Private Performances Collection - Sweet, Sweet Smile."

Thanks
Goodrat
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:44 AM
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even BOSE tapes suffer from "no highs, no lows"

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not sure how you'd clean that up without some involved contraption.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:48 AM
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I have an old Technics RS-TR155 deck which half engages the heads/rollers on fast forward/rewind, some tapes I have done 5 passes on back and forth to get the crud off them, with a head clean each pass. It worked for me, don't know if they are as bad as this bose tape that has been mentioned. Maybe ggoat's nu-finish treatment might work on this? You would have to ask him when he is online. Yes baking is another option, forgot about that one Lapis =))
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Last edited by derek92994; 04-23-2013 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodrat View Post
Hi all,

I have a cassette that sound really good. I would like to try and save it if possible. Problem is that it leaves all kinds of crap on my machine heads and rollers. So tape sounds great for about three minutes or so before build up destroys sound. Is there anyway to clean a cassette tape that is relatively easy? If so what do you use to clean it? Or is it trash and not worth bothering with?

Thanks for any advice in advance.
Goodrat
You have to use an electric oven to dry the moist on the tape. Is it a ferric tape by the way?
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:55 AM
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somebody had a good idea here we can go further with...

some decks will give you access to the bottom of the cassette when you take the door off. i wonder if you can get in there with a q-tip soaked in alcohol and ff/rew the tape while holding the qtip into the tape path?
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:45 AM
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If you have a single capstan toploader you can try this :

Just put a Q-tip with alcohol through the hole from the (not present) left capstan into the cassette shell. It must be in front of the tape. Now place it into the deck and press fast forward. Works on my old Elacs like a charm.
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Last edited by lucky; 04-23-2013 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:49 AM
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Ok guys, thanks.

I was able to get a cleaning tape swab into the machine and clean the tape with alcohol. Funny but nothing came off. I did it a few times. The tape is running now. I will run both sides and then check heads. Will post the results.

Thanks for everyone's input. Greatly appreciated.
Goodrat.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:55 AM
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Forget baking - that should definitely stay in the pro R2R realm. It's just asking for a melted mess or at best warped shells. Take the tape stock out of the shell and you still have the plastic hubs and thinner (in comparison to R2R) tape that can melt.

Try any of the other methods.

Looks like the situation has been resolved while I've been typing this.

Nice one!

Regards, Kelv
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ke4mcl View Post
even BOSE tapes suffer from "no highs, no lows"

------------------------------------------------------------

not sure how you'd clean that up without some involved contraption.
Laugh if you want but the tape sounds excellent. I found the following from a post on another site. I can only agree.....

"The Bose Private Performances Collection was offered via mail order and was aimed at purchasers of cars equipped with Bose Stereos from the factory. The cassettes were duplicated at low speed on BASF Chrome tape in Shape shells and are superb quality. Get them if you like the music. They are amazing quality sound wise!"

Goodrat
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:37 AM
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Whatever you do, the tape is breaking down chemically from the inside out. You can try some nufinish/W5 leather care treatment to try and "seal off" the offending coating, but unless you are skilled in this sort of treatment, it's not the case to experiment with a tape you want to salvage.

The best course of action for such cassettes is trying to grab it little by little (even a song at a time) in a deck that can play it long enough before being overwhelmed by the crud (so I'd go with whatever puts the least amount of head pressure, aka dual loop closed capstan. Some decks might play such tapes for 1 minute between cleanups, some maybe 5 or 10. Then re-record on a good cassette and...toss away the nastie.
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