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Universal Capstan Motor
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  #1  
Old 01-15-2009, 03:23 AM
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Head demag question

Apologies if this has been covered before - I did search through for an answer but couldn't dig up a thread.

I wish to get a head demagnetiser. I had one in a cassette shell but can't find it any more. So my question is a) which is best, a wand type or the electronic cassette shell variety (and recommended brands)? b) How often should heads be demagged? c) are there any risks of damage?

Thanks to all.
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Old 01-15-2009, 03:59 AM
niklasthedolphin niklasthedolphin is offline
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Originally Posted by Mignun67 View Post
Apologies if this has been covered before - I did search through for an answer but couldn't dig up a thread.

I wish to get a head demagnetiser. I had one in a cassette shell but can't find it any more. So my question is a) which is best, a wand type or the electronic cassette shell variety (and recommended brands)? b) How often should heads be demagged? c) are there any risks of damage?

Thanks to all.
The de-fluxer in cassette shell is not recommendable.
The wand type is the one to get.

You can damage your deck if you de-mag with wrong procedure.

Clean your deck first.

Get tapes away from within several meters from the area you are using the de-fluxer.

Make sure the de-fluxer's tip is covered with rubber or plastic.

Turn off your deck.
Make the tape path accessible.

Position some magnetic material approximately 1 - 1 meter from the deck.
Turn your de-fluxer on at the point of the magnetic material you put 1-1 meters away from deck.
Slowly move the de-fluxer closer to the deck.
When at the deck, very slowly let the de-fluxer demagnetize all metal parts in the tape path.
Do not let the de-fluxer touch any parts on the deck.
After passing the last point of the tape path, slowly drag the de-fluxer away in the same tempo in which you approached the deck before.
When the de-fluxer is back at the magnetic material at 1-1 meters away from the deck you can turn it off again.

Get the magnetic material far away from your gear now.
The basement, some shelter in the garden or throw it over the living fence in to the neighbour.
;-)

Done this way, no harm is done to your deck and it will be properly de-magnetized.

The reason for avoiding those de-fluxers build into a cassette shell is that the machine has to run to activate the device.
Having the machine on when de-magnetizing can severely damage it.

"dolph"
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Old 01-15-2009, 04:34 AM
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Dolph,

thanks! That's a very comprehensive demag guide. I'll avoid the tape shell versions then...

Is it recommended to unplug from mains and also the interconnects?
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:09 AM
niklasthedolphin niklasthedolphin is offline
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Originally Posted by Mignun67 View Post
Dolph,

thanks! That's a very comprehensive demag guide. I'll avoid the tape shell versions then...

Is it recommended to unplug from mains and also the interconnects?
It won't harm to unplug all.
Power has to be unplugged.
I doubt, though, that interconnects can cause any harm further on in the chain.

"dolph"
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  #5  
Old 01-15-2009, 09:42 PM
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Head Demag

Radio Shack sold a good wand that was lighted as well, a Realistic head demagnitizer Catalog # 44-207. Picture from catalog.
Just make sure the rubber cover is still on the tip or that you have/find something to put on it. They come up on E-Bay from time to time. The Shack no longer sells it.
I never liked the battery powered cassette type.

Realistic (Catalog # 44-207) Note: US version is 120VAC powered.
scan0016.jpg


This is the exact same wand as the above Realistic but marked as a Calibron.
(Model # 231X) Note: US version is 120VAC powered.
Front
scan0017.jpg

Rear
scan0018.jpg
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  #6  
Old 01-15-2009, 10:02 PM
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The de-fluxer in cassette shell is not recommendable.
Actually I would take exception to this statement as an old-wives tale that continues to live, and stays alive by the uninformed continuing to pass it along.

In March of 1979, Audio Magazine did a review of the TDK HD-01 cassette shell type head demagnetizer. They found that it produced a much better signal with a much smoother waveform decay than hand held units of the same time period. There were less spikes, and more current in the head than a hand held unit, which did not have the same consistency of application as the HD-01. In fact, they highly recommended it.

Now, that bit of info notwithstanding, it is noted that this unit was for cassette tape units only, and won't do a reel to-reel or any other device. But if you use a car deck, it's about the only answer.

I have successfully used an HD-01 for many years, having bought one in the early 80's. New batteries every so often, and they continue to live just fine. I will go on to state that I have never had a problem with head magnetization in any tape deck that I've used one on, and I've been a taper since 1975. To back up my argument, I own 3 of these and grab any at yard sales or thrifts that appear.

That technical review article is available online, if anyone is interested.
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Last edited by Scorpion8; 01-15-2009 at 10:05 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-16-2009, 12:38 AM
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Thanks for all the replies guys (I'm assuming you are all guys...?),

A friend and Nak expert has warned me off the tape shell type for use on the ZX9. He says that because they have to be used with the deck powered up, the capstan motors can possibly be damaged. It only applied with direct drive and has something to do with the type of DD motors used in this unit.

A wand it is then... Niklas, do I have to spin round three times chanting and ensure I have one trouser leg hoiked up above the knee...? But seriously, thanks for the procedure pointers!
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Mignun67 View Post
Thanks for all the replies guys (I'm assuming you are all guys...?),

A friend and Nak expert has warned me off the tape shell type for use on the ZX9. He says that because they have to be used with the deck powered up, the capstan motors can possibly be damaged. It only applied with direct drive and has something to do with the type of DD motors used in this unit.

A wand it is then... Niklas, do I have to spin round three times chanting and ensure I have one trouser leg hoiked up above the knee...? But seriously, thanks for the procedure pointers!
Oh yeah.
Did I forget that?

And you have to do at stonehenge at midnight and fullmoon on the 13th.

And the mixture you have to drink consists of: Three mice, s squeeze of batblood, the eyeball of a yellow toad.................now where is that recipe?

"dolph"
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:35 AM
niklasthedolphin niklasthedolphin is offline
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Originally Posted by Scorpion8 View Post
Actually I would take exception to this statement as an old-wives tale that continues to live, and stays alive by the uninformed continuing to pass it along.

In March of 1979, Audio Magazine did a review of the TDK HD-01 cassette shell type head demagnetizer. They found that it produced a much better signal with a much smoother waveform decay than hand held units of the same time period. There were less spikes, and more current in the head than a hand held unit, which did not have the same consistency of application as the HD-01. In fact, they highly recommended it.

Now, that bit of info notwithstanding, it is noted that this unit was for cassette tape units only, and won't do a reel to-reel or any other device. But if you use a car deck, it's about the only answer.

I have successfully used an HD-01 for many years, having bought one in the early 80's. New batteries every so often, and they continue to live just fine. I will go on to state that I have never had a problem with head magnetization in any tape deck that I've used one on, and I've been a taper since 1975. To back up my argument, I own 3 of these and grab any at yard sales or thrifts that appear.

That technical review article is available online, if anyone is interested.
I know of two decks suffering from being powered up while de-magnetized.
I would stick to the safe procedure.
But you just do it your way.

"dolph"
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  #10  
Old 01-16-2009, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by niklasthedolphin View Post
I know of two decks suffering from being powered up while de-magnetized.
Perhaps they didn't follow the directions properly. Several of my decks need to be powered up while using the HD-01 and I've never had a single issue in 30 years. And again, secondhand heresay stories don't supplant the technical review.
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  #11  
Old 01-16-2009, 11:08 PM
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I have both the Radio Shack lighted wand and the TDK (oh, and a Maxell equivalent) mentioned in this thread. I've used both on various decks and cannot honestly tell a difference - both do the job. I tend to use the wand at home and the in-the-shell units in car and walkman decks.
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by niklasthedolphin View Post
I know of two decks suffering from being powered up while de-magnetized.
I would stick to the safe procedure.
But you just do it your way.
Oh, and another interesting fact regarding this is that HK recommends the use of these cassette shell demagentizers in their tape deck OMs. See the HK TD420 OM, TD4200-4400 OM, TD4500-4600 OM & TD4800 OM's, as well as the NAD613 and 616 OM's. So I guess if these very highly regarded companies considers them safe, that's good enough for me. Maybe people should read the directions on how to use them.

And a further issue is the fact that probably way more decks have been improperly demagnetized by having their heads zapped by improper turn-off of the hand-held unit at an insufficient distance. That's also stated in these same OM's.
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  #13  
Old 01-18-2009, 05:16 AM
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Um

I think they dont want any warranty work if they reccomend a wand demag. I dont see how a little battery cassette demag can erase all the magnetic fields. I dont see how a cassette type could put a powerfull field in all directions and get the job done. You have a play head, record head and erase head and capstan or capstans. A cassette type would be better suited for a car deck just for the convience factor and the fact that one head is all you have plus one capstan. I have also read that a trained technician should only be the one that demags your deck with a wand. I have read years ago you need a steady hand as you proceed. Not just to keep from accidently touching but to make sure you dont go to fast. Anyone else read that????
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Old 01-18-2009, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Scorpion8 View Post
Oh, and another interesting fact regarding this is that HK recommends the use of these cassette shell demagentizers in their tape deck OMs. See the HK TD420 OM, TD4200-4400 OM, TD4500-4600 OM & TD4800 OM's. So I guess if this very highly regarded company considers them safe, that's good enough for me. Maybe people should read the directions on how to use them.

And a further issue is the fact that probably way more decks have been improperly demagnetized by having their heads zapped by improper turn-off of the hand-held unit at an insufficient distance. That's also stated in these same OM's.
It might have something to do with how the circuits are designed around the elements in the tape path.

As well as you state that some OM's have recommended to power up while doing the de-mag, I remember several of OM's from some of the hundreds of decks I had, stating the opposite: Cuations to shut down when de-mag is done.

To make any general advice out of that must be the most safe way; Read the manual and if that's not around, shut the machine down when doing it.

"dolph"
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  #15  
Old 01-18-2009, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by niklasthedolphin View Post
As well as you state that some OM's have recommended to power up while doing the de-mag, I remember several of OM's from some of the hundreds of decks I had, stating the opposite: Cuations to shut down when de-mag is done.
Actually, it's not "recommended" to have the deck powered up while using a cassette-shell type demag'er, but on some decks you have to. On piano-key style decks, you should have the deck off, as the physical movement of the piano key raises the head block up to engage the demag'er which is what actuates it. On solenoid-operated decks, you can't do that because if the deck is powered off, you can't get the head block to raise up to actuate the demag'er. So these decks have to be powered ON. But they also give strict caution (and what I've always done) to turn down everything, such as REC level, variable headphone outputs, output level, etc when using these demag'ers. I believe if there was any possible harm to be done, it would be in leaving all the circuitry turned "way" up and allowing that flux to speed thru the energized system. Offhand, I have done this to one or two of mine a couple times (by accident or rushing) and have never had a problem result, but I'd guess that here is where the issue lies. Probably in the same vein as moving a handheld demagger into or away from your heads too quickly and/or snapping the power off while the field is still within range, which is very harmful to the heads.

So, taking a step back, there is much positive consideration to using a good-condition, properly operated casstte shell type demag'er.
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:09 PM
niklasthedolphin niklasthedolphin is offline
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We have all our ways.

I stay put in my recommendation of how to................

Some of the OM's recommending shut off has relay controlled operation.

The wand is the way.................

"dolph"
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:47 PM
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I stay put in my recommendation of how to................
As long as we don't proliferate on old wives tale about these things being "bad" or "not recommended" because that's pure opinion and fiction, with nothing based in actual fact as shown. If you don't like them and don't want to use them, no one is going to care one way or another. But for the casual novice user of a cassette machine, I'd highly recommend one of these over a wand which, in the hands of the inexperienced, has the potential to cause much more harm than one of these.
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:36 PM
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As long as we don't proliferate on old wives tale about these things being "bad" or "not recommended" because that's pure opinion and fiction, with nothing based in actual fact as shown. If you don't like them and don't want to use them, no one is going to care one way or another. But for the casual novice user of a cassette machine, I'd highly recommend one of these over a wand which, in the hands of the inexperienced, has the potential to cause much more harm than one of these.
If you remember, I wrote that I know of decks suffering from being turned ON when de-magnitized.

So there is no fairytale about this.

"dolph"
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:59 PM
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So there is no fairytale about this.
And I know of people who get cancer from breathing oxygen, so dolph I highly recommend you stop breathing before you get cancer.
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:05 PM
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And I know of people who get cancer from breathing oxygen, so dolph I highly recommend you stop breathing before you get cancer.
I actually already HAD the Cancer.

What is it really you are saying now?
Stop breathing??
What is this?
What way are you taking this thread?

"dolph"
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