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  #1  
Old 07-17-2009, 04:29 AM
mmay519 mmay519 is offline
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Cassette tape head alignment question

Hi, Everyone--

Yesterday, I purchased an Onkyo TA-RW414 dual cassette deck. I cleaned and demagnetized the heads, and then played some tapes to hear how it sounded. The pre-recorded classical tapes I used sounded fantastic: I heard details I had never noticed before.

I also listened to a tape made from 78 rpm recordings. When I tape mono sources, i try to have both meters move at the same pace, i.e. a peak on both left and right would hit +1 at the same time. The tape I used plays with the meters moving similarly on two Sony decks I use, but when I played it on the Onkyo, on Deck A it played similarly, but on Deck B it did not. The sound on Deck B was not muffled in comparison to the playback on Deck A.

Do I need to have the heads checked and realigned?

Thank you, in advance, for your help.

Take Care,

Mike
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  #2  
Old 07-17-2009, 08:54 AM
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Scorpion8 Scorpion8 is offline
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I assume this is an auto-reversing deck, inchich case the head alignment between both A and B sides may change. Chances are that's it's not the head alignment, but clean them again. And then do it again. Small oxide particles can build up in the head gap and can be very tough to remove. And then there's the possibility that since this is an Onky deck, it may just not play well with others. That's a known "feature" of Onkyo's: they make great tapes recorded and played back on the same deck but may not like tapes recorded on other decks.
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Old 07-17-2009, 03:11 PM
mmay519 mmay519 is offline
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Hi, Scorp--

You are right, that the Onkyo is an auto-reverse deck. My question, though, concerned the cassette decks wells (A and B,) not both sides of the tape itself. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear on that! I do appreciate your advice, too.

Deck A seems to be right on with my other tapes, Deck B seems a little off. Is this an alignment problem, and is it user-adjustable?
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Old 07-17-2009, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmay519 View Post
Deck A seems to be right on with my other tapes, Deck B seems a little off. Is this an alignment problem, and is it user-adjustable?
Everything is adjustable, with the right size hammer. Those auto-reverse heads rotate, so before we do specialized work I'd blow out the area with Dust-off or canned air, perhaps a scrap of snargle got into the mechanism and the head isn't turning all the way. Does it do it in the same well on both sides of a tape, or does Side A of the tape play different than Side B of the tape in the same well when you reverse the direction (not by flipping the tape)?
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Old 07-18-2009, 01:41 AM
mmay519 mmay519 is offline
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I'll give the Dust-Off a try. I haven't yet tested the alignment when the deck plays tapes in the reverse direction, either. Thank you for your advice!

I'll hold off on the hammer-- promise!

Mike
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Old 07-18-2009, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpion8 View Post
...perhaps a scrap of snargle got into the mechanism...
Snargle??? Is that a technical term?

Mike
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Old 07-18-2009, 04:11 PM
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Snargle??? Is that a technical term?
It is. It's about 5 or 6 microwumpins past a whole Schangle.
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Old 07-18-2009, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Scorpion8 View Post
It is. It's about 5 or 6 microwumpins past a whole Schangle.
You sir, are in serious need of therapy.....

Mike
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Denon DRS-810
Akai 1800D-SS
Sony TC-WR701ES
Sony TC-WR775
Kenwood KX-W8040
Technics RS-917
Technics RS-M245X
TEAC A-100
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Old 07-18-2009, 05:03 PM
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You sir, are in serious need of therapy.....
(Long pause)

Judge: "Hearing no dissent, the motion is carried!" (Gavel bangs, case closed).
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Old 07-18-2009, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpion8 View Post
(Long pause)

Judge: "Hearing no dissent, the motion is carried!" (Gavel bangs, case closed).
No motion for appeal?

Mike
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"Of all the things I ever lost, I miss my mind the most.."

Yamaha K-340
Denon DRS-810
Akai 1800D-SS
Sony TC-WR701ES
Sony TC-WR775
Kenwood KX-W8040
Technics RS-917
Technics RS-M245X
TEAC A-100
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  #11  
Old 07-18-2009, 05:11 PM
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No motion for appeal?

Mike
Seems to be a cut-n'-dry case in this instance.
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  #12  
Old 07-18-2009, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpion8 View Post
Seems to be a cut-n'-dry case in this instance.


Mike
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"Of all the things I ever lost, I miss my mind the most.."

Yamaha K-340
Denon DRS-810
Akai 1800D-SS
Sony TC-WR701ES
Sony TC-WR775
Kenwood KX-W8040
Technics RS-917
Technics RS-M245X
TEAC A-100
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  #13  
Old 07-21-2009, 10:08 PM
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390FE 390FE is offline
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Autoreverse heads have 2 adjustments. One for Side A & the other for Side B so it is possible that Side A azimuth could be off & Side B could be ok or visa-versa on one well of the deck (NOTE: this is for those Autoreverse decks with moveing 2 track heads). These type decks are also more prone to azimuth problems down the road due to the constant movement of the head(s) to switch sides & ware to the stops/screws that are used to set azimuth for each side of the tape.

Try the tape in the well that has the issue but use the reverse/opposite direction when playing the tape back & see if there is a change in meter levels. If azimuth is not the cause of the meter imbalance it is possible that it is a circuit alignment/calibration issue for that well (depending how the deck is designed).
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