Thread Number: 73669  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Sony Cassette Deck
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Post# 972857   12/10/2017 at 16:29 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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I tried to fix my 1991 Sony cassette deck this afternoon.  It wouldn't play/ff/rew or eject the loaded tape.  Figured bad drive belts.  Found a repair kit (2 belts and pinch roller) on eBay from a seller in Slovakia(!).  Also found a service manual online.  The original belts were broken and deteriorated to sticky goo, like an ancient rubber band.  The parts fit perfectly but it still doesn't work.  Something is jammed or one of the motors may be bad.  I may disassemble again and investigate but probably will end up tossing it.  Leastwise I have the Pioneer deck I found on eBay in Oct.

Post# 972888 , Reply# 1   12/10/2017 at 20:32 by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        

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Well that's too bad.  Did you buy it brand new?  What was the model number?


I owned three cassette decks over the years, but I don't have one right now.  The first one, the MCS 3539,  didn't even have Dolby NR!  The Sharp RT-10 had Dolby B NR and could use the new "Metal" bias tapes.  I finally got a Dolby C deck with the AKAI HX-3 and it was a real improvement in sound.


I bought a few of the first generation Maxell MX60 metal cassettes when I got the Sharp RT-10.  Only a few because they were very expensive.  I'm not sure they sounded much better than the regular CrO2 high-bias tapes but they were built like tanks.  I played and re-recorded them to death and they lasted forever.


I still have a few mix tapes stored away...including one of those Metal MX60s.  I guess the real test will be if they'll still play one day.  I recently saw that the last company that makes cassettes actually expanded production to meet the new "retro" demand for them.


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Post# 972914 , Reply# 2   12/10/2017 at 22:47 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Sony TC-K620, bought new from Crutchfield.

My first deck was an MCS.  I don't recall the model for sure but I think it was 3551 or very similar.  I still have the turntable from that system, everything else is long gone.

Next tape deck was a Pioneer CT-F750, then added a Pioneer CT-6R.

There was a Yamaha "Natural Sound" next but I don't recall the model.

Then the TC-K620.

I also have the Pioneer CT-9R now, as per the above-mentioned eBay find in October.

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Post# 972932 , Reply# 3   12/11/2017 at 01:47 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

In many cassette deck drive systems besides belts you also could have rubber outer tires on the drive wheels-Are those bad,cracked,gooey.You would have to replace them as way besides the belts.When you order the service kit for your machine the tires are included.Have put kits in Sony,Tascam,and Marantz cassette machines.

Post# 972954 , Reply# 4   12/11/2017 at 07:01 by johnrk (BP TX)        
I Had Thousands

of cassettes. I wanted them for the car. Bought a new 1974 Super Beetle, red with tan vinyl interior and one of those crank sunroofs. Added a Panasonic cassette player next to the driver's kick panel, a really tiny unit that didn't rewind or auto reverse, only play and FF (I was a poor college student). Cassettes were just coming into use, my sister had a '74 Corolla with an 8-track which was much more common. I just hated those damn things, where it'd 'kachunka' right in the middle of a song.

Trouble is, those cassettes would slowly and gradually stretch the tape over years of play, not to mention gradually magnetizing from the tape wind. I had a pile of cars and home units with players, but I knew it was time to toss the cassette when I'd start hearing that screeching noise.

I still have a few hundred of them, but as most of mine were classical music, they were replaced by CD's decades ago. To me, cassettes were a fine idea that worked for the time.

Post# 972958 , Reply# 5   12/11/2017 at 07:50 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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I used to get a new cassette deck whenever the latest innovation came along. Had the Sony deck show in Glenn's Reply #2 above. It was interesting to hear the difference in sound between various brands and models. I liked a fairly bright sound with really crisp high end and a couple of decks were jettisoned rather quickly because their sound was too 'dark' for my tastes.

Tended to use a lot of TDK SA's, which, to my ears, had excellent frequency reproduction without sacrificing too much in the lower midrange. Maxell metal tapes were a bit dark and boomy in my Sony, but sounded great in the Nakamichi I had in the mid 1990s.

Moved to MiniDiscs (which never really caught on in the US), which I loved because they were small and you could add song titles/artists names to mix 'tapes.' Used that format until just a few years ago.
Still have the Sony home mini disc player/recorder and the Walkman-like portable version, which I plugged into the sound system in the car.

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This post was last edited 12/11/2017 at 08:13
Post# 973119 , Reply# 6   12/11/2017 at 23:01 by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        

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That Sony TC-K620 is nice deck, I can why you would want to save it.  That's higher end than any I ever owned.


That Pioneer CT-F750 is really great looking though.  Love everything about it.


Post# 973122 , Reply# 7   12/11/2017 at 23:16 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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Like many kids growing up in the 80s, I used cassette a lot. Mostly recording LPs onto a cassette that would be the "daily driver" format, saving the LP for good. A local college bookstore had cheap tapes in a big barrel. When I got a decent turntable, I dumped cassette, keeping only spoken word tapes and old radio show tapes. I figured I'd get a tape player--but it would be something cheap at a local chain store, not the specialist dealer where the turntable came from. As it turned out, it was several years before I bought a tape deck, and the chain store I bought from was Goodwill. The selling point was A) the Sony deck I got was old (1970s?) and kind of neat, and B) it was a cheap deck. I was only really interested that day because of car I'd recently gotten that had a tape deck.


Post# 973123 , Reply# 8   12/11/2017 at 23:22 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I also remember MiniDisc. I have zero experience, though. I sort of regret not getting a recorder when I still saw them at Goodwill sometimes. Not that I need it for any sane reason, but it could be fun to play with.

Post# 973364 , Reply# 9   12/13/2017 at 01:20 by dartman (Portland Oregon)        

My first tape deck was a Akai 4000ds reel to reel. It was the cheapest entry level machine they made but a 3 head deck with permalloy heads. I really wanted a GX glass head machine but I could get the one I got for under 300. I used it hard for 10 years and also started playing with cassette decks when they got better. I had lots of different decks and one of the better used ones I found was a Sony with sendust alloy heads. It sounded really nice and had a 3 motor frequency generator servo drive system. It finally stopped playing and I gave up on trying to fix it.
My last deck I bought new at Costco in the early 90s. A really nice 3 motor 3 head Denon with all the goodies, I still have it today but I loaned it to my step dad and I need to get it back. I also found a couple of later Akai r to r decks with the better GX heads for a project on eBay, and I have a really nice Panasonic pro DAT deck I bought because it's basically a digital tape system that uses 4mm computer backup style tapes and records to CD standards including making direct copies bit accurate to the tapes and of course live recordings.
there were a lot of cool tech out there to record audio better and better as the years progressed. I'd fix the Sony, keep the Pioneer, and if your feeling adventurous get a reel to reel just to see how us caveman did music in the day.
Try finding any tapes now, your almost better off and cheaper to find used high quality tapes. I wish I had kept the 20 plus maxell ud-35/90 r to r tapes I had, best quality tapes anyone ever made and they didn't go bad or get sticky like most others do.

Post# 973699 , Reply# 10   12/14/2017 at 21:00 by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        

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Reel-to-reel and Laserdisc were tech I wanted but could not afford.


My brother-in-law had a reel-to-reel deck and his was the first one I ever saw.  I loved the ritual of threading the tape.  He had a few prerecorded commercial tapes too.  Didn't Columbia House offer a few titles in reel-to-reel?  I was a member, and yes I dutifully fulfilled my full-price purchase obligations.  I think they must have sent me a hundred offers to rejoin after that!


I first saw a Pioneer Laserdic player in a chain called "Team Electronics" in what must have around 1980.  They had it hooked up to hi-end audio system and were playing the Abba greatest hits Laserdisc.  I was just amazed, it was the first time I had ever seen video with high fidelity sound.


I've never seen a MiniDisc deck, at least not that I remember. 




Post# 973706 , Reply# 11   12/14/2017 at 22:37 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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I have 2 Pioneer CT-F500 cassette decks from the 70's that look very similar to a few of those above. Last cassette tape I played was in my old Buick wagon and dont even bother with CD's now, even though I have a Sony CD/DVD player connected to my amp. If I want music, I go to the music channels on my satellite and can crank my Bose speakers.

Post# 973715 , Reply# 12   12/15/2017 at 00:02 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I've had it all, still do in a closet somewhere--  Reel to Reel, Cassette, CD, Laserdisk, Quad -CD4 records, SQ recordings, QS recordings, DVD players, Blue Ray players and on and on.  Used to be very big on audio and later video stuff.  Always bought the latest and greatest.


Now I might pick up one or two CDs a year, they quickly get ripped  and stored.  Can't say the last time I touched a cassette or LP, have hundreds of CDs gathering dust and odds are many hundreds of  LPs accumulated  over the years, even have a collection of 78's that were my parents.  Today I stream everything, there is a virtually unlimited library of just about anything out there, and I feel no need to own any of it.

Post# 976309 , Reply# 13   12/31/2017 at 12:06 by statomatic (France)        

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I also love vintage hifi, I have a lot of decks including some Sony (TC-K777, 750ES, 808ES, 870ES, A6ES...) and several high end cassettes.

The TC-K620 is a very nice deck, just below the ES series.
It shares the same mechanism chassis of the ES decks but with a different capstan drive (single capstan with a standard motor instead of dual capstan & quartz locked direct drive motor).

Belt kits from ePay are counterfeit ! and doesn't brings back a deck to life I've seen this far too many times, at worst it just finish to ruin the mechanism.
The parts just barely fits, sometimes the cassette can be played but with a very high wow & flutter and a risk of damaging the tapes.

All theses kit sellers uses the same database full of errors (PRB cross ref) and copies the errors of the other sellers.
The best way is to get belt by sizes, on the TC-K620 the small square belt is 2.5" long /0.047" section and the flat belt is 8.0" long / 0.14" wide / 0.018" thick.

You might take a look at (which I'm also member) there's a lot of guys with good knowledge about tape decks.

Post# 976314 , Reply# 14   12/31/2017 at 12:33 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Here is my Technics--$8.99 at Salvation Army!

-- Dave

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