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Thread: Cassette Player Poppin

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    Member Salty Dog's Avatar
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    Default Cassette Player Poppin

    I was going to embrace the factory cassette but when I put in an old macarena tape there was loud poppin, almost like static coming from the speakers. I thought maybe the tape had gotten hot at some point or damaged, but when my new EasyE came in the mail and it made the same noises I know somethings up. Any thoughts? An old guy at my work suggested a sticking a magnet in it. WTF?
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    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Could be a dirty head causing trouble. I’d try a cassette cleaning kit to see if it helps remedy it.

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    I'd try cd's, lol. Was kinda stoked when i got my box with a cassette player. Dug one out and tried it, didn't work at all. Straight to the stereo shop it went. Cathartic really.

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    If this one doesn't work, that's the end of it. I'm going to try this head cleaning first.
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    The magnet suggestion was presumably for degaussing/demagnetizing. Not only do the head and other parts get dirty from the tape particles (you could just try a Q-tip with alcohol for that), but the head can apparently also become magnetized. Not sure what the best way to degauss would be. The first device I had was a cassette shell with some electronics and a battery. It presumably 'zapped' the head to demagnetize it. The second device I had was a cassette shell with a rotating magnet driven by a belt. The magnet would spin fast while being directed across the head. NFC how well they worked.

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    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Any of you guys happen to know what causes some tapes to play as if they're muffled but others to play fine? I've got an old Denon tape deck and that's what I get out of it from time to time. Cleaning it with alcohol works with some tapes but not for others. And for some, it only works for a couple seconds of play and then it's back to muffled.
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    I post a lot... turbo2256b's Avatar
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    HOME cassette player i have was driven by a rubber band that broke
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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    Any of you guys happen to know what causes some tapes to play as if they're muffled but others to play fine? I've got an old Denon tape deck and that's what I get out of it from time to time. Cleaning it with alcohol works with some tapes but not for others. And for some, it only works for a couple seconds of play and then it's back to muffled.
    chrome vs non-chrome tape maybe. If its not set for the type of tape you're using it will sound funny.


    Most tape deck problems are dirty heads and bad drive belts. The other problem is worn out pinch rollers. They aren't hard to service really but car ones are a PITA to take apart sometimes. Once you're in there its pretty obvious what to do. Get the sticky gunk that used to be a belt out of there, put a new one in, clean the head, capstan (the small round silver post thing next to the head), the pinch roller (the round rubber thing that touches the capstan) and they usually go. If the pinch roller is falling apart or petrified it won't feed the tape properly. You can get them rebuilt if needed, its not that horribly expensive.

    I kinda hate tapes, mostly from years of having lived with really shitty ones that ate my music but its a pretty simple technology really. I have an MP3 player in the mail that goes straight into the tape deck and will let me play music off an SD card. If this works out it should be a nice clean solution to having no inputs on the 84 Conti and soon the 91 Mark VII. The Mark is getting a factory tape deck right shortly to replace the POS Sony in there now.

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    Sometimes it is bad conections or oil fouled engine electrical like alternator, yes been there done that.

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    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    chrome vs non-chrome tape maybe. If its not set for the type of tape you're using it will sound funny.

    Most tape deck problems are dirty heads and bad drive belts. The other problem is worn out pinch rollers...
    Hmm, these are chrome tapes and the unit has a vacuum florescent light which pops on to display "Chrome" so I'm assuming it "knows" it's got a chrome tape in it. As soon as I take the tape out, that light turns off. I've put non chrome tapes in and the light stays off.. That tape deck was supposedly a big deal in 1981 or 1983. I got it for 5 or 10 bucks. How does it detect what type of tape is in it? Anyway, I've tried cleaning the head multiple times to resolve the issue. Most tapes play just peachy but every now and again I get that muffled noise. Can the head wear out? Do I need to try a better cleaning method? Or is the tape just junk? Funny thing is, I cleaned the head, popped the tape back in to get more muffled magic. Ashley got home & distracted me so I left that tape in for awhile. When I came back down stairs after some time it was playing just fine.
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    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    Sounds like it uses a different preamp circuit for playing chrome tapes. Could be some weak capacitor issues.

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    Boy this is bringing back some memories. Chrome tapes, lol. I mean, i own 8-tracks but i don't actively fuck with them. Ditto records and of course some cassettes. Just never thought of them as a worthy pursuit for regular usage at this point. This from the guy who still uses a flip phone!

    Far as muffled sounds go, i had some tapes that would do that derek, and others would be fine. Not much to be done about it. I had some that were worn out and squealed when played so i experimented with different tape players to improve sound quality. Not as much an option these days since they're not exactly in abundance, especially in car stereos.

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    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Yeah I'm not sure what this thing's deal is. If I had another tape deck that was known to be good I could try it to rule mine out. Like you said Khead it is THAT specific tape or area of the tape. If I pop a tape in and it plays fine, it'll always play fine. If I pop a tape in that sucks, it'll always suck. Just trying to figure out what causes that.

    I like my turntable much, much more. Tapes are convenient so when we have friends over and need BGM they're cool as I don't have to get up every 15 minutes.. Digital stuff is even more convenient but where's the fun in that? Not sure I'll ever own an 8 track deck. I've got too much shit as it is and they're both tape type media so one is enough, right?
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    I've got a GE portable radio with an 8-track player and boxes of 8-tracks I got from my great aunt. I'm always worried about playing them from time to time since the little piece that joins the two ends of the tape usually comes apart with age, so you'll get a tape going, then the sound gets weird and stops, but the tape is still running. Then you come to find a mile of tape just hanging out inside. I've fixed a few by opening up the cartridge and rejoining the bridge. Only thing that might stop working is the next track advance.

    I've got cassette and CD changer in the car, but I need to swap the head unit I got. The tape player was working strong, then it didn't want to eject tapes well, then it got to the point it wouldn't fast forwards or search, so I haven't put a tape in it for a while. I'd rather not lose my stuff to the head unit. Luckily getting a replacement unit isn't hard, I just need to get one from a JBL equipped car with the CD Changer. Upper end Explorers and Town Cars are usually my best bet.

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    Member Salty Dog's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips guys. I'm going to order one of those cleaning tapes on amazon and see if it helps. If not, I may take it a part and try to clean it before I scrap it all together. Not in a horrible rush because the AM FM works fine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodentkiller View Post
    Sometimes it is bad conections or oil fouled engine electrical like alternator, yes been there done that.
    I was able to do a 3G swap last year.
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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    The other thing that happens with tapes of all flavors is the little foam block on the cartridge wears out. When that happens the tape may not contact the head properly and then it sounds all stupid. A piece of foam of the right size and thickness will fix it, you just have to remove the old and install it.

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    Yep, the foam thing.... I Grubbed up some unwanted tapes & harvested the foam/backing plate. Easy to rpl on screw together types, the bonded shell not so much. I haven't had time to experiment with finding a glue that won't eat the foam.
    Last edited by mitymerc; 01-20-2018 at 04:47 AM. Reason: autocorrect lol

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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I've seen people use self-stick weatherstrip for that. Glue already included. I don't actually own any tapes so not sure what the right size is. Should be able to pull a loop of tape over the foam and fix it in place on the bonded types.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
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    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

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    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
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    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Ah, I never thought of that foam thing. Perhaps that's what the problem is. Can tape heads wear out? I've heard of people replacing them...
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