How do I clean tape heads?
To clean tape heads, use pure isopropyl alcohol and lint-free swabs. Throw the swab away after use.
How do I demagnetize tape heads?
Practical tape head demagnetizers are available for under $10. Try to find one with a plastic coated tip. If you can't find one which is plastic coated. you can slip a drinking straw or plastic tube over the tip for the same effect. This plastic will prevent the demagnetizer from scratching the head.
Before plugging in the demagnetizer, remove all tapes from your working area and unplug the recorder. Hold the demagnetizer away from the recorder as you plug it in. Slowly bring the tip of the demagnetizer up to the tape head and slide it back and forth across each tape head for five one-second strokes. Then pull it away from the head slowly and go on to the next. After demagnetizing the heads, use the tip on each metal tape guide with a similar five strokes. Last, slowly pull the demagnetizer far away from the recorder and unplug it. Recording engineers use a demagnetizer before each recording session. (courtesy of AudioFAQ)
My deck needs new belts, where can I buy these?
A good source is eBay. There are quite some sellers that sell dedicated belts for certain decks. Look inder the 'for sale' tab for current eBay items for sale for your deck.
What is pitch control?
Pitch control allows you to speed up or slow down the tape in order to make up for tapes that were recorded on a machine that was too fast or too slow. (courtesy of Nakamichi Cassette Deck FAQ)
Do I need auto reverse?
Auto reverse is a great convenience to some people. For me, I usually have blank space at the end of my tapes. I would rather flip the tape and have music than to endure the silence. (courtesy of Nakamichi Cassette Deck FAQ)
What is bias?
Bias is the amount of energy transferred to the tape. As tiny amounts of head wear begin, the tape gap grows slightly larger. It is therefore necessary to adjust so the proper amount of energy is transferred in order to maintain proper high-end response while maintained low THD. (courtesy of Nakamichi Cassette Deck FAQ)
What is level calibration?
It is the setting that assures that the level you record on tape in the record (source) mode is what comes back on play (tape) mode. Differences develop as uneven head wear occurs. Depending on use, an annual calibration is an excellent idea. (courtesy of Nakamichi Cassette Deck FAQ)