What is DBX?
DBX is a noise reduction system similar to Dolby B, C, and S, but uses the same compression on all frequencies, high and low. However, DBX is mostly used in the professional market. Very little home DBX equipment is available, and some of that home equipment is no better than comparable Dolby B home systems. All DBX systems are compatible with all other DBX systems, but incompatible with Dolby. A DBX tape will sound terrible without DBX processing during playback. (courtesy of AudioFAQ)
What is HX-Pro?
Dolby HX Pro is not noise reduction and does not use compression or expansion. HX Pro is a technique developed by Dolby Labs to increase tape headroom by decreasing the bias when recording signals with a large high frequency component. This allows better transient response, particularly on less expensive tapes, and requires no processing when the tape is played back. Dolby HX tapes can be played back on any system with no decrease in quality. (courtesy of AudioFAQ)
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)
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.