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It's a 4-head reversable deck where the Forward tracks are arranged across the physical tape surface, front-to-back as follows:
ForwardLeft ReverseRight ForwardRight ReverseLeft
...so it sounds like the Reverse playback heads are engaged at the same time you play Forward, so you would hear those adjacent tracks backward. If you play the tape in the Reverse direction, is the Forward program audible (but backward)?
If so and in otherwise high fidelity, something in the Forward/Reverse head selection may be hosed.
Or, if the out-of-phase tracks are mushy and low volume, the physical tracking of the tape across the heads could be WA-A-A-A-Y bad. That would probably be visible as sideways distortion in the tape path. Shine a high-intensity light on the tape where is passes over the heads, then reverse it while watching where it sets up on the heads. It should be centered on the heads and not change its orientation when reversed. Compare where it tracks in motion with the probable visible wear marks (shiny bars across the heads perpendicular to the travel) where the tape has polished the heads over the years.
Or, the heads are so worn the coils pick up signals from their neighboring tracks.
maxell or tdk (which is hard to find now)....if your reel is 7 inch you want 1800 ft, normal bias (lo noise hi output) tape (for 10 inch you will use the 2400 ft) ....anything longer your tape will be dragging (both while recording and playing) hope this is helpful...feel free to rate
1). Remove the five screws from top half of cassette shell. If the cassette shell halves are glued together, very carefully split the shell with a Phillips-head screwdriver. Maneuver the screwdriver around the shell to break its seal. Avoid getting cut or damaging internal components of cassette.
2).Carefully lift off the top half of the cassette shell.
3). Pull the head if the tape from the left reel.
4). cut-off the damaged edge, and attached a peice of sctoth tape to the shining side of the tape, and leave about 1/2 inches of scotch tape beyond the head of the recording tape.
5). trim the sctoch tape using single edge of the sctoch tape razor or X-Acto knife to the same width as the recording tape.
6). carefully insert and tape the head of the recording tape to the right reel. and manually wind the tape till the recoding tape is flat to the front of the recoding pad.
7). carefully close the top shell, make sure not to pinch the tape. use your finguer trun the right reel, make sure the tape winds freely.
8). secured the top with screws.
Unplug the unit.
You probably have a brake band thet keeps the reel from free spinning. It's located under the top cover plate of the tape recorder. The band is made of cork. Over the years, it probably just got a buildup of dirt. It can be cleaned off with rubbing alcohol. Don't pull on it, it will snap. The piece you are looking for will be located right under the left reel post.
Ngotsa, Static is NOT the reason for your fuzzy audio. Old tapes tend to deteriorate because of 1.) the way they were stored (damp, humid, and extremes in temperature), or in, or near an electric field (motor, refrigerator, TV) 2.) the lubrication (which is on all tapes) has evaporated - making good tape to head contact impossible) or 3.) the oxide (the actually tape coating) had deteriorated. As far as the Black Backing, the black backing on your newer tapes IS there to prevent static, but mainly for static build-uop during high speed rewind; if it wasn''t there, you'd actually see sparks, and you'd ocassional zaps in the sound (not overall fuzziness).
Yes you need to hook it up to an amplifier and speakers through RCA cable on the back. And or you can use headphones if there is a headphone jack? Also make sure there is something recorded on the reel tape in the first place. You can do a test recording of something like a CD from your CD player or record something, then play it back, make sure you turn the record input volume knob up and make the RCA connections on the back of the reel unit and connect to your playback source you want to record. When you playback the reel tape, the db meters should be moving on the front of the reel deck, if they move then you most likely have some sound recorded on the reel tape. If you still can't hear any sound and the db meters are moving, then check all your connections again and volume output knob on the reel deck. Hope this helps?