Thanks for your input. I was wondering if you could be a bit more specific on which ***** it is. You said on side...is that as your looking in at head from front of deck? There
is two springloaded screws facing you as you look at front so I'm guessing its on the left or right side of the head as your facing it? any additional help would be appreciated. Thank you.
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This is down to the head alignment. Once that is corrected the sound will recorded normally and playback normally too. However any tapes recorded during the fault will not play right.
The head alignment can be corrected, using two adjusting screws located either side of the head. To get at them the door cover has to be removed. To align you play a pre-recorded good quality tape. You adjust the screws till the sound is bright and clear and only the sound recorded on that side of the tape can be heard. Best done with headphones. If you can use a commercial music tape. If you use the decks own recordings it might not be right.
If there is any damage to the head mounting you will not be able to get the alignment right.
PS use the right screwdriver for the head screws. These are very small and easily wear away. If you wear the screw head away you might have a job getting a new small screw that will fit.
I can't speak to the specifics of the machine's mechanics but I have been into audio (hobby) and and a Service Engineer on data tape storage (from 7- and 9-track 1/2" open reel running at 200 inches per second and capable of start/stopping in .6" to 100-plus track 1/2" digital data cartridge tape) for over 32 years so I know a few things about tape media handling.
Squeezing 16 audio tracks into 1/2" of media doesn't leave much room for error in the analog world. The manual I found at retrevo.com discusses making electrical Play and Record level adjustments using a calibrated Magnetic Reference Tape BUT they don't discuss head azimuth setting or adjustment which could affect high frequency response and crosstalk between adjacent channels.
You could check for audible crosstalk by recording alternate (even or odd) tracks at a fairly high level and then playing back only the others. The crosstalk spec is only 50dB at 1kHz so you can't expect total silence but it should be on par with the residual noise of the tape without Noise Reduction engaged and should be fairly uniform across the tape.
Physical deformation of the tape will also plague any machine with narrow tracks. If the edges flutter you are definitely losing amplitude on the outer tracks. The tape itself could also be experiencing stresses due to uneven rewind tension that would result in an uneven 'pack' within the reel. If the appearance of the tape within the reel flanges after play or rewind is NOT uniform there may be a physical reasons for it. If any of the tape wrap is exposing edges of the tape you have to be extra careful to handle the reel without compressing the flanges. A perfectly wound tape would have a uniform wrap appearance and when viewed on edge there would be clearance between the tape and both flanges. Any contact with the flanges will wear or deform that edge of the tape.
If the reel flange is warped sufficiently it will contact the tape every revolution, too, and during high speed transport you'll see and hear it.
Physical Tracking within the tape path must be perfect. With a high powered lamp and no tape loaded examine the heads. There should be no visibly worn grooves in their surfaces that would alter the way the tape passes over them. Then load a new blank tape and view how the tape passes over the heads, looking for any deviation from perfect flat alignment within the tape path. It may help to place a piece of white paper behind the area so you can see the reflection of the light off the tape. Any variation indicates less-than-perfect tape-to-head contact which would result in loss of treble, crosstalk or dropouts. Repeat this with a previously recorded tape. If it's different then we need to suspect machine-induced tape problems.
Proper tensioning of the tape during both play and rewind is key as you mentioned.
Head wear is also a possibility.
One thing that many people overlook is the storage of their media to ensure longevity. A reasonably constant temperature and humidity is essential as is sufficient distance from magnetic fields. Though not very convenient, storing any tape (open reel, audio cassette, video) in a 'played' state produces the most uniform tensions and pack wrap so it's the best way to avoid problems that varying temperature might cause.
If you can identify or eliminate any of these problems and add that information to this post I'm sure someone out there might be able to assist with the next steps.
clean the head with alcohol.if the head surface is not smooth,it could be worn
.there is a small screw on the side of the head for changing the azimuth.
most front load tape decks have a small hole in the front of the door, when the outer part of the door is taken off.
the best way to align the heads with with a 10khz alignment tape and an oscilloscope.
the screw is adjusted for maximum high frequency performance.
a qualified shop should be able to do a complete service and align for around 50 dollars
With the deck in play mode put your finger on the imput of the channel that is low. If it buzzers the same as the other then you may have a faulty head. If it does not there is something wrong in the amp stages of the deck. You can also reverse the leads from the head and if the sound goes down on the other channel it is the head. Try doing it where the leads join with the PC Board, it will be less messing than at the head itself.
Hmmm.....heres a really stupid question but........is the head clean ? There may be a bit of oxide shorting the one side of the head out. Try cleaning the head with a q-tip and some 99% pure isopropyl alcohol. If you have done that ( you seem to be more knowledgeable than most ), I would suspect either the circuit that drives the right channel record head, or the head itself. Is the head running flat against the tape?. Is there a record/play relay or record relay somewhere in the circuit ?. I think at this point you really need a schematic. Do you have the AC oscillator signal ( bias ) present on the right record head ?. I would try this first, then look into a manual.......Good luck...Rob
the screws are sometimes locked with Loctite or similer and the screw slot may be blocked up also. wetting the screw head with acetone will help to allow for the blocked screw head to soften. BE CAREFUL WITH ACETONE. it will damage plastic!!