When I play back my recorded tapes I only get one track depending on the direction of the tape. Left to right I get the left audio track, right to left I get the right track. The vu meters seem to work fine in the record mode but not in the playback mode.
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Re: Play back/recording of tapes
The heads are out of alignment. This is a simple adjustment when using an alignment tape. Realize that any tapes that you record at this time WILL NOT play correctly once the unit is re-aligned. This should be a relatively inexpensive labor only repair.
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If you have a 4 channel quad tape deck you arm all four tracks and hit record and play and it will record on all 4. If you have only a stereo deck you can only record on 2 channels at a time.
What model are you talking about?
The Sony TC-766-2 is a 2 track (half track) format deck. In those types of decks used for mastering, there is NO side two. The deck uses the entire width of the tape in the one direction. What you are expecting is the side two of a 1/4 track deck and this is NOT what a 766-2 is for. That is why the -2 is on the model name. NO two track decks of any brand have a side two.
Red for Right channel (play). White for Left Channel (play). Yellow for right (Record) Black left (record). The leads should run from tape (out) play to amp in play. Same for the left channel.
Record from tape (in) to Amp (out).
Just connect the deck via tape 1 the out of the deck going to the in of the amp. While the out of the amp goes to the in of the deck.
The tape deck itself will automatically choose the player that plays the cassette. One will play the other will be on pause (if you press both play buttons) till the tape stops then the other will play. For recording from tape to tape one deck will be the copy and the other the copier. There should be a dubbing button which you press to record tape to tape. Some models have a high speed dub also. For recording from the amp unless both decks have record buttons you will only be able to record with one deck. Make certain the dub button is not set.
The equalizer I have seen have Line in, line out, tape in, tape out and that is how you utilize a unit like this. The line IN goes to the receivers tape record out. The line out goes to the receivers Tape play in or monitor, The tape deck hooks to the equalizer. The record or input of the tape deck hooks to the EQ record out, the Tape decks output hooks to the EQ's Tape in connectors. All these are stereo so there are left and right sides which you need to keep consistent. Red on a cable means Right, the white or black on cables mean Left or the top RCA connector on most equipment. When playing back a tape the tape monitor is turned on with the receiver and left on. The way you record on tape from any source of the receiver is to select that source and it should go to the equalizer. Then the deck should record that source. To play a tape of the deck hooked to the equalizer then just press the tape monitor button on the EQ otherwise the Equalizer will just act as a loop and equalize any signal source that is coming from the receiver and the tape monitor on the receiver should stay on most of the time. Some equalizers have two tape inputs so you would hook another deck to that input and the owners manual of the equalizer should say how to select buttons to transfer tape signals from one to the other. If you master the concept of inputs and output of audio equipment then this hookup becomes another easy thing to do.
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.
I have the same problem and do not know the answer. Was searching here for an answer to my problem. Only a small part, 4 tracks in fact, about 5 minutes from a 30 minutes tape are imported to Itunes. where is the solution because it seemed the computer was recording the whole tape without problem. Where is the data gone. Can someone explain. Nico
I also have an MR-929. The information that you need is in the 'Stereophonic 4 track stereo''. As stereo is only two tracks, there is another 2 tracks in addition to the one you are listening to. Wind the entire reel to the empty spool, and then play that. As you have to physically turn the reel over to do so, you should then hear the other tracks (or track, if recorded in mono).
I use my 929 to play my parents recording of my family from the late 60s, which were recorded on a valve (tube) Ferguson machine, which had a green "magic eye" level indicator, which as a child I found fascinating!