I just bought a TA-RW400 at a church thrift store for $4 plus sales tax. Deck B works just fine, but although Deck A also seems to function fine, it emits a very loud squealing sound. What should I look for in order to resolve the squealing?
I have a few older cassette decks around my storage room but none of them seem to play all that well, in terms of misaligned or worn out heads or somewhat annoying wow and flutter. This TA-RW400 sounds better, it seems to have been reasonably well cared for. As I write this, I'm playing one of my college-era vinyl dubs - two Earl Klugh albums which have long ago left my LP collection, recorded on Maxell UD-XL II tape - and the music sounds good. The speed and pitch might be a bit slower than the original deck, perhaps replacement belts would help, but the overall sound is good.
My main interest in having a useable cassette deck is to occasionally listen to older music and spoken-word material that I'm only unlikely to listen to on a sporadic basis. Like many of you who lived through the 80s and 90s, I have perhaps 300 or so cassette tapes in bankers' boxes stashed away in closets. In most cases, these tapes still play okay! I even found a Capitol country-and-western tape which my Dad purchased for me in 1969 to play on a Sears portable cassette recorder, and the tape still plays 45 years later! It's very unlikely that today's downloadable MP3 or iTunes files will be playable even 20 years from now.