AVS Special Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Newport Beach, CA, USA
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Save those bad tapes if they're important. They'll be readable in another machine.
I've started experiencing erratic behavior on a couple of my machines, and head cleaning didn't seem to help. The problem started with block noise near the end of Panasonic DF300 tapes, and then got worse and started affecting recordings on other brands and lengths of tape. I moved the machine to work to attempt repair and the darn thing fixed itself! The climate is different at work than at home, so I suspect that if a machine is a little out of tune it doesn't take much to make noise appear. I've even had experiences where just a FF/RWD has restored clean playback.
I've read that older machines have more problems of this type because the upper cylinder becomes "too polished". The air boundry between the tape and the cylinder gets too thin. That, in turn, destablizes the tape path and motion.
The back tension spec on the HD1000 is 20 to 25 grams. There are three setting positions for the tape tension spring. Changing the tension will affect the tape path, so a lot of things have to be adjusted afterwards. A good tension gauge costs about $500.
Regarding longer tapes, I've had fewer problems with the DF420 and 480 tapes than with ST120's.
- gridleak... biased toward HD