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I purchased this unit in March 2011. I am sure it is the recording head since it will play commercial bought VHS without problem.


The samsung customer service said to clean the heads. When I did apply soft alcohol swab gently. I have done this process on many vcrs over the years with improved results.

When I tested the recording on this samsung, the playback got worse. It lost color and even more lines on playback. Maybe the recording head was on it way to complete dysfunction and the alcohol just pushed it a little further?

Samsung customer service said they are willing to fix it if I give them $40 for labor. Since this is five month old vcr I lost confidence in their ability to manufacture or repair any product.


Is it too difficult to replace the recording head myself? Where can I get this part?
 

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First, the recording and playback heads are one in the same. Some VCRs may use dedicated heads for special effects but basic playback and recording are done with the same pair of heads.

Secondly if the heads are bad I really wouldn't suggest it as a DIY project. The board needs to be calibrated for the heads and probably require a oscilloscope among other not so common instruments.

It's possible the heads were damaged during your cleaning, any up and down movement over the delicate heads can damage the heads.

Personally I'd just keep an eye on Craigslist or local pawn shops. I regularly see lightly used VCRs going for 5-10 dollars so IMO it's not really worth trying to fix a typical VCR.
 

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It's pretty common for one VCR to have issues playing recordings from another VCR. Tracking will be off and can't be made right. There's nothing you can do about it, it's due to slight differences in tape and/or drum speed between different machines. Some VCRs make tapes that can ONLY be played in that machine. Some won't play anything made in another machine. This is all part of the reasons that tape died.
 
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