Reel To Reel Tape Running Times

Reel to Reel Tape Running Times

If you have own old reel to reel tapes, then it’s useful to know how long they’re going to run for. Unfortunately it’s not that straight forward to find out. There are several different speeds that tapes might have been recorded at, and even the diameter of the tape reel isn’t much of a clue. For example there could be anything between 1200 and 2400 feet of tape on a 7 inch reel (this is achieved by the tape itself varying in thickness – 2400 feet on a 7inch reel is pretty thin and much more prone to damage) ,plus of course there are all the different recording speeds to consider as well. The table below gives you a guide as to what tape running times to expect – unfortunately the only way to find out for sure is to play the tape, unless some considerate person had the foresight to label it up!

Reel to Reel Tape Running Times Per Side

Reel Size

Tape Length in Feet
1 7/8 IPS *
3 3/4 IPS *
7 1/2 IPS *
15 IPS *
1hr 04mins
1hr 36mins
2hr 08mins
1hr 04mins
3hr 12mins
1hr 36mins
7″ or
10 1/2″
4hr 16mins
2hr 08mins
1hr 04mins
10 1/2″
6hr 24mins
3hr 12mins
1hr 36mins
* IPS=Inches per second – Running Times per Side
74 minutes
80 minutes
100 minutes
Not sure I would recommend 100 min discs. Not all drives support them and data is very compressed on the disc which can’t be good for accuracy.

Golden Records

Golden Records

Audio Restoration Software

NCH Software produce a stack of audio and video software, but one of them is designed for transferring Cassette and LP to CD. Not only does it run on Microsoft Windows operating systems, but is available for Mac users too which is something I’ve been asked about quite a lot recently. It’s definately worth checking out. Check out Golden Records here

Some Screen Shots from Golden Records Software

Golden Records Main Interface

Golden Records Select Recording Source

Golden Records Calibrate Recording Volume

Golden Records Samples Noise

Golden Records Audio Editor

Golden Records Save File

  • Easy to use wizard takes you through the conversion process.
  • Restoration tools automatically clean up damaged audio.
  • Remove hiss, from old tapes or scratched records.
  • Automatically detects silence to split audio into tracks.
  • Built in CD burner to record CDs after the cassette, LP ripper or vinyl to CD wizard runs.
  • Encodes into mp3 or wave file formats.
  • Normalizes the volume of the recordings when converting to CD.
  • Applies dc offset correction when converting analog to mp3
  • Versions for Microsoft Windows and MAC operating systems
This software works pretty well, and if you’re looking for recording software with audio restoration tools Golden Records will do the job. I think I would prefer Spin It Again (see review) as I prefer the interface and work flow and to some extent the audio restoration tools. Having said that it is a competent piece of software plus there is a MAC operating system version so that may be the deciding factor for you.

Golden Records – definitely worth a trial.

Recording Software and Audio Restoration

Recording Software and Audio Restoration

Here is some recommended recording software to use. Information about the software given here is from my personal experience and my opinons on their operation, and value for money.

Spin It Again runs on Windows operating system

A dedicated Audio Recording Software Package that will Record, Restore and Burn to CD. Includes CD printing software.

Spin It Again – more information and review

Golden Records Versions for Windows and MAC operating systems

NCH Software produce a stack of audio and video software, but one of them is designed for transferring Cassette to CD. Not only does it run on Microsoft Windows operating systems, but a version is available for Mac users too which is something I’ve been asked about quite a lot recently.

Download Today and Save 10-50%

Golden Records – more information and review

USB Phono Preamp

USB Preamp - Review

If you have a turntable already and would like to connect it directly to your PC or Mac, then you will need a phono preamp to ‘match’ the signal level and impedance of the output of your turntable to your computer sound card input. Using a USB preamp makes life even easier. It’s more convenient than a normal analogue preamp, and is more versatile than a USB turntable.

Many budget computers will be using ‘on board’ sound, which is part of the motherboard and isn’t necessarily up to the job. USB phono preamps use their own sound card which is specifically designed to cope with the demanding task of processing audio, so there’s no need to worry too much about your computer sound card as it’s not being used in the recording process. This makes connecting your turntable or cassette deck and transferring your LP’s and cassettes to your PC or Mac trouble free.

Here are some recommendations and reviews

ART V2 USB Phono Plus DJ Preamp

(Don’t worry it’s called a DJ preamp – it just means it’s designed for a phono turntable)

Use with PC or Mac

“Unique product, solid build, very versatile. ART deserves some kind of prize for this…” a happy buyer

Art USB Phono Preamp

Here’s the official description –

The USB PhonoPlus v2 is the ideal low cost interface solution for transferring any analog or digital audio source, including a turntable into a computer via standard USB connection.

I guess that sums it up really but here’s my take on it……

Firstly ART is a reputable brand – good start : )

As you will see from the image on the left/above the USBPhonoPlus v2 has a gain (level or volume – which ever you want to call it) which is a useful feature and helps make sure you can ‘match’ the level of your turntable to the preamp – ie no overloading problems causing distortion. There’s also a handy ‘clip’ light to let you know if input level is too high.

Also on the front panel is a switch to power the unit from the power supply via the socket on the back panel or using the USB connection from your PC. (By the way – No USB cable is included so don’t forget to buy one if you need to)

The rear panel – image right/above shows you inputs and outputs. From the right hand side there’s a ‘phono input’ which will be used to connect your phono turntable and has built in RIAA matching. RIAA matching corrects equalisation as without it your records would sound very thin, tinny, and no bass.

Next there’s a line input, so you could plug a cassette deck, a turntable if it has ‘line out’ sockets, a CD player or even a radio tuner or TV sound.

Then there’s a S/PDIF and optical inputs/outputs which can be used to connect to other digital devices – ie; some CD players, DAT machines, or digital mixers etc. Although this is useful it’s probably not how the majority of people would use this device.

Under these sockets there is a ‘ground’ connection which connects to the ‘ground’ wire on your turntable. This reduces hum and buzzing noises.

The USB socket is next in line which connects to your PC or Mac. Under the USB is the power supply input for the power supply.

There you go – A great USB phono preamp I can definitely recommend.

USB Phono Preamp Behringer

Use with PC or Mac

This is a really interesting USB Phono Preamp as it comes with a bundle of software that will help you record and restore your cassettes and LP’s very quickly. Audacity is a very good audio editor and can be downloaded for free, but included is also ‘EnergyXT2.5 Compact music production software which is a Behringer product (I think).

Here’s the official description

Product Features

  • High-quality USB audio interface connects your turntable, cassette
  • Transfer and restore your valuable vinyl records and tapes to your computer via a simple USB connection
  • Massive software bundle includes Audacity vinyl restoration, noise-reduction, editing and recording software
  • comprehensive podcasting software and over 150 virtual instruments and effect plug-ins
  • Phono input switchable to line input source
  • Revolutionary energyXT2.5 Compact music production software included with feature-rich audio/MIDI sequencer that loads on all computer platforms

Plus being Behringer it is extremely good value for money – in fact I’d call it excellent value. (At the time of writing this – Amazon are running this with a 59% discount)

Phono Preamp – What does it do?

Phono Preamp - What does it do?

If you have a turntable that you play your vinyl records on and would like to connect it to your PC or Mac, perhaps to archive or transfer your records to CD or MP3 then a you will need a phono preamp. This is connected in-between the turntable and computer to ‘match’ the two pieces of equipment together. Without a phono preamp practically nothing will be recorded or heard.

Here is a quick explanation of what the phono preamp does.

The output from a standard turntable is very low – in fact in the region of a few millivolts (one millivolt = one thousandths of a volt). Now the ‘line in’ input of your computer requires a much higher level than this (somewhere in the region of 300 millivolts) and should the two be connected directly together the result would be practically no volume at all.

So – the first thing a preamp does is increase the level coming out the turntable and pre-amplify to a level more suited to the ‘Line In’ on your computer. That’s the job of a pre amp – to increase signal levels or amplify.

A phono preamp must also change the ‘character’ of the sound and acts a bit like the ‘bass’ and ‘treble’ controls on your hifi. It’s designed to do this to compensate for inadequacies in the manufacturing process of vinyl records.  When records are produced ie ‘pressed’ it’s not possible to ‘encode’ in the records grooves very much bass, but does however ‘encode’ an awful lot of treble! – so a phono preamp must increase the bass and reduce the treble by a set amount (which is laid down by an organisation called the RIAA) so the sound we hear approaches as near the quality of the original recording as possible. Without the phono preamp all we would hear would be a very low volume, scratchy, tinny, noise. Very unpleasant!

phono preamp connection diagram

Hope this has helped : )

Phono preamps come in all ‘shapes and sizes’ so here are a few reviews and explanations of the various types.

USB Phono Preamp

Standard Phono Preamp

Audio Technica ATLP120 turntable

Audio Technica ATLP120 turntable

Quality USB turntable – Review.


The Audio Technica ATLPX120 turntable is a professional USB turntable which includes 78 rpm speed for those of you who want that feature. You will need a good cartridge and stylus for 78’s so I would recommend the Shure M78S (Available on eBay). Not many turntable are being fitted with 78 these days so this is a great feature to have on a such a high quality deck.

The ATLPX120 comes with Audacity Audio Editing Software (for mac or PC which would be free to download anyway) which is a comprehensive editor. You might find there is a bit of a learning curve to using it if you’re not familiar with Audio Editors, so it’s worth considering Spin It Again (PC only) or Golden Records (mac or PC) which are wizard driven and easy to use, and of course include excellent noise reduction plugins.

The ATPX120 comes with a ATP-2 cartridge which is ok, but you may want to upgrade this at some stage. Maybe a Shure M97 (may be difficult to get now) or such like would be a good choice. I’ve used these in the past and I like them.

Here are some Technical Details

  • Selectable internal stereo phono preamplifier and USB connection to your Mac or Windows computer. This enables you to plug directly into a computer with the USB cable or plug into your existing hi-fi amp using the phono preamplifier output sockets on this turntable.
  • Direct-drive, high-torque motor; includes professional cartridge and headshell
  • Selectable 33-1/3, 45, and 78 rpm speeds; +/-10 percent or +/-20 percent pitch adjust; high-accuracy quartz-controlled pitch lock
  • S-shaped tone arm assembly with adjustable counterweight, antiskate adjustment, tone-arm height adjustment and lock
  • Includes USB cable and Mac- and PC-compatible Audacity software

More Information Here

Phono Preamp

Phono Preamp

Phono Pre-amps – Some Low Cost – Recommendations

Here are some low cost phono preamps which are suitable for using with your turntable.

If you are not familiar with the function of a preamp and especially a phono preamp then a simple explanation of they do, and why you need one can be found on the ‘what is a preamp‘ page.

Pyle preamp with psu

Pyle PP999 Phono Turntable Pre-Amp

This is the Pyle Pro phono preamp. It’s pretty basic. It comes with a power supply, but there is no ‘power on’ light. It’s worth noting that there is no ‘ground’ connection so if your phono turnatable has a ‘ground’ lead (not all have) you may have to connect it directly to the outer of the phono (RCA) plug or the PC chassis if you get a problem with a background hum or buzz.

Technical Details

Connects to turntable
Input Sensitivity: 3mV at 50K Ohms (phono)
Output: 2V max (P-P) at 10K Ohms
Includes power adapter 12V DC
THD: 0.08% @ 1KHz and 3mV Input
S/N Ratio: 70dB
Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20KHz @ 2dBAverage Customer Review: 54 Reviews 5 stars


Behringer PP400 Preamp

Behringer PP400 Ultra-Compact Phono Preamp

Here is an offering from Behringer. The PP400 appears to be slightly more sophisticated than the Pyle. It’s powered by an external power supply (supplied), but has a ‘power on’ indicator light which is welcome. Connections are the standard RCA and 1/4″ jacks.

According to Behringer it has Ultra Low-Noise amps – as in it’s professional products which I can vouch for as I have a small Behringer mixer which is very low noise.
It’s very competively priced – in fact very good valueAverage Customer Review: 8 Reviews 4 starsState-of-the-art phono preamp to accommodate magnetic pickups
Ultra low-noise audio operational amplifiers offer outstanding sound performance
Dedicated RCA and 1/4′ output connectors
DC 12-Volt adapter included
High-quality components and exceptionally rugged construction ensure long life.

TCC TC-750 BLACK Audiophile Phono Preamp, Pre-amp (Preamplifier)

This will cost you more money but is still not expensive for the spec. It has gold plated jacks and a black anodized metal casing. Once again powered by an external supply (supplied) 12 volt DC which will operate anywhere in the world. It also includes an RCA cable and miniplug adaptor.

There is a ground wire terminal and power indicator which is good – the ground wire being something lacking in the previous two products.

TC750 Preamp

TC750 Preamp

Related Pages

for USB Phono Preamp Reviews click here

Convert LP to CD

Convert LP to CD

How to convert 45 rpm, 78 rpm records and LP records to CD including recommended Recording Software.

If you haven’t seen the Transfer Tape to CD page then please take a look after you have seen the information here as this will explain the cables, connections to your computer and recommended software.

Copying LP records to cd can be time consuming, but with the right lp to cd recorder software it can be quite straight forward, good fun and excellent results can be achieved.
If your LP record turntable is connected to a hi-fi amplifier with a dedicated phono (turntable) input, then connect a stereo phono/RCA lead from the ‘line out’ or ‘record out’ from your amplifier to the ‘line in’ on your computer, then proceed as with ‘transferring tape’.

If however you have a turntable, but no amplifier (or don’t have access to one ie. beg, borrow, steal – well maybe not steal!) or your amplifier has no dedicated phono/turntable’ input, then you will need a ‘phono pre-amp’ similar to the one shown below.

ART USB Preamp

Art USB Phono Preamp

Behringer USB Preamp

Behringer Phono Preamp2

A phono pre-amp ‘matches’ the output from the cartridge in the your turntable to the input of your soundcard ie. the ‘line in’ on your computer. It amplifies the very small signal output coming from the phono cartridge and changes the frequency response so the sound is acceptable to listen to (RIAA specification).If you are going to use a pre-amp, then connect the phono (RCA) lead from your turntable to the input of the pre-amp and the output of the pre-amp to the ‘Line In’ on your computer soundcard, so you will need another stereo ‘phono to phono’ (RCA to RCA) lead to run from the pre-amp to your computer. Standard phono pre-amps work fine to transfer LP’s EP’s and 45’s to CD, but technically the match (frequency response) should be different for 78 rpm, and even different ‘matches’ for different types of 78’s. However unless you are wanting a really professional result then standard pre-amps should be fine. You can always tweak the audio in your audio editor.

It is just worth mentioning here that if the turntable you are using to play your 78’s is fitted with a ‘ceramic’ or ‘crystal’ cartridge, (as shown in the picture below – the cartridge is the bit the stylus fits into)

Crystal Cartridge

crystal cartridge - ceramic cartridges are similar
these are ‘high signal output’ devices so you will need a different type of pre-amp altogether. You can usually tell if the cartridge fitted is this type as a lot of them have a ‘flip over’ stylus. One side for playing LP’s and 45’s – using a diamond stylus, the other for 78’s – using a sapphire stylus, each side being labelled so you know which is which.
For playing 78 rpm records on a modern turntable then you need a different phono cartridge. I can recommend the Shure M78S which is excellent – in fact this is what I use to play my 78rpm records. (see below)
In the market for a top quality cartridge for playing LP’s? The Shure M97 from under $100. I have used this cartridge and it’s excellent.
Finally – you will need some recording software. There is a huge number of packages on the market but I have tested a couple which I can recommend. Go to my Recording Software Review to check them out.

Convert Cassette to CD

Convert Cassette to CD

How to transfer and convert your cassettes to CD, and the software you’ll need.

By following this guide you can easily achieve excellent results even using cheap and free software – maybe not quite the standards of the professionals, but reasonable never the less. Incidentally, this procedure would be the same should you want to transfer your reel to reel tapes. The first thing to do is to connect your tape/cassette tape deck to your computer….. For this you will need a stereo lead with phono plugs at one end (sometimes referred to as RCA plugs) to connect to the ‘Line Out’ of your cassette or tape deck, and a stereo 3.5mm Jack Plug on the other end to connect to the ‘Line In’ of your soundcard. It may be easier to get a lead with phono/RCA plugs on both ends as shown below. (A few sound cards use Phono Sockets so check this before you buy a lead) The socket on your computer will probably be labeled ‘Line In.’ Sometimes jack sockets are colour coded and Blue should be the ‘Line In’. It may have a  symbol next to the socket, or it more usefully will be labelled ‘Line In’. Some people use the microphone input, but this isn’t recommended as this input can easily be over-driven resulting in a badly distorted sound. Rear View of a Typical ‘On Board’ Soundcard (below) computer input jack sockets Now you are connected you will need some Software to Record your Cassette There are quite a few to choose from, some are very good, some are awful! Here are my personal favourites for performance and ease of use. In the market for a Cassette Deck? There is a comprehensive explanation about what to look out for, the terminology, and gives you some great advice should you be looking out for a use deck. See our article about Buying a cassette deck here

SPIN IT AGAIN by Acoustica

A dedicated Software Package that will Record, Restore and Burn and Print to CD Screen Shots from Spin It Again Software
Spin it again Main Screen
Spin it again Preview and Editor
Spin it again Name Your Recordings
Spin it again Burn to CD and create audio
spin it again hookup wizard Restoration tools with Spin It Again software are very effective and very easy to use. A great bonus with Spin It Again is that you can load an audio file into spin it again and convert it to MP3, OGG or WMA formats and to any ‘quality’ (file size) you choose, so you can transfer your LP’s and Cassettes to your PC and convert them ready to use with your MP3 player or IPod. Setting up the software is quite straight forward. ‘Spin It Again’ takes you through this process, plus it’s well explained in their ‘help’ files. You can burn your transferred audio file to CD in a format that will play both on your computer and a normal home CD player. The process is all included in the wizard and is very easy to do. There is also a CD label printing option so if you want to make a professional looking as well as sounding CD, use this option too. Very Impressive – More Information on Spin It Again QUICK SUMMARY
  • Record your old 78s and then just change the rate with a simple Recording Speed Adjustment drop down. No need to buy a record player that supports 78 rpm. Just record it a 45 rpm and use the adjustment.
  • Automatically look up album information and track times over the Internet.
  • Hear what you are recording! If you have a USB or other sound device that does not let you hear what it is recording, just click the Monitor checkbox and no more guessing!
  • Type in track information during recording! Waste even less time during recording. Even if you are a slow typer, you should be able to type faster than it takes to record an album. This results in more saved time! It also aids and helps in track detection!
  • Change the volume for each track!
  • Improved track detection for live recordings or hard to detect song transitions.
  • Download FREE TRIAL
Related Pages

Buying a Cassette Deck

Buying a Cassette Deck

How to make sure you buy a great Cassette Deck

If you are thinking of buying a Cassette Deck or Cassette Player to transfer and convert your Cassette tapes to CD, then this article will give you some useful information and hopefully stop you buying a faulty or suspect deck.

Firstly, here is a summary of some features and specifications you will come across.

Dolby, B, C, Dolby S
Types of Noise Reduction invented and licensed by Dolby Labs to reduce tape hiss
It should be noted that if you play a Dolby encoded tape on a non-Dolby cassette deck or a cassette deck with the Dolby Noise reduction switched off, the playback will have enhanced high frequencies (treble).
Most pre-recorded cassette tapes are encoded with Dolby B noise reduction so this is a fairly essential feature to have.

HX Pro ‘Headroom Extension.
This enables higher recording levels and dynamics without distortion. Good but not essential, especially if you are only using your cassette deck for playback only.

Auto Reverse Cassette Players
This feature enables you to play continuous music or audio. When the tape reaches the end, the tape deck reverses the direction of ‘play’ and plays the ‘other side’ automatically. This feature can be useful but adds more mechanical complication, which can affect reliability. (Not essential)

Logic or mechanical key operation
If a cassette deck has ‘logic’ control, this means the user buttons are switches, which operate electrical/electronics within the cassette deck. The mechanical operations and functions of ‘play’, ‘record’, and fast wind is done by solenoids, cams and gears.

Key operation is a manual form of the above. Play, Record, and Fast wind operations are ‘enabled’ with a mechanical lever the user operates.

Types of Cassette Tape – Normal, High Bias, Cro2. (There are others)
Cassette tapes come in different quality and types but good quality tapes should always be used. Cheap tapes are false economy; they don’t sound good, and are more prone to tangling. A Good Normal bias tape is fine for most applications. High Bias tapes usually produce better quality recordings, as they will record a wider frequency response and dynamic range without distortion. CRO2 (Chromium Dioxide) tapes are High Bias and produce good results but they can increase tape head wear.

Auto/Manual switching for Cassette Tape Type Selection
Different types of tapes require the cassette deck to set bias and equalisation differently. Some cassette decks make these adjustments automatically, by sensing the type of tape placed in the unit. This is achieved by switches that are operated (or not) by small ‘cut outs’ in the top of the cassette case. Some older cassette decks have selector switches to manually select the required bias and equalisation to suit the type of tape being used.

Inputs and outputs
Just about all cassette decks include ‘Line’ level inputs and outputs. Cassette players will only have ‘Outputs’ These take the form of ‘phono’ sockets (very often referred to as RCA). These are a standard level output for playback and input sensitivity for record. Some older decks include a 5 Pin DIN socket although these are rarely used these days for audio. This type of socket combines the input and output (Record and Playback) within one socket. They are also a different standard for playback and sensitivity. The output level from a DIN socket is lower than a ‘Line Out’ but can still be plugged straight into a ‘Line In’ socket of an amplifier.
The Input of a DIN socket (Record) is usually much more sensitive than ‘Line’ level so Line levels will tend to overload DIN inputs which will result in distorted recordings. Of course if you are using the cassette deck for cassette to CD transfer i.e. playback only, this isn’t a problem.

2 head and 3 head machines Cassette Decks and Players
Most cassette decks use two tape heads one for erase, and one for record and playback.
A combined record/playback head is a compromise; it hasn’t been optimised for playback or record, but is a compromise between the two. In more expensive cassette decks three heads are used, so a dedicated head is used for each function, which produces superior results. A cassette player will only have one tape head which is for playback.

Cassette tape Wow & Flutter
This is an important specification. If music played on a cassette deck sounds slurred and the pitch varies slowly, this effect is known as ‘Wow’. If a cassette deck produces the same symptoms but the effect is faster, this is known as flutter. Wow and Flutter is a very unpleasant side effect especially as we’re not used to hearing this from CD’s, which don’t suffer from this defect at all. Wow and Flutter is measured in percentage and a spec of 0.2% is pretty good.

Signal To Noise Ratio of Cassette Tape Recorders and Players
This is another important specification. This figure, which is measured in dB’s is the ratio between the all the unwanted, but inevitable noise produced by the cassette deck and the wanted music and audio. This figure should be as high as possible – something in the region of 60dB or above.

Cassette Tape Speed
Cassette decks tape speed is 1 ¾ inch per second. Some decks, but not many have vari-speed, which allows the user to change the speed by + or – 5% or so. This enables the musical pitch to be changed slightly. Useful for musicians.

Twin cassette tape decks
Twin cassette tape decks very often have high speed dubbing which enables you to record one tape to another at 2 or 3 times the speed of normal playback so a tape can be duplicated in a fraction of the normal time.

Buying a second hand Cassette Deck or Cassette Player?
Take along a copy of a tape (not the original as you never know if the cassette deck might eat your tape!) you can listen to before you part with any money.

Firstly play your demo tape right from the very beginning including the leader tape (that’s the first 7 seconds which can’t be recorded on). Listen to the music and make sure it sounds clear and doesn’t fade in and out or sound if it’s going out of phase.

If it does then the clutches and pinch rollers may need replacing. Don’t buy the cassette deck.

Common faults with cassette players and decks is wow and flutter and speed problems so take a tape with either slow piano, or material that includes long notes that will highlight speed fluctuations, and listen very carefully.
(If you have a tape with a continuous test tone recorded then so much the better)

Leave the cassette deck running while you’re chatting to see if problems arise after it’s been playing for a time and the cassette deck doesn’t become mechanically noisy (possible motor faults).

If you think you hear speed fluctuations at any time then don’t buy the cassette deck.

Next listen to the high frequencies (treble) – are they clear? If the sound is ‘muddy’ then this could be due to a tape head problem.

Three main problems occur with tape heads.
1. The heads are clogged up with tape oxide.
2. They have excess wear or
3. They are out of alignment

Take a look at the tape head to see if it’s clean. There shouldn’t be any brown oxide on the surface. If there is, ask the owner to clean the heads for you.

You can tell if the tape head is worn by looking at the surface of the head, which should be smooth, plus if you run your fingernail very gently from front to back of the head you shouldn’t feel too much of a step.

If there is a step, try a recording as tape head wear is much more of a problem when recording.
Listen to the high frequencies while you’re recording, then compare the playback. If there’s a marked difference, the heads may need replacing.

It’s a little trickier to tell if the tape heads are out of alignment unless you have an alignment tape with you, which you probably won’t. Poorly aligned tape heads will produce similar symptoms as worn heads.

Suffice to say if the recording is poor – don’t buy the cassette deck !

If the cassette deck passes all the above tests and it’s the right price – buy it!

Related Pages
Recording Software and Audio Restoration