Author Topic: Cassette Player / Tape Deck Qs  (Read 179 times)

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Offline Vince

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Cassette Player / Tape Deck Qs
« on: 21:07, 23 June 20 »


I had a few Commodore machines and a Spectrum. I never had a CPC - I am in the process of buying one that has been refurbished.


I'm curious. We had issues with the head alignment going out of wack. You had to get a small screwdriver and adjust it and you needed an Azimuth Head Alignment tape, if not you sort of hit at hoped, by adjusting it a little, trying the game, if it didn't load, try again.

I borrowed one off a kid from school who wanted £5 for a lend. So when I did borrow it, mum taped it on the HifI and I had one then!

What about the built in CPC tape decks, how reliable were they?

Did they need repairing or were they nice and robust ?

Reminds me of built in DVD or Bluray players with televisions.


It is all very nice until it goes on the blink in which case you have to repair / replace the whole thing.


Could you also buy additional decks ?


What were they like ? I have to admit every time I saw an ad for a CPC I thought one of the things it had going for it, it looks very robust.


Might seem like a stupid question but soon I will have my very first CPC, so bear with me
Same handle on 'Lemon Amiga','Lemon 64', 'Everything 64' and ∞ Vince ∞ on 'Atari Age.

Offline Vince

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Re: Cassette Player / Tape Deck Qs
« Reply #1 on: 12:12, 24 June 20 »
anyone?

I'm just asking about the reliability of the tape deck !


 :blank:
Same handle on 'Lemon Amiga','Lemon 64', 'Everything 64' and ∞ Vince ∞ on 'Atari Age.

Offline Bryce

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Re: Cassette Player / Tape Deck Qs
« Reply #2 on: 12:24, 24 June 20 »
Hi Vince,
first off, copying an alignment tape is pointless unless you had a calibrated HiFi. The copied tape would align all future cassette players to the alignment of the HiFi. On top of that, the HiFi would have been stereo, so it would have recorded two tracks, whereas data cassettes with software are mono. It could probably still be used for very coarse alignment, but definitely not what the original tape would have be capable of.

The CPC's tapedeck could be aligned like any other deck, however it was rarely needed, probably due to the fact that it was attached to the computer and hence didn't get bashed around as much as a stand-alone unit would. My advice is, don't mess around with the azimuth unless you are sure that that's the issue. Old belts, dried up rubber wheels, dirt on the heads or a damaged head are all much more likely reasons why a CPC deck would not reliably load.


Bryce.

Offline Vince

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Re: Cassette Player / Tape Deck Qs
« Reply #3 on: 07:25, 25 June 20 »

Hi Vince,
first off, copying an alignment tape is pointless unless you had a calibrated HiFi. The copied tape would align all future cassette players to the alignment of the HiFi. On top of that, the HiFi would have been stereo, so it would have recorded two tracks, whereas data cassettes with software are mono. It could probably still be used for very coarse alignment, but definitely not what the original tape would have be capable of.
Hi Bryce, first off, let me thank you for your reply. 

I don't want to disabuse you of your assertion, but...

The copied tape worked fantastic !

Perhaps because before this, I was used to doing it 'blind', by just adjusting the screw slightly then trying to load my most unreliable two tapes and then adjusting it a bit more.

We did record it Mono.

I think we set the channel to the far right, or far left, so it was 100% Mono.

Turned the equaliser bands right down. Maybe we did it a couple of times? I don't know? but Mum did it and it worked wonderfully.

I knew well before then that game tapes were all Mono because I was a coder.

A year or so? before, in one of the Techie section of a magazine, a kid had wrote in to moan why a program that was meant to allow you to play audio tapes through the television, via the computer via the Datasette sounded so very bad.

He got a long reply and it was mentioned that chart music was stereo and that game tapes were Mono amongst other things.

I can't remember the specifics of the HiFi but it was a low tech, cheap model.
It was all we could afford, in 1988 but it was a good workhorse and had a CD player.

You could pan it to the far left or right and I used to do that with old 50s / 60s song compilations so I would end up with just the vocals or just the music.
I used to mess about pretending it was Karaoke.

I understand what you are saying, Bryce, but I assure you that it worked perfectly.

The only issue I had was, that the groove that the screw was in got very lose at one point.

That was one of the two issues with C64 decks. The other being the cable, you had to sometimes push it a bit to go back into the connector.
The CPC's tapedeck could be aligned like any other deck, however it was rarely needed, probably due to the fact that it was attached to the computer and hence didn't get bashed around as much as a stand-alone unit would.
That is what I was asking, if it's more or less reliable being built in.

Old belts, dried up rubber wheels, dirt on the heads or a damaged head are all much more likely reasons why a CPC deck would not reliably load.
That's great! I won't worry about it, unless it starts to become an issue. Really looking forward to it arriving, it has a plethora of accessories and lots of games!



Edit: Early morning, fighting with Quote tags.
« Last Edit: 07:32, 25 June 20 by Vince »
Same handle on 'Lemon Amiga','Lemon 64', 'Everything 64' and ∞ Vince ∞ on 'Atari Age.

Offline VintageAdvantage

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Re: Cassette Player / Tape Deck Qs
« Reply #4 on: 08:24, 25 June 20 »
The way you do it with the 464 tape deck is as follows:
  • get a "known good" cassette, e.g., the Welcome Tape
  • play it
  • use the little screw driver to get through the hole to the azimuth alignment screw.
  • turn up the speaker volume. all the way up.
  • now, use your ear. by turning the screw, you will hear notible differences in treble.
  • the head is perfectly aligned when there is maximum treble.
  • if it sounds dull, you have to turn the screw until it sounds bright / you hear treble.
  • azimuth alignment programs like from the commodore or pet are not required here. they are only needed on the c64 becaues they forgot the loudspeaker in the tapedeck  :laugh:
« Last Edit: 08:30, 25 June 20 by VintageAdvantage »

Offline VintageAdvantage

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Re: Cassette Player / Tape Deck Qs
« Reply #5 on: 08:29, 25 June 20 »
About mono / stereo tape. Remember the Atari? They actually had the datacorder provisioned to use the second channel for audio! So you could have an audio channel playback WHILE the data was loading.VERY useful feature, ESPECIALLY for educational titles (language learning, ...)