Why doesnt my cassette player/recorder play any cassettes other than Maxell?

Anyone familiar with cassettes? I need your input. I just bought a Panasonuc SA-PM16 off of ebay. I have noticed that the player plays and records Maxell cassette tapes perfectly. But other branded tapes it will play very detuned and warped. It completly refuses to play Sony branded tapes let alone record them. It just plays the tape for a few seconds and just stops. What can possibly be the issue?

4 Answers

  • Lance
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    It shouldn't have anything to do with the brand of tape, it could be the condition of the cassette and how old it is...Its possible that your machine is at fault but if one brand of tape plays perfectly well and another does not more than likely its the cassette not working properly. There are different types of tape i.e. ferric oxide; chromium dioxide; Type 4 metal, also the noise reduction used in recording Doby B Dolby C DBX etc...these things will all effect the playback characteristics of the tape but not brand...If it is the machine doing that more than likely your tape heads need to be cleaned and demagnetized...You can do that yourself and there are tutorials available on the net on how to clean and demagnetize tape heads..also there are tutorials on how to make your own head demagnetizer DIY that can be used over and over as needed or you can buy one second hand ...If its more than that that needs fixing its probably going to be too expensive to fix...

  • 2 months ago

    Have you tried demagnitizing the head? When it comes to old tape players, those magnets can get worn and youll need to reset them or replace them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2LQr63X7lk

    Youtube thumbnail

  • 2 months ago

    Your machine needs service, including new drive parts (belts and possibly tyres). 

    Take it to a good audio repair shop. 

  • Bort
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    How old are the cassettes you're trying to use? They are all made the same way but:

    Even brand new they can be tight. Put a pen with a cap on it in the side with less tape and see how well it turns. If it's really tight or has spots it kind of jumps that may be the problem. The motors that turn the tape in the tape deck(s) of the stereo aren't very strong, they also have a spring and a clutch-like system in them that causes them to stop trying to turn the tape if there's resistance. It's a preventative measure designed in to the mechanics of the tape player in some models to prevent the player from breaking the tape.

    Cassette tapes are still made but in general they're old. The actual tape in side them can become damaged quite easily from exessive heat, exessive cold, being played hundreds of thousands of times, etc etc. It's probably that the cassette tape it self is damaged. Possibly just from age, sitting around for years. 

    Another possibility is that one of the many parts of the tape player mechanics is worn out, also possibly due to age or being used for many years. Tape players and cassette tapes do not last forever no matter how well you take care of them. 

    If you find the tapes are a bit difficult to turn: There are screws in them holding them together (in most, some are glued). Give the screws a very slight crack of a turn looser to try and free the gears / bearings up a little.

    If you find that trying to manually turn the gears in the tapes has spots where they try to stop try and look in to why they're doing that. 

    - Something could be broken inside them and obstructing the gears from turning.

    Don't put grease or any kind of lubricant on the cassette tapes or in the player. That will ruin it for good, both the tapes and possibly the player. 

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