DCC 730 - Head error?

I’ve got a relatively new DCC 730 that was refurbished very recently by Ralf. It’s been working perfectly up to yesterday.

Tried to play a DCC that I’d recorded on it, and it didn’t show any time/track numbers. After rewinding and playing again it finally worked.

Turned it off last night and now it is fully mute. All the tape transport/head reversing, etc. work, but there’s no sound.

In service mode I get errors on every track/channel showing all ones immediately and “20” on every individual channel.

Any idea what would turn a fully working deck with zero bit errors into one with ALL bit errors?

Also, I just tried an analogue cassette, quite literally for the first time ever. It works just fine — no issues with playback.

Thanks in advance for help!

Did you open the player and clean the head?

Yeah, I cleaned the head. No help at all.

I’m just getting full errors on every track. When I’m in service mode, the errors come instantly, as if there’s something wrong with the read/write board.

What would be the best way to test it?

Full errors just mean nothing can be decoded, it is the default state. I am not sure what is the reason, but keep in mind full errors in the beginning is the default state. You can test the chips on the bus if something is broken, should be mentioned in the service manual, I can look it up later.

You actually did the full test.

If cleaning does not help, it is either the read-write board, head or possibly another problem.
I assume it is with all cassettes. Even pre-recorded?

Yeah. Tried several pre-recorded DCC. Nothing.

From what I recall, I have to swap the head and the read-write board at once, right?

Could it be another board?

Should I just swap it with another gen 3 read-write board? Nothing looks amiss on the board (no leaking caps and Ralf just recapped it). It is, also a 30 year old circuit board…

The whole mechanism is actually easy to replace. 2 screws and the whole block containing the mechanism, including the read/write board and head will come out.

It is an easier replacement then fitting a different head with read-write board. Do you have a replacement to check?
You could alternatively send that mechanism to us, so we can check.


I’d be happy to buy one off you and send you the old one back so it can be repaired or used for parts. Let me know if you have one available for a 730. Otherwise, I’ll wait until you do.


We do not have one in stock, but there is a shipment on the way with one.
It will arrive hopefully within the next 3-4 weeks. I will update you when it gets in and we have checked all the goodies in the boxes.

Thanks so much. Let me know and I can cross ship my mechanism.

Hi Ralf, I finally got the mechanism despite the USPS trying its best to lose it.

It was so easy to install and works perfectly!

Thanks for the help and guidance. Take care and happy new year!

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Happy to help. happy NY.

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