DCC-730 plays only analog cassettes

Hi! Some days ago I fetched my two DCC-730 from the storage since 10 years. After testing with different cassettes I noticed that one of them is working just fine in every way but the other only plays analog cassettes. I tried to find any information and the only thing was to clean the head with isopropanol. I have tried that but with no result. Still works only with analogs. Sounds very good when I play but it´s the DCC tapes I want to listen to…
Anyone who has experienced the same and maybe have a solution/suggestion how to move on?
Looking forward to a discussion!
Greetings from Kenneth, Sweden

Kick it into service mode (turn the unit off, hold down the Play and Stop keys, then power it up while keeping those two keys held down, if I’m reading the service manual correctly), then try playing a DCC tape and see what results you get on the front-panel display. (Refer to section 4-3 of the manual, which is page 22 in the PDF above.)

Ok, I tried the service mode and got ERROR 11111111 and also error on the following steps. Stable value, nothing changes if I do it again (and again…).

So, the initial “Channel Status Byte” step shows “ERROR 11111111”, and all of the subsequent “Channel Error Rate” displays when you cycle through them using the >>| and |<< (search-forward and search-backward) keys also display nothing but “CH x ERROR 11”?

That’s… not good. That indicates an error rate of over 50%, so it’s no surprise that the unit can’t play DCCs with that kind of error rate.

It could be something as simple as needing to give the capstans a thorough cleaning as well, and maybe replace the pinch rollers – DCC playback is more sensitive to speed variations caused by uneven capstan / pinch-roller surfaces – so, you might try that first.

If that doesn’t help, then unfortunately, that probably means either the head is bad, or there’s a significant failure on the read/write or digital-decoder boards. @Jac and @drdcc are our real resident experts, though, so hopefully they can chime in with some more detailed advice. :slight_smile:

It appears you’re not getting ANY signal. That MIGHT be good news (better than partial signal) because it’s possible that the read-write board just needs to be recapped. But it could also mean that the head is dead,

You’re going to need some more equipment to analyze this. Or contact @drdcc to send it to the Museum for repair. It may be possible to just send the DDU, that might save some postage.


Hi, and welcome to the forum.

If cleaning did not help, the next step is to replace the Pinch Rollers and the belts.
If your analog tapes sound ok (Speed/WF), then the belts should not affect DCC playback.

Next step would be the capacitors and investigate the read-write board.

Happy to help if you need to send it in for repair.


Hi Branock, welcome to the forum.

Simple question. Does the player even detect that you put in an DCC Tape ?
Is the DCC logo visible on the display.


Hi! Yes, the DCC symbol is shown om the display. Rewind and fast forward works ok bit runs until end of tape. No tracks found. I test with a prerecorded tape which runs ok om my other 730.