DCC600 head adjustment?

First of all: It’s so nice to see there still are many DCC users :-).

After many years of collecting dust, I decided to get my DCC600 playing again (I bought it new back in the days).

I thought I successfully replaced the two belts. However, now it is playing analog cassettes with the left channel 6 dB lower than the right channel. Also, it cannot play a prerecorded dcc cassette. It keeps on trying but stops after a dozen of try’s…

To me it looks like a misalignment of the head, but I cannot find a way to make adjustments and since I’m not an expert, I could easily be wrong making that conclusion…

Do you guys have an idea what the problem could be?

Best regards from Holland,

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Hi Wimek, welcome to the forums!

You really shouldn’t adjust the head in a DCC recorder. The way DCC heads are constructed, the extra pins on the head assembly and in the cassette take care of leading the tape across the head at a perfect angle. Even if the head assembly is not mounted exactly straight, the azimuth correction pins will compensate for it.

You can use the service menu with a prerecorded (or known-good self-recorded) DCC cassette to check if all the heads are generating a good signal. You will probably see dropouts on some tracks some of the time. That’s okay, the DCC system is designed to recover up to 1/8th of the data so even if one head is non-functional, it can still play the tape; however as soon as another head drops out for just a little bit, it won’t be able to recover the data.

If one or a few tracks are missing or are intermittent, it’s probably simply caused by a dirty head. The best way to clean a head is with isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab (or a swab-on-a-stick a.k.a. a Q-Tip). Wipe the head vertically, i.e. perpendicular (not parallel) to the direction of the tape. There is a slit in the head that tends to gather dirt from tapes, especially analog tapes. Use a magnifying class to make sure that the head is completely clean.

Keep in mind that the first generation cassettes have a problem that we call the “stick slip syndrome” where the (white) pressure pad in the cassette gets dirty and sticky, and the tape can’t run smoothly anymore, causing complete loss of sound, and usually a squeak coming from the tape while you play or record it. To fix the problem, you have to replace the pad in the cassette; you can also use a sharp blade to scratch the pad clean but that’s only a temporary solution. Obviously you can use this type of cassette with the service menu because it will show that there is no data coming in on any head. Newer cassettes with brown pads don’t have this issue.

Good luck and welcome again to the community!

Groetjes uit Zuid California! :slight_smile:


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Wim where are you located?


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