Mistake to buy second hand DCC Tapes?

Having decided to use DCC as my main recording format I have bought quite a few NOS tapes which are 100% fine. I recently saw on ebay a batch of 18 used tapes which were sold as in good condition and at a good price. Unfortunately after recording on a couple of them I noticed quite a few dropouts in audio on playback. I’ve tried them in more than one machine but the result is the same. I haven’t tried any others yet but I’m a bit worried I may have wasted my money? Is there anything I can do?

Second hand tapes are always tricky. I never encourage buying them, but it is a personal choice. What could be done is to try and replace the felt pads. We have recently done a video about this. It might help.

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Oh dear, that doesn’t sound good. I guess I was making a false assumption that they would be ok as I have many analogue cassettes much older that I’ve never had an issue with. One of the two DCC’s I tried actually put the recorder into stop mode whilst playing. Looks like I made a costly mistake. I buy my NOS tapes from a guy in The Netherlands but with postage they do work out quite expensive.

Which type of tape did you chose?

Hi Max, these were all Philips Cassettes.

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These are the tapes I bought

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Were they rewound?

Under these conditions, @david.desclos had success with an eraser, but I doubt it is worth it to get one for just one batch.

In any case, don’t throw them away, they may be of some use later.

Most of them were not rewound

I’m not sure what the return postage would cost, but your screenshot of the eBay listing says “30 days refund”, this may be worth a try.

Thanks @Max, I’ve just sent a return request to the seller. I guess it would be best to stick with nos tapes. Can you or @drdcc recommend a good seller for tapes?

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No, we don’t have any recommendations and I don’t think there are sellers with a bigger stock and a decent price left, I had some luck with private purchases. I am not sure if @drdcc can sell you ones.

We currently have 60 min SCOTCH NOS in stock only.

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@Richard_Symes Please read my (clumsy) attempt to make an instruction on how to handle second hand tapes for the first time here:
This information can be updated with the newly found felt-pad replacement, which will improve the situation considerably, as I can tell from 1st hand experience. See on the forum here:



Thanks @pvdm for all the information, makes very interesting reading.

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When the player stops, take the cassette out en expose the tape by opening the slider. rewind manually and you will see the spot which causes the stopping

Use IPA to clean the spot
I managed to fix quite some tapes this way
I believe DCC museum also has a video for this

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Thanks for the advice @Steve, I’ll give one a try and see how I get on. I have returned the batch in question for a refund but I have a few others here.

We do have one, but this does not fix all issues especially not when recording:


the 3rd generation and up always end up in a continuous reverse loop from A>B and vice versa. I use a 2nd generation player because it will just stop not reverse. Sometimes keep pressing play will move the problem area forward and will solve the issue. Once the problem area is moved across the head it sometimes solves the issue for good

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True, sometimes the only way out is to try if the tape will fast wind, or if that does not work take the tape out and wind manually …

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I believe buying used DCC tapes is a waste of money, three times i have bought really nice used tapes in bundles of like 10, all clean and all the J cards Un used virtually like new, seller always saying only used once!! How he would know this i have no idea anyway there fine playing what’s on them but as soon as i have tried to record over them ( even after a bulk erase) i find drop outs everywhere even a few that just will not record at all, the felt pads have been perfectly clean But i use NOS sealed and there perfect, i have three DCC machines all act the same, i have stopped buying used tapes !!

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