Philips DCC170 high W&F

My recently bought NOS DCC170 has extremely high wow and flutter. It shows about 0.3% on both sides equally. DCC tapes play fine, but it is audible on ACC. I replaced belt (did it before on another 170 and 130 with results below 0.1%) because I thought it was of bad quality or badly replaced by the seller (previous belt also showed high w&f).
Pinch rollers are in very good condition, no dents.
What could be cause of this? I double checked that everythings runs smoothly before reassembly. No noise, mechanism runs silently.
Engine? Only electrolytic cap on machanism board?
I don’t believe lubrication on capstan shafts will help…

Usually the WF is caused by either the Pinch Rollers or belts.
If both are ok, it could be something else mechanical. DCC has no problem with W/F, but if the speed is far off, it can cause dropout.
Speed can still be adjusted in the service menu.

It is better btw to never use Analog tapes on a dcc player.


My portable DCC players have an even worse W/F.
My best 170 has 0,5% (DIN weighted) and the worst one is around 2%.
DCC130 seems a little bit better.

My desktop players have far better specs, they vary from 0,13% to 0,3% (weighted DIN).

Non surprisingly Philips does not mention any W/F specs in the analog audio section of the (service) Manual.


Thanks for your replies.
So much for the backward compatibility with analog cassettes. W&F over 0.15-0.2% (DIN) is usually audible. I wonder why it is so high. Motor is brushless, kind of direct drive and also quartz-locked. Must be the pinch rollers…
It’s a shame because these players have very good frequency response and low hiss.

The same problem is recently with analog cassettes decks, they simply don’t make good quality pinch rollers and belts anymore.

My DCC130 (unlike both my DCC170) also has good W&F values acceptable/unaudible for ACC.
In my opinion it is also better sounding for DCC than DCC170.

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Don’t play ACC in your DCC recorders, we have a whole lot of evidence that it will cause heads to fail over time. The solution back then was apparently replacing them, but today this is naturally no longer a viable option.

Take a look at the great pictures by @Mark_Neilson: DCC Head Up Close & Construction

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I know, I do it only after restoration, to check W&F and speed.


How else to check W/F?

For a very short time, it is okay and chrome dioxide tape is the best choice for that as it closely resembles DCC tape and is the least abrasive or corrosive.

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I use A.N.T audio BASF Chrome Reference II Master test tapes to adjust my cassette decks.

Anyways, today I lubricated capstan shafts and replaced the one and only electrolytic cap on motor control board (10V 100uF), which was probably fine (capacity ok, ESR 3.7 ohms vs 2 ohms in the new one).
And, well, it changed nothing. One side is 0.2% and another is 0.3% W&F. So it has to be pinch rollers.

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