Prerecorded DCC Pavarotti (Pavarotti in hyde park) no sound at all

Dear All,

I hope you are all good and safe … in order to answer my question :grin:.

I recently bought a prerecorded DCC Pavarotti (Pavarotti in hyde park) which doesn’t seem to have any data on the tape (tape and cover are original). I cleaned the tape pad but that doesn’t seemed to help. I have two working DCC players (DCC 600 and DCC 730) which both play all my other (pre)recorded DCC tapes, but nothing at all comes out of the Pavarotti DCC (player starts spinning until end of tape). Maybe it has been lying on top of a magnet for years and therefore has no data at all :frowning:. Also no hole is present so the tape couldn’t be overwritten.

Any tip on how to activate/test on read errors. I can’t find how to put my DCC players in maintenance/test mode (although I read somewhere “power on and hold play and reset counter”). Maybe via head read test I can see something, but I am afraid the tape is empty.


If the combined damage equals more than 1 dead track, nothing gets detected. The error rate can be viewed in the service mode, it is rather easy to use. If no one is faster than me I’ll explain it soon.

It could also be a sample tape, as some of them have no audio.
But it should have some markings on there, mentioning sample.

If you ffw to the middle of the tape and switch from side a-b on both players, is there also no audio?

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If you can, put your DCC recorders in Service mode and let us know what you see. Also, when you switch the display to absolute time code and switch between sides A and B, do you immediately see the time code changing or does it say “–:--”?

The DCC600 (and other 2nd generation recorders; not the DCC730) has a known problem where if there is no ITTS information on a prerecorded tape, it will keep fast-forwarding to the next marker, then the next marker, all the way to the end of the tape, and you can’t make it play. If your tape is an early recording that doesn’t have any ITTS information that the recorder can recognize, that might be an issue. If a tape does this on the DCC600 but not on other recorders, you can work around it by cutting a hole to make the recorder think it’s not a prerecorded cassette. But since you also have another recorder, I wouldn’t bother doing this.

Of course there’s always a chance of other issues, like the stick-shift problem caused by bad pads. Or like others already said, it could be that there’s nothing on the tape, or something that your recorders don’t understand. Check for copyright dates on the tape and in the booklet. Anything up to 1992 might have unplayable data. If your tape was created in 1993 or later, the tape format was finalized so it should either contain playable data or was damaged or is blank for demonstration only.


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I am glad you mentioned this. I have a few ex-prerecorded cassettes that have been erased. The recorders are going crazy over them. I can not make a recording on them. Could you elaborate please?

I believe this is a different (somewhat unrelated) problem. @drdcc discovered that at least some but possibly all prerecorded tapes are very difficult to erase. We speculate that the machines that wrote to prerecorded DCC tapes must have used more energy to magnetize the tape than normal consumer recorders do, and recorders simply aren’t able to erase the existing signals.


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@Jac Possible, but these ex-prerecorded tapes were recorded with home recordings when I got them. that was clear.
I have bulkerased them since, to be sure. They are empty now. But the recorders don’t understand them anymore, so I thought maybe the extra hole would fix that?

Only the 2nd generation recorders will benefit from the extra hole in the pre-recorded dcc.

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Dear All,

Big thanks for your replies, I really appreciate this!

It is an original tape with no holes, nor sample text on it.
I tried several positions on the tape to see if something is there. But nowhere any sound seems to be on the tape (both A/B side seems to be empty).

The pad I cleaned to avoid sticky-shift and the backcover image of the tape says “Total timing 56:02”. So I guess the tapes is either damaged or empty, but all indicates that this once was a valid/normal tape. So it seems I have been scammed :rofl: on Marktplaats!

Can you please instruct me how to get into Maintenance/test mode to check the head readings for: DCC 600 and DCC 730?

I tried several ways to activate it but I can’t find the right key/combi with power on.

Thanks in advance for your support!
Dank allemaal voor jullie ondersteuning :slight_smile:!



"Hold DOLBY B/C & REC.PAUSE depressed, then press PLAY
The set is now in the extended playmode. Music will be audible.
The display shows "x yy zz ffff”.
“x” indicates the selected tape channel
“yy” indicates the error rate of channel x
“zz” indicates the error rate of channel (x+1)
"“ffff counts the number of tape blocks received without C1-error
flags. The counter will be resetted with every C1 -error.
Press TIME to increase x by steps of 2.
To select the tape channel for the digital eye output of the DEQ2
press TEXT. The display shows “DIG EYE CH x”. To increase the
number of the tape channel press TIME, again.


Hi Philip,

Thanks for your quick reply!
By the way, we exchanged 4 tapes :slight_smile: a week ago.




To enter service mode:
Press 2 keys simultaneously PLAY+STOP and then switch power on.
Display shows: 'Uxxx Dyyy Lzzz"
Commercial Version ID

Press PLAY
→ (DDU Test Mode, Channel Status Byte)
Display shows: “ERROR abcdefgh”
a: indication for main data channel 0

h: indication for main data channel 7

→ (Channel Error Rate)
Display shows: “CH x ERROR yy”
x = currently selected channel 1…9
yy = accumulated error rate

Press NEXT or PREVIOUS n times
Display shows: “CH x+n ERROR yy”


    yy  % ERROR
    00  0
    01  0-5
    02  5-10
    03  10-15
    04  15-20
    05  20-25
    06  25-30
    07  30-35
    08  35-40
    09  40-45
    10  45-50
    11  50-55
    12  55-60
    13  60-65
    14  65-70
    15  70-75
    16  75-80
    17  80-85
    18  85-90
    19  90-95
    20  95-100


    Channel 1-8     Error Rate =< 01    : GOOD
                    Error Rate > 01     : BAD   clean/check head
    Channel 9 (aux) Error Rate =< 11    : GOOD
                    Error Rate > 11     : BAD   clean/check head
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Thanks for the info. I did find the steps also in the service manual. I did check it before but missed this.