[SOLVED] DCC 730 stops playing 1-2 sec and "eats" tape

Dear All,

This is to share my experience/issue with my DCC 730 which worked fine until 2 months ago (using it occasionally).

For some unknown reason (at the time) my DCC 730 stops playing a (DCC) cassette within 1-2 seconds. Ejecting the cassette often resulted in a piece of tape hanging out. Almost 1,5 year ago I upgraded this DCC with new belts, pinch rollers and silicon replacement gear.

Efforts to solve the Issue
I tried a lot to solve the issues, from cleaning, new belts, old pinch rollers, test with other tapes, etc… As i got frustrated, I decided to buy a second DCC 730. After some inspection, cleaning and changing belts this one works flawless (and it still has its original intact gear!).

To solve the issue with my first DCC 730, I started to exchange the cassette units but now the problem occurred on the other player. So (as expected) it had to do with the cassette unit. After changing both players to their “original” state. I then started to exchange cassette unit components (snares, pinch rollers, boards, etc…) but still no difference. So I finally exchanged the motor (with the silicon replacement gear). Now I the problem occured on my my new bought second recorder. My first guess was that the motor was corrupt, but a closer examination showed that the silicon gear (although cleaned and glued with loctite) had become slippery.

Conclusion (and solution)
The loose (silicon) gear resulted in playing issues and tape hanging out of the cassette. As the second player still had it hard plastic gear which sticks/clamps much better than the silicon replacement as (over time) this material becomes/is more flexible compared to original gear material. So the only thing left was that i had to clean and re-glue the silicon gear. Good thing is that I now have two working DCC 730 recorders :heart_eyes:.

Free advise :wink:
My advise to all who replaced the cracked original gear with its silicon successor:

  • Always try an old cassette first (before damaging pre-recorded cassettes)
  • On regular basis check the loctite/glued silicon gear



Thank you for your post, John!

Yes, the idler gear on the DCC730/DCC951 is a common problem. The original gear splits, and causes excessive noise and wear. I didn’t even know that my gear was broken until someone pointed it out to me at the First International DCC Convention in 2019 when I was using one of my 730’s for a demo.

Of course the DCC Museum has a replacement and I learned that yes, they really need to be glued to the motor spindle.

And yes, trying a “new” (to you) DCC recorder with an old cassette is good advice. I would even say: open it up, take the mechanism apart, make sure everything is clean and then try it with an analog cassette (one of decent quality, but not with something valuable recorded on it of course) first, to see if there are any mechanical problems like tape spillage.