Weak sound on a 951

There is sound, but very weak on dcc as on acc cassettes. Any 951specialist who can tell me what it most likely could be ?
As for bad karma, this is not my 951 !. Yesterday he played like a charm… today, not so much

Maybe someone has encountered this problem earlier ?

Do DCC still work? If so, leave it at that.


You might want to try and swap the mechanism into a working 951 or 730 as this might very well be main board related. That would be the start to locate the exact problem.


Max, the problem occurs on dcc as on analoge tapes.

Ralf, i will try that later this week as my own player has to be the donor. But okay, nothing very obvious. It coud be a new adventure.

What do you mean with weak sound on DCC? Dropouts? Otherwise it has to work fine over S/PDIF, right?

Is the sound weaker then expected on the analog output? Have you tried other cables?
And how is that on the digital output?
And what about the headphone output? Is the sound weaker than the same cassette on another player with the headphone output volume knob in the same position?
Does it happen on every (prerecorded) DCC?
Can you record OK?


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Hi there Ton, it’s me again…
Are you sure you aren’t in an episode of Monty Python???

Sometimes, i really do, but there is never a dull moment !! The 951 i am referring to will be in the mail tomorrow, together with another one that only plays analog tapes ( I suspect another dead head). So my new goal is to swap the trays of these players and hopefully that will result in one fully operating 951 !!

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Hi Ton,

Just a hint: I have had two 951s with dry joints where the RCA/cinch connectors are fixed to the mainboard (analog output). This caused dropouts in one ore both channels, and/or low volume if ground has a loose joint.

Hope you’ll succeed in solving this!

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Lol, Henrie, i just want to trade the trays and hopefully one will work!! Fingers crossed.

I don’t understand your message. I have to see that on a picture, what too look for.

Maybe i can make a picture from the inside and that you tell me what connection might be loose

That i could check right ?

After some investigation, i think such a cinch connector is on the back where you can put in a tulip connector. Then it is the analog output connection on the back and the problem is on the connection on the mainboard. That connection is dry? And might be loose ?

DCC951 analog output

Today i recieved the 2 951’s. The one with no sound but good head i swapped for the one playing only analog cassettes.
Lady fortune paid me a visit and it seemed like it worked. Up to now all things haar and look food ( Nice output level on the headline, so test it later on my set.

The otter tray not only does not play, but dcc tapes get instantly stuck, it goes down, but does not get up anymore (analog tapes are no problem)

And on the mainboard i found this (what may be a problem, it’s the little buggar, next to that big blue thing on the left hand side) it looks like it is eaten away)

That black/yellow thing to the bottom left of the big electrolytic capacitor is a diode and no, it doesn’t look good. But the resistor (inductor?) on the right of the electrolytic is also in trouble. Not to mention a couple of components near the smaller electrolytic caps.

Actually, it looks like there’s a lot of oxidation on every component that got touched by that brown goop. I said before, that stuff is just glue to hold the big capacitors on the board so it’s not leakage from the capacitor. The capacitors may still be good. But I have to say, even though it may not be electrolyte, it appears to have done quite a bit of damage in this machine.

I don’t know how to clean the goop but it will definitely be necessary to do so in your case. If not, you should at least replace or clean the damaged components.

And I need to take a close look at my 730’s to keep this from happening.

Sorry to be the bringer of bad news…


Heads up:
Well, I could make one working by swapping the tray, the other one gave no head errors ( the one with the weak sound) and is now in repair!
Thanks everyone for the answers, and tips, tricks and explenations.

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The weak sound is fixed. The bad diode on the board was not defect but it was replaced.
DCC-Life was good, until i changed the belts and the pinch-rollers. My beloved 951 stopped working. Moment A is working, moment B not. Then i took a good look at al my 951 pinch rollers i had. And this is what i found:

The little ones where in my first player (The one that said on 33 tapes ‘clean head’), the other white ones are ‘techkey’, the black ones are original ons, but they are far gone.

So, i switched the pinch rollers to the black ones again, and the player did read side A (and played)! But as soon as we have to flip to side B, the player stops and when i try to get the tape out by pushing ‘Open’ key, the display tells me ‘BLOCKED’, i cannot get side B to work.

I am now so far that i dont know anymore what the Standard pinch rollers for a 951 are, same goes for the belts.

Now i bring both players to a company specialized in reparing old vintage audio with lots of experience on the DCC.

Lets hope we can get one decent reliable 951 out of the two units. Thumbs crossed!


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I had the same issue, but I did not press my pinch rollers in hard enough so they couldn’t spin freely. But if it worked in some moments, I can’t imagine how that would be.

Hi Ton,
The little ones seem badly damaged (badly modified) and are of the wrong size. Bin them!
The techkey ones seem to be matching the black ones.

Anyways, the DCC museum sells them.


Henrie, that’s what i thought. The 951 has given me only problems. Im gonna switch to another model, a 900, because it fits nicely in my 900 series.

So curious… the 951 is the only dcc recorder that never gave me trouble. Funny how things can be different…