Loud hum or roar when playing
a cassette tape
This tip can apply
to many different types of audio cassette tape recorders, from
inexpensive classroom models to expensive stereo component decks.
The one thing that all of these have in common is a mechanical
record/play switch. Newer high-end cassette decks usually don't
use mechanical switches these days, so this will not apply to
them. Unfortunately it's nearly impossible to determine what type
you have unless you have a technician look inside the unit, but
the good news is that this won't hurt the newer type of deck,
it just won't help.
cassette recorder is suddenly emitting a loud roaring sound, similar
to feedback, when you attempt to play a tape.
is a temporary fix that will let you get your cassette recorder
to work for a short period of time and hopefully get you out of
a jam. Take out the tape you are trying to play and insert a blank
cassette tape (or one that hasn't had the record prevention tabs
knocked out). Put your machine into Record mode and then
hit Stop. Continue alternating from Record to Stop
5 to 10 times. Try playing a tape again and see if the problem
is gone. If not, repeat the process. If it doesn't work after
2 attempts, it probably won't work at all. Also, if it does work,
the problem is guaranteed to return again, possibly within minutes
or hours of use. Either way, take the cassette recorder in for
service and tell them you have a bad or dirty record/play switch
and they should know what you are talking about. The repair may
not be worth the cost on units costing less than $75.00.
mechanical record/play switch is merely a long switch containing
numerous contacts capable of switching several separate circuits
simultaneously. The contacts are made of silver or copper and
are coated to prevent tarnishing. Unfortunately, tarnishing of
the contacts will always occur eventually causing bad connections
on the switch contacts. These contacts are responsible for switching
your cassette recorder's circuitry from record mode to playback
mode. When something goes wrong here, you get all kinds of interesting
noises generated by the amplifier. By switching the machine in
and out of record mode, the switch contacts are moved and scrape
against each other removing some of the tarnish. If enough is
removed, the unit will start working, but of course the coating
is already gone and the contacts will tarnish again quickly.