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Akai 4000D - Erase Head


I'm very new to this so please forgive any stupidity/naivety. I picked up my first reel to reel the other day, an Akai 4000D. My dad had one when I was young but would never let me use it so I'm really happy I got one of my own at last. It seems to playback well and everything seems to work except for the erase head. When I try record the existing recording can still be heard and does not go away. The new recording can be heard over this.

I checked the head out and there was a loose wire which I re-soldered into place but this did not make any difference. I've read quite a few posts here on HifiEngine and also on TapeHeads.Net but nothing that answered the question specifically. I was wondering if anyone could tell me if the erase can stop working completely or if it can be repaired or if there is another mechanism that could be damaged. I'm not confident enough to do this myself and am therefore also asking for any advice about getting it fixed.

My apologies if this is not the right place to post this kind of question. If anyone can point me in the right direction for a solution I'd be very grateful. I'm based in London so if anyone knows of somewhere local that could fix the deck for me that would be great.

If you need more information on the problem I'll try to answer.

Any help or guidance you can provide would be really helpful. I'd like to see the 4000D back to it's original glory if possible.

Kindest regards,

Re: Akai 4000D - Erase Head

Could be a bunch of things. First thing is to clean all heads with alcohol and q-tips. Make sure all tape residue is removed. Next - demagnetize all heads and all metal parts in the tape path (with tape reels removed) - otherwise you could partially erase the recording on the tape.
It may need head alignment (most likely the case). It is unusual to find a broken wire on a head unless someone was toying around in there earlier. If that's the case - your problems could be anything.
If you don't know how to align the heads or demagnetize them, then take to somewhere that does.
One last thing... make sure the reels are firmly resting on the platters and they are fully locked on the hubs. The platter surfaces of the hubs have specific height measurements from the faceplate of the deck. If they (the platters) have moved from the specified dimension called out in the service manual, then the affected reel will feed your tape through the entire tape path in an offset manner causing you to think the heads are out of alignment.