Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by wingwalker, Feb 19, 2012.
Just a question out of curiosity more than anything....
How often do you guys clean your tape heads?
It depends on how often I use it... which is rarely. Therefore I clean them before each use to remove any dust that might exist, even though strictly speaking it is not necessary. If I was using it say once per week or more, I would clean them once per month.
Probably not often enough. Every 6 months or so if I'm using regularly... usually when I change the tape.
This is whats nuts to me...I've been told that the heads need to be cleaned every 4 or so hours of use!
I guess it depends in part on the tape being used and how much oxide it's leaving on the heads. And of course how often you're using the thing.
In the old days when tape was common it wasn't unusual to have manufacturers recommend cleaning the heads on recording machines that often or at least every 8 hrs.
I mean if you're gonna spin that loop of tape over the heads for 4 hours straight -- and those old tape delays just keep running -- night after night, yeah, I'd think cleaning frequently -- probably nightly but if not at least weekly, would be a good idea both for clarity of sound and life of the heads. And demagnetizing pretty regularly too, as well as changing the tape pretty routinely.
I like the way mine sounds and have only been changing tape/cleaning heads when the repeats get VERY lo-fi; I like a good amount of flutter though. Also, I use the fulltone cartridges which don't shred and dust a whole lot.
It's so true about the lo-fi... It's a nice tool for a certain sound, but in fact it's so advertised in digital tape sims that I am thinking the only way for somebody to truly hate it is having to deal with it. In my opinion, that's the best way to appreciate the high fidelity and good qualities of tape, married with the occasional colour that a solid state or tube circuit provides (which is a very popular misconception that it is only limited to the preamp stage).