Re: Audiocassette problems

Clark, Jeff (
Mon, 8 Jan 2001 13:04:10 -0800 (PST)


It's been a long while since I've been up on the exact
technical lingo of this format--but I'd say that perhaps
the head and tape transport alignment are off on the deck
you're playing the tape on. You didn't say what kind of
player you've heard the problem on (if it's just one?),
or how the cassette is recorded. I'm assuming both sides
of the cassette as usual. I'm also assuming that you
don't hear a proper track along with the reversed one.

If the head/transport alignment is off, the heads may be
reading the track meant to be read when the cassette is
flipped over for side 2. This would cause the heads to
read that track going in reverse. And it would cause the
same problem when the cassette *is* flipped for side 2.

You could double-check this hunch by trying the tape in
one or more other players you're sure are dependable.

If it continues to happen on other machines, then maybe
there is a print-through problem instead--caused by the
signal from the side 2 track being impressed close to the
proper track when the tape is packed unevenly in rewind
and perhaps some other storage conditions aggravate. In
this case, though, you should hear the proper track and
the "ghost reversal" at the same time.

As for cures... I don't know of any technical
solutions that wouldn't cost outside
restoration expertise. So replacement would be in order,
unless the item is o.p.

I'm open to further enlightenment from anyone else,

Jeff Clark
James Madison Univ.

On Sat, 6 Jan 2001 09:56:55 -0800 (PST) Mike Boedicker
<> wrote:

> A non-video question, but it's probably appropriate in a roundabout way.
> Does anyone know what would cause an audiocassette to play backward -- that
> is, the machine plays the tape normally, but the recording itself is
> backward. This has happened several times to our audiobooks. The result is
> the same on both sides of the cassette: a lower, almost muffled sound, but
> clearly backwards (haven't heard Linda Blair uttering any obscenities yet,
> or Led Zeppelin ordering me to march with Satan).
> Could this be some kind of bleed from one side of the tape to the other? Is
> there any solution? Thanks...
> Mike Boedicker
> Audiovisual Director & Webmaster
> Danville Public Library
> 319 N. Vermilion
> Danville, IL 61832
> (217) 477-5223 ext. 123