Bringing old cassettes back from the dead

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

3922 Articles

By Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

3922 Articles

tape1.jpg
tape2.jpg
tape3.jpg

Reader Craig Smith sent me an email about this recent little fix he discovered for time-worn cassettes:

I was in my basement shop when I found a box of cassette tapes that were the soundtrack to my youth. Since the seldom-used tape deck was removed from the upstairs entertainment center, I set it up in my workshop system. But something was wrong. So many of the tapes sounded flat and warbled. Turns out that many of the felt pads that keep the tape tight against the playback head had fallen off and were missing.

The solution: I rummaged around until I found some thick stick-on felt pads that often come with ready to assemble furniture. After some trial and error, I cut a rectangle about 3mm by 4mm. Peeling off the adhesive backing paper, I put it in place with a pair of tweezers. Since my tweezers are somehow magnetized, I did it with the clear plastic leader pulled away at the end of the tape. The sound is as good as I remember. Time will tell if the adhesive surface will hold, or if a dab of glue is required. VIVA LA 1980s!

More:

Explore More From Make: