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Old 11th Dec 2021, 10:45 am   #4
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 1,760
Default Re: Are these Revox tape heads scrap?

Yes I would never discard partially worn heads of that calibre. They're expensive and becoming much harder to source new.

Revox used to say that if the wear "flat" was 2mm (?) or more wide (as it is on both these heads) the head should be replaced. But that was back when the machines were the best way of recording, and new heads were freely available off the shelf.

I've gently relapped many mildly worn Revox heads in order to restore a better radius, which is all they often needed. Since they had relief slots (gutters) machined at their edges, there's often no need to remove edge ridges, unless the head was poorly aligned when installed. The playback head in photo 1 was obviously installed incorrectly as the wear pattern is trapezoid in shape. Harder to tell with the record head.

There may be pitting in the head faces around the crucial gap areas. It's hard to tell from the photos. (Pitting often occurs after someone played a sticky shed tape, failed to clean off the muck and then left the heads in that state for some time. The water absorbing tape residue eventually corrodes the head face).

The scratching at the bottom right of the record head should be fine as it's way outside of the normal tape contact area.

Only the inner head unit needs replace or relap and reinstalled in the original two piece mumetal housing.
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