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Old 4th May 2021, 8:30 pm   #1
DoWahDiddy54321
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Question Pye TR9559 Cassette - Playback Sound Interference

Hi,

I bought this Pye stereo radio cassette player at auction along with another to play some of my of old cassettes from the 70s/80s. They were still boxed, with the cassette drawers still taped over, and looked unused.

I've played a couple of cassettes on the other player i bought and they play and sound fine with no deterioration in sound quality even though the cassettes are circa 40 years old.

On the Pye player (TR9559), the radio works perfectly. However, there is terrible crackling and other interference when i play the same cassettes that play perfectly on the other player. The player doesn't have a balance control so I tried listening through headphones and the interference only sounds through one side. When i swapped the headphones around, the interference moved to the other side.

Does anyone have any idea if there is a simple way to fix this problem?

Thanks for reading my post.

PS. If i shouldn't have posted my problem to this forum, as my cassette p!ayer is not deemed to be a vintage item, please tell me so and, in which case, my apologies.
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Old 4th May 2021, 10:10 pm   #2
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Default Re: Pye TR9559 Cassette - Playback Sound Interference

Try putting a blank tape (one with the record protect tab intact) into the machine, and operate the REC key multiple times, then try playing your pre-recorded tapes again.
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Old 4th May 2021, 10:25 pm   #3
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Default Re: Pye TR9559 Cassette - Playback Sound Interference

Thanks Graham,
I'll have a dig around tomorrow evening to see if i've still got a blank. Hopefully i have and then will do as you've advised and let you know how i get on.

I forgot to say in my original post that the Pye has twin cassettes. I tried playing on both and got the same symptoms each time, as described previously. So presumably i should do as you advise on both, or do you think this indicates a different problem?

Cheers
Greg
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Old 4th May 2021, 10:35 pm   #4
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Default Re: Pye TR9559 Cassette - Playback Sound Interference

It's a very common problem with cassette decks that haven't been used for a long time. It's just oxidised contacts on the R/P switch. A few activations will usually be enough to clean the contacts. If you haven't got a recordable cassette you can put a piece of adhesive tape over the hole where the protection tab would be.
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Old 4th May 2021, 10:54 pm   #5
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Default Re: Pye TR9559 Cassette - Playback Sound Interference

Thanks for the info Andy, and for the adhesive tape trick.
I'll do as suggested on both cassette decks and keep my fingers crossed this will fix the problem. I'll update the thread afterwrds so you & Graham know how things work out.
Cheers
Greg
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Old 5th May 2021, 10:05 am   #6
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Default Re: Pye TR9559 Cassette - Playback Sound Interference

Thanks Chaps,
Did as advised and the cassette deck seems to be working fine now. Now playing some 70s by The Specials and The Beat - great!

Just a last question, should i repeat this action with the Record button periodically to prevent oxidisation from happening again in future?

Thanks again
Greg
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Old 5th May 2021, 10:52 am   #7
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Default Re: Pye TR9559 Cassette - Playback Sound Interference

An update.....
Of the 2 decks, only the B deck has a Record button / facility. The tape initially played back fine on this deck but after a while started to sound a bit muffled here and there. Could this be due to the tape's age (they've always been stored indoors in a drawer case or box) or some other cause? Although the player is old it looked unused when i bought it, but should i clean the heads - i don't have a new cleaning tape so would have to use some other means.

Also, when playing the A deck, the tape sounds the same as per my original post. Is there any way of restoring this to play as good as the B deck? If i open up the player, would some contact cleaner in the right spot do the trick?

Cheers
Greg
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Old 5th May 2021, 2:56 pm   #8
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Default Re: Pye TR9559 Cassette - Playback Sound Interference

A bit more trial and error.....

The blank tape i recorded to in several bursts to clear the initial fault was a TDK.... I decided to play this back and it played ok on both decks which totally confused me. The tape that i initially played ok, but only worked properly on Deck B was a BASF. I then tried to play 4 different Memorex tapes but none worked on either deck. Then i decided to try another TDK tape and this played fine on both decks.

So, the only thing i can deduce from this is that - even though all of the tapes are from round the same time period (late 70s / early 80s) and have been stored together - the Memorex tapes have deteriorated, whereas the TDK and maybe BASF ones haven't.

Does anyone have any other ideas or potential remedies? - i'd like to rescue the Memorex tapes if possible as they contain homemade vinyl recordings, many rare, from back in the day - unfortunately many of these vinyls were subsequently stolen, so these originals are long gone and too expensive to replace.

Cheers
Greg
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Old 5th May 2021, 3:51 pm   #9
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Default Re: Pye TR9559 Cassette - Playback Sound Interference

Was playing a TDK tape in Deck A and it played perfectly.

Swapped it over for another homemade BASF tape on same deck. Complete silence. Put the TDK tape back in. Complete silence.

Put the TDK tape into Deck B. Plays fine. Put the BASF tape into same deck. Plays fine.

Decided to try one of the Memorex tapes that wouldn't play on this player on the other player that i bought, also a Pye, model D8062, and it plays and sounds fine, so that tape isn't knackered after all, which is great, but that's made me even more confused.

Some of my old tapes were recorded with Dolby option. There's no option for this on either Pye player. Could this be confusing things.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, as i haven't a clue what's going on and what to do next.

Cheers
Greg
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Old 6th May 2021, 2:21 pm   #10
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Default Re: Pye TR9559 Cassette - Playback Sound Interference

Whoops.... Found out what went wrong with Deck A. Didn't have my glasses on at the time and had pressed Pause by mistake. It's now working.

Still got the issue re. poor quality sound on playing back some tapes and inability to play some tapes at all (mainly Memorex, but not all of them) though.
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Old 6th May 2021, 11:27 pm   #11
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Default Re: Pye TR9559 Cassette - Playback Sound Interference

If your memorex tapes are the early grey ones with the L-shaped box, then the pressure pad sponge has likely deteriorated and won't push the tape up against the head fully. Some other memorex tapes like the 'HBS' ones also use this damn pad! You can try replacing it by gluing a small piece of felt in there. Fiddly but do-able-

Later tapes used a small piece of felt on a springy brass strip which are better, though the pad can sometimes fall off these giving the same muffly audio.

Some decks handle these better than others, if they have a small amount of 'backtension' (drag) on the supply spool then this can keep the tape taut across the head.

We discussed this on a recent thread, search for it if you are curious!
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Old 8th May 2021, 10:28 am   #12
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Default Re: Pye TR9559 Cassette - Playback Sound Interference

Thanks for your advice Ben.

I assume by the L-shaped box you mean one that doesn't have a full length all-in-one rear cover. I've attached a couple of pictures of one of the failing Memorex cassettes & box (they are all the same type and in the same boxes as this one) - presumably you don't mean a box like this?

I intend to buy a piece of felt to attempt a repair of the roller on my old dust bug, so i could have a go at the pad replacement you've suggested once i've bought the felt. However, i've had a look at the pads on 3 of the tapes that are having problems and they all look intact. Do you think it's worth me replacing them anyway (the tapes are 42 years old)? I've attached a picture of one of the cassettes, though i'm not sure you can clearly see the pad condition in it.

I'll have a look for the thead you're referring to.

Regards
Greg
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Old 8th May 2021, 10:30 am   #13
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Default Re: Pye TR9559 Cassette - Playback Sound Interference

Clised the attachment window without saving them first. Here they are....
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Old 8th May 2021, 11:55 am   #14
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Default Re: Pye TR9559 Cassette - Playback Sound Interference

Had a hunt around online. Found out what an L-shaped case looks like and mine aren't like this. Guessing they're previous generation to the ones i've got, as the stuff i've seen on youtube seems to show MRX2 tapes in the L-shaped boxes whereas mine are MRX3.

Think i'll have a go at replacing the pad on one tape to see if it makes any difference. If it does, happy days. If it doesn't, guess there's no remedy?
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Old 8th May 2021, 10:09 pm   #15
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Default Re: Pye TR9559 Cassette - Playback Sound Interference

Those tapes are slightly later than the ones I had in mind but they still have the same problem. That felt pad has a sponge behind which loses its elasticity and often falls apart. You will have poor head to tape contact with those tapes unless this is changed. Some experimentation will be needed, you don't want too low a pad but also if you put too big as piece in there the head won't have enough room to penetrate fully!

Have fun!
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Old 8th May 2021, 11:33 pm   #16
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Default Re: Pye TR9559 Cassette - Playback Sound Interference

Thanks for your expertise Ben.
I intend to have a look on ebay for some soft felt fabric to repair my dust bug and prior to doing this i will try to remove a pad from one of the failing tapes so i can reasonably gauge the thickess i'll need for the tape repairs too.

I'm actually looking forward to having a pop at fixing these tapes, as it would be great to save them.

I am a little concerned that there's something else going on though, as i played a couple of shop bought tapes earlier. One by Springsteen played perfectly for 4 tracks then went weird after that, sounding like either the speed was wrong or the tape wasn't being read properly. Then i tried a Queen tape which played perfectly all the way through until the last track where it went the same way as the Springsteen one.

I guess the proof of the pudding will be when i change a dodgy taoe's pad and see what happens.

Thanks again
Greg
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Old 9th May 2021, 12:23 am   #17
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Default Re: Pye TR9559 Cassette - Playback Sound Interference

I wonder if these are rebadged Philips units. After all, Pye was acquired by them in the 1960s.
If so, you may have problems with crumbling gears and deteriorating erase heads. Quality of build took a nose dive in the 80s. Plus these radio-cassette units were pretty much the lowest quality as tape players go, aimed mostly at kitchens and teenage bedrooms. Add to that the fact it has been standing for years...
Some photos of the cassette mechanisms with the doors open might help confirm this.

If you cherish those tapes and are curious about the format, I would suggest looking for something a bit better and more worthy of spending time fixing up, to get the most out of them.
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Old 9th May 2021, 10:58 am   #18
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Default Re: Pye TR9559 Cassette - Playback Sound Interference

I've attached a few pictures, one of the unit, and two of each tape mechanism with doors open. Hope they help.

I do have a hifi tape unit, AIWA AD450. To be honest it's not been used much over the past few years as i tend to mainly play vinyl and CDs. I guess this may have suffered the same problems as the portable units given it's been unused for so long. I'd forgotten about this unit until you mentioned getting a better player. I'll check it out, probably tomorrow, as i've a lot on today. I thought i'd dig out some cassettes only recently as i'm doing a lot of decorating and i'd rather listen to music i like than the radio.

Regards
Greg
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Old 9th May 2021, 11:59 am   #19
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Default Re: Pye TR9559 Cassette - Playback Sound Interference

Well, it's not a Philips. So none of the problems I mentioned before. Looks like a Tanashin type mechanism though.
As said, you can't really expect decent performance from something like this. If you want to get it going enough to use while decorating, then open it up and use some 'Servisol 10' contact cleaner spray on the function selector and the internal record-playback slide switch. That should clear up any problems with the audio. Any problems beyond that aren't worth spending time on.

Your AIWA 450 is pretty decent and with a new set of belts will likely shine! Feel free to open a new thread on that if/when you're up for it!
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Old 9th May 2021, 12:52 pm   #20
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Default Re: Pye TR9559 Cassette - Playback Sound Interference

Thanks for all yur help Ben, it's much appreciated.
I've got some WD40 fast drying contact cleaner that i used to recently fix erratic and missing volume problems on a couple of transistor radios. Do you reckon this would suffice or would it be best to buy some Servisol 10 for this task?

If the belts need changing on the AIWA, then i will open a new thread as you've suggested, to get expert guidance on how to go about doing this - i'm keen to learn as i find it's really satisfing to get something working again that would otherwise be consigned to the scrap heap, but i'm a novice, with minimal electrical knowledge and experience of tackling things like this.

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