If you want to tweek it further, get a meter and fine tune the bias for each type and brand of tape you use.
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My God, I've owned my Nak CR-7 for 12 yrs and all this time it has sat on its stock feet, no tweaks, on the MDF shelf of my Salamander rack. The tapes I make for my car or even--I am loath to confess--to play back during dinner parties on my big rig!!!--sound "just like CDs," for what that's worth. Could I get LP-like sound by putting the deck on cones, points, or pods? It never occurred to me. I felt it was too "low-fi" to tweak. Am I a snob?
01. Head demagnatizer 02. Keep everything squeaky clean (capstans, rubber wheels, all heads) 03. Find an alignment tape to zero in your record/playback heads. Basically, this tape (I own one from ??? Discwasher ??? Geo-Tape ???) has identical white noise recorded out-of-phase on each track. Next, you set your playback (receiver, preamp, whatever) to mono and play the tape while adjusting your play head azimuth (sic?). The sound of the white noise comes close to null when truly aligned! Cool stuff!
I always had my Naks (5 in total) internally tweaked for Maxell UDXL II by a tech and that seemed to make the most difference. Sound floor dropped, dynamics went up as I could run very hot and avoid distortion and the phasing just seemed to be dead on. No Dolby as that seemed to roll off the high end and do funny things with phase. I will tolerate a bit of tape hiss for a markedly truer reproduction.
It's your duty to tweak everything, nothing escapes being fiddled with for the greater good. If you're convinced there's no benefit to changing your set up you have become complacent and satisfied with your system! Yikes. Now, if someone can explain to me why manufacturers use hex-screws instead of something more sensible like Philips or Robertson.. cuz they look good? I had a bitch of a time removing two screws on my BAT preamp to retube last night, the heads stripped WAY too easily and I had to use pliers to get the damned things out.
Great you consider the bias. I mentioned bias, because I used to have a tape deck that a tech friend measured and marked the bias adjustment for various brands of tape. While they are all simiar, there are small differences. Most folks just leave the bias adjustment (if there is one) at the center.
He also adjusted the bias adjustment so it really was center. He claimed many tape decks out of the box are not calibrated very well.
Yeah, Bluenose, the CR-7 is a superb tape deck. Tape playback is almost identical to CD, but not to LP. For your car, you cannot tell the diff between tapes and CDs. I also own the Nak Dragon and the CR-7 is just as good for a lot less money (at least when they were both new; i think they both command about the same price on the used market today, ~$750). I have done multiple "battle of the tape decks" recordings and cannot tell any difference or improvement between the Dragon recordings (with totally adjustable bias and azimuth for every tape) and the CR-7 recordings. I guess I should put them both on pods or cones and then judge again.