Could be noisy motor controller. Been a very long time but isn't the capstan spinning selected speed whether the pinch roller is engaged or not? So if the clock or whatever circuit controls speed has a fault causing it to generate this noise it would do it whenever its running, whether tape is moving or not. Just my guess. Open it up, hope its something easy like cleaning dirty connections. It is a vintage deck after all. Nice one though. Wish I'd never sold my Pioneer RTR.
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