You have to ask yourself is it worth it to you? One man's dollar is another man's dime, if you catch my drift.
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Several years ago I bought a Nakamichi cassette deck and I now have three. My listening sessions on the cassette players are usually longer than my CD sessions, FWIW. I'm telling you this because as much as I think cassettes sound great, I'm usually told that reel to reel is the closest thing to the original source. Just be sure that you have a competent tech who can go through your deck and align the heads and change belts. Also, be sure you can get high quality tapes at a reasonable cost. As Schubert said, if your dad left this deck for you, how can you not invest the time and money into this heirloom?
You could get another one to practice on: changing belts, lubing capstans, using contact cleaner. I was a little shy at first about fixing my cassette deck but am now fearless and happy I learned how to keep it going. So don't toss it in the trash -- your Dad gave you not only the deck but the opportunity to learn and grow.
Just from the sentimental value you may wish to keep it despite it not working. They are cool to look at.
As you may be quite handy, you may want to check on eBay for a repair kit. There are a few that supposedly would repair your described problem. Should run less than $50.00. Please post how you make out.
You have to ask several questions.
How good was the unit originally? Was it at the Tandberg or Revox level? Does the fixit guy have any experience with R2R? Some, like my Tandberg are mechanical monsters. Three motor designs can be somewhat less complex, but than you can toss in auto-reverse and there 'ya go.
I'd find a pro for the fix.
Over the years I've had a BUNCH of 'em....Sony TC series in both 3 head and 2 head. Tandberg 3000x. Teac 4010S (nice big meters) and an Akai with cross field heads.
Even if the machine is perfect, you'll find the tapes to be a limit. I have no idea if you can get recording tape today or what is available. I used to buy Scotch 207? 203? by the case. Head wear, demagnetizing and more can turn into hassles. Clean the heads? yep.
If you get it working, I'll send you...for shipping....a DBX compressor / expander you can play with. Should buy you a few db on the snr.....drat that tape hiss.
Magfan - I too owned a Teac 4010 in the late 70's until someone stole it out of my apartment along with Pioneer speakers and quadrophonic receiver. I know tapes degrade over time and can really gum up heads; but I'm going to get the player repaired and just play with it. Again, can't imagine just throwing it out with the trash. And I've determined I can't repair it. Thanks for the offer on the compressor/expander; I have no experience with one. When you have time, shoot me an email explaining what it does. I may take you up on your offer down the road. Right now, my solid state Essence amp is out for repair, my tubed Melos amp needs to go to the shop and my VPI Classic has a motor issue. So, my system is down. Once I get my equipment back on my shelves, I'll turn my attention to the repair of the Teac.
No. Keep it as eye candy, and save yourself many, many dollars not to mention the time sleeping it around. I've owned over eight R2R decks, still have two. All will need repair as the rollers, belts etc. will fall apart. I keep two working with service provided by the former East Coast Teac service manager. While I have many pre recorded reels, I mostly play AFRTS broadcast tapes. Very high quality. Our government spared no expense in creating them.
At last springs THE Show in Newport Beach I saw several R2R based systems whic h sounded terrific.
One of the system owners had access to 'master tape' level recordings. Too bad each pass thru the machine takes a little off the top.
So, such systems are still out there and sounding good. Only you can decide if upkeep and material sourcing issues outweigh the 'cool factor' and sound.
You can get it repaired by Teac itself. They are still at the same address in California that they used in the 1970's during the heyday of reel to reels.
I got a X2000 that they serviced and it works great. Cost of new blank tape is over the top but they are available and you can get ahold of them.
I would do it. Teac made great decks and service is still available on them. A solid company