Vintage Bummer: Reel to Reel Saga Continues....

I bought what was supposedly a "mint" Pioneer 909 reel to reel on ebay a few years ago, from a seller with perfect feedback. These two things combined led to a very high sale price, with me the "lucky" winner.

When I received it, the case was indeed mint, and the unit looked as if it had barely been used. However, after only a few turns of the reels, the unit would stop dead, and it sounded muffled and terrible for the few seconds when it would play.

I took it to a shop in Chelsea, Manhattan, and somehow got talked into spending $900.00 ?!?!??!!?!? to repair it, including full replacement of the heads.

I realized this was a bit ridiculous, but so was the whole concept of using the reel to reel to begin with and I was already irrationally committed.

It worked perfectly for the few hours I used it, and then it sat on a shelf for about a year, only to be recently unpacked and installed in my new rack in my new house.

Guess what? Same thing mentioned in paragraph 2.

I am so bummed. Would anyone have any idea what might be the problem here, or how I might get it up and running again without getting ripped off?
The bad:

Sounds to me the capstan belt is junk. These cost about $14 shipped and you can replace it yourself.

You got rooked by the $900 repair guy, sorry to say.

Now you have learned an expensive lesson.

The good:

Reels are wonderful. I've been around a while in audio and have 400+ prerecorded reels going back to the 50's. Analog still gets it. Myself I wouldn't own a 909 as for the same $$$ there are far better machines out there, however in your case you have committed some serious chinga $$$$$ in the thing, so replace that belt and enjoy. To find belt, do a google search "Pioneer RT909 belt". It'll come up!


Paul :-) for the belt. Great deck, my personal favorite. It took me a long time to find the right guy to get these from, ended up with six, and all work great.