Jump to content

Sansui SC 2002 Cassette Deck - Need Help!


Recommended Posts

Heya guys! 
 

So, I've come across 2 of these cassette decks (Sansui SC2002) and they both need new belts to work (as far as i can tell). 
 

I am new to cassettes, but I have a bundle of tapes (Bowie, The Cure, Crowded House etc.). I got these decks so i can repair one and use it, and even possibly use the other one for spare parts.

I mainly prefer to listen to my music digitally, but analog is still appreciated for what it was. 
 

Anyway, I have heard that Japanese made products are quality (generally), and also that old audio gear that are fairly heavy are generally good quality. The deck is probably 5-8kgs.. 

 

So my question Is this. Are these decks worth spending money on? Or, should i just buy a good Nakamichi like a lot of others recommend? I also heard that 3 head decks are better than 2..?

 

Any info would be greatly appreciated, especially if you grew up using these decks and know about them :) 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not specifically familiar with your Sansui deck.  So I'll respond to some of your general questions.

 

Japanese manufacturers made some excellent cassette decks, and some extremely ordinary models.  You will find the big name manufacturers had a wide quality in a very big range.  Cassette decks were made and developed over several decades, so one model that had an excellent reputation in the early days can appear ordinary when compared to a generally good machine of the latter years. 

 

Sansui has a good reputation as an audio design/manufacturer.  Your machine is very heavy, which is usually a sign of quality.  Other brands are also good, you don't need the Nakamichi brand to have a quality deck.  From what I see you have a deck worth investing in, but I defer to others who may be more familiar with your model.  I would expect that there are belts available.  You can probably find the user and service manuals at hifi engine. 

 

There is no need to get 3 heads in a cassette deck in order to get good quality.  A good 2 head machine will beat an average 3 head machine.  However, you will find 3 heads on the very best decks. 

 

Note that pre-recorded tapes often used poor quality tape and were created using very high speed dubbing, so their quality was usually nowhere near what you could achieve from taping the record.  The big market for pre-recorded cassettes was for people to listen to music in their cars, where top audio quality wasn't a priority for the general market.  Some pre-recorded reel-reel tapes provide superb quality, but that reputation doesn't translate into cassettes.  I would take the opportunity to record a copy of the record over a pre-recorded cassette of the same title, even with the average quality hifi I had and the poor tapestock in the cassette the difference between my recording and the original dub was like night and day. 

 

If you do your own recording, be aware that the quality very much depends on the quality of the tape you record onto.  Normal bias tape (type I) was cheap and lower quality (ranging from bad to quite reasonable).  Better quality for music was the Chrome (type II).  Metal tapes were the best, but as they were expensive and for audiophile use they are not commonly found.  Note that some tape formulations don't age well, and you might find some shed their oxide coating liberally (your heads will become very dirty) - discard these tapes.

 

You will need to keep your heads clean - a bit of iso alcohol on a cotton bud,  keep the alcohol away from the rubber roller and belts.  A head demagnetiser would be a good investment if you are serious about your deck and want the best quality from it.

 

 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, audiofeline said:

thanks for the incredible reply! 
I absolutely love the detail and overview you gave. 
i will have to go through it a few times so i memorise it, but I have learnt a lot now! 
 

Also, thanks for explaining the type 1,2 and metal tapes, super interesting to know this stuff! 
 

all the best! :)

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Newbinfo said:

Heya guys! 
 

So, I've come across 2 of these cassette decks (Sansui SC2002) and they both need new belts to work (as far as i can tell). 
 

I am new to cassettes, but I have a bundle of tapes (Bowie, The Cure, Crowded House etc.). I got these decks so i can repair one and use it, and even possibly use the other one for spare parts.

I mainly prefer to listen to my music digitally, but analog is still appreciated for what it was. 
 

Anyway, I have heard that Japanese made products are quality (generally), and also that old audio gear that are fairly heavy are generally good quality. The deck is probably 5-8kgs.. 

 

So my question Is this. Are these decks worth spending money on? Or, should i just buy a good Nakamichi like a lot of others recommend? I also heard that 3 head decks are better than 2..?

 

Any info would be greatly appreciated, especially if you grew up using these decks and know about them :) 

 

Agree with all of audiofeline's comments.  Demagnetizer is a must IMHO.

Here is an excellent source for replacement belts with instructions on how to choose the right replacement.

https://www.wagneronline.com.au/cassette-parts/service-repair-parts/pl/

 

The SC 2002 is a handsome machine, but quite an old deck, so after cleaning, it would also be worth checking for excessive wear on the playback/record head.

If the belt/s are the only problem, and you're only playing back commercial tapes (of which the vast majority were recorded using Dolby B), then you'll probably be quite happy with the SC 2002.

 

If you've got tapes recorded with Dolby C noise reduction, &/or you want additional features that enhance playback quality, like Play Trim (Yamaha/NAD), FLEX (Pioneer) or NAAC (Nakamichi), then you might want to look at a more recent offering from one of those brands.

One of the best machines for extracting decent sound from old tapes is the Pioneer CT-W606DR if you can find one.  It has additional noise reduction, dynamic range and EQ options via a built-in 20-bit DSP chip. 

I still play cassettes in my 2nd system.  I was happy with my Yamaha KX-500A, but use the Pioneer CT-W606DR more these days.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites


15 hours ago, surprisetech said:

Awesome info! Thanks a lot :D

The only problem with the belt size is that the original belt is broken/ melted, I 
can't get its exact size so I have to find another way. 


I will check out that pioneer deck now :)

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/04/2021 at 4:06 AM, Newbinfo said:

 

 

If you install a strong cotton thread around the path where the rubber belt was and tie a knot in it so that it stays in place firmly, you can then gently remove the cotton thread loop and use that to work out the size you need.

 

To be on the safe side, once you've worked out which belt to order, order another one the next size down as well, just in case.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...