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I am new to this and bought an Otari MX5050 2HD recently. The sound is somewhat muffled on normal playback relative to when I playback with the Sel-Sync engaged.
I demagged it and cleaned the heads and rollers, but no difference.
What are the usual causes of something like this? The heads look good, but I am wondering if the playback head is misaligned possibly.
Well you checked the first thing I would look at, and that is the heads. But you said that they have been cleaned and demagged.
You didn't say how severe the problem is, so I can only speculate on the cause.
The next likely culprit would be a bad bias match with your tape-that is either the tape is too low of a bias tape. Or the bias feeding it is too high, whichever. Have you tried using a different tape? What are you using? That could be one possibility.
It is certainly possible that the heads are misaligned. It's been awhile since I peeked at an Otari, but I would suspect that a couple of turns on a couple of screws should be enough to correct that.
A third possibility would be with the playback circuitry. There you run into any number of potential problems. If changing tapes and adjusting the heads does not remedy the problem you describe, then a visit to a qualified tech would be in order.
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