Overview Need to maintain the reel-to-reel player. Heads and tracks should be cleaned.
Heads and tape track should be cleaned periodically. Especially when the play-back is distorted on one or more of the tracks. Used the alcohol and q-tips to clean the machine.
If running tapes all day, the tape track should be cleaned at least at the start of the day. This means cleaning ALL points that the tape comes in contact with....heads, spindles, guides, etc.
Alcohol (99% or better) should be used for everything EXCEPT the PINCH ROLLER. The rubber on the pinch roller should be cleaned using non-alcohol Adtec Professional A/V cleaner.
Dirty tape track can not only cause bad reading of the signal from the tape, but it can also cause the tape to slow down. We had the tape slow down by 25% and that was due to the pinch roller not having been cleaned.
Great videos on maintaining machine: