TEAC E3 Head Demagnetiser
Anyone involved with analogue tape recording soon becomes aware of two things: heads need not only regular cleaning but also regular demagnetising, due to the build-up of magnetism in the heads and metal parts of the tape transport. Many don't immediately realise the importance of this second point, and in spite of religious application of head cleaning fluid or isopropyl alcohol find that the quality of their recordings is diminishing. Tell-tale signs are 'mushiness', a notable decrease in treble and increase in hiss.
The solution is to purchase a head demagnetiser and use it regularly; Teac's E3 is as good a bet as any. The design of the E3 is definitely chunky — I guess electro-magnets powerful enough to do the job in hand can't really be miniaturised all that much — although it is comfortable to hold and work with. Flick the switch to the on position, and the E3 emits a fairly piercing noise; the instruction leaflet calls it a 'pleasant buzzing sound', but be assured that you won't easily leave the E3 turned on by accident! The tip is both covered in plastic (to prevent accidental contact with heads) and is flexible — it swivels over a 220-degree range, so it can be used to reach even the most recessed cassette deck heads.
The instruction leaflet recommends application of the .E3 after every 50 hours of use, although there is no such thing as 'excessive demagnetisation', providing that you follow the instructions. The basic procedure is as follows:
Review by Derek Johnson
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