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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:

  • Turn off your tape deck.
  • Plug in the E3, and turn it on.
  • Bring the tip very close to the head or metal part.
  • Gently move it up and down across the head for a few seconds.
  • Slowly draw the E3 away from the head, and proceed to the next head or part, slowly and evenly.
  • When finished demagnetising all heads and metal parts, slowly move the E3 away from the deck to at least 12 inches before turning it off, to avoid remagnetisation.

Other points worth taking into consideration are to keep the demagnetiser away from recording tape, and don't bring it into close contact with VU meters or any other electric meter with electromagnetic meter movements. As I said in the introduction, a head demagnetiser is a necessary tool for everyone involved in recording, and Teac's E3 is as good as they get — it's also built to last. Although it probably isn't quite powerful enough for demagnetising two-inch heads, the E3 is perfectly suited to dealing with magnetism build-up in anything from a Portastudio up to a one-inch machine.

Further Information
TEAC E3 £44.99 including VAT.

TEAC UK, (Contact Details).

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Alan Parsons & Stephen Court Sound Check CD

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Klark Teknik Active DI Box

Recording Musician - Copyright: SOS Publications Ltd.
The contents of this magazine are re-published here with the kind permission of SOS Publications Ltd.


Recording Musician - May 1993

Review by Derek Johnson

Previous article in this issue:

> Alan Parsons & Stephen Court...

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> Klark Teknik Active DI Box

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