<snip>--have "sort-of" tried cleaning deck; i have a cleaner cassette with bristles, but no alcohol spray, so i moisten them with a little spit first.Thanks so much for all your help and sorry if a bit verbose, but thought i'd be thorough so I'm not leading people to slowly draw info out of me bit by bit.
Hi thereSo, I have recently begun purchasing new albums on cassette because I have a tape deck in my '94 Pontiac Trans Sport (his name is Leonard) and also because it's a really cool and cheap throwback alternative when I get sick of streaming stuff off of my iPhone.Anyway, the same day I bought my first new cassette, I also purchased an old, used Michael Bolton tape (don't laugh. okay, laugh. it's awesome though).Inserted my first new cassette and the pitch was instantly higher than the album usually is (I'd heard this album before). Then, after a few minutes, it started doing the wonky fade-in-and-out thing. Played it a second time and played fine, pitch and all. Now, the whole cassette plays horribly and the reels are visibly uneven looking in the preview pane (not flat).Popped in the Michael Bolton as a control in my experiment: played just fine.Thought maybe the record company just did a sloppy job on this "limited (to 500) edition cassette version" of the new album.Purchased another new cassette after a concert ($5!). Played fine the first time through the whole album.Went to play it again: wonky, warbly fade-in-and-out syndrome.Again, popped in old MB tape: he plays fine.When i flip the cassette over and look at where the tape is running across the bottom, the new cassettes look cut-up or "stamped," if you will, with this arrow/chevron pattern incision...like someone took an arrow shaped cookie cutter to them: ">>>>>>>" <something like that.Old Michael Bolton tape? Smooth and tight as can be.Any ideas whats going on here?
...when I get sick of streaming stuff off of my iPhone.
The pinch roller in the car deck is almost certainly dirty