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e-Bay Purchased Pioneer Decks Down for the Count

Discussion in 'Tape' started by David Brown, May 26, 2018.

  1. Encyc Brown

    Encyc Brown AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,670
    Location:
    Richlands Virginia
    Hello Fellow Audiophiles via AudioKarma.com
    I am here to state I am living Eric Clapton's words of wisdom "If it weren't for bad luck I wouldn't have any luck at all" when it comes to vintage Pioneer Cassette Decks purchased via e-Bay.
    1. Pioneer CT-F555 (1982 Model): Paid $450 plus shipping: This deck was purchased from a Canadian who inherited his father's 1980 stereo store stock. The unit was brand new, in the box, never used for 36 years. It is beautiful. It was a rush to open the box after 36 years to find a brand new unit. Wow! Well, it plays wonderful. However, it doesn't record.
    2. Pioneer CT-F700 (1978 Model): Paid $399.99 plus shipping: This deck was purchased from a professional service technician who listed all the wonderful restoral services performed on the deck. After less than 1 month of ownership, it fails in regards to the Dolby B light not working, the auto stop not working on play RW nor FF. It clicks away but does not shut off. Then there is the issue with the dynamic power meter going haywire after the 3rd day of ownership. Now the left channel just went into outerspace as it is no where to be found.
    3. Pioneer CT-F8282 (1976 Model): Paid $660 plus shipping: Beautifully restored unit in regards to the insides rebuilt from the ground up along with restoral of wooden case. Very nice! However, after 2 days of ownership the speed of the deck decided to increase and now my rock sounds like the chipmonks.
    4. Pioneer CT-F500 (1978 Model): Paid $99.99 with free shipping: Absolutely Mint with NO issues.
    So it comes down to buying 4 decks and only 1 is working. The CT-F500 that is working flawlessly is the most basic model of these Pioneers. Yet, she is the only one that is with me working tonight.
    I can't believe that 3 out of 4 decks are down for the count. They were bought from "professional service" people whom greatly detailed the restoral items completed on the decks.
    The sellers are not too interested in hearing about how their units sold to me are down for the count. I am on my own in this non working vintage hell. However, I am not going to give up. Everyone of these units is going to be working one way or another. I have searched to find there are vintage audio repairs and service shops out there that are willing to work on these units. However, I fear that the shipping of delicate recording devices may be contributing to the issues. I found a audio repair shop via the internet in Roanoke Virginia called Lee Hartman & Sons, Inc. I called them Friday and was advised they definitely work on vintage stereo gear. I was advised to call back on Tuesday to speak with Jerry Saunders about the service for the units. I can only state I am determined to get these units up and running and hope Jerry can help me out. I live in a very rural area of America (the southwest mountains of Virginia) in which there are NO options for vintage repair. Roanoke will be a 2.5 hour drive each way. I am thinking it is worth it to avoid having to 'ship' the units to farther destinations. I am SO BUMMED that only 1 of these units are working properly. The little ole CT-F500, the lowest model of them all, is the ONLY one that is standing by me and working like a charm. At least I have that right now. I am venting a bit on this post as I am finding that keeping vintage audio gear up and running can be very frustrating to say the least. All I want is for my stereo components to work after spending more than a pretty penny to obtain them. I am disappointed in how the sellers blew my off when they heard their units were not working after the delivery. Buyer beware as the ole saying goes. However, I am really hoping that Lee Hartman & sons can get me on track! I really wish I was like a lot of the experts on this web site that is capable of working on the units myself. However, I am not, so at the mercy of others to help me keep this gear up and running. Be wary of e-bay sales by people stating to have service it well before the sale as I am finding out the units break down within a couple of weeks. Darn, I am so devastated that I am having so many issues with these e-bay purchases. I really hope I find a tech that can help me out. I grow tired of all these obstacles to enjoy my vintage stereo. Sorry fell audiophiles, about this negative post. But I am heartbroken at the moment. Cassette Decks.JPG CT-F500.JPG CT-F8282 #1.JPG CT-F8282 #2.JPG
     

     

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  2. slow_jazz

    slow_jazz AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Sorry about your luck.
     
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  3. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,760
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Cassettes are a nightmare blend of belts, springs, rubber, and gears. It is a wonder they work at all.

    My suggestion is to stock up on all the great cheaper cassette decks I see on CL and at GW and such. I found a very nice Onkyo that sounds great, I think it was 5 bucks??

    Cassettes aren't my thing anymore, thank god. Don't miss them a bit.

    I wish you well, sir.
     
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  4. Encyc Brown

    Encyc Brown AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,670
    Location:
    Richlands Virginia
    Thanks Slow Jazz. I see you like vintage Pioneer also. I really love the units. I have resigned myself that I am paying a price for living in the rural part of this country. There is just no one around who can work on this gear. I understand that things can happen to 40 year old units even when serviced before the sale. All I need is someone who knows what they are doing to repair and service them. I am ok with spending the money, but I want to see results for that hard earned cash going into my passion and hobby. If this Hartman & sons does not work out (even with the 2.5 hour drive one way to get there), then my back will be in a corner and I will have to realize that shipping them off will be the only option for repair and service. I fear going that route.
     
  5. Encyc Brown

    Encyc Brown AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,670
    Location:
    Richlands Virginia
    Yes, I agree that cassettes are not the top of the food chain in audio gear. LOL. However, there is something intangible when it comes to recording. Something about the VU meters, ensuring the right tape type selector is set and ensuring the recording is the best it can be with the equipment at hand. My main source is vinyl but it is fun to record it to reel and cassette. Why? Hell , I don't know! There really is no reason anymore as we don't record cassettes to play in the car etc. It is just plain ole fun to record music using equipment that has dials, lights and meters. LOL I am stuck in the past to be sure. But who wants to exist in the present & future? I don't like music via digital and computers. It is sterile. Some day they'll implant chips into our body and the music source will be in there and plugged into the brain. Damn, we'll really miss analog come those days of future past. I still hold the faith though. No matter the pains of hell I am experiencing right now with this vintage gear, will be resolved by a gifted technician. I truly believe I will have these units as they should be. Things worthwhile can sometimes take extreme effort, patience and time. I agree that I am focused on getting some vintage high end decks up and running. However, when they did work for those few days, well damn. The recordings were at a mythical level of spiritual existence. Yes, the recordings from these Pioneers were really that impressive. I have never heard cassettes sound so damn good. That is why I want them up and runnin'! LOL
     
  6. Encyc Brown

    Encyc Brown AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,670
    Location:
    Richlands Virginia
    However, good news in reading some posts on the technical service of Lee Hartman & Sons: !

    I've been extremely happy with the service department. Vicky, Jerry and Thia are super easy to deal with.

    I've taken them a Pioneer 707 reel to reel, Pioneer SX-980, SX-1250 and a Marantz receiver....

    I wouldn't let anyone else touch my stuff. Top notch service for sure!
    I'll be back with more vintage goodies!

    Another review:
    I am completely overwhelmed with the service that I received at Lee Hartman! My grandmother recently passed away and left me a 1968 Magnavox console stereo. It was a family heirloom that needed some ...TLC. I called and talked to the folks there and knew this was where I needed to go. From drop-off to pick-up....I was beyond satisfied. I am sitting here now listening to years gone by thanks to these fine people. Thanks so much to Vikki and Jerry....you are both amazing. I would recommend this establishment for any needs that you may have. Again...thanks. You have no idea what this meant to me.

    Maybe I'll find salvation for my vintage gear here without having to ship. It will be a 2.5 hour drive each way , but that would be cheaper than shipping and better on the units in question.
     

     

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  7. Cactus Bob

    Cactus Bob Desert Rat Subscriber

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    Albert King's Words

    but very wordy there :beatnik:
     
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  8. Encyc Brown

    Encyc Brown AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Yes, Eric and the rest did steal from the blues greats no doubt. And yes, I am a bit wordy tonight as I am pissed off about paying good cash for non working units. LOL Eric also stated "The path of excess leads to the path of wisdom, but I don't recommend it as most wouldn't survive it" I survived it. I lived in Austin Tx for 20 years before moving to the mountains. Trust me, there was a lot of excess during those years that Stevie Ray Vaughn and Eric Johnson were cutting it up in the clubs. Wonder how many people were lucky enough to live in the city that their blues and jazz idols lived and played in. Jazz? I once saw a jazz guitarist play for 10 people when I lived in Nashville Tn. He was 70 something when I saw him. He was from Murfreesboro TN. He was legendary in regards to Hendrix sought him out for lessons when he lived in Nashville in the mid 60's. One can be wordy when they lived in historic music cities and have the tales to tell. However, no matter the live music experience I was blessed with in those music cities, I need my vintage gear up and running to still hear those great runs on the guitar when living in BFE in the coal mining regions of Virginia. No one here even knows who Stevie Ray was nor Eric Johnson. No wonder no one around here can assist with the equipment issues.
     
  9. Dazaa

    Dazaa Super Member

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    1,055
    Location:
    London England
    Surely the NIB CT-F555 could just need the record switch cleaning? Seems odd that it would be faulty from new unless it was a return and not actually NIB?
     
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  10. Encyc Brown

    Encyc Brown AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,670
    Location:
    Richlands Virginia
    I appreciate the reply. I am certain it was new in the box. The guy has ALOT of units on e-bay and everyone of them is new in the box. I asked him and he stated he inherited his father's stock that he had stashed since closing his audio store back in the 70's. The Dad never liquidated his remaining stock. He had about 7 of the these Pioneer's. He was shocked to hear about the recording issue and resolved it by selling me the JVC TD-W7SD for $75 plus shipping. He is selling those for around $250 and has quite a stock of the JVC. This deck works like new and, likewise, was obviously new sealed in original box. Ya, I am bummed the 555 doesn't record. It plays so well and it was so cool to open a box of a new silver faced Pioneer. The seller of the CT-F8282 finally replied to me and stated he will fix any issues if I sent it back. He states he rebuilt it from the ground up and doesn't understand why it went south the second day. He states it was his finest restoral. I agree it is so impressive as the outside looks new and even the inside looks like it just came from the factory. The seller of the CT-F700 also replied and stated he is devastated their is issues. He, likewise, stated to send it back and he will repair at no cost. However, I still have to eat the shipping on these deals. It is still worth it to me to get them up and running. However, I HATE THE THOUGHT of having to package and ship these exquisite units with restored wood cases. I think some of these issues may have occurred due to shipping of the sellers restored them as advertised. I am really between a hard place and a rock at this point. Do I blow off their offers to return and repair? By going to Lee Hartman and Sons? Paying their hourly rate but avoiding shipping by driving 5 hours round trip. I hate the options but need to deal with the ones I got. I just need to be surgical in my decision to ensure the end result is these Pioneers to ALL be up and running. Darn The CT-F500 did exceptional last night. My only deck working so I got lost in recording to get my mind off the other units. I removed them from the system and put them in another room to get ready to do something with them. The lil' ole 500 did great and kept me sane last night.
     
  11. Encyc Brown

    Encyc Brown AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    sorry correction the e-bay seller of the 555 Dad closed his shop in the late 80's not the 70's. Hence why he had these 80's models decks
     

     

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  12. phantomrebel

    phantomrebel Serial Tapist Subscriber


    Wait a minute. Why are you responsible for shipping? All you have to do is open a case and the seller is responsible for the return including shipping. They need to send you the return label. This is true regardless of the seller's individual return policy (even if the listing says "no returns").
     
  13. dhnash

    dhnash Active Member

    Messages:
    498
    Location:
    Wildwood, MO
    This is generally true with some exceptions. More detailed information about the policy is available here:

    https://www.ebay.com/help/policies/...licy/ebay-money-back-guarantee-policy?id=4210
     
  14. teashea

    teashea Active Member

    Messages:
    201
    I have been seriously considering buying a cassette deck. I found two that looked excellent and have been serviced - sold by Ebay sellers with excellent feedback. However, after watching a few hours of YT cassette deck repair videos, it became clear that there are too many things that go wrong with them. Old is old. Even when they are functioning, the old components are worn and tired. They break or explode or die or leak or just wear out. Of course once in a while one gets lucky - but in general, old electronics are not worth it to me.
     
  15. 3db

    3db Active Member

    Messages:
    145
    Sorry to hear about your bum luck. Hopefully, the repair shop you found will get you up and running again on all 4 of them.
     
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  16. Encyc Brown

    Encyc Brown AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Thanks for the reply and info. Yes, the seller would be responsible. One of the sellers did tell me that if I request, he would be obligated to send my a return label and then refund my purchase once he got it back. The problem here is me LOL. I love these 2 decks. I have some faith left in me to believe it is true that the sellers are bummed that their decks went south after they worked hard to service/restore. I want to keep these decks so I declined to return for refund. I am returning for them to service them. It is like a warranty. If the decks were new and had issues, I would be entitled to no cost repair under warranty. However, If I lived in the sticks (like I do) and had to ship the units off for warranty, I would be responsible for the shipping. Since I am going a route different then a return, I understand the shipping is on me. I just hope they correct the issue and get them back to me in find working order. If that is the outcome, I'll be more than glad to cover the shipping costs. I don't want to take these 2 units yet to another service place as that would cost me for the repairs. If they come back with further issues, then it looks like it will be the 5 hour round tripe to Roanoke for service. I agree, cassette decks are fragile and shipping is a risk.
     

     

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  17. Encyc Brown

    Encyc Brown AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I can definitely respect this point of view after my 2 experiences buying cassette decks via e-bay. My choices are limited where I live. I guess I am a gluten for punishment as I really want these decks up and running. I purchased a 1977 Pioneer RT-707 Reel Deck from a seller who listed it as rebuild/refurbished with a very detailed list of actions take. That deck has been flawless in the 8 months I have had it. So much so, I finally broke down and invested in some blank open reel tape via e-bay, both used and NOS. Then I discovered ATR Reel Tape. BRAND NEW and made today! I bought some from National Audio Company when I purchased 2 cases of their Type I Cassette Tape. I am getting hooked once again on VU Meters, lights, bias adjustment ETC. LOL Tape is just so much da.. fun! It was really great before digital when we used the medium to record friends albums that we liked, but not enough to shell out $ to buy them. Or we wanted high fidelity in our car systems (pre-recorded was not fidelity) Today? Ya, not much use for recording to open reel or cassette other than the pure fun and playing "recording engineer" when drinking a favorite beverage. LOL
     
  18. KingBubba

    KingBubba "Too Much Stuff" Subscriber

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    I had my Pioneer CTF-950 rebuilt by the best Pioneer cassette tech on AK. It cost me 3 times what I paid for it. I am not complaining, but rather pointing out that repairs are going to be hell on you if they are done right. There is more to them than just the belts.
     
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  19. Encyc Brown

    Encyc Brown AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks for the reply and input KingBubba. I completely agree as tape decks are probably the most complicated and delicate of the hi - fi gear (well, turntables can be there too if talking about shipping them around the country). That is exactly why I paid top dollar (in my mind and wallet) for decks already professed to be fully restored and serviced. I didn't want to have to service them soon down the road. It is just bad luck that both arrived in fine working order and then developed the issues literally within the first 3 days. By going the route of shipping them back to the seller for service (not to return), my hopes and goals is they are just as bummed as I that one of their works of art went south. They have both offered to make the deck right for me. It would cost a pretty penny I am sure if I shipped it to a service center somewhere in the country that specializes in vintage and also if I decide to go with the shop that is technically drivable (@ 5 hours round trip) and would avoid the risks of shipping. However, if I go the route of sending back to the shippers, then I am out only the round trip shipping with insurance as they will need to use their time and $ to get any parts etc. Pretty much warranty work. I want to have faith these sellers who are life long service techs have the pride and determination to make the decks right and get them back to me in one piece. If it goes to plan, than I am out some time , money invested before getting them to where I want them. Ah, but think of the potential when they come back working as they intended the first time around. Then, of course, I could always be a patsy at the moment and so caught up with tunnel vision with these decks that I am about to get totally ripped off. That is the risk in today's modern world of pursuing this dream of vintage equipment when one lives in the sticks of America and has no option but to reach out to the rest of the country via the internet. Trust me, I wish it was 1975 and I could have a choice of audio service centers and points of purchase. I have to work with what I got and have some faith about it. All the while avoiding getting ripped off.
     
  20. ceo2be

    ceo2be New Member

    Messages:
    32
    I also have the Pioneer CT-F700 but without the wood cover. Paid $25 for it a few years ago through CL. It will rewind and fast-forward fine but won't play, maybe the belt is slipping? I opened it up to see if it's easy to replace the belt but except for 3 belts, the rest seems impossible to replace. Maybe I need to research better.
     
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