Audio and Video transfers to CD and DVD | CD Makers, Sydney, Australia
CD Makers repairs broken audio cassette tapes.

Audio Cassette Tape Repair

Audio cassette tape is flimsy and easily damaged. And there are many causes of tape damage.

Sometimes parts within the cassette shell perish which can cause the tape to jam. This can then cause the tape to break.

Other times, dirty heads and capstan shafts within the cassette player can cause the tape to wind itself around the capstan shaft.

Another common fault is a problem with the take-up reel motor, which means that the tape is forced to move by the capstan and pinch-roller, but it has nowhere to go because the take-up reel stops working. This will result in tape scrunching up everywhere inside the machine.

The good news is that CD Makers can repair most broken audio cassette tapes.

Of course, if the damage is severe, some of the original audio may be permanently lost, but at least most of the tape will be able to be transferred to CD.

The Audio Cassette Outer Shell

Audio cassettes that are screwed together than be easily taken apart for repair. Even so, a broken tape will nearly always have to be put into a new cassette shell.

A cassette that is moulded or glued together is more problematic. The shell must be broken in order to access the tape, and so the repaired tape will always have to be inserted into a new shell.

Audio Cassette Thickness

Not all audio cassette tapes are equal.

  • 60 minute cassette tapes, otherwise known as C-60, use a tape that is approximately 16 micrometres thick (approximately 0.6 mils)
  • 90 minute cassette tapes, C-90, are about 10 micrometres thick (approximately 0.4 mils).
  • 120 minute audio cassettes, C-120s are just 9 micrometres (0.35 mils) thick, making them much more susceptible to stretching or breakage.

The difficulty of repairing an audio cassette tape increases considerably with thinner tape, thus the difference in price between the lengths of tape.

Audio Cassette Repair Pricing

The following pricing includes GST. Prices are correct at 30th January 2020 (E&OE) and are subject to change without notice.

Repair may necessitate the transfer of the tape into a new cassette shell. If required, this is included in the following pricing.

  • C-60 or less: $25 per cassette.
  • C-90: $35 per cassette.
  • C-120: $60 per cassette. This is not a mistake. It really is that much more fiddly to repair a 120 minute audio cassette.

Most audio cassette shells are screwed together. Add $15 if the cassette shell has been glued together.

Squealing Tapes

The most likely cause of squealing open-reel and cassette tapes is that over a long period of time, the binder that holds the magnetic particles to the backing of the tape absorbs moisture from the atmosphere.

If your tape is squealing, you should stop playing it immediately. Continuing to play a squealing tape can cause permanent damage to the tape, and in some cases may also damage the tape player.

The solution to the problem is to bake the tape at very low temperatures (below 60 degrees Celsius)

CD Makers offers a tape baking service to restore your squealing tapes. We've successfully baked hundreds of tapes.

See our Tape Baking page for more information.

Other Media

CD Makers is able to repair audio cassette tapes and audio reel-to-reel tapes.

CD Makers is NOT able to repair other formats, including video tapes and DATs.


Other pages relevant to Audio Cassette Repair:                                                

Audio Cassette to CD transfer

Compiling and Editing

Fixing Squeaky Tapes

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