Pioneer RT-901 Repair And Restoration

This Pioneer RT-901 reel to reel tape deck is in pretty good cosmetic condition.

I've removed the top cover on this Pioneer RT-901 open reel tape deck. I'll take a look before I power it up.

I'll power up the unit on a variac just to be safe as I was told it hadn't been powered up for over 20 years.

I have removed the faceplate during this Pioneer RT-901 restoration for cleaning.

I'll use some warm water and dish soap to get the dirt and grime cleaned up on this Pioneer RT-901.

Of coarse after 20 years of non service this Pioneer RT-901 needs the tape path cleaned up.

You should have the service manual for the Pioneer RT-901 available. You will have many small parts to keep track of.

Removing the back panel made it easier to reach the pots and switches that needed cleaning with deoxit.

Sometimes the liquid deoxit works better when getting into tight spots.

During testing I found that the left and right tape tensioners needed to be taken apart and cleaned on the RT-901 reel to reel.

Lots of parts inside the tape tensioners. If you have no patience this is not the job you want to take on.

C-Clips that want to fly away along with many small parts make this job one that you want to take your time with.

The wow and flutter of this Pioneer RT-901 should be helped by getting the old dampening lube cleaned up and adding new lube.

After reinstalling the tape tensioners I'll do a little testing before putting the Pioneer RT-901 totally back together.

The wow and flutter meter shows good numbers so it's time to move on to the Sound Technology 1510A.

I'll use a MRL calibration tape which is the standard in this day and age to set up reel to reel tape decks. Pioneer no longer makes test tapes.

You must start with a known good calibration tape which was created with a professional recorder. That's why a MRL tape is used.

The MRL tape is a calibration tape made for use with a Sound Technology 1510A. This equipment makes it easier to test any tape deck.

The Sound Technology 1510A is an easy piece of test equipment to use once you mess with it for awhile. It will help you do azimuth adjustments.

If you are buying a tape unit at retail find a shop and make sure that they have the equipment to setup your tape deck correctly.

If a vintage stereo shop says "it's been serviced" ask some questions about what has been done to the unit.

This Pioneer RT-901 reel to reel tape deck showed excellent playback response of the MRL calibration tape.

The recording, playback, fast forward and rewind functions work well on this Pioneer RT-901.

This Pioneer RT-901 reel to reel repair and restoration is complete. It's time for some music!