I just bought a radio/cassette tape player at an estate sale. $1.50, half-off from $3.00. I want to convert it into an amp. I've watched some vids that showed the process, and it looks pretty easy. (And the filthy-dirty-nasty sound is AWESOME!) There are lots of vids of a guy--in Australia?--who has done several.
I've excited but tentative. What do I do first? How do I start? I have a new soldering iron and some resin core solder. I've seen this (Aussie?) guy take the tape-reading "head" out and solder the wires of the 1/4" jack to the tape head jack.
Where do I start?
I have tried it to see if it works yet. I'm guessing that would be a good start.
Also, I'm thinking I should either disable or remove the tape player motor. Yes?
I'm in a similar position to you, Andy. I've got an old cassette/radio player and am looking to do an amp conversion. The Aussie guy you refer to is LoneSoulSurfer and his videos are pretty easy to follow. I started by looking at radios (which seems to make an easy conversion connection to the volume switch) but then wondered about the static. Tape head things looks ok. Similar to you I have a soldering iron and solder. What I am lacking is the 1/4" jack. I could go buy one, but I also saw Red Dog's Fisher Price tape player conversion where he wires directly and I have an old broken guitar cable. I figure I can wire the tape head wires in the appropriate way to the cable and have a tape amp that has its own cable :-)
Let me know how you go...
we'll i did the conversion. Thinking about was much harder than doing it.
1) added recycled 9 volt battery terminal coz I'm too cheap to buy d batteries.
2) used soldering iron to remove wires from tape head. Coz its stereo speaker, there are 4 wires to head (2 white, 2 some other colour) and another wire, which i assume is the ground.
3) i used an old broken guitar cable that i stripped the wires from, connected up the battery, pressed play. Got a whirring noise from tape motor so i cut cables to it on the circuit board.
4) with the player running, i tested one pair of wires with the guitar cable. This register a sound so i confirmed with the same colours on the other pair of wires, then soldered them all together (rather badly).
it plays rather crunchy even with low volume. My piezo cbg picks up even the slides on the guitar strings, while it sounded better using my son's electric guitar.
i didn't solder the black wire to the guitar cable ground wire, so i might try that too to see if anything happens. Then i have to just tape up cables and screw cover back on. Voila!
You have it right:
I've seen this (Aussie?) guy take the tape-reading "head" out and solder the wires of the 1/4" jack to the tape head jack.
thats correct. You can wire the tape head wires to the input and leave everything alone. Or you could gut-out the tape player and wire up.
either way be sure to the Sterio to the tape player, so that you can “Play through”
done, and if you totally screw-up, U can pick them up for five bucks or less. When I started I didn’t know which end of the iron to use. Be sure to get your tip, tinned. If that doesn’t make sense, YouTube soldering How To
Btw 1x 9volt = 6x AA (1.5 volts X 6)
6x AA battery trays are sold on Amazon, eBay, Aliexpress, etc