Things to Try

Project Gallery




About PIE

We're going to take apart a tape recorder so we can get at the play head. Once this is accessible you can use this to play sounds with your tape bow.

Take apart a tape player

Take apart your player

We wanted to make players to use with our magnetic tape experiments... so we could play with the tape outside the case. We needed to take the player apart to do this...- Keith

To make your own player you'll need:

  • a tape player/recorder you are comfortable taking apart
  • smaller phillips-head screwdriver
  • needle-nose pliers
  • cassette tapes to test the player
First rule for taking things apart: Unplug it!
Its hard to get to the play head from the cassette door, so we'll need to open it up. You'll need to flip the player/recorder over...
Usually there will be a lot of screws holding the back on. Sometimes they're hidden under the batteries.
Electronics often use phillips-head type screws. These are the kind with the "X" or star head. Go ahead and unscrew all of the screws you find. Keep them in a container so you can put the player back together after you are finished.
Once you have the screws out, gently start to pull the back off, or separate the two sides. You'll see wires that connect to the speakers of your player. Sometimes there will be small clips. Just wiggle these apart.

Here're the two sides. Remember the wires connecting the sides... be careful not to pull these off their connections. If you do... you can just solder them back on

This is the play head. Its usually in a metal case. This is what the magnetic tape rubs against when the tape is playing. Then its amplified through the player. Notice the two screws holding it down. unscrew these.

Once its unscrewed, gently lift the head. It will have wires attached to it. These are sometimes clipped down so they don't tangle. just unclip them.

The wires to the playhead are usually long enough to lift the head away from the player case. Pull it up and away while closing the front and back of the player together.

It should stick out of the player like this.

Now its time to put batteries back in or plug in your player and test it. Click the image to play a movie of the player

What else
Make a music "Tape-Bow to play on your new player
Create sound fabric...
Create a fishing line guitar!

Home | Things to Try | Project Gallery | Workshops | Events | Crickets | About PIE

Send suggestions to the PIE web team

Privacy Statement | Legal Notice