A friend of mine recently lent me an eight track cassette recorder that I'm using to make an EP (a Yamaha MT8X, it's pretty neat) and I'm reconfiguring my (tiny) bedroom so that I have space to leave the thing set up. However, the only good arrangement I can find has the console sitting in front of the heater in my room, and even worse, the chamber that holds the cassette is directly in front of it. Is this going to warp my recordings or damage the machine in any way? I know this is a really obvious question but I couldn't find anything about it online. Thanks guys~
Won't damage the machine, but it could have an effect on your tape. Not sure if it will be noticeable or not, but you only have to worry about warping your $2 cassette and not your buddy's console.

Maybe refrain from all-nighter sessions where the machine and heater are running for hours on end simultaneously, that would start to put you into the danger zone.
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Tapes, belt drives, pinch wheels can all be adversely affected by a lot of heat. Find a better place for it or join the digital age.
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I agree with all the above especially the tapes getting hot. I looked online at the Yamaha MT8X manual and the first precaution warning was keep “Avoid excessive heat,humidity, dust and vibration. Keep the unit away from locations where it is likely to be exposed to high temperatures or humidity such as radiators, stoves etc.”
You will dealing with belt stretch in the recorder due to excessive heat. Most cassette decks run off rubber belts which are responsible in large part for the tape speed. When the recorder gets hot the belts tend to stretch a little and you'll have to watch for that as it might become an issue affecting tuning. It’s only a slight difference, but it can be a problem. By the same token when it’s too cold the belts can tighten and run a little fast. I don't have any experience with Yamaha decks but I have a long history with Teac/Tascam Portastudio decks including the 8 track 488 (similar to your Yamaha deck).
It’s nice to talk about analog tape and issues. If the deck still works well you should get some nice fat recordings. Some things to note if you are new to tape and analog recording; Use the fastest speed available. Beware that the oxide coating on cassettes is very susceptible to flaking when cassettes get hot, old or are just bad cassettes to begin with. Make sure you use the best cassettes you can find, good high bias cassettes (no metal oxide tapes ever) and clean the heads, tape guides and rollers as often as possible using 90% or better isopropyl alcohol (not rubbing alcohol). Have fun. That should be a nice deck.
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at Feb 9, 2015,