Finally I join over here, after reading many threads for many a year.
I recently picked up an Otari MTR-12 1/4" 2 track (originally half inch 4) for gas money to Michigan (delivered a bunch of Scully and a couple Ampex tape transports to a friend up there) and traded a Magnavox console pull tube amp I had. Good ol '91 Buick Roadmaster Wagon got 24mpg on the 1000 mile trip.
Anyway, the heads look really nice, a bit of a flat wear spot, but no groove.
Here's the issues I am having:
-no tape lifter response
-when I press stop with the tape unthreaded it doesn't try to take up the slack (I am used to the Sony APR-5003V), and the button is labeled stop/load so I assume this is it. After manually loading the tape and pressing stop it does take up the slack.
-cue doesn't work (obviously)
-It may be off-speed, I have only tested 7.5ips though the internal cue speaker.
Any help would be mucho appreciated, I have no idea where to start since I have no manuals.
And, here's some pics:
I reseated all the cards and found no evidence of failing caps.