Do the holes help disperse the sound better? They probably had some fancy pseudo-science that they were peddling as in “You will hear life-like concert hall sound in EVERY direction due to it’s circular sound projection.”
There are a couple of the National RS-858U tape decks up on Yahoo auctions now. One is being sold as “junk” and the seller claims that there are some loose objects rattling around. Could it be the dried up motor cushions? More than likely.
I have a red Swiss Cheese