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Re: [ARSCLIST] audio reel to reel - how bad is bad - or is this pre-cupping?

At 02:41 PM 2009-02-10, Michael Biel wrote:
Richard L. Hess wrote:
As Lou pointed out, acetate and polyester tape will behave differently. This is usually more prevalent on acetate tape than polyester--at least that's where I've seen it.

Of course there is the assumption that the mewbies know how to tell the difference between the two types. Hold the reel up sideways to the light and generally there will be light glowing thru acetete tape but not thru mylar/polyester. Sometimes you might even discover that the reel has both types intermixed.

Hi, Mike,

Well, I thought I had one up someplace, but I can't seem to find it now.

Actually, I interpret your pages to indicate that it is good to compare the tape on several different type heads if you have them available.
Damaged full track tape presents certain alignment problems that can often be solved by NOT playing it with a full track head. When the tape has deformed even slightly it can present an uneven or irregular pattern that will cause phasing that can not be cured by any head azimuith adjustments to a head reading the entire width of the tape. A narrow track head might be better able to find a place on the tape where it can be aligned to -- and sometimes this will change during the reel.

This is, of course, true, but lately I've been finding that tapes where I would have gone to a narrower track head on an A810, for example, play fine with the full-track head on an A80. I used to draw the line at 7.5 in/s for NOT using a full-track head when I had A810s in this format, but with the A80, I routinely use a full-track head at 7.5 in/s and don't hear any of the azimuth combing.

Gettnig back to the effect of the possible damage, while the physical damage certainly has a role to play, the "how bad is it" is as much -- or more -- a factor of the recording speed and the track width. This is crucial. A full-track 15 in/s tape that will play fine with a certain amount of damage would be rather unlistenable at 3.75 in/s quarter track, for example.



Right! But what you got is what you got!

Yes, certainly, but it helps to understand that you need to be more concerned about the denser tapes (narrower tracks, slower speeds) with this type of damage.



Richard L. Hess email: richard@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.

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