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03/20/19 at 10:30:49 


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FUTURE TAPE TOURS? (Read 861 times)
Steve Deckert

If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 3607
03/02/18 at 04:16:44

The purpose of this tour is to give people a taste of the sounds of tape. To make it simple and easy to ship from one person to another on the tour schedule the VHS format was chosen since it is possible to find small VHS players that are light in weight. I think this was a good decision and so far has been working well towards that goal.

It is not however without it's challenges. The VHS format has the following challenges: The machine has to be auto tracking and HI-FI Stereo to qualify. As you have already seen, the durability of used VHS players is always going to be somewhat of a wild card. We've lost one and could loose more before it's over! The good news is that they are less than $50 a player on ebay.

The bigger challenge is making the tapes. Getting the full dynamic range of reel to reel onto the VHS tape without the recorder going into limiting and or saturating the tape is painfully difficult.

In a different thread I have been exploring cassette tape using a good Nakamichi deck and both CO2 and METAL tapes and the take away was this:  Almost as good as VHS if you use metal tape but the metal tape costs a small fortune. In fact you can by 1/4 inch reel to reel tape for less money.  Also, you would want a pretty good cassette deck so your probably going to spend at least a few hundred bucks and some considerably more.

Here's my idea:

Those with more than a passing interest in tape but unwilling to invest $1500~$4500 in a 15IPS 1/2 track machine not to mention pay $250 a reel for 30 minutes of music could invest in a 7 inch machine such as the TEAC X7-R.  This machine actually sounds great bone stock and can usually be found in good condition on ebay for less than $400. It is going to have far better sound quality than a VHS player and when run at 7.5 IPS will also have better dynamics since the machine has no limiting and the tape saturates better.

Once there was a group with these 4 track machines we could start another tour with 7 inch reels recorded at 7.5 IPS and probably get around 1 tape a month to cycle through the group for potentially years. Also a machine like this can play virtually all the 7 inch 1/4 track reels being sold on ebay... up to 20 pages of new tapes every day, many old enough to have come from all tube recording studios and many have very surprising sound quality equal at minimum to a great vinyl rig. This way you can get some real use from your investment and hear some one-to-one 1st and 2nd generation copies of actual master tapes.

It's a thought.  This is my SABA radio I restored with updated turntable and tape machine (The TEAC I spoke of).


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