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Re: [ARSCLIST] Information on open reel players and tapes

At 07:58 PM 3/26/2004 -0500, Dave Bradley wrote:

I feel it's an appropriate discussion for this type of list. After all,
that's one of the things this list is about!

I agree!

>Tape width is quarter-inch for open reel and cartridges
>and 0.150 for cassette.

Shouldn't that be 0.125 for cassette?  I'd always been of the impression
that cassette tape was 1/8"....

Sorry, David, I have to agree with Mike here -- it is 0.150 or approx 1/7"

Regarding cassettes:

>There is only one tape speed - 1 7/8 ips, one layout of tracks and
>one configuration of shell.

Well, mono units don't use the same layout as stereo.  In fact, if you play
a cassette that was recorded on a mono tape deck on a stereo playback unit,
the right channel will be softer because the single mono track doesn't
cover the full area used by the two stereo tracks.  As for speed, there are
decks that do 3 3/4 ips as well, switchable to 1 7/8 ips obviously.

I believe -- and I think the Tascam document at http://www.richardhess.com/tips.htm confirms -- that the stereo head splits the mono track--unlike reel tapes. The problem described above happens because alignments are never perfect. I see left-channel high, right-channel high, and balanced mono tapes playing back on my Dragons.

You can also have portastudio type units that have more than 4 tracks, some
as many as 8 tracks.  Those 8 tracks are usually compressed with dbx noise
reduction to make them usable in a multitrack format and the tape speed on
such a unit is often 3 3/4 ips.

I believe all of the Tascam "Portastudio" (TM) have dbx but do not force you to use it--at least the later models.

I do have a Syncaset 238 (8-track) and it only runs at 3.75 in/s --
fortunately when I need it to do something with a standard cassette, I can
record at 88.2 ks/s and halve it. By the way, the 238 records two groups of
4 channels and the two groups are NOT coincident in time...can we say
stagger-head stereo all over again?

As far as I know, cassettes were available at 15/16, 1-7/8, and 3-3/4 in/s.
There was, apparently, one Nakamichi cassette with "long play" that went to
15kHz at 15/16. Don Ososke and I calculated that it probably had a 0.00002
inch gap - 20 micro inches...I hope I got the correct number of zeros in
the first instance.



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