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[ARSCLIST] Magnetic tape viewers...

Jeffrey Kane jeffkane@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

The volume pricing is quite a bit more attractive, and shipping via EMS is
$20. I rather gathered $130 was over the odds!!! He sent a picture of the
results with cassette tape after 30 seconds. The site is mine, no
popups/spyware... please ignore the other galleries, they're for an Audiogon
item I sorely need to list. I'm going to go ahead and order 5 of these. If
anyone wants one, please contact me offlist. Price will be cost + shipping.
If $20 covers shipping from Japan for all 5, it'll be $203 + shipping to

and Mike Casey micasey@xxxxxxxxxxx said:-

We use the Arnold magnetic viewer which works quite well for this
purpose. Around $90 from a company in the U.S.

Jeffrey, Mike and all...

A word of warning about these magnetic viewers:

Some years ago I purchased a 3M Plastiform viewer from a 3M distributor, which
is still available (not from 3M) and has been discussed here.

They all have the same problem... the viewer must be kept in a "humidor"
container with a moistened sponge to keep the device from drying out.
Even in the humidor container, the sponge dries out at an alarming rate and if
you are not very attentive to it, one day you open the container to find it has
dried out and has been rendered useless.  You can't fix it... it's now an
expensive piece of garbage destined for the landfill.

These things work for the purpose, but suffer a few problems.
You can't see the physical edges of the tape so you can't determine if you have
a tracking problem.  The recorded level on the tape MUST be high or the viewer
will not display anything useful.

There is an alternate method of viewing which is easy to use, and reveals the
magnetic track on the tape allowing you to see the tracks relative to the tape
edge. It is called KYREAD Magnetic Tape Developer and is a liquid suspension of carbonyl iron which when applied to the tape surface rapidly aligns itself with the magnetic domains and the suspension fluid evaporates leaving a grayish track clearly visible showing everything you need to know about the track on the piece of tape.
Once you have viewed the track, the carbonyl iron is wiped from the tape surface with a soft cloth or tissue leaving the tape in the same condition as before application of the viewing solution.

Here are two pictures of tape using this method of viewing:-

Standard 1/4 inch 4 tracks showing recording on all four tracks.
The three upper tracks are recorded at normal levels, the bottom track is low level.

Tracks from a Mitsubishi X-80 two channel digital recorder.
The bottom track is an analog reference track, the others are all digital and
the space at the top is another track with no recording on it.

It is supplied in two forms, liquid in a can or bottle which can be used as a dip, or applied with an eyedropper, or a small spray can which is eminently more easy to use.

The can and bottle versions have a habit of drying out very rapidly if they are
not kept VERY tightly sealed, but the spray can does not suffer this problem.

Available from:

Kyros Corporation
P.O. Box 628096
Middleton Wisconsin 53562
Tel:  608-238-3587

... Graham Newton

Audio Restoration by Graham Newton, http://www.audio-restoration.com
World class professional services applied to tape or phonograph records for
consumers and re-releases, featuring CEDAR's CAMBRIDGE processes.

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