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As I've mentioned in previous postings I am working my way through digitising a body of 900 or so cassette recordings. These are oral history recordings, made between roughly 1975 and 1995. These have been made by different people at many different locations, using a variety of equipment. I have no records of what equipment was used or the circumstances under which the recordings were made. The cassettes cover a wide variety of brands and running times. Surprisingly I have had very few problems with the cassettes and what problems I have had have all been mechanical. These have all been with BASF cassettes.

Early in the project I had four BASF LH super SM C90 cassettes, which all stopped before the tape had run its full length. BASF SM tapes have two small arms inside the shell. I lifted the spools from the BASF shell and put them into a second shell, without arms, and found that they played without error.

I am currently working through a batch of BASF LH SM C60 cassettes with which I have found a reccuring problem. From a batch of 90 cassettes I have found half a dozen which have come loose from one or both spools. In every instance the small cleat which anchors the tape to the spools inside the shell has broken. The tape is left free and rather than transferring to the take up spool cascades into the playback mechanism.

The first time this happened a short section of recorded tape was damaged and it also left me with a tape deck that needs stripping down and resetting. I'm now checking each tape before playback. This is considerably affecting my workflow and has left me deeply suspicious of BASF cassettes. I wondered if anyone else had had similar problems with BASF or other cassettes.

Mike Hirst
Managing Director
16 Ocean View
Whitley Bay
Tyne & Wear
NE26 1AL

tel: 0191 289 3186
email: mike.hirst@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
web: http://www.das360.net

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