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At 06:38 AM 2008-10-07, Tom Fine wrote:
Mike, this is a true statement based on my experience. There doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to it. In other words, you can't say "all cassettes made before 19XX are vulnerable." It seems brand-dependent to some extent and tape-thickness-dependent also (ie I've encountered more shell and splice problems with C-120's than C-60's, in general). Cheapo duper cassettes tend to be vulnerable to the plastic shape-shifting over time and causing mechanical problems, but that's not a hard and fast rule either.

Another problem we all probably encounter is that "voce grade" blank cassettes were intentionally manufacturerd for a low price point and are generally of low quality compared to "music grade" blanks. For instance, a Maxell UDXL tape is much better constructed than a Maxell LN type (I think this was the cheapo normal-bias voice-grade type but I might be wrong with the letter). Even the normal bias music-grade UD didn't have as well-made a shell as the premium-priced high-bias type.

Tom, I concur.

Storage history is a key part of it as well as how the tape was treated IN the machine (and by the present playback machines).

I am not seeing the > 10% shell failure rate that Mike is seeing. If I have to fix-price a project, depending on the mix of cassettes, I usually use 3-5% as the potential for re-shelling and I haven't been skunked once.

I certainly have had machines that really bang on tape during rewind. I don't find the Dragons or the MR7 or even the Sony TCD5M doing this.



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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