Welcome to Australia's only Vintage Radio and Television discussion forums. You are not logged in. Please log in below, apply for an account or retrieve your password.
Australian Vintage Radio Forums
  Home  ·  About Us  ·  Discussion Forums  ·  Glossary  ·  Outside Links  ·  Policies  ·  Services Directory  ·  Safety Warnings  ·  Tutorials

General Discussion

Forum home - Go back to General discussion

 Reel to reel tape playback
« Back · 1 · Next »
 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 5:05:24 PM on 7 September 2014.
Scraps's avatar
 Location: Blue Mountains, NSW
 Member since 10 March 2013
 Member #: 1312
 Postcount: 401

I haven't had much to do with reel to reel tape since I was young. My Dad's got a heap of recordings from when my brothers and I were kids that haven't been played for years that he wants to transfer to CD or similar.

Being from the 1960's I assume the tapes are 2 track mono but the only player I have access to is a Sony TC-105 4 track mono. Does anyone have experience playing 2 track tapes a 4 track mono machine? My guess is they'd play with reduced bandwidth as long as the tape speed is a close match to the original recorder.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 6:58:51 AM on 8 September 2014.
Wa2ise's avatar
 Location: Oradell, US
 Member since 2 April 2010
 Member #: 643
 Postcount: 766

It should work, 2 track mono tapes on a 4 track. Bandwidth won't be limited. Thing is, you have to select the correct one of the 4 track selections, the wrong selection will give you backwards playback. 2 mono tracks were done by recording on a half of the tape width, one track when playing the tape one way, then the other track when you flip the tape over and play it. 4 track mono they did by interleaving the tape directions. Say the evens are one direction, the odds the other direction. The tape width has from one edge: track 1, 2, 3, 4. If you played a 4 track tape on a 2 track machine you'd get say track one in the correct direction, and mixed in the playback track 2 backwards. 2 track on a 4 track machine won't give this mixing.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 7:30:20 AM on 8 September 2014.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6010

It's a good idea to get this done as, depending on the quality of the tape, and how it has been stored over the years, there may be some oxide shedding apparent by now.

Suggest getting some head cleaning solution and Q tips ready, just in case.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 6:06:44 AM on 9 September 2014.
Wa2ise's avatar
 Location: Oradell, US
 Member since 2 April 2010
 Member #: 643
 Postcount: 766

You might need to "bake" the tape. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sticky-shed_syndrome.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 4:47:52 PM on 9 September 2014.
Scraps's avatar
 Location: Blue Mountains, NSW
 Member since 10 March 2013
 Member #: 1312
 Postcount: 401

Thanks for the replies, I've been wondering how well the tapes will have survived after 40 years in a cardboard box. I vaguely remember he used BASF tapes.

I'm still working my way through the tape player although it seems to be in remarkably good condition. The major problem is a broken volume pot with the power switch. It's a 10k log pot with a 6mm splined shaft that's 26mm long. I've searched extensively but the closest I can come to this size is a linear pot. I'm having a go at repairing the one that came out of it, if that doesn't work I'll put a power switch somewhere else. The easiest way would be to put it on the tone control but that would mean the front bezel markings would be wrong.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 5:46:35 PM on 9 September 2014.
Maven's avatar
 Location: Canberra, ACT
 Member since 23 August 2012
 Member #: 1208
 Postcount: 584

Apart from disintegrating tapes, the biggest issue with R2R is stability of the drive train - capstan, pinch wheels and take-up tension to prevent tape jamming. I worked with tape for years and have a few old machines, but never use them if I have a choice.

Any capstan wobble is the biggest problem and pretty well impossible to fix.

However, if you have a reliable drive mechanism you might find a surprisingly high signal quality on the tape itself. The width of the track is good compared to cassettes. If recording tape speed is at least 7.5ips it often will smooth over any flaws or minor magnetic degradation issues in the oxide.

We used to edit tape by cutting it diagonally with a blade or scissors. With a 30degree cut the edit was inaudible because the width of the tape turned the cut into a quick cross-fade. Mind you, this was on 1/8inch mono tracks.

There's a good chance BASF tapes won't have stretched - the BASF acetate backings we used in broadcasting were pretty stable mechanically. Later plastic backings were more prone to stretching under stress such as a lot of high-speed spooling or jams.

Maven


 
« Back · 1 · Next »
 You need to be a member to post comments on this forum.

Sign In

Username:
Password:
 Keep me logged in.
Do not tick box on a computer with public access.