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Thread: Analog tape media...where to go from here?

  1. #11
    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] astrotoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c1ferrari View Post
    Hi Tom,

    I believe the pics are of 1/2" ATR Studio Master. Charlie has abandoned the RTM SM 900 for BASF Studio Master 900 for audio alignment purposes on my A-820
    .


    Is the BASF SM900 NOS? I thought they went out of the tape manufacturing business a long time ago.

    I don't use SM900, but have been using a fair amount of RTM SM911, SM468 (only 1/2") and LPR35. So far, I've had good luck, but only with maybe 15-20 cases or so total. So small sample size. I only have a little experience with ATR (only 1/2") I think about 12 reels total, with no problems. My recording requirements are not as stringent as those who are doing live recording - where bad tape costs a lot of time and money.

    Was there a golden age of tape manufacturing? I remember the sticky shed problems of the late '70s and early '80s. And lots of slitting issues from prerecorded tapes from the '60s.

    One thing I've noticed is that some of my safety masters from the mid to late '80s have really beautiful library winds - really smooth, while others are not as even. I would attribute the latter to slitting problems. If so, can one pick out slitting problems by looking at what the packing looks like on new tapes? It won't solve the backing problems or uneven coating, but it should identify slitting issues. Does that seem like good thinking? Many greater experts on this thread than me.

    Larry
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by astrotoy View Post
    Is the BASF SM900 NOS? I thought they went out of the tape manufacturing business a long time ago.
    Larry

    Well, Larry -- ya know about "NOS" (anything)...it's kinda sorta like "master" tapes, safety copies, et cetera. Ya pays your $$ and ya takes your chances.
    - A. Rand
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    Sam
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by astrotoy View Post
    My recording requirements are not as stringent as those who are doing live recording - where bad tape costs a lot of time and money.
    Larry
    ...and frustration. I can well imagine a few instances of bad tape, contributing to a less than satisfactory session, resulting in an engineer's/producer's aversion to using that
    tape stock -- maybe, for a good, long time.
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    Sam
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by astrotoy View Post
    ...what the packing looks like...
    Larry
    A smooth tape pack is a thing of beauty. - G. Chaucer
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    Sam
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  5. #15
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    Last year I had a new reel of 1/2" RTM SM911 leave some material on the guides of one of my machines, so I just use it as a shop tape.

    OTOH I'm also sitting on a dozen new reels of ATR stock.....

    Tom
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by microstrip View Post
    Does the SM900 carry a manufacturing timestamp in the box or reel?
    The U.S. importer gets pancakes and then assembles the reels and boxes for shipment. All the tape I get has been manufactured within the past couple of months.

    I have some 1/4" ATR tape sitting here that I will probably just give to someone.
    Bruce A. Brown
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  7. #17
    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] astrotoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce B View Post
    The U.S. importer gets pancakes and then assembles the reels and boxes for shipment. All the tape I get has been manufactured within the past couple of months.

    I have some 1/4" ATR tape sitting here that I will probably just give to someone.
    Bruce, I notice that the metal reels are getting more and more expensive. They can cost close to as much as the pancakes. One thing that RTM has started doing is selling the tape in plastic trident reels for a few bucks more than the pancakes. I've seen the extra cost as between $5 and $10 a reel, much less than the metal reel surcharge. I think RTM is making those tapes in reel form in Europe. Of course, your machine needs to be able to use the trident reels.

    Larry
    Analog-VPI Classic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeromono,BHPhonoP re,2xAmpexATR102+Doshi3.0
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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by astrotoy View Post
    Bruce, I notice that the metal reels are getting more and more expensive. They can cost close to as much as the pancakes. One thing that RTM has started doing is selling the tape in plastic trident reels for a few bucks more than the pancakes. I've seen the extra cost as between $5 and $10 a reel, much less than the metal reel surcharge. I think RTM is making those tapes in reel form in Europe. Of course, your machine needs to be able to use the trident reels.

    Larry
    Seems Don is having trouble sourcing metal flanges. Tape is plentiful..... it's the metal reel vendors that are holding up new shipments!
    Bruce A. Brown
    Puget Sound Studios
    Stereomojo reviewer
    Seattle, WA


    Even a blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while!

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce B View Post
    The U.S. importer gets pancakes and then assembles the reels and boxes for shipment. All the tape I get has been manufactured within the past couple of months.

    I have some 1/4" ATR tape sitting here that I will probably just give to someone.
    Hey Bruce, if you're looking for a home for that ATR tape, I'll gladly take my chances with it. I don't work with nearly the volume tape you do, but have never had a bad batch of ATR, nor RTM. With that said, I've only been using open reel decks for less than five years.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom B. View Post
    Last year I had a new reel of 1/2" RTM SM911 leave some material on the guides of one of my machines, so I just use it as a shop tape.

    OTOH I'm also sitting on a dozen new reels of ATR stock.....

    Tom
    Maybe, you'll be lucky with the others.
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    Sam
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