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

  1. #1
    Member Sponsor [WBF Founding Member] c1ferrari's Avatar
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    Analog tape media...where to go from here?

    Hello analog tape brigade!

    So, we direct resources -- time and treasure -- to enjoy THE best analog recording and reproduction.

    Then...there is the tape. Where do we go from here when the analog tape media is so poorly slit that
    the tape does not track properly, perfect deck alignment notwithstanding?

    Where do we go from here when purportedly fresh tape stock looks like this...

    Name:  Half-inch tape stock.jpg
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Size:  83.3 KBName:  Half-inch_tape stock.jpg
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Size:  85.9 KB

    I submit that the quality and quality control of analog tape manufacturers may be at a nadir.
    Vbr,

    Sam
    SPQCV

  2. #2
    Member Sponsor [WBF Founding Member] c1ferrari's Avatar
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    Now for some good news:

    Name:  Azimuth adjusters.jpg
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    Azimuth adjusters installed, Studer A-820/2CH, 1/4" head assembly
    Vbr,

    Sam
    SPQCV

  3. #3
    Addicted to Best! DaveyF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c1ferrari View Post
    Now for some good news:

    Name:  Azimuth adjusters.jpg
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    Azimuth adjusters installed, Studer A-820/2CH, 1/4" head assembly
    Sam, don't like the look of that tape!!
    OTOH, you have to admit that tape does sound great! Your Studer is really the best source component..
    Even with LP's, we still occasionally get bum copies. Luckily the vendors I typically do business with have great return policies.

  4. #4
    Member Sponsor [WBF Founding Member] c1ferrari's Avatar
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    Agreed, Davey! Imagine the consternation of pros in an important recording session discovering cr*p tape.
    Quoting my ace Studer whisperer, "The curse of sh*tty modern tape" apparently applies to ATR and RTM tape media stock.
    Well, you've heard of NOS tubes...I'm on the hunt for NOS tape.

    Vbr,

    Sam
    SPQCV

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    Sam,

    The tape in the top photo (the tape that's making a brown mess all over your nice machine)....what brand is that?

    Or, from the text it sounds as if you're having problems with both brands mentioned?

    Rgs,
    Tom
    Preamp: Atma-Sphere MP-1, Amplification: Atma-Sphere MA-1 MKII.2, Speakers: Martin Logan reQuests w/Descent Subs (2) TT: VPI Scoutmaster w/Benz Micro Glider, Tape: Ampex 440 1/4" NAB, Ampex 440 1/4" IEC, MR70 1/4", MR70 1/2" 2-Tk, Ampex ATR-102 1/2" 2-Tk, Studer A80 VU 1/4", 2Tk & 4Tk, Digital: Toshiba server, Mytek Stereo 192 DSD-DAC, Cables: Mogami, Signal Cable

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    Member Sponsor [WBF Founding Member] c1ferrari's Avatar
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    Hi Tom,

    If I recall the texts/information from the Studer Whisperer, correctly: ATR Magnetics Studio Master --> dropouts (1/2" stock as documented in the photos...1/4" wouldn't hold alignment);
    RTM SM900 --> poor slitting resulting in mistracking (uncertain if this occurs in either 1/2" and/or 1/4" stock). I'll update as I receive further clarification.

    My additional concern is this may be the very same tape stock received and possibly, used by MRL. I've been compelled to return cal tapes, previously. MRL is a good outfit and addressed my concerns.

    ATR Magnetics tape sourced from VK.
    RTM SM900 sourced from Full Compass.
    Vbr,

    Sam
    SPQCV

  7. #7
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    I've used thousands of reels of RMGI/Pyral/RTM SM900 tape over the years and have NEVER had a problem with the quality of the tape itself. Like you, I've had bad luck with ATR and use RTM SM900 exclusively.
    Bruce A. Brown
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    Member Sponsor [WBF Founding Member] c1ferrari's Avatar
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    Yep, it's a major drag, Bruce. As I understand it, The Studer Whisperer switched from RTM SM 900 to BASF Studio Master 900 for lining up the A820...so far-- so good.
    Vbr,

    Sam
    SPQCV

  9. #9
    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] microstrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce B View Post
    I've used thousands of reels of RMGI/Pyral/RTM SM900 tape over the years and have NEVER had a problem with the quality of the tape itself. Like you, I've had bad luck with ATR and use RTM SM900 exclusively.
    Does the SM900 carry a manufacturing timestamp in the box or reel?
    DCS Vivaldi 2.0 stack, Metronome Kalista / Kondo KSL DAC, Soundlab A1 Px's , EMT927, SME3012R, ARC Phono 3, ARC REF40, VTL Siegfried II, TA Opus MM2 speaker and signal, TA XL digital, TA XL gen V power cables, CenterStage footers and Nordost Qkore8's!

  10. #10
    Member Sponsor [WBF Founding Member] c1ferrari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom B. View Post
    Sam,

    The tape in the top photo (the tape that's making a brown mess all over your nice machine)....what brand is that?

    Or, from the text it sounds as if you're having problems with both brands mentioned?

    Rgs,
    Tom
    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
    .


    Vbr,

    Sam
    SPQCV

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