Can you believe it? Tape Project is ten years old! Thanks to everyone who has supported us in introducing studio quality tape reproduction to the audiophile community!

Author Topic: Tails Out ?  (Read 7366 times)

Offline steveidosound

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 484
    • View Profile
Tails Out ?
« on: July 18, 2008, 09:59:39 AM »
I was thinking, I have just a handfull of 2 track prerecorded tapes (old ones). What, if any benefit would there be to storing these tails out like other studio masters? I know the practice has to do with print-through and whether the predominant echo is before or after the main program. Of course it is meaningless for any tape recorded in 2 directions. Is it less of an issue with old tape formulations that were lower output to begin with ? How do the 2 track collectors here store theirs ? They were not sold that way AFAIK. Most of the ones you might get today have probably not been stored that way for the majority of their life. So my question is also I guess about print-through. I know that altering the tape pack will theoretically change the contact points layer to layer so as to not reinforce the problem. But many old 2 tracks have sat in the same unplayed position for years and years.
Steve Williams

you don't want to know what equipment I listen to...

Offline docb

  • Administrator
  • leader in spreading disinformation
  • *****
  • Posts: 1345
    • View Profile
    • Bottlehead Corp.
Re: Tails Out ?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2008, 10:24:23 AM »
There is another important reason for tails out storage. The tape is first mounted on the takeup side, then rewound at fast wind onto the supply reel. Then it is "played off". In playing off, the tape is wound at slow speed onto the takeup reel as it plays, assuring a more consistent tension and flatter pack than if the tape were mounted on the supply side, played onto the takeup reel and then rewound back onto the supply reel before putting it away.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline ironbut

  • Global Moderator
  • leader in spreading disinformation
  • *****
  • Posts: 2503
  • rs1500>repro amp#1
    • View Profile
Re: Tails Out ?
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2008, 03:45:27 PM »
To emphasize what Doc just posted, I collect lots of old tapes. If I'm buying from eBay, I only consider ones that have a picture of the reel available. The 2 things I look for in those photos is if the end of the tape is secured (rather than with a couple of wraps loose) and if the tape has a nice pack (shinny and regular). If those two conditions aren't met, I move on. When a tape is wound, it's under tension (whatever the tape tension is set at on the machine doesn't just go away once it's on the reel) and if the tape isn't wrapped evenly on the previously wound layer of tape on the reel, that tension will pull the tape toward the hub and over time, will curl that edge inward. On 1/4 track it's immediately obvious when this has occurred. Even if the seller has wound the tape correctly so it looks nice for the photo, if the tape backing has curled, the left channel of that side of the tape will not make consistent contact with the head and at the very least, the left channel output will be reduced (the playback machines tape tension will be fine on the un-curled portion of the tape but the curl is actually a stretching of the backing, increasing the length of the curled portion and reducing tape>head contact and decreasing the output).
I always store my 1/2 tracks in what is called library wind. This is tails out wound at playback speed. It's kind of amazing what kinds of abuse some old tapes can take when stored in library wind and equally amazing how little it takes to ruin a tape which isn't.
steve koto
 Sony scd 777es(R. Kern mods)> Vpi Aires>Dynavector XX-2mkll>Bent mu>CAT ultimate>CJ premeir 140>Magnepan 1.6qr(Jensen xover)Headphone Eddie Current Zana Deux>AT ad2000,HD800 ,Metric Halo ULN-2 (battery powered),
 HE Audio Jades

ceved

  • Guest
Re: Tails Out ?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2008, 06:44:07 PM »
I am considering the time this procedure would appear to involve times the number of two/four track tapes I own and then factor in my age.
Anyone want to buy some nice tapes?
I won't live this long!
But seriously, I am quite intimidated in taking some of these older tapes and subjecting them to a fast rewind right off the bat.
I hear the sound of ripping in my sleep and wake up hysterical.
(None of the tapes I own were mine originally except the TP and Quinton tapes.)
I also would prefer not to subject my nice new playback heads to hours of possible non playback ( read listening enjoyment) maintenance use and the possible dirt transfer which would then be cleaned off.
Perhaps I should use one of my Otaris for this purpose?
Is there a smart/efficient way to do this on a mass scale for those of us who have not been acquiring tapes since hector was a pup and have to do this all at once?



Offline ironbut

  • Global Moderator
  • leader in spreading disinformation
  • *****
  • Posts: 2503
  • rs1500>repro amp#1
    • View Profile
Re: Tails Out ?
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2008, 08:44:41 PM »
Hey Charles, did you get the 102 yet!  I'm really looking forward to hearing what you think of it with the Aria package.
As I buy tapes (used ones at least) I add leader and grade them. Sometimes I find that the previous owner has spooled them (1/4 track) backwards. I usually correct that and make sure that any of the 1/2 tracks are left in library wind. Some of the really $$$ acetate 1/2 tracks (especially RCA) can be pretty delicate. I always add tons of leader to those so when I rewind them and then stop them it's after it's gotten to the leader. I really like the way that the TP tapes are leadered. I've got  lots of blank tape around and I think I'll do it that way from now on. The times that I've broken tape has always been when I'm threading or just starting it. That's when anything other than normal tension is applied to the tape.
As far as doing a butt load of tapes at once, I don't think there's any way around it. The thing that takes the longest is applying the leader. You could always pretend that you're running a 100 watt radio station out of your house and hire an intern.
Anyway, you know there's an unwritten rule to collecting records or tape. You are expected to listen to each one at least once. I know , I know,.. they shoulda said something about that when you first got started. I've gotten about 120 tapes behind myself but,.. whata ya gonna do?
BTW, did you get any of those Fantasy tapes off the 'Bay?  I got one. I think I was the only one to bid on it because of the format it's recorded on. 1/2 inch, 30ips Dexter Gordon. Two tracks "Lovely Lisa" and "Affair in Havana". Hmm,.. I wonder who might have a machine that could play this?
steve koto
 Sony scd 777es(R. Kern mods)> Vpi Aires>Dynavector XX-2mkll>Bent mu>CAT ultimate>CJ premeir 140>Magnepan 1.6qr(Jensen xover)Headphone Eddie Current Zana Deux>AT ad2000,HD800 ,Metric Halo ULN-2 (battery powered),
 HE Audio Jades

Offline Marie

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
    • Sound Archives/Nga Taonga Korero
Re: Tails Out ?
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2008, 03:18:06 AM »
As a rule, I never fast forward or rewind anything.  At the most with a tailout stored tape, I will play it through at 15ips to get it to headout,  with pellon over the heads to save wear and tear.  Studer parts are hard to come by :-)  If there are any splices I replace them as I go.  The method is this -
1) Ronsonol Lighter Fluid with Naptha. (I found it at selected tobacconists in the US when I lived there).
2) With a Q stick, put fluid on cotton. 
3) Remove old splice with a de-magnetised razor blade - it gets easy after a while :-)
4) Remove old glue with Q stick with fluid.
5) Check at least both sides of reel for remnants of other old glue, you usually can hear it as it is about to get to playback head, or even see it.
6) Remove that also with fluid.
7) Replace the splices with archival grade splicing tape, light blue and really press it in ans it doesn't want to stick that much, hence- archival!
8) After 109 splices in one 10.5 inch reel take a break and consider yourself a hero :-)
9) Ready for transfer at 96kHz/24bit (archival standard IASA TC-04).
Good luck!
Cheers
Marie
Marie O'Connell
Analogue Tape Specialist
Sound Archives/Nga Taonga Korero
Radio New Zealand House, Level 1
51 Chester Street West
Christchurch

Offline john

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
Re: Tails Out ?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2008, 03:38:20 AM »
Are there any plans to sell matching Tape Project empty reels, for play back of Tape Project Tapes
John Taylor

Revox C270, Teac X-2000R, Technics RS1506, RS7500, Nakamichi Dragon, CR7E, Sony WM-D6C, Sony EL7 ( Elcaset! ) Brinkmann balance, Brinkmann Ti Cart, Clearaudio Balanced Ref, Esoteric XO1-D2, ARC Ref3, Ref 210, JM Lab Micro Utopia Be and Jas Audio Plato.

Offline docb

  • Administrator
  • leader in spreading disinformation
  • *****
  • Posts: 1345
    • View Profile
    • Bottlehead Corp.
Re: Tails Out ?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2008, 09:37:54 AM »
Great tips Marie, thanks!

Quote
1) Ronsonol Lighter Fluid with Naptha. (I found it at selected tobacconists in the US when I lived there).

Great stuff. Around here the some grocery stores still carry it too. VM&P naptha is available in quart cans at home improvement and hardware stores. It's the same stuff, and cheaper. Works great for cleaning heads and other non rubber parts of the tape path when you service a machine - particularly when they have a bad build up of crud from a sticky shedding tape. Just don't go near rubber pinch rollers with the stuff.

Quote
Are there any plans to sell matching Tape Project empty reels, for play back of Tape Project Tapes

Yes. I just got flanges, hubs and hardware here to start putting some together. We're only waiting for setup boxes to arrive. I'll put an order button on the web site as soon as we have them ready to ship. Price will be around $40.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline xcortes

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 383
    • View Profile
Re: Tails Out ?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2008, 10:12:28 AM »
I assume that the offer to charter suscribers to receive a free take-up reel still applies?
Xavier Cortes

ceved

  • Guest
Re: Tails Out ?
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2008, 01:52:40 PM »
This thread should be changed to the affirmative Tails Out!
Sounds like a promotional slogan for Dr. Denton pajamas.  Oh you are showing your age if you remember them!
Either that or "Flaps Up!"
I'm with Marie on the Ronsonol instead of the quart container.
Sorry Doc, but as I recall the Ronsonol has that handy little spigot on the top for pinpoint control that any archivist worth their salt would prefer.
Puddling, not at my work station you don't!
It may be cheaper by the quart, but it is more messy, and as Marie will agree neatness counts!
Marie, if I can find quantity shall I ship some with the paper leader?
That should be fun explaining to my local Post Master.

Offline Marie

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
    • Sound Archives/Nga Taonga Korero
Re: Tails Out ?
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2008, 05:04:24 PM »
I admit it, I do like the pointy tip of the Ronsonal can!  Even though there are 40 million sheep in New Zealand and 4 million of them think they're human we can actually buy Ronsonal here at the supermarket! 

Cheers :-)
Marie O'Connell
Analogue Tape Specialist
Sound Archives/Nga Taonga Korero
Radio New Zealand House, Level 1
51 Chester Street West
Christchurch

ceved

  • Guest
Re: Tails Out ?
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2008, 08:26:21 PM »
Marie,
Speaking of sheep, don't you think a nice wool cardigan sweater with the TP logo would be quite spiffy?
Any connections with that industry you care to use to negotiate quantity?
We can swap paper leader for sweaters if you can swing the deal!  A lot of paper leader I might add.
If all those sheep think they are human, what do the other sheep think they are?
Perhaps you were too sheepish to ask?
I think Ronsonal must have been declared a carcinogen here by now.
You better believe I will look for it.
Perhaps restaurants that serve Baked Alaska would be a good place to begin eh?

Offline Marie

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
    • Sound Archives/Nga Taonga Korero
Re: Tails Out ?
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2008, 12:50:33 AM »
Those 4 million sheep who think they are human are us, the Kiwis!  The 36 million others, are sheep and they don't think that much, plus I wouldn't let them near any audio, could be one theme only - "Variations On A Baa"! multiplied by 36 million.  Mind you, I heard a doco yesterday about a woman who trains sheep here and apparently they are more trainable than dogs.  Wait for it, The New Zealand Sheep Orchestra could be famous soon!
Marie O'Connell
Analogue Tape Specialist
Sound Archives/Nga Taonga Korero
Radio New Zealand House, Level 1
51 Chester Street West
Christchurch