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Author Topic: Stereotape history  (Read 16236 times)

Offline ironbut

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Re: Stereotape history
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2009, 11:33:25 AM »
In an effort to make this thread a good reference for folks regarding Stereotape, I've started a new thread to discuss the particulars of tape production facilities and tape catalogs in general to that thread. Some fantastic threads get buried all to quickly and I'd like to be able to access Stereotape specific info with a search with the keyword Stereotape (and the other with tape catalog).
steve koto
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Offline reel zealot

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Re: Stereotape history
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2009, 07:57:41 PM »
Catching up with you guys...

Joe - The first letter in the code stood for the length and, more importantly, the price.  Don't have the catalog with me on this trip, but don't think the CS meant anything special.  You will notice a similar scheme with Ampex tapes.  However, the letter was separate as I recall (or mixed in with the label code), e.g. you will see LCL xxxxxx, L xxxxxx, and LON L xxxxxx with LC or LON meaning London and the L meaning $7.95.  By the way, the '4' in front of a number, e.g. L 4xxxxxx, meant it was a Dolby tape.

No knowledge of Cook.  Few Command, not as good as Everest nor Mercury from what I have.

Westminister at some point became a subsidiary to ABC and was release by a number of companies including Ampex, GRT, and another unlisted (or Westminister itself).

By the way, in thinking about Stellavox's comments on Stereotape, I don't think they were the same company, i.e. a merger.  As the Stereotape name wasn't used between the 50s and 1972 when Magtec started using the name.
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Offline reel zealot

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Re: Stereotape history
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2009, 07:59:30 PM »
With respect to Sonar.  Yes, they made 15ips tapes, I have several.
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Offline cupboy

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Re: Stereotape history
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2011, 05:47:13 PM »
Should I start a new topic? This is an old thread. Anyone want to update this?

Most of the info here is wrong. Stereotape started out as MTD. Bell & Howell came later. My ex-girlfriend was the duplicator chick at both Bell & Howell, then later at Magtec. Haven't been able to contact her lately, but she could probably provide tons of info.

Anyway, Capitol tapes were made by MTD. Not by Capitol themselves. MTD also made the earlier Columbia tapes. And the Reprise tapes that said "Stereotape" on them.

The old MTD reels even say "MTD Reel" on them. They have sort of a pink/tan color usually.

Offline ironbut

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Re: Stereotape history
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2011, 01:24:56 AM »
Hey cupboy (btw,.. one of the rules here is to use our real names, most just add it to our signatures),

Unfortunately, there seems to be no end to misinformation about tapes. This particular thread helped me to solidify that conclusion.
Far too many "I heard that,." or "it would seem,.." that have evolved into what folks accept as fact with little or no documentation to prove it wrong I'm afraid.

Since then, I've tried to get as much first hand info about duplication facilities and their practices.  But even when discussing particulars of a given label with folks such as the duplicating engineers, their recollections have proven to be less than accurate after 30-50 years.

If you ever get back in touch with your friend, please have her post something or even email or PM me. Folks who worked in the tape duplication industry in the early days (50's-early 60's) are very hard to find!

BTW,.. it would be a good idea to start a new thread and let this one slip into the ether.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 01:27:15 AM by ironbut »
steve koto
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Offline U47

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Re: Stereotape history- CBS labs in Stamford, CT
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2011, 07:16:50 PM »
The landlord of my old studio building in East Hartford, Connecticut was in charge of running the Columbia tape facility in Stamford, Connecticut during the 1970s. He is full of information about the production line and how hard it was to keep the machines running. He came up with some novel methods during the time he was there. He is also a chemist and I think did some work on the tape formulation. His lab was right around the corner from my studio and we talked a couple of times about his time at CBS. Once he got started talking 'shop' it was hard to shut him up. One of my good audio buddies, Lord Accutech still has his shop there and is somewhat active in tape. I will try and get him to get some info down in writing or on tape. I think Charlie(stellavox) met him once about 15 years ago while visiting me there.
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Offline ironbut

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Re: Stereotape history
« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2011, 10:02:15 PM »
Hey Rich,

That sounds great!
I'd love to find out as much as possible regarding the tape dupe lines, tape stock etc..
I can't tell you how many emails I've sent trying to find someone who was directly involved in tape duplication for companies like RCA and Columbia!

BTW, I was wondering if any of those old Contemporary/Riverside 1/2 tracks you have came with any info regarding their production origins?
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),
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