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Author Topic: Group Buy of Multi-format Alignment Tape?  (Read 19349 times)

Offline ecir40

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Re: Group Buy of Multi-format Alignment Tape?
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2009, 06:41:59 PM »
Charles,

Did you ever get a reply from MRL?

Brad
Brad

Offline stellavox

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Preliminary response
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2009, 06:49:00 AM »
Yes Brad,

Sorry for any delay but I've been a bit busy.

Jay responded that he already makes available a "single format" type tape available with the following tones:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Magnetic Reference Laboratory Pub 352x

P352, Short Program, All at 0 dB; no voice announcements other than intro. For 7.5 in/s, and fluxivity > 250 nWb/m, must be at -5 (or -10) dB.

White noise 25 s(seconds)
1 kHz 25 s
10 kHz 35 s
16 kHz 20 s
50 Hz 10 s
100 Hz 15 s
SlowSweep, 20 Hz...20 kHz 25 s
Total running time, 2' 47" (2.8 minutes)

For instructions on using the White Noise, please see
http://home.comcast.net/~mrltapes/pub702.pdf

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles's note: hope you're following this so far.  The above between the dotted lines is copied from Jay's attachment - wanted to put it in color or italics but can't get any of those buttons to work.  The white noise "tone(s)" are new to me and are apparently another means of azimuth alignment - refer to Jay's publication.  BTW if you haven't been there, Jay's site contains a WEALTH of invaluable tape info!

IN ANY CASE - this program in a "single width, single speed, single EQ" format is available from a separate source for ~$100.  Jay is willing to put three of these programs together in 1/4" format:  first - 15IPS NAB, next 15IPS IEC, finally 7.5IPS NAB.  The cost for this tape would be $155 (didn't ask if this includes shipping??).  He said that adding an assymetrical tone would add ~$10.  Didn't specifically cover this, but I'd suggest that the reference fluxivity be 250 nWb/m

SO we're looking at around $165 as the cost for ONE tape.  If we can guarantee him 6 or more tapes he will give us a discount of 25% each bringing the cost down to around $125 (which I'd opine is an absolute bargain).

Here's what I'm willing to do - primarily to save Jay a hassle and make it a "single" order .  Anyone interested will send ME the final amount (don't know shipping cost yet).  If/when I get "orders" for 6 (or more) I'll forward the info/total payment to Jay for "processing".  Am hoping that he can send the individual tapes to their owners himself rather than the whole batch back to me for "resending". If I don't get 6 (or more) checks, I'll tear them all up!

SO, at this point I guess I'd like to see how this concept "floats" with youse guys.  Do you understand the "program" and are you comfortable with it? Then do WHO'SE IN - do we have 6 or more.  Please note that I may NOT be participating as I already have the same kind of program tape made up to synch with my ST1500.

Charles       

The

Offline ironbut

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Re: Group Buy of Multi-format Alignment Tape?
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2009, 10:46:12 AM »
Hey Charles, I'm in for one of the 7 1/2 ips NAB tapes.
I'm close enough that I could almost walk there,.. but I could drive over, pick up the tapes and UPS them to the guys.
It would be great if they could already be packed for shipping but if that's any problem, I could do that too (especially if we could get an additional discount for that). There's a JDM packing and shipping location right around the corner that I use all the time (and obviously, mine doesn't need to be packed).
PM or email me if there's anything else that might help (actually, I'd love to go over and make the tapes but I don't think Jay would be too keen on that!).
steve koto
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Offline ecir40

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Re: Group Buy of Multi-format Alignment Tape?
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2009, 01:47:15 PM »
What about adding a series of pops to check polarity at the speakers like on the Tape Project alignment tape mentioned in the last paragraph of Doc's post here.
http://www.tapeproject.com/smf/index.php/topic,685.msg3870.html#msg3870

I haven't used a alignment tape before so I do have a few questions that could use some clearing up.

IEC 15ips part would be needed for 2 track and the NAB 7.5ips for 4 track. Does this need to be specified? What abut NAB 15ips?
Brad

Offline docb

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Re: Group Buy of Multi-format Alignment Tape?
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2009, 02:28:01 PM »
I'll just throw in here that it would be a really nice feature for a lot of folks here who play 1/4 track prerecorded tapes to have an alignment tape for 7.5 ips NAB 1/4 track tapes that is recorded in 1/4 track format. Using a full track or two track tape makes accurate alignment of the 1/4 tracks a bit more difficult, particularly if you don't have a scope. But that means a different head setup on the tape machine making the alignment tapes and therefore probably out of the realm of the tape you guys are discussing.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline ecir40

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Re: Group Buy of Multi-format Alignment Tape?
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2009, 03:27:49 PM »
Hey Doc, being green to this that was one thing that was puzzling me about an all in one tape.

Just so I get this clear two alignment tapes like in Charles post above would be needed. One for NAB 7.5ips 1/4 track (prerecorded tapes) and the other for IEC 15ips 2 track (tape project tapes). Don't see a need for NAB 15ips unless you have plans to record in this format.
Brad

Offline Dan Robertson

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Re: Group Buy of Multi-format Alignment Tape?
« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2009, 05:28:14 AM »
Charles,

I'm definitely still interested in one of these tapes. Keep me on the list.

Thanks!

Dan

Offline stellavox

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Not going forward
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2009, 05:46:01 AM »
Since we've only had one person (Dan) express interest in getting the "special" tape, I'm going to forget it.

Regarding some other responses: Ironbut - the tape I was proposing was three sections  - 15 ips NAB and IEC and 7 1/2 ips NAB.  If you want a single speed tape you can go here:http://www.audiovillage.org/gear.html.  ECIR40 if you read the "special" tape description youll see that we were adding an asymmetrical tone for polarity instead of "pops" - don't know if MRL does pops.  Doc - since you mentioned it; who makes a four track alignment tape?

Charles 

Offline docb

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Re: Group Buy of Multi-format Alignment Tape?
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2009, 08:56:28 AM »
Hi Charlie,

I don't know if anyone makes a quarter track alignment tape. I think Paul mentioned that all of the MRL tapes are full track mono. That's perfect for making sure that the phase is true for azimuth adjustment, but having quarter track tones at 1K, 10K, 15K would, I would think, make fine tuning a 1/4 track head a bit more precise. Maybe we will make one of our own one day, but it means knocking one of the slaves out of service for a day since we would have to swap head stacks. So it's not really a priority right now.

I wonder if Ampex ever made them?
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline stellavox

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4 track test tape
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2009, 09:40:49 AM »
Doc,

Am I right that the only reason you might want a 4 track over a full track is to get the head "height" adjustment right?  And the problem here is that if your "goal" mainly listening to quarter-track prerecords, you are really at the "mercy" of the calibration of the high speed reproducers used to make them.  To date, tweaking the height adjustment (only) by sight seems to work just fine.

Charles

Offline astrotoy

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Re: Group Buy of Multi-format Alignment Tape?
« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2009, 11:12:13 AM »
The reason I haven't responded is that Angel, my tech made me allignment tapes for both my Ampex ATR-700 (2 track only at 15ips), and my Akai GX-747dbx (4 track at 7.5ips both directions, since it is a reversing machine).  He had alligned and calbrated both machines, setting bias, etc.  Don't know his source for the four track. Larry
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Offline docb

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Re: Group Buy of Multi-format Alignment Tape?
« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2009, 11:22:12 AM »
We do find that fine tuning by ear with a set of cans after we do the visual alignment can help - and that the height can be off a bit on the next 1/4 track tape you put on because of the variation in cal of the duping lines, as you mention. That's what tends to lead me to the idea of putting a 1K ref tone and then a couple of HF tones on a tape on an accurately positioned 1/4 track, to create some sort of point to return to if you find that you have to make tape by tape tweaks to the alignment. How easy it would be to make it "accurately positioned"? I dunno, 1/4 track is what it is, and maybe you are right that it's not worth it and a visual is good enough. One interesting issue we found early on is that clear leader can run at a different position on the head than oxide coated tape. So when we would try to do the visual with the moving clear leader we kept getting close, but it didn't sound quite right in the HF on one channel or the other when we ran oxide coated tape, because the oxide tape would run at a slightly different relative height.

Speaking of visual alignment, something I really like about the 2 track heads we get from Greg Orton is that there are outer bands on either side of each track that are wide enough that when you are spot on you can see just a hint of the band one either side of the tape. That kind of indication makes it much easier to do the visual alignment. Unfortunately the Technics and Otari 1/4 track (or for that matter the 2 track) heads aren't like that, so there tends to be a litle more fiddling with adjustment to the head height when we run tones on them.

OK, I better get back to manual writing...
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline ironbut

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Re: Group Buy of Multi-format Alignment Tape?
« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2009, 11:39:00 AM »
On the level adjustments for 1/4 track prerecorded playback, I don't think that they have to be that terribly precise. In the process of working out the fine points on my Dolby mods, I've found that the levels from left to right channels on the tapes themselves range from a little off to way, way off. And that's on the best examples I have. I'm guessing that these are the result of a combination of the narrow track, storage related issues (temp.) and age/wear. The newer tapes that were produced on high speed duplicators have the added problems associated with country lane tape wander due to a combination of high tape speed (trapping air between layers of the wind) and poor tape slitting. I find many of the newer Ampex produced tapes (London, Phillips, DDG etc.) that are often on backcoated tape (which are prone to stick shed too) have levels that are all over the place. Some are recorded so loud that the tape brickwalls while others are so low that it's difficult to get a correct Dolby level set. It's really a shame since some of these sound fantastic in between these problems.
Because of these, I've just gone with making my own tapes with levels from the final tape checked with my software meters. I make them on an old Sony 1/4 track I have and I figure that as long as the levels are all equal to each other, I'm not going to worry too much about it. After all, it's probably better if the left channel has more gain then the right on most 1/4 track prerecorded tapes.

I'm finding that the trick here is working within the confines of these old tapes. And unfortunately, some of them will never sound good no matter what you do. Fortunately, if you're selective in the tapes you collect, they can sound fantastic.
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