Tape Project Forum

General Category => Prerecorded Tapes => Topic started by: ceved on January 27, 2008, 03:46:16 PM

Title: Leader, Here, Leader
Post by: ceved on January 27, 2008, 03:46:16 PM
Ignorance alert.
I was examining some of my recent BC acquisitions.
One batch looked brand new.
The other batch were all missing their factory leader; different owner(s).
Was/is this a common occurence?  Is this evidence of careless human handling, poor tape handling by the tape machine or both?
Was this the case of an overanxious owner who just hated to wait.
Off with their leader!
Have I happened upon some epidemic, or worse yet a cult practicing tape circumcision?
Steve, I am sure you have a comment here somewhere.
Be nice.
Title: Re: Leader, Here, Leader
Post by: ironbut on January 27, 2008, 07:33:12 PM
Now Charles, you know I'm always nice. Maybe a few traces short of a closed circuit,.. but reasonably polite.
You can usually tell if it's a new/minty BC by the sky blue hold down tape that they used. It is a bitch to remove and most people either threw it away or left it on the back of the reel. I don't think that most folks would use it twice so if it is still holding down the tail, it's at least mint. I've bought 15-20 unopened BCs and resorted to using a razor blade to remove the hold down tape and an adhesive remover to get rid of the sticky mess before it got on my reel tables. I've got a couple of them that the previous owner cut off enough of the tape to remove the Dolby calibration. I have to admit, I've thought of doing that myself ( or just erasing them)especially after discussing the use of those tones and found out that the level they are recorded at varies. That extra tape is one of the reasons that I only have a couple that sound worse at the beginning. As for common practice with tapes, I believe that many of the full collections of them had institutional beginnings. Libraries (music departments) classical radio stations etc.. I can imagine that there was a lot of misinformation that was tossed about regarding the proper care of reel to reel tapes at the time. Luckily, it wasn't a very popular format for those kinds of places so they didn't get taken out very often (if ever). I can remember being in libraries with r2r machines built into the listening stations and never ever seeing one used. That was in the '70's when the BC's were current.
So, just be sure to attach leader to the ones that have been shortened. Bad things happen to the first couple of feet of tape no matter how careful you are.
Title: Dolby, Dobly
Post by: Stargazer on May 10, 2008, 02:39:49 PM
B&C have the calibration at beginning of the tape.  Is that true of all the tapes issued, x dbx?

I have a Nakamichi NR200 Dolby B-C unit, it has ability to do calibration.  Is the test tone it generates the same as that of B&C tapes?
Title: Re: Leader, Here, Leader
Post by: ironbut on May 10, 2008, 04:13:58 PM
There is some variation in amplitude in the calibration tones on the BC tapes. However,  Dolby B calibration is not an exact science. It is 400Hz (why they couldn't have made it 440 which would have made it possible to check the freq. with the Gazillion 440 A tuning forks out there is beyond me) and it should be the same on your Nak. The calibration level needs to be within 2 dB of the recording calibration. That's what you're doing when you calibrate a B unit to the recorded test tones. Actually, those tones were for BS's benefit more than their customers.
Regarding the DBX encoded tapes, I'm not sure how many exactly are DBX and Dolby B releases, but not many (percentage wise at least) Out of the 300+ releases by 1981 I don't think there were 30 and they all seem to be latter releases.

PS I just went back and counted the releases that are listed in a cross reference list that Tony Barclay released in 1986 and (for the benefit of those trying obtain the complete catalog) there are 348 titles on that list but there may be more (but not many). I've never seen a listing of the DBX encoded tapes and the figure of 30 is my best guess.