General Category > Prerecorded Tapes

Tips for playing virgin pre-records?


I recently acquired an unplayed copy of Janis Ian's "Secret Life of J. Eddy Fink" and wondered if there's any tips folks have for playing new copies of really old ampex tapes.  I'm sure there's some print-thru after having sat around for 30 or so years and have read that you can get rid of it by fast fwd/rewinding tapes a few times, but doesn't seem to help in praxis...

Turned out that this tape was in great shape!  A bit of print-thru, but I was pleasantly surprised that is was much less then I'd anticipated!!!  The sound quality is so much better then an LP...

I'm also putting paper leader tape on my tapes...does anyone know the pros/cons of using paper vs. plastic leader?

I think paper leader is less durable but it's easier to thread IMHO. Plastic is kinda slick, so you need more pressure on the windings to keep it from slipping. I used to always use paper because it's also easer to write on ( tails out, length before recording etc.) and if a bit sticks out from the wind, it doesn't make as much noise as it goes around. I've been using plastic lately though. I didn't know they still made paper. Where'd you find it?

I found a music webstore that had 6 rolls of it...I purchased all 6 rolls of course, as it seems to be kinda scarce.  It seemed like would be a bit better at knocking any stray tape residue off the heads as it went by, although I have nothing to back that thought up with. 

 As far as my experience playing freshly opened R2R's is that right after playing the heads needed immediate cleaning. This also holds truth for a used tape just bought and hasn't been played in a while. Just check the head tapes with anhydrous ethyl alcholol or any good cleaner that also acts as a good drying agent.
         Cheers,  Basil


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