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Messages - jeri

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Clifford Brown Memorial / Re: Buzz?
« on: February 02, 2011, 02:02:22 PM »
I haven't played the tape yet, but I'm disappointed to learn there is an annoying flaw.  Even if it is present in the original.  Just wondering: couldn't it have been EQ'd out during mastering of the Tape Project release?

Uh Oh.  I was with Jay right up until he expressed the concern that some of the last four might be classical.  I would be happy with classical -- depending on the works, of course.  (Please, no Schoenberg.)  I'm concerned there might be more jazz.  There is already at least 40% of Series III devoted to jazz, along with the the 40% of Series I and the 40% of Series II.  I was happy to have some in the first two series for variety, but jazz isn't my favorite and I have no interest in more.  On the other hand, if, say, Peter, Paul, and Mary were among the TBD's, it would be a different story.  So I'm in the wait and see camp, too.

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: MX 5050 4track recorder-2track playback
« on: January 09, 2011, 04:39:39 PM »
Dan, the Otari MX-5050BQII and MX-5050BQIII are exactly what I said they were.  They are 4-track, 4-channel machines capable of recording on all four tracks at once.  They have four inputs, four outputs, four VU meters, four rec/rep amplifiers, and 4-track 4-channel record and reproduce heads.  They are not quarter-track machines at all, but I suppose they could be used to play four-track stereo tapes by selecting tracks 1&3.

Since you brought it up, Otari did make a quarter-track machine as well but only in the MX-5050BII series.  That machine was the MX-5050BII-4.  It had the usual 4-track, 2-channel record and reproduce heads for four-track stereo tapes plus an additional 2-track reproduce head.

Other models were:  MX-5050BII-F (full-track mono record & reproduce plus an additional 2-track repro), MX-5050BII-2 (2-track record & reproduce plus an additional 4-track, 2-channel repro), and MX-5050BII-2E (same as MX-5050BII-2 but with DIN 2-track).

The MX-5050BIII series discontinued the 4-track, 2 channel heads, so the only other models were MX-5050BIII-F, MX-5050BIII-2, and MX-5050BIII-2E.  None of these had the additional repro head.

All these were vertically oriented machines for 1/4" tape.  Otari's MX-5050MkIII and MX-5050MkIV were the corresponding horizontal machines.  In that version, four-track machines were always for 1/2" tape.

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: MX 5050 4track recorder-2track playback
« on: January 08, 2011, 10:56:02 AM »
Yes, Otari made 1/4" 4-track machines.  The MX-5050BQII and MX-5050BQIII are the four track versions of the MX-5050BII and MX-5050BIII that have been suggested for TP machines.

Prerecorded Tapes / Re: removing adhesive from tapes help
« on: January 02, 2011, 07:17:59 PM »
I would have guessed heptane.

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: Shipping MX-5050s - the weak point
« on: October 25, 2010, 05:39:59 PM »
That's great advice.  The brutality that sometimes occurs in shipping is something to behold.

Proper packing with strict adherence to carrier requirements is absolutely essential if an insurance claim has to be filed.

I bought an MX-5050 8-track a few years ago that was damaged in shipping via Fedex.  The machine was packed in a double-wall box protected with styrofoam blocking and paper matting.  This box was inside another single-wall outer box with three inches space between them filled with paper matting.  When I got it, both boxes had been speared with something (looked like it must have been a 2-inch pipe).  The side panel was split, the ventilation plate was buckled, screws were sheared, the brake assembly was bent, etc.  All in all around $2300 damage.  The Otari tech said he was impressed with the force it took to do this.  Fedex eventually paid, but they fought the claim for months.  Fortunately the packing met their guidelines.

General Discussion / Re: Improving Room Acoustics
« on: May 24, 2010, 05:59:58 PM »
Yikes!  210 lb per sheet and 1/4-inch steel plate?!!  I guess it is literally bullet-proof.  How is it installed?  Welded?  And what about the ceiling?  What holds it up?

General Discussion / Re: Revox/DarkLabs hub O ring
« on: May 24, 2010, 05:52:21 PM »

Natural rubber, SBR, and EPDM elastomers are not resistant to Vaseline (aka petrolatum or petroleum jelly) or to any petroleum product.  They will swell and soften as they absorb petroleum hydrocarbons, including the saturated parafins in Vaseline.  O-rings made of these materials will fail if they are exposed to petroleum products for any length of time.  I know this from general engineering practice and from an unfortunate personal experience when I used Vaseline to lubricate some o-rings in a hose reel even though I knew better.  The normal lubricant for o-rings is a silicone lubricant, although there are a few others.

If you want to use Vaseline (or WD-40) on o-rings, it will be fine so long as the o-rings are made of a resistant elastomer such as Buna-N (inexpensive), Viton, or Kalrez (generally the most chemically resistant, if you can afford them).

But don't take my word for it.  As a test, get some latex gloves and see what happens when exposed to Vaseline.  You may be surprised.


General Discussion / Re: Revox/DarkLabs hub O ring
« on: May 23, 2010, 10:23:24 AM »
Great information!

Just one quibble with the suggestion to use Vaseline instead of mineral oil as a lubricant.  Vaseline is actually made from mineral oil.  So it will cause deterioration of natural rubber o-rings.  Other elastomers such as Buna-N are resistant to Vaseline, so Vaseline can be used with those if you are sure what material you have.


Raw Tape / Re: Quantegy 478 for music recording!
« on: May 04, 2010, 02:29:18 PM »
Hi Ki,

I checked with Jeff at Encore Data Products, and he tells me a few of the SM900's are stocked on the premises (2" and 1/2", I think).  All the rest are shipped directly from RMGI's warehouse in Indiana.  This is probably a good thing for tape with lower turnover, so that the tape shipped is as fresh as possible.  Everything listed on their website is available.  My experience with them has been that if something is backordered, it is shown as "out of stock" on the website.


Raw Tape / Re: Quantegy 478 for music recording!
« on: May 04, 2010, 10:53:00 AM »
Encore Data Products also carries RMGI 468.

They stock it in 600 LF 5" plastic reels (the same as US Recording) and also stock it in larger 1200 LF 7" plastic reels and 2500 LF plastic reels, metal reels, and pancakes.  Also wider tape widths, if you need that.  Good prices and free shipping, too.  I have ordered cases of SM 911 from them several times and have been very happy with their service.  Jeff was the guy I talked with.  Full disclosure -- I am not associated with them in any way other than as a happy customer.

Possibly a good alternative supplier?


Tape Tech / Re: Power cord sonic improvement potential?
« on: March 19, 2010, 12:25:19 PM »
Is replacing the last 6 feet or so of power cable with audiophile cable good enough?  Or do you have to keep going and replace hundreds of feet of non-audiophile NMC cable in the wall, too?  After all, it's not like the power source starts where you plug the thing in.  I've never understood the claims for audiophile power cords.

General Discussion / Re: Any Freight / Shipping company recommendations?
« on: December 11, 2009, 01:03:30 PM »

If the shipping weight, including packaging, is 150 lb or less you can ship it by a delivery service such as Fedex, UPS, etc.  Heavier packages or packages larger than a combined length plus girth of 165 inches must ship by freight.

For freight shipping, I had good luck with  They are freight brokers who deal with many freight carriers.  I found them to be very knowledgable and helpful, and I thought I got good pricing from them.  Their discount was better than I could get on my own.  Shipping costs weren't too bad, but I had to pay an extra $60 fee for a lift gate at the shipper's end since they didn't have a loading dock.  I was shipping business to business, but there would have been another fee if either end was a residence.

If you are checking freight costs, be sure you know what freight class is being quoted.  Higher classes are supposed to represent a higher degree of handling difficulty and of course a higher cost.  My shipment was based on freight class 110, and I was told this is appropriate for tape machines.  I specified nothing be stacked on top of the machine -- I don't know if that is part of freight class 110 or not.

Be warned -- the carrier's limit of liability for used machines is only $0.10 per pound no matter what value you declare unless you specifically buy and pay for insurance.  (So if your Studer A827 24-track is destroyed, you'll get less than $100 back!)  Insurance is expensive.  I paid something like $45 per $1000 of coverage with a $100 deductible.

The shipper blanket-wrapped and stretch-wrapped the machine to prepare it for shipping.  We could have added styrofoam boards for more protection, but didn't.  I decided to ship it on it's own casters as a roll-on rather than palletize it.  The only damage was one caster that was ripped from the bottom and mangled.  In hindsight, I think I was lucky that nothing worse happened.

I also shipped another machine using "The Packaging Store".  This is NOT the UPS store (who can handle grandma's vase, but are utterly clueless about packing tape machines).  The Packaging Store is a franchise company handling business machines, antiques, fine art, etc.  The one I used was associated with Parker K. Bailey in Maine.  They handled everything and were outstanding.  I had them crate the machine in a wooden crate.  Crating was expensive and added a lot to the shipping weight, too.  We discussed using a triple-wall RSC (aka "corrugated box") instead, but I don't remember why we didn't go that way.  As I recall, crating costs were around $5 per cubic foot.  I have heard estimates in the range of $5-10.  The machine arrived in absolutely perfect condition.

Another full service company is Craters & Freighters.  They were recommended to me by several people, but I haven't used them.  They may be worth a phone call.

The $600 Mayflower Transit deal sounds like a real bargain!  When I was investigating, I checked with the moving company we use.  Even with our corporate discount, it was going to cost well over $1000 plus insurance.  So I gave up on movers as a possibility.  Maybe I gave up too soon!


Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: Otari MX5050 newbie questions
« on: November 09, 2009, 04:07:32 PM »

All the impedance rollers an all my Otari machines are rubber-coated.  I vaguely remember buying a used machine once that had a roller with most (but not quite all) of the rubber missing.  So it could be that the rubber can get hard and lose adhesion with age.  That may be the case with your machine.  I checked with my tech this morning, and he confirmed that all Otaris use rubber-coated impedance rollers.  Since this roller drives the timing circuits, I urge you to have it checked before risking any valuable tapes.

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