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Author Topic: RMGI Tape orientation  (Read 4029 times)

Offline juanfz

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RMGI Tape orientation
« on: September 08, 2012, 06:48:02 PM »
I just bought a RMGI Studio Master 911 tape, but I'm confused   it has one brown bright side  and the other is dull black, as threaded it seems like the brown bright side runs over the heads, maybe it has been bad wounded on the reel. Can anybody tell me which is the correct orientation?
Thanks,
Juan Zubiaga

Offline steveidosound

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Re: RMGI Tape orientation
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2012, 08:30:00 PM »
I believe it is wound correctly on the reel but it is a back coated tape.
Steve Williams

you don't want to know what equipment I listen to...

Offline ironbut

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Re: RMGI Tape orientation
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2012, 06:31:36 AM »
Hi Juan,

Steve is right. All the current production tapes (RMGI included) are back coated. Back coating is usually black in color and dull in sheen.
The oxide (head) side of 911 is brown and shiny (the oxide is "polished" to reduce scrape flutter).
steve koto
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Offline steveidosound

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Re: RMGI Tape orientation
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2012, 07:24:36 AM »
Which brings up an interesting point. I have forgotten the reasons behind back coating tape.
I remember when I saw my first modern back coated tape it confused me for a bit as well. No longer shiny side out / dull side toward heads.
 When did it start and what are the benefits? Are they mechanical or for better sound characteristics or both?
Certainly the instability of it on older tapes has lead to a lot of headaches.
Steve Williams

you don't want to know what equipment I listen to...

Offline ironbut

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Re: RMGI Tape orientation
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2012, 12:04:37 PM »
Hey Steve,

IIRC, 3M was the first to offer backcoated tapes. I could swear that there was a "3M Sound Talk" that explained the benefits but I can't find it right now (these were compiled, and scanned by Jay McKnight and are available for download from AES, free for members).
According to my charts, the first backcoated 3M tape released was 151 in 1964. I think the first backcoated tape I bought was in the early 70's and it was Scotch branded.
Perhaps my memory is clouded on the subject but I'm sure there must be a technical paper regarding the subject in the AES archives.
steve koto
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Offline USR

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Re: RMGI Tape orientation
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2013, 08:16:50 AM »
You'd be surprised how many newbies are thrown off by the back coating to the point they twist the tape to record on the back coating. Then they complain that it sounds really bad. I remember as a kid though with my 3" battery powered Hong Kong recorder that the issue of what is the oxide side came up quite a bit considering the stack of 3" reels thrown in a box some wound proper, some not. Open reel tape was even expensive then, at 97 cents for a roll!