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Thread: 3M Scotch 150 tape in my 388?

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    WhinyLittleRunt's Avatar
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    3M Scotch 150 tape in my 388?

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    I'm just wondering if I will do any damage to the heads or anything stupid like that. it's 1.0 mil stuff so I am assuming I'm ok other than just feeling weird about swapping tape brands in and out if it... I've never calibrated my machine with a test tape because things seem to be on the money, and I've been using some older Maxell Ud-35 pretty much since I got it. I have a pretty good stock of old Scotch tapes (not sure which model, etc at the moment) but I picked up these 150's at a flea market and was just curious how my 388 would acclimate to them.

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    Scotch 150 won't hurt anything, but it won't live up to the performance you'll get with something like Maxell UD 35-90, XLI 35-90 or Quantegy 407. For best performance I recommend using those. In fact I would choose Radioshack "Supertape" before I would go with the Scotch 150. The 1-mil Radioshack stuff is Ampex 642 in disguise, so it's good stuff. But recording is all about experimenting, so have at it!
    "If you canít make a hit record with a Tascam or a Fostex,
    then youíre not going to able to do it with a Studer or Otari!"
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    WhinyLittleRunt's Avatar
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    What kind of sound should I be expecting, muddy etc? I will not argue that the 35-90 is some good tape...

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    Ditto to everything Beck said.

    Some things you might expect from the 150 would include higher noise floor, less headroom before saturation...I'd highly recommend biasing but the problem is Tascam didn't specify VU overbias...it is by voltage output of the bias amp and spec'ed around 407. Based on advisement by folks in analog support at Tascam in CA, I was alerted that the bias requirement of the LPR35 I was using was significantly different than 407, so I did the best I could to narrow down the bias amp output level for LPR35 using the LF modulation method...it was tough doing this on the 388 format, but I came to a comfortable conclusion. I think I documented that toward the end of my "Tascam 388 Story..." thread. Anyway, to do it right, you'd need to do the same kind of thing to determine the proper bias level for the 150. But you aren't going to hurt anything by just poppin' it on there and trying it out.

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    Thanks sweet - I'm gonna test it out and see. One of these days I'll get around to actually calibrating and biasing this thing but if I let my OCD take control I'll let that get in the way of actually recording stuff as is . Of course I would bias it for the correct tape, not the 150...

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    OT @Back, I didn't know supertape was 642! That's good to know.

    @sweetbeats (and Beck) I thought 407 LPR35 457 were all "bias compatible" or close enough?

    I think lonewhitefly uses 150.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jinn View Post
    OT @Back, I didn't know supertape was 642! That's good to know.

    @sweetbeats (and Beck) I thought 407 LPR35 457 were all "bias compatible" or close enough?

    I think lonewhitefly uses 150.
    I haven't really used 150 ... I think it was 175, but one of those tapes tends to have squealing problems in my experience.

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