Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: AMPEX 631..IS this stuff the BAD stuff???

  1. #1
    technoplayer's Avatar
    technoplayer is offline Recovering Gear-aholic
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    466
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    193179

    AMPEX 631..IS this stuff the BAD stuff???

    Sign in to disable this ad
    I have come across several cartons of Ampex 631, 7' reels. They reel boxes are still plastic wrapped. It is the old style gray box with AMPEX in the lower right. All the boxes have labels with lines and lines of numbers and etc, and what seems to be a date code....7/86.

    Any way to tell the vintage of the tape by this label, and if it is from 86, is it sticky shed stuff??

  2. #2
    Beck's Avatar
    Beck is offline * * * * *
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Suddenly
    Posts
    5,390
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    4739611
    Some of these general purpose non-backcoated tapes don't have sticky shed. However, Ampex 6x1 series is not a great tape. It is described as a voice grade tape in old Ampex literature. It is a +1 level tape -- will have more background hiss and distort at lower levels. 632 is music grade and compares fairly well to Maxell UD 35-90 -- also non-backcoated.
    "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!"
    -David Mellor

  3. #3
    A Reel Person's Avatar
    A Reel Person is offline It's Too Funky in Here!!!
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    I live alone with my gear
    Age
    53
    Posts
    8,814
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    3107209

    Arrow Just going by what I've read from Beck, mainly,...

    1986 is right in the middle of the sticky shed era. Also, 631 is more of a "voice grade" tape compared to their topline "Grand Master" (456).

    Anyway, in practical terms, if it's cheap enough, you'd just have to buy it and try it. If it sheds right out of the box, then hop over to Walmart and get the food dehydrator that Beck recommended, (can't remember the model #).

    Eh, I'm just trying to forward info I got from Beck off this board, and I'd personally just try it. In practice, I've found that "XX1" media to hold up to hifi recording just fine. I scored a ton of 031 media last year, and it's dang near indistinguishable from actual 456, in practical use. Anyway, the lowdown is that 031 is "rejected" 456 that didn't meet their rigorous spec for "Grand Master", but at $2.95/reel, it's some great stuff. That's why I scored a couple cases of it!

    When Beck wakes up, he can speak for himself!
    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Bob
    ... subtleties of sound make a difference to those who really listen.

  4. #4
    Herm's Avatar
    Herm is offline 1K Silver Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Illinois
    Age
    61
    Posts
    1,819
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    311239
    I have some 631 in sealed boxes that is pretty old and when I put it on a machine it seemed to shed oxide all over the place so I just left it alone.
    It didnt hang up like it had sticky problems but it did shed light brown crap all over the place and clog up the heads.
    I would pass

  5. #5
    A Reel Person's Avatar
    A Reel Person is offline It's Too Funky in Here!!!
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    I live alone with my gear
    Age
    53
    Posts
    8,814
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    3107209

    Arrow Time for that food dehydrator/baking experiment!

    ....................
    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Bob
    ... subtleties of sound make a difference to those who really listen.

  6. #6
    Beck's Avatar
    Beck is offline * * * * *
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Suddenly
    Posts
    5,390
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    4739611
    Looking over the thread I thought Iíd better clarify these tape types.

    These Ampex/Quantegy numbers can be a little confusing.

    031 is 456 that is deemed to be (or likely be) below uniformity standards set for 456. It is sold as a B-grade in a white box without the quality guarantee of 456. It could have more dropouts or could be just fine.

    600 series like 631, 641, etc, is a completely different formulation thatís been around since the early 60ís. A model number ending in 1 like 631 is voice grade and a model ending in 2 is music grade.

    Quantegy 642 is not bad for a non-backcoated tape and was recommended by Maxell as a replacement for UD 35-90 when they stopped making open-reel tape. They also recommended 407 as a replacement for XLI 35-90B (if youíre wondering).

    I donít see 631 listed as a Quantegy product. It looks like they just have 632 (1.5 mil), 642 (1 mil) and 652 (.5 mil).

    Any Ampex branded 631 is at least 10 years old and could be much older. Just remember that itís not a modern high-output tape.
    "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!"
    -David Mellor

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Mixing secrets by sonusman
    By s_o_n_u_s_m_a_n in forum Mixing Techniques
    Replies: 269
    Last Post: 12-26-2010, 17:09
  2. bad drum sounds
    By noground in forum Recording Techniques
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 08-26-2006, 07:56
  3. how often does YOUR ram go bad?
    By shackrock in forum Digital Recording & Computers
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 08-11-2006, 15:08
  4. I would never listen to half the stuff I write
    By Layla Nahar in forum Singing & Vocals
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 02-17-2003, 22:49

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Special 93% Offer

Got beats? Samples? Mixing and mastering services? Get a head start with this 93% OFF special offer!