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Thread: Tape compatability

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    Angry Tape compatability

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    Hi folks this is my first post, got a Teac a3440 of ebay, seems in good nick, I am just about to replace the capstan belt. The manual says its set for UD35,however it got a reel of Ampex 456 on it. I am likely to encouter problems using the heavier ( or thicker) Ampex stock.
    I heard the characteristics of the Ampex is so good you can normally get anyway without any noise reduction.

    There seem to be some discussion on previous post's as to weather you can use quantegy 406 0r 407 ? Can someone please advice,

    Thanks

    Steve

    oh P.S. ive just downloaded those four Beatles 4 track songs and put them on the Tascam DA-88, but can't wait to put them on analogue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StrangeSteve View Post
    Hi folks this is my first post, got a Teac a3440 of ebay, seems in good nick, I am just about to replace the capstan belt. The manual says its set for UD35,however it got a reel of Ampex 456 on it. I am likely to encouter problems using the heavier ( or thicker) Ampex stock.
    I heard the characteristics of the Ampex is so good you can normally get anyway without any noise reduction.

    There seem to be some discussion on previous post's as to weather you can use quantegy 406 0r 407 ? Can someone please advice,

    Thanks

    Steve

    oh P.S. ive just downloaded those four Beatles 4 track songs and put them on the Tascam DA-88, but can't wait to put them on analogue.
    3340 or 3440? Neither should have a problem using 1.5 mil tape but a 3340 should not be set up to record @ elevated levels. They tried it @ TEAC and found that it burned up the erase and record heads. Don't buy any Quantegy or Ampex stuff. It's too old to be reliable. Get newly manufactured tape from RMGI and align the machine to that.
    Last edited by RRuskin; 02-17-2009 at 11:27.
    Rick Ruskin
    Lion Dog Music - Seattle WA
    http://liondogmusic.com

  3. #3
    Beck Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by RRuskin View Post
    Don't buy any Quantegy or Ampex stuff. It's too old to be reliable.
    Disregard that!

    Tape doesn't age like food or something. If the tape was good stock when it was purchased and was made 1995 or later and is unopened, it is perfectly good… in as new condition. This goes for 3M/Scotch, BASF/EMTEC and Maxell as well, except it can be older than 1995.

    As for compatibility with the recommended tape look for Quantegy 407, Scotch 207 and BASF, EMTEC or RMGI LPR35.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beck View Post
    Disregard that!

    Tape doesn't age like food or something. If the tape was good stock when it was purchased and was made 1995 or later and is unopened, it is perfectly good… in as new condition. This goes for 3M/Scotch, BASF/EMTEC and Maxell as well, except it can be older than 1995.
    To each his own.

    I'd hardly call the the tape that Ampex/Quantegy made in it's last few years "good stock." Conceding the point that sticky-shed was no longer an issue, poor quality control with regards to oxide dispersion and slitting certainly was.

    Whatever might remain of the last runs of 3M 996 wasn't particularly good either. In addition, I've got new reels of AGFA 468 that when recently opened had lost enough of their backcoating's lubrication properties that they squealed when going through the tape path. I won't be using them anytime soon. Nor would I sell them as usable N.O.S.
    Rick Ruskin
    Lion Dog Music - Seattle WA
    http://liondogmusic.com

  5. #5
    Beck Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by RRuskin View Post
    ... I've got new reels of AGFA 468 that when recently opened had lost enough of their backcoating's lubrication properties that they squealed when going through the tape path. I won't be using them anytime soon. Nor would I sell them as usable N.O.S.
    I appreciate that, Rick. When some people run across a bad batch of tape they will pass it on to an unsuspecting buyer. I threw away hundreds of dollars worth of sticky-shed tape that I could have sold during the 2005 tape panic.

    As far as NOS tape in general I'm not only going by my own good experiences with older tape, but also looking at the statistical big picture. There have always been bad batches... that's why I was very specific in my previous post:

    "If the [AMPEX/Quantegy] tape was good stock when it was purchased and was made 1995 or later and is unopened, it is perfectly good… in as new condition."


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    Quote Originally Posted by Beck View Post
    "If the [AMPEX/Quantegy] tape was good stock when it was purchased and was made 1995 or later and is unopened, it is perfectly good… in as new condition."

    The Catch-22 is how does one know it's good stock in the 1st place? Why take the risk? Ampex/Quantegy's QC was so poor that I was returning 50% of every case purchased. This was way past your 1995 cut-off date.
    Rick Ruskin
    Lion Dog Music - Seattle WA
    http://liondogmusic.com

  7. #7
    Beck Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by RRuskin View Post
    The Catch-22 is how does one know it's good stock in the 1st place? Why take the risk? Ampex/Quantegy's QC was so poor that I was returning 50% of every case purchased. This was way past your 1995 cut-off date.
    Your original comment that I responded to is as follows:

    "Don't buy any Quantegy or Ampex stuff. It's too old to be reliable."

    That's simply incorrect.

    As for reliability I have NOS 456 lots from 1995 to 2004... not one bad tape. But as I said no one should make broad assertions based on their own experience. Thus I look at the big picture… what tape users are experiencing as a group. Ampex/Quantegy once dominated the tape market for a reason… they made a great product.

    You can get a bad batch from RMGI… people often do. If I ever buy NOS tape that turns out to be a bad run I’ll send it back to the seller for a refund. I don’t buy “As is” tape.

    It’s like anything else… there’s a learning curve and that’s one reason this forum is here; to get people up to speed on these issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beck View Post
    Your original comment that I responded to is as follows:

    "Don't buy any Quantegy or Ampex stuff. It's too old to be reliable."

    That's simply incorrect.

    As for reliability I have NOS 456 lots from 1995 to 2004... not one bad tape. But as I said no one should make broad assertions based on their own experience. Thus I look at the big picture… what tape users are experiencing as a group. Ampex/Quantegy once dominated the tape market for a reason… they made a great product.

    You can get a bad batch from RMGI… people often do. If I ever buy NOS tape that turns out to be a bad run I’ll send it back to the seller for a refund. I don’t buy “As is” tape.
    I don't consider a consistent return rate of 50% an occasional bad batch. I call it abysmally poor quality control.
    Rick Ruskin
    Lion Dog Music - Seattle WA
    http://liondogmusic.com

  9. #9
    Beck Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by RRuskin View Post
    I don't consider a consistent return rate of 50% an occasional bad batch. I call it abysmally poor quality control.
    YOU were returning 50% (so you say, but we really have no way of knowing). Neither I nor anyone else I've known in the 30 years I've been recording has had that bad of luck with any tape manufacturer, except for the sticky-shed crisis, which was resolved.

    Beware of guerilla marketing on the web. Maybe you had that experience or maybe you've just read it somewhere. AMPEX/Quantegy once had over 75% of the market... and that's when everyone was still making tape. They didn’t get there by making an inferior product.

    But you're still avoiding discussion of your original post, which delt with tape being “too old.” I'm detecting some argument dodging and weaving.

    Many of us have spent a lot of time over the years helping people understand the tape issue. I don't care what you say your credentials are, you are flat out wrong... you couldn't be more wrong with your initial comment about NOS tape and your subsequent comments about QC issues.

    If you were buying Quantegy after the reorganization in 2005 you would have seen significant QC problems, but that’s not what you’re talking about.

    I also have to wonder what you were recording with at the time, it's condition, your recording practices, maintenance habits, etc.
    Last edited by Beck; 02-17-2009 at 23:30.

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    Hi,

    I used to use ampex 456 in the 90's, The sound was fine but after a few years I noticed tape shred / sticky issues on older tapes. At the same time I was using some BASF 911, this tape was the same age but there was no shred / sticky problem. My tapes were always well stored away from humidity so that was not the problem.

    I talked to my tech about the tape issues and he recommended I use only 911 as it also caused less head wear. From that day on only 911 (BASF and then Emtec) and no tape issues and the heads on my machine have lasted without a re-lap and are still at spec (altho it does not get used much nowadays). I actually have a box of brand new sealed 911 in the tape shortage cupboard.

    This is my experience.

    Cheers

    Alan.

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