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 Post subject: Re: 8 track tape sound quality
PostPosted: Apr Sun 15, 2018 9:17 pm 
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I suppose that the larger capstan also reduces the chance of the tape being eaten.


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 Post subject: Re: 8 track tape sound quality
PostPosted: Apr Mon 16, 2018 8:07 pm 
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If your car collector friend is ever in need of more blanks, let me know. I bought a bunch of them at an estate sale a few years back and realized I got more than I'd ever use. That said, they would still need the sensing tape and foam pads checked out and replaced if needed, those just go bad from age, not use.


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 Post subject: Re: 8 track tape sound quality
PostPosted: Apr Mon 16, 2018 9:09 pm 
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Another thing I noticed is that the recorded level of the tapes also isn't necessarily the same tape to tape.


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 Post subject: Re: 8 track tape sound quality
PostPosted: Apr Tue 17, 2018 9:29 pm 
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Location: Gold Country, (Stanislaus National Forest) California 95235
RE the carts and drive systems

If they'd have come out with the 8-track version of the ScotchCart with the retension ability and no moving parts other than the tape - and the cobalt and chrome tape formulations -
half of the 8 track's problems would have been solved.

Half of the remaining problems wd have been solved if they'd kept the drive roller in the player instead of in the tape like in a 4-track a k a broadcast cart.

Or if they'd have supported the RCA Sound Magazine from 1957

As far as the 8 track carousel players (and a few of the cassette versions)

You'd be surprised how many of those were either made for half-speed BGM tapes to
begin with or else were converted down to 1-7/8. My Dad brought one home in the late
70s when the airlines were getting ready to do the last conversions to 3/4 speed cassette (1-13/32 instead of 1-7/8 allowing for an hour on a side of a C-90).

By then, cobalt and then chrome tape had come out for loop cartridge configurations
(originally 7-1/2 Fidelity at 3-3/4 on a reel - so - conversely - 3-3/4 fideilty at 1-7/8)
so we'd make the ``masters'' on 3-3/4 - play it back on 7-1/2 - record the 8-track on
a normal recorder and then play it back on here.

Later on we got one for our `73 Woodie LTD that also ran half speed and normal speed
so now we could drive each other crazy with tapes that were upwards of 3 hours apiece.

We ran across a 3/4 speed cass player too - presumably so execs could hear their BGM
tapes in their car.

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 Post subject: Re: 8 track tape sound quality
PostPosted: May Fri 11, 2018 10:40 pm 
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Location: Long Beach, CA USA
It seems to me the tapes wore down pretty fast. Even as a kid I would notice the highs disappearing after a few weeks of play.
And if you kept a case of tapes in your car, warm weather would soon mangle the cartridges, or the tape, or both.


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 Post subject: Re: 8 track tape sound quality
PostPosted: May Fri 11, 2018 11:02 pm 
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Decent sound quality for its' main usage - the car. Mechanical quality was all over the ballpark. The rep firm that I worked for during that time sold hundreds and hundreds of those players. It was not unusable for a customer to get a shipment of 48 units and call us back the next day with another order. Was a wild time and a lot of fun. Normal road noise did help the sound quality.

Bruce Hagen

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 Post subject: Re: 8 track tape sound quality
PostPosted: May Fri 11, 2018 11:30 pm 
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Back in the heyday of 8 track, I had a pretty nice Pioneer 8 track recorder. I used to put all of my vinyl on 8 track for the car. My favorite part was "fitting" songs into the segments of the tape format. NOT. Eventually I just said to hell with it and let the songs have a CLICK in the middle of them. lol.


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 Post subject: Re: 8 track tape sound quality
PostPosted: May Mon 14, 2018 11:30 am 
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Bruce88 wrote:
Decent sound quality for its' main usage - the car.

Bruce Hagen


Agreed. Most car stereos back then didn't have the luxury of things like tweeters so full treble response wasn't needed.


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 Post subject: Re: 8 track tape sound quality
PostPosted: May Mon 14, 2018 4:37 pm 
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My favorite part was pulling a tape out of the car player and having the tape remain in the player. Good times. Usually resulting in me yanking it all out and flinging it out the window.


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 Post subject: Re: 8 track tape sound quality
PostPosted: May Thu 17, 2018 3:46 am 
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classicelectronicsguy wrote:
blanks,
Q-8 carts would be nice as well as the 8-track demo carts with the clear tops.
Rocco53 wrote:
8-track carousel player, I thought I'd seen everything.
Don't forget the 1-7/8 IPS background music versions that were out for a couple years which used the aforementioned clear-top 8-track carts instead of the Fidelipac types.

I'm continually amazed at the number of guys that will fork over good money for a title transcribed from a QR on a Fostex or Tascam four tracks at a time. The same guys will fork over even more for titles transcribed from e.g. SACD or DTS onto half-inch and THEN dubbed down to the Q-8 format before being loaded into the cart.

I have a boatload of genuine 1/4 inch BASF chrome dioxide loop tape and another boatload of 1/8 inch non-loop I bought on pancakes at fire sale prices a few years ago and like the above poster - realized I wouldn't live long enough to use it all up.
CaveRat wrote:
The Ampex recorder has is a larger capstan than most
So now I record on my specially adapted Revox A-77 reel deck - add in the stop tone and then cut apart one song or jingle at a time and load into the standard radio station stereo cart format for 7-1/2 IPS in e.g. Fidelipac (and others - esp Scotch with the stationary hubs and no pads to fall out) carts. All the classic radio guys buy `em up since they still have their old board and their old stereo cart players and etc.

For the stereo 8-track versions, I dub down so that single albums will play back at FF (7-1/2
IPS) and I teach guys how to clip the MUTE circuit on their players so they can hear `em.

This summer I'm starting to do the same thing for the 15/16 IPS Chrome and Metal cassettes for the guys who have the e.g. half speed Nakamichi 480 ZX and 3-3/4 IPS versions for the guys who have the e.g. Marantz 2 speed cassette deck.

Since I have this old Polyconcept 1/8 inch reel to reel
https://www.shopperschoice.com/item_item_1697858.html
that I fixed up special so I can just switch the A side and B side recording from an external source - other guys have been asking me to do stereo metal microcassette for the guys that have old Sony M1-PD TCMR-2's or M-80 stereo micro recorders because they use the same tape but use the same tracks in the opposite direction like a couple of the standard cassette half-speed or 3/4 speed background music companies used to do.

But even with no leader tape to worry about - and even with a little snapper contraption to attach the tape to the hub - I find that both my eyesight as well as my dexterity are at al all time low to be doing it.

Not to mention you can't even get NINE micron metal tape (for an MC-60) nevermind
SIX micron (MC-90) and still be able to get a playable tape out of it when you are done
meaning you are stuck with MC-50 or less.

Cassette C-90s for comparison are closer to 12 micron and normal 1-mil tape is 25.

Not to mention I got 2800 empty Revere Stereo Cartridge format shells from the central library here - untouched for nearly 60 yrs - which also uses the same tape:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAVxtw7Y4PQ

So I'm getting ready to start that project up too.
CaveRat wrote:
I made a few tapes for an antique car collector friend of mine.
Doing this goes under the same ``art'' clauses in copyright law as the guys who are putting e.g Maroon 5 or Nickelback onto a cylinder or Huey Lewis onto a 10-inch 78.

So I have fun.

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2 kinds of men/tape. Low Noise/Wide Range.
LN=kind. WR=abrasive. Engineers=same thing.


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 Post subject: Re: 8 track tape sound quality
PostPosted: Jul Wed 25, 2018 8:53 pm 
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Mine are all car eight track players. I repaired one or two but had struggles with the actual tapes. I ought to learn how to rewind them or build a reel winder. I found the felt pads must be changed and even then.tapes can chew up if they dried out. Sound quality was poor.


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 Post subject: Re: 8 track tape sound quality
PostPosted: Jul Thu 26, 2018 2:03 am 
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The sound quality from an 8 track tape can be decent, but only if the tape is tracking correctly, and the player is in decent shape AFA motor speed and head alignment. Of course it's nowhere near as good as what's available today, but for what it is, it's acceptable.

It's a good idea to have extra tape cartridges in order to pirate pinch rollers. AFA replacing the felt, use Frost King 3/8" foam weatherstrip, which you can get at a hardware store, Home Depot, etc.

I bought a Rat Shack tape-editing splicing block some years back, for tape repair, which came with a small roll of leader. You might find them on eBay. The most common failure is the chrome leader coming unglued from the recording tape.

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 Post subject: Re: 8 track tape sound quality
PostPosted: Jul Thu 26, 2018 6:03 pm 
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Location: Gold Country, (Stanislaus National Forest) California 95235
10.7Megahertz wrote:
Mine are all car eight track players. I repaired one or two but had struggles with the actual tapes. I ought to find a cart winder and learn how to rewind them.
Lots of old radio station cart winders i.e. for Fidelipac and Audiopak are the exact same as for 8-track. If you are winding from scratch, you load your reel of loop/lube tape onto one, thread it through the timing mechanism and then wind it oxide side out onto your 8-track or cart hub.

If you are unwinding one to repair, you put the hub onto the feed reel and wind it out onto a 5 inch NAB hub reel while you are working on it or working on the cart and then reverse the process loading it back in.

Most of the common ones will do up to a 7 inch cart hub (the kind that go in the huge old background music carts - which could be 3-3/4 1-7/8 or 1-13/32 (halfway between 15/16 and 1-7/8 so nobody could unwind em and play em).
fifties wrote:
I bought a Rat Shack tape-editing splicing block some years back, for tape repair. You might find them on eBay.
Better ones - also on eBay - are the real Xedit/EdiTall aluminum splicing blocks that have the once-patented edge holding design that makes keeping tape in place while you draw across with a single edged razor blade a breeze.
fifties wrote:
which came with a small roll of leader.
Til you learn what you are doing - you might think about splicing some leader at the beginning of the tape prior to winding it back into the cart to avoid destroying the beginning if the cart winder is a little out of calibration.

Once the cart is wound in - you just pull the couple of turns of leader out from the center, detach and splice on the graphite side with a normal splice and the oxide side with a tinfoil splice.
fifties wrote:
The most common failure is the recording tape becoming detached from the chrome leader.
a.k.a. self-adhesive sensing foil.

My personal experience is the ``regular'' sensing foil you get from the e.g. automotive and household supply centers (for i.e. coated house and car windows) or the security foil used for entry-resistant applications is either too flimsy or too stiff for this particular application - not to mention the too flimsy kind has adhesive that frequently falls off - detaching the foil coating from the adhesive base.

The best thing to use is the half-inch by mil-and-a-half sensing a.k.a. proximity detector foil that you can still get at the 35MM motion picture supply houses for the same price or less per foot than you get for the cheesy versions mentioned above.

The adhesive is good - like the weatherstripping used in place of the pressure pads and lasts much longer than the original pads or foil ever did - you just have to use it sideways or at an angle the same as you'd use half inch e.g. Pyral blue splicing tape instead of spending money for pre-cut splicing tabs.

Which is another reason to go with the real Xedit/EdiTall splicing blocks vs the knockoffs.

You just line the edges of the tape up in the block - trimming in the grooves if necessary to eliminate the end-of-tape curl - apply your normal blue splice on the back and your foil splice on the front - rub it in place with your thumbnail or a plastic razor blade or the toothpick end of a one-use dental floss tool - trim and go on about your business.

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2 kinds of men/tape. Low Noise/Wide Range.
LN=kind. WR=abrasive. Engineers=same thing.


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 Post subject: Re: 8 track tape sound quality
PostPosted: Jul Mon 30, 2018 9:05 pm 
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I need to learn how to fix the tapes. The pads first need to be replaced. Sometimes though a tape may chew up. Someone should have invented a safety trip or something. Anyway there is something very special about listening to 8 tracks on an old car player. It takes you back in time.I have a Klaus Wunderlich 8 track and the music is really relaxing. I have had the driving belt fly off in the past.


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 Post subject: Re: 8 track tape sound quality
PostPosted: Aug Mon 13, 2018 8:52 pm 
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10.7Megahertz wrote:
I need to learn how to fix the tapes. The pads first need to be replaced. Sometimes though a tape may chew up. Someone should have invented a safety trip or something. Anyway there is something very special about listening to 8 tracks on an old car player. It takes you back in time.I have a Klaus Wunderlich 8 track and the music is really relaxing. I have had the driving belt fly off in the past.

I was repairing some of my 8-track tapes a while back and you can get materials at local stores for the job.

Michaels craft stores have 8 x 11 sheets of "Peel & Stick" felt material that works well for the pads, just cut to size with scissors or a sharp blade.
It comes in various colors, I just chose red at random.

Home hardware stores have rolls of "Peel & Stick" aluminum tape that's used for furnace duct work, it's very sticky and won't come off the tape that easily.

I use about 3/4 inch lengths, seems to be a good size for the sensor to change tracks, and just trim the excess even with the 8-track tape width (1/4").


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 Post subject: Re: 8 track tape sound quality
PostPosted: Aug Sat 18, 2018 1:09 am 
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Few recordings are created equal, on any medium. Micing differences, different recording equipment, mixing differences, different speakers used for the mixing process, different mixing engineers... The list of potential differences goes on and on. Vinyl, tape, even CD - it doesn't matter. Once you build up a really detailed sound system, you can readily hear the differences.

About 8-tracks - it was about 20 years ago that I suddenly experienced a few life setbacks (including divorce) so found myself in immediate need of some wheels so I could drag my carcass back to my hometown to start over. I payed a friend $400 for a 1979 Olds Cutlass. The car had a factory 8-track. I found out later it was the last year you could get a factory 8-track from GM.

I don't know why, but that system sounded fantastic. It really was the best sounding car radio I ever heard, before or since. It wasn't super-powered (maybe 20 watts / ch.?), nor super speakers (looked like ordinary 4 x 10 alnico rear deck car speakers) but for whatever reason it just sounded great. The 8-track, that is - the tuner part of the radio sounded pretty pedestrian.


It took me a while to find out I had a sleeper system, as this was '96 and 8-tracks were passe', but one day I was in a thrift shop and they had a basket of 8-tracks for $0.25 each. Curious, I picked a couple familiar ones and bought them. Wow! I couldn't believe what I was hearing!

To this day I don't know why it sounded so good. I'm inclined to believe it was simply a matter of the stars aligning and the cows coming home. That some sound engineer at GM really knew his schtick would be too much of a miracle to hope for. In any case, with what appeared to be a very humble setup, I have rarely enjoyed listening to a system as I did that one. And at $0.25 a tape, even I could afford it.

Ahh, those were the days. Unfortunately the car was totaled as I was waiting at a stop light. I never saw it again. :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: 8 track tape sound quality
PostPosted: Aug Sat 18, 2018 2:51 am 
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GM always had some great sounding factory systems back in the day. I especially love their car radios from the 80's to early 90's.


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