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Old 18th Oct 2020, 8:41 pm   #21
Ted Kendall
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Kington, Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 2,592
Default Re: Sound Belle reel-to-reel heads

Originally Posted by jmcilkley View Post
Presumably without a capstan the tape speed will vary as the diameter of tape on the right hand spool changes. This would make it impossible to play a tape from another machine that did use a capstan for constant tape speed. An unusual design!
Indeed so - and the wow is appalling. Nevertheless, this system was used on the Grundig Stenorette dictation machines, where a proprietary reel pattern ensured that only recordings made on that system would be played back, and on the stream of Japanese cheapies which appeared in the mid-60s, whose sole purpose was to record something recognisable at the lowest cost. With modern software, it is possible to straighten the speed out, using a recorded constant tone such as mains hum as a reference signal. The Japanese machines, however, had such puny motors that the take up reel slowed down as the pack diameter increased. Hence the motor drone of such machines is only a partial guide, and the final tweak has to be done by ear.
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