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Vintage Tape (Audio), Cassette, Wire and Magnetic Disc Recorders and Players Open-reel tape recorders, cassette recorders, 8-track players etc.

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Old 27th Apr 2021, 1:07 pm   #21
Ted Kendall
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Location: Kington, Herefordshire, UK.
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Default Re: The Rise and Fall of Audio Tape at the BBC, by Ian Astbury

Scotch 202 was only used by Transcription Service for stereo programming - it was the first "low-noise" tape, branded "Dynarange" by 3M, and was marvellous stuff...except for the print-through, which could be obtrusive on occasion, making it an unsafe choice for speech programmes. In fact, TS ran mobiles double-banked with BASF LR56 to provide a backup master should this be problematical on a given recording.
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Old 30th Apr 2021, 9:31 am   #22
zigzagsky
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Default Re: The Rise and Fall of Audio Tape at the BBC, by Ian Astbury

Zonal was also used in post production VT at Television Centre. We used Studer (A80 I think) decks to lay off outgoing audio onto 1/4 inch tape so that we could do audio mixing during 2 machine editing (2 inch VTRs only has 1 useable track.
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Old 30th Apr 2021, 1:16 pm   #23
barrymagrec
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Default Re: The Rise and Fall of Audio Tape at the BBC, by Ian Astbury

I visited the Zonal factory in Redhill at some point in the mid seventies to pick up a sample of oxide - my customer was trying to put a mag stripe on 8mm polyester film and the Agfa oxide he normally used for acetate wouldn`t stick. I can`t remember if the experiment was a success.
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Old 6th May 2021, 10:57 am   #24
Amtec123
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Location: Reigate, Surrey, UK.
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Default Re: The Rise and Fall of Audio Tape at the BBC, by Ian Astbury

Thanks for reminding me regarding the COI contract, yes a similar PVC based product on recycled 10.5" NAB spools. I left Zonal's in 1971, so have no knowledge of the 8mm polyester project. I worked in the R&D lab and was involved in maintaining various pieces of test equipment including modified Ampex 351 1/4" decks which were used to check specifications were met. At that time there was a lot of research into formulations for 'low noise' products, these ranged from 1/4", 1", and 2" audio & instrumentation. The 1" version was used for the initial Concorde flight evaluation tests.

Slightly off topic, another project I was given was to "get working" a 2" Quadruplex VTR (Ampex VR1000B). This had sat idle for several years, but was now required to test samples of a new 'videotape' formulation. I had never seen let alone worked on one of these beasts before. Apart from the tape transport deck there were 3 x 19" racks full of around 300 valves, kept you warm in winter. Still we had all the circuit descriptions and diagrams. Having got it into a working state I was then told to convert it from 405 lines to 625. This was because the test signals and noise measuring gear would be on this "new standard". After some early failures it finally ran on 625, we had promising results from some of the test samples, but sadly they never turned into a commercial product.

I should say I will always be gratefull to both Zonal's and that old VR1000B. It set me on a road working with broadcast VTR's for the next 40+ years, only ending with Sony SRW5000 HDCAM machines, the last VTR they made.
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