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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 22nd Jan 2023, 5:13 pm   #1
8bit Barry
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Default Tape Choice for Mastering

I have been looking around at new 1/4Ē tape choices for mastering my own music on my new (to me!) B77mk2 HS here in UK, but I thought I would ask you all what you would choose?

RTM SM900, Capture 914 seem to be highly regardedÖ

Iím going to get the machine looked over and then biased to work optimally with a tape, of which Iíll probably buy a few of reels.

Any thoughts / recommendations / experiences gratefully received!
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Old 22nd Jan 2023, 5:43 pm   #2
stevehertz
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Default Re: Tape Choice for Mastering

Out of interest, what are the choices these days? Are there many choices?
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Old 22nd Jan 2023, 5:50 pm   #3
8bit Barry
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Default Re: Tape Choice for Mastering

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Originally Posted by stevehertz View Post
Out of interest, what are the choices these days? Are there many choices?
In the UK all I have found so far is RTM available through Thomann, Capture through Runway Audio

Iím keen to get a high dynamic range tape, the SM900 seeming to offer a very low noise floor.
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Old 22nd Jan 2023, 6:12 pm   #4
Cruisin Marine
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Default Re: Tape Choice for Mastering

All my old Scotch 206 tapes have totally fallen apart, the oxide falls off in strips- so avoid that stuff. It is really dark in colour from memory.
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Old 22nd Jan 2023, 11:39 pm   #5
TIMTAPE
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Default Re: Tape Choice for Mastering

Be careful of the tape you buy. With later "+9" tapes your B77 may run out of puff. I think the B77 was designed for no higher than +6 formulations.
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Old 23rd Jan 2023, 10:27 am   #6
Ted Kendall
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Default Re: Tape Choice for Mastering

You only need to bias the tape properly - peak record level is up to you.
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Old 23rd Jan 2023, 10:40 am   #7
knobtwiddler
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Default Re: Tape Choice for Mastering

RTM is made in France. There is also ATR tape made in the USA, but it's not as easy to find in the UK.

If you can't get good results on RTM, then your machine needs servicing. Nowt wrong with it!
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Old 23rd Jan 2023, 10:44 am   #8
TIMTAPE
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Default Re: Tape Choice for Mastering

Thanks Ted, I was thinking about the B77 record amps possibly clipping before saturating a +9 tape.
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Old 23rd Jan 2023, 11:44 am   #9
Analogue man
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Default Re: Tape Choice for Mastering

I have used RTM900 tape with very good results also I have found that second hand Maxell UD, LX and XLI all perform well and don't show signs of age. TDK GX and Memorex tapes also produce good results and don't appear to shed their oxide even when 40 years plus old.

I mentioned in an earlier post about my Ferrograph SP7, the bias on this machine can be adjusted from the front panel with a small screwdriver which the Revox's can't which is helpful when using whatever tape you can get hold of but both of my Revox's are biased for Maxell UD.
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Old 23rd Jan 2023, 9:12 pm   #10
jamesperrett
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Default Re: Tape Choice for Mastering

I have used RTM SM911 successfully with a B77.
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Old 24th Jan 2023, 7:12 pm   #11
TIMTAPE
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Default Re: Tape Choice for Mastering

RTM SM911 is advertised as +6.
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Old 24th Jan 2023, 7:32 pm   #12
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Tape Choice for Mastering

Another recommendation for the Japanese formulations if you're buying secondhand/NOS. Although not considered professional stock, they have aged very well and can be tremendous performers with correctly calibrated kit.
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Old 24th Jan 2023, 9:01 pm   #13
wireman
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Default Re: Tape Choice for Mastering

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8bit Barry View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevehertz View Post
Out of interest, what are the choices these days? Are there many choices?
In the UK all I have found so far is RTM available through Thomann, Capture through Runway Audio.
From a scan of another Forum that I'm a member of...

https://datastores.co.uk/product-cat...dio/open-reel/
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Old 24th Jan 2023, 10:42 pm   #14
arjoll
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Default Re: Tape Choice for Mastering

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Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
Another recommendation for the Japanese formulations if you're buying secondhand/NOS. Although not considered professional stock, they have aged very well and can be tremendous performers with correctly calibrated kit.
You're also unlikely to get sticky shed. I helped a friend record an album at uni in 1993 on a Tascam 16 track (MSR-16) at Radio One (Otago Uni student station) in Dunedin. I could get "cheap" 1/2" Maxell XLI from the importer, but he spent more and used Ampex 456 instead at the recommendation of the studio tech. Thirteen years later I saw the studio was selling the MSR-16 on Trademe to got the tapes back to transfer to digital - bad sticky shed of course so had to pay them an extra $100 to bake them.

Maxell hasn't had any issues with sticky shed.
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Old 25th Jan 2023, 12:38 am   #15
jamesperrett
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Default Re: Tape Choice for Mastering

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Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
Another recommendation for the Japanese formulations if you're buying secondhand/NOS. Although not considered professional stock, they have aged very well and can be tremendous performers with correctly calibrated kit.
Maxell is a safe choice. Most TDK tapes are fine although I have had the odd TDK GX tape that has gone sticky. Most BASF and Agfa tapes are fine although I have had one or two Agfa tapes that were sticky and they didn't respond to baking - as I would have known if I had read Richard Hess's excellent document on the problem first -

http://richardhess.com/notes/formats...grading-tapes/

Apparently Sony tapes are a bit mixed although I don't see many of those here. UK made 3M tapes are often good but I wouldn't use US made 3M tapes - in fact I wouldn't use any US made tapes at all because just about all of them seem to give problems unless baked.
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Old 25th Jan 2023, 10:04 am   #16
Ted Kendall
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Default Re: Tape Choice for Mastering

Scotch doesn't often go sticky, but I've had matt backed stuff strip its oxide off.
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Old 25th Jan 2023, 12:26 pm   #17
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Tape Choice for Mastering

It depends on the formulation Ted. Some Scotch tape used the same DuPont binder which was responsible for the Ampex problems. The domestic tapes seem to be OK though.
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