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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 6th Dec 2023, 7:31 pm   #1
deadwax
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Default Twin Track playing both sides of mono tape

I have about 25 tapes which I play on my grundig TK14. Not had any issues with bought tapes until today where the tape is playing both sides, one backwards of course. It’s a £33 purchase so quite annoying but, assuming it’s not recoverable, can someone explain the reason it occurs please? It is only this particular tape (so not a machine issue). The tape is an EMI twin track mono.
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Old 6th Dec 2023, 7:39 pm   #2
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Twin Track playing both sides of mono tape

Almost certainly, the tape contains a 4 track recording. Your 2 track machine is playing 2 tracks at once, one backwards.

Is the tape 4 track stereo?
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Old 6th Dec 2023, 7:45 pm   #3
deadwax
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Default Re: Twin Track playing both sides of mono tape

Well it shouldn’t be stereo. It’s The Beatles Help! which I’m sure was only available as twin track mono. The leader has the correct cat no for the mono tape.
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Old 6th Dec 2023, 7:52 pm   #4
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Default Re: Twin Track playing both sides of mono tape

I guess someone could have recorded over the tape from a stereo record/tape source (if it had been partially erased in error for example).
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Old 6th Dec 2023, 8:04 pm   #5
Sergeauckland
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Default Re: Twin Track playing both sides of mono tape

I occasionally did that with prerecorded cassette tapes once CDs became available as my then Nakamichi would do much better job than the duplicated tape, and I still had the box and insert.
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Old 6th Dec 2023, 8:36 pm   #6
dave walsh
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Default Re: Twin Track playing both sides of mono tape

That sounds like a possibility Sergeauckland. Before deadwax ID'd the tape from the leader [as mono] I was thinking about some of the bad transfers [particulary with vinyl] that came out in a sort of pseudo stereo during the 80's, sometimes with vocals on one side track and instruments on the other.

I joined with other family members to buy a Beatles Complete LP series in the eighties for a Cousin. It was very expensive [21st Birthday I think] and I was allowed to tape them [eventually] but the sound was not good at all. I don't think he noticed though. If you can get access to a 4 track machine Deadwax, it should at least definetely confirm whether it is 4 track or not.
If it is of good quality, you might even get a decent price anyway from a 4 track owner. Dedicated collectors will often buy absolutely anything.

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Old 7th Dec 2023, 4:44 pm   #7
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Default Re: Twin Track playing both sides of mono tape

Buy some magnetic powder and put in on the tape in question you will see the magnetic tracks!
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Old 7th Dec 2023, 10:07 pm   #8
Sound Man
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Default Re: Twin Track playing both sides of mono tape

I've got the same tape here but I've never had that issue on my machine.

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Old 7th Dec 2023, 10:11 pm   #9
deadwax
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Default Re: Twin Track playing both sides of mono tape

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Originally Posted by Sound Man View Post
I've got the same tape here but I've never had that issue on my machine.

David
I’ve got two copies and the other is fine. It must have been re-recorded over the original.
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Old 11th Dec 2023, 10:47 am   #10
Welsh Anorak
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Default Re: Twin Track playing both sides of mono tape

I suppopse that's where cassettes had the edge in havigng the 'accidental erase' tab.

Is this the recording of 'Help!' you expected or just some random recording? Even if you don't have a 4-track machine your knowledge of the correct recording should help (no pun intended).
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Old 11th Dec 2023, 11:34 am   #11
deadwax
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Default Re: Twin Track playing both sides of mono tape

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Originally Posted by Welsh Anorak View Post
I suppopse that's where cassettes had the edge in havigng the 'accidental erase' tab.

Is this the recording of 'Help!' you expected or just some random recording? Even if you don't have a 4-track machine your knowledge of the correct recording should help (no pun intended).
From what I could clearly hear at the start of side one (which is longer than side 2 so had a whole song which played properly) it was a completely standard recording. I decided to return it to the seller on the basis it was no good to me but explained the issue so they could sell it again but with an explanation that it was likely to be 4T stereo and would need a suitable player.
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Old 11th Dec 2023, 11:51 am   #12
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Default Re: Twin Track playing both sides of mono tape

Certainly, all the EMI pre-recorded tapes I remember from the 60s were 3.75ips 2 track mono recordings on 5" reels.
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Old 11th Dec 2023, 7:00 pm   #13
Ted Kendall
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Default Re: Twin Track playing both sides of mono tape

EMI did release some quarter track stereo 3 3/4 tapes in 1969. They weren't much good, if the samples I have are anything to go by, and didn't last long. One more format for Beatles completists to collect, though...
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