TechFan 324 – Cassette Tape

Tim and David discuss a pair of Shure headphones, Tim’s massive iOS 11 problems with his iPhone, and a long discussion on Cassette Tapes. And yes, the episode picture is a sixteen year old Tim from 1986

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2 thoughts on “TechFan 324 – Cassette Tape

  1. A thought on iOS-11: Some of the new settings you get are not visible unless you click on every right-arrow at every level. But even more important is that you can see on some of the settings where there’s a right-arrow, and that setting now says “Off”, yet if you click on the right-arrow you’ll see two or more additional lines with the first line setting “Off”, but something else enabled below that.

    Best to check *everything*.

  2. Some thoughts on Compact Cassettes: Jamming was a problem with most brands, and nearly all pre-recorded cassettes. Worse yet were the Columbia label pre-recorded cassettes, which typically used tape that did not have silicone lubricants impregnated into the tape, and those would usually fail after 10 plays or less. The bad news is that the poor construction of the pre-recorded tape shells caused enough flutter or even tape/head separation that the sound would be much worse than what you could record from an LP. And then there was tape-head wear. My Advent 201 premium tape deck used permalloy heads that wore quickly, and the groove that was worn in the playback head would damage new tapes along the edges, causing dropouts. This would happen only when the new tapes were perhaps 1/1000 inch wider than the tapes that cut the groove, but eventually it happens and it’s horrible. The newer decks with the “glass and crystal ferrite” heads lasted many times longer than those with the permalloy heads.

    The way I fixed the pre-recorded tapes I purchased was to buy a $3 (1970’s price) TDK blank tape and unscrew the case, then transfer the reels from the pre-recorded tape into the TDK shell. That made the pre-recorded tape more reliable, but also made it sound better. Unfortunately, there was no fix for the tapes that were made without lubricants.

    These issues I learned about tape and tape recorders were covered in Audio magazine, but not in the other magazines I subscribed to in the 1970’s (Stereo Review, High Fidelity, Stereophile, and Journal of the AES).

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