R2R - To play R2R tapes, don't you need two machines?
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  1. #1
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    R2R - To play R2R tapes, don't you need two machines?

    Do you listen to each tape all the way through?

    If not, and you fast forward or rewind them, aren't you adding unnecessary print-through and ultimately shortening their lives as high quality sources?

    Back in the days when I played masters, and I needed to hear a different tape, I moved the first tape to a stand-by transport to "play" the first tape to the end. I never stored a "wound" tape.

    Has this changed?
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  2. #2
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    Re: R2R - To play R2R tapes, don't you need two machines?

    YES!!!!! A reason to buy a second deck. I've been wanting a reason other than buying another toy.

    To your question, I usually listen to the tape until the end.

    When I don't, I'll switch to digital for that little bit of time and just let it play. Or I'll take a bathroom break etc.

    I don't have a second tape deck . . . . . yet anyway.
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    Re: R2R - To play R2R tapes, don't you need two machines?

    I have two tape decks, but I always listen all the way through at least one tape - rarely, if ever, fast forwarding through the music. It's the same with vinyl. I always listen to at least one side of the album, but 99% of the time - the entire album all the way through.

    With respect to computer audio, I often wonder if we build a play list of different songs, artists, albums, etc., whether we are really missing the "getting into the music" experiences that tape and vinyl provide. Music appetizers if you will, rather than the full meal?
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    Re: R2R - To play R2R tapes, don't you need two machines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Smith View Post
    Do you listen to each tape all the way through?

    If not, and you fast forward or rewind them, aren't you adding unnecessary print-through and ultimately shortening their lives as high quality sources?

    Back in the days when I played masters, and I needed to hear a different tape, I moved the first tape to a stand-by transport to "play" the first tape to the end. I never stored a "wound" tape.

    Has this changed?
    Could you elaborate on this a bit, Jim? How does ff or rewind add 'print through'? Why is it bad to store a wound tape?
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  5. #5
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    Re: R2R - To play R2R tapes, don't you need two machines?

    From what I understand - it's because the tape gets wound tighter in a rewind which over time causes the magnetic information to bled through from the tape in the next revolution.
    Jock

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    Re: R2R - To play R2R tapes, don't you need two machines?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Print-through

    print through is mostly a problem with older tape formulations. I've owned a number of tapes for 8-9 years now, all modern tape formulations, with zero print through.

    the issue of 'tape pack' has to do with the quality of the tape and the transport.....as well as the speed of the pack. the very best transports are capable of a good tape pack at rewind speeds. but many decks are not precise enough for that.

    ideally to store a tape long term it's best to 'play it on'.....'tails out'. that means the tape is stored 'tails out'......which means it is stored on the reel it will be played back onto (the right side). you then mount the tape and fast forward it onto the 'take up' reel on the left side, then play it back onto the right side at 'play speed'. this gives you the best most uniform and even pack for a flat look to the top of the pancake.

    the whole tape thing has to do with the level of quality and condition for decks and tape.

    the idea of never fast forwarding a tape has to do with how hard a transport is on the tape. with older tape it cannot handle much stress so you need 2 decks. with newer tape and the best transports this is not too relevant.

  7. Thanks Mike, Nikhil thanked for this post
  8. #7
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    Re: R2R - To play R2R tapes, don't you need two machines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lavigne View Post
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Print-through

    print through is mostly a problem with older tape formulations. I've owned a number of tapes for 8-9 years now, all modern tape formulations, with zero print through.

    the issue of 'tape pack' has to do with the quality of the tape and the transport.....as well as the speed of the pack. the very best transports are capable of a good tape pack at rewind speeds. but many decks are not precise enough for that.

    ideally to store a tape long term it's best to 'play it on'.....'tails out'. that means the tape is stored 'tails out'......which means it is stored on the reel it will be played back onto (the right side). you then mount the tape and fast forward it onto the 'take up' reel on the left side, then play it back onto the right side at 'play speed'. this gives you the best most uniform and even pack for a flat look to the top of the pancake.

    the whole tape thing has to do with the level of quality and condition for decks and tape.

    the idea of never fast forwarding a tape has to do with how hard a transport is on the tape. with older tape it cannot handle much stress so you need 2 decks. with newer tape and the best transports this is not too relevant.
    Excellent!

    I remember hearing pre/post echo on LPs from masters that were handled poorly.

    Think I'd still be extra careful with my tapes, though.


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  9. #8
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    R2R - To play R2R tapes, don't you need two machines?

    Quote Originally Posted by madfloyd View Post
    Could you elaborate on this a bit, Jim? How does ff or rewind add 'print through'? Why is it bad to store a wound tape?
    Mad Floyd, see Mike L's comment & my reply.


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