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Old 2007-08-19, 11:05 AM
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GRC GRC is offline
Trader since 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: UK
Re: Recommendations for ripping 16-bit and 24-bit to flac

Originally Posted by Tubular
For the analog reels and cassettes, it would be good to transfer it as few times as possible, as I have read that every time you play back a tape, the sound quality degrades a little.
Tell me about it. I'm just mighty relieved that no-one was selling Ampex tape in the UK when I was getting into reel-to-reel. From the look of your posts, I don't think I need mention tape baking in any detail .....

I've got ONE Ampex cassette in the whole collection of thousands, and it's the ONLY one that exhibits a problem that stops me playing it. I'll get around to baking it one day. A few of the others have degraded a bit, but in the main, they're all still perfectly usable, a mix of TDK, Maxell in the main. I was in the habit, when my masters were recorded onto cassette, of immediately or soon after, making a 'copy master' for general listening. The copy would take the hammering, and the true master sat on the shelf.

As far as the reel-to-reels go, they fall into 2 categories - 7" reels, recorded on my Akai 4000DS, and 10.5", dating from when I got my Revox in 1978. A couple of the 7 inchers decayed way too quickly - both manufactured by Scotch / 3M - one of these was recorded in 1975/6, and some patches are still OK, but some are dropping out really badly; I get the impression the magnetic material is just falling off the binder. The second Scotch was recorded in 1978, and became unusable a few short years later. Luckily I got a repeat broadcast of the main item on that tape, but I lost a few things that I'd really rather have kept.

Some of the early BASF 7" tapes are going off a bit, but I'm gradually getting them backed up to digital media.

The 10.5" are a mix of TDK, Agfa, Memorex, and most seem to be holding up OK - these days, I only play them when I'm transferring them to the Alesis. As an added safety precaution, I 'unlace' the tape from the tape guides and head assembly when fast-forwarding or rewinding, so that the only contact the tape has is on playback. It's a bit of a pain, but safer.

Regards, Graham
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