I have an RCA cartridge if you want to have one for show and tell.
One thing to remember, is at least the RCA cartridge used 1/4-inch tape,
ran at 3.75 in/s and used the standard 1/4-track stereo format with tracks
1 & 3 being left and right on each side.
The tapes come out nicely with a special threading pattern on my APR-5003s
and then I play them like any other 1/4-track tape, though they do have
artifacts from poorly seated cartridges.
I don't know the track format of the Revere cartridge, but I suspect that
it, too, is a 1/4-track stereo format. It was single spool (like
DLT/S-AIT/LTO data tape today) and about 3-4 inches square-ish.
I am unaware of the Garrard and CBS systems. Please tell me more.
Prior to the 8-track, there was the Muntz 4-track in a cartridge similar to
an NAB broadcast cartridge. The NAB broadcast cartridge was in use for many
years and was available in both mono and stereo, both with a cue track.
Pacific Recorders and Engineering (now part of Harris) made a product
called "TomCat" that used wider heads for the audio and a narrower cue-tone
4-track (Muntz) and NAB cartridges had pinch roller in the machine,
8-tracks had pinch roller in the cartridge.
The stereo NAB cartridges used 3 tracks about 42 mils wide. The mono NAB
cartridge used two 82 mil tracks just like 2-track tape.
I might be able to get you an NAB cartridge as a sample.
I just missed a Muntz cartridge on eBay -- but it was Beatles, so the price
was higher than it needed to be.
At 10:20 AM 6/18/2003 -0400, you wrote:
>In Alan Ward's "A Manual of Sound Archive Administration" there are
>references to the beginnings of the audio cassettes or "encased 'talking
>books'" (p.163) beginning with RCA's 1958 cassette system, followed by
>Garrard in 1959, and then CBS in 1961.
>I am seeking additional information on any other cassette formats in these
>transitional years 1960-1970 before the Philips compact cassette and the
>8-track tape become standards in the market. I have not been able to find
>much more than Ward's introduction.
>Ward goes on to state "expert knowledge of obsolete cassette types is
>unlikely to enjoy much application as the chance of finding a compatible
>machine is remote and only a small minority were used in any quantity for
>other than prerecorded commercial releases" (p171). Be that as it may, I am
>currently developing a pictorial guide to audio formats that I hope to go
>beyond the commonplace formats (much like my guide to videotape formats at
>This information will be presented at the Sound Savings preservation
>conference in Austin next month, so any leads on other obsolete cassette
>formats would be greatly appreciated (and acknowledged).
>Smithsonian Institution Archives
>MRC 414 Room 2135 A&I
>202-357-1421 x 56 (telephone)
>[log in to unmask]