first I do have to make an assumption,
you are talking about tapes, and NOT cassettes.
If so, Tandberg produced four-track consumer machines, or more correctly
double stereo machines,
from as early as the beginning of the sixties.
If played back on a conventional two-track 1/4" you get one track forward
and one backward in each channel.
If this is what you are looking for,
I do have service manuals for this machines for you to have a copy of, if
requested. I am also sure there are people much closer to you that have the
machines to play them back for you, as I am writing from the Artic Circle in
national library of norway
+47 751 21 154
> -----Opprinnelig melding-----
> Fra: Joel Bresler [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sendt: 13. april 2004 18:27
> Til: [log in to unmask]
> Emne: [ARSCLIST] 4-track tapes
> Dear friends:
> A sound library I am collaborating with has a collection of
> what I believe
> to be home-recorded 4-track tapes. Played back on a
> conventional machine,
> it sounds as if there are two different selections playing at
> once. These
> tapes were made in California, and so I am wondering if they
> could be the
> 4-track system mentioned in the various articles below, one of which
> mentions California as one of the few locales that used the
> system broadly.
> Is there anywhere on the web a brief description of the
> 4-track systems
> offered for home use capable of recording?
> Can anyone advise of a vendor for new or reconditioned
> 4-track tape players
> to play these tapes? To be clear, I am NOT interested in a
> machine that
> will make its own 4-tracks according to newer standard, but
> rather, one
> that can play tapes decades old in the format used at that time.
> As an alternative, are there services (especially in Southern
> that could read these tapes in and output them to CD audio
> format? If there
> are a slew of 4-track formats, that might be easiest,
> especially since I
> don't anticipate an ongoing need for 4-track capability. What should I
> expect to pay for such a service?
> Thanks in advance for the help!!
> Four-track and 8-track cartridges coexisted on the
> marketplace for some
> time, with the 8-track format eventually defeating by attrition its
> look-alike cousin (before in turn being overtaken by the
> cassette format).
> Although extremely similar in appearance (the only obvious difference
> between the two being a large hole in the top left underside
> of 4-tracks),
> the two formats were not at all compatible, having been developed and
> marketed by two different and competing factions. The 4-track
> system was
> refined and marketed as a car accessory by Madman Ernie
> Muntz, a west-coast
> used car dealer looking for something he could offer as an
> accessory to
> boost his used car sales. His marketing and distribution
> arrangements were
> spotty at best, relegating the 4-track format to the inferior (when
> compared to 8-track) status of a regional phenomenon, most
> popular in such
> locales as California (Muntz's home base) and Florida, but
> unpopular or
> unknown in many other areas.
> Joel Bresler
> 250 E. Emerson Rd.
> Lexington, MA 02420
> 781-862-4104 (Telephone & FAX)
> [log in to unmask]