The majority of the problems I have encountered with DAT tapes had to
do with alignment of the heads on the DAT machine - the alignment is
So...if the DAT was recorded with a machine that was misaligned (which
commonly happened over time), it would only play back on the same
machine _without_ it having been serviced or the heads re-aligned. If
it turns out that your whole collection isn't playing back, I would
suspect that the machine(s) your working with may have misaligned
heads. Best to bring one of the machines to a repair person and see if
that corrects the problem.
The "physical" problems I have encountered with DAT tapes, have been
digital dropouts - that, I'm afraid, I don't know what, if anything,
can be done about; and they are, as many of you know, more significant
than analogue dropouts. Yep, digital...
Composer / Sound Engineer
On 6-Feb-06, at 6:39 PM, seva wrote:
> i've read many threads on issues surrounding playability. the one
> looming now, for many people, are DAT tapes.
> after completing a large archival transfer of hundreds of analog
> tapes, and having very little trouble (only a few needed baking, they
> were Ampex 407), i found it ironic to consider the next phase for most
> collections. when mentioning the analog tape transfers, many
> non-professional friends immediately wondered "wow! they were
> playable?", and i mentioned that they were very much so, and that my
> worries were much more toward the digital age media.
> some who got the point mentioned that their early digital video tapes
> were not playing well, and even the high-density 8mm and Hi-8 video
> tapes... i think these were evaporated metal or metal particle, not
> sure, but certainly different from Scotch 111 or 207...
> i wouldn't be asking for a discussion if i'd found an archived thread
> on this, so please forgive me if i overlooked it.
> are there any known methods for playing DATs which don't want to play
> even on the original recording machine?
> anyone willing to mention competent DAT repair places, DAT machines
> which seem to be more tolerant, and more gentle, to the tapes?
> w/best regards,
> mastering engineer
> || | | | | | | |
> Things are not what they seem to be; nor are they otherwise.
> -- Lankavatara Sutra