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ARSCLIST  January 2009

ARSCLIST January 2009

Subject:

Re: rehousing audio cassettes/second tier DAK

From:

Dan Nelson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Thu, 22 Jan 2009 21:55:07 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (189 lines)

When it comes to bargain cassettes, thousands  were sold by DAK  industries mail order in calif.  
The first  cassettes DAK sold were relabeled  from  RCA, Kodak, Basf. 
After that DAK put in his own coating line with  magnetic compounds  from Magnox... this was a light brown oxide. 
I would later join the DAK team and was instrumental in upgrading the oxide to a black hi output type from Magnox.
This would remain the DAK standard till the Air Quality Management  made us shut down because of the evaporation of the solvents used in the binder for the coating process, at which time DAK bought bulk cassette tape from Ampex and loaded our own shells.
If you look inside the later DAK shell you will find the liner I developed. Unlike the flat plastic or wax paper liners found in many cassettes it is graphite coated with 3 small raised creases on both sides of the  spindle holes. I developed this as an effective way to keep the hubs and tape centered within the shell and at same time reduce friction that flat liners contributed.
Here it is several decades later I have hundreds of  DAK cassettes that still play, and quite well. 
Any one else have any DAK cassettes ?? 
dnward

P.S, The DAK  R2R tape is still another story....  quite interesting to say the least.



--- On Thu, 1/22/09, Jennifer Tobias <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> From: Jennifer Tobias <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] rehousing audio cassettes
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Date: Thursday, January 22, 2009, 1:36 PM
> Hi everyone,
> Thanks for the great input! We are in fact digitizing our
> collection, but we of course want our originals preserved in
> the best possible condition too, just in case. Thanks for
> all the great information!
> -Jen Tobias
> 
> Jen Tobias
> Technical Services and Special Collections Coordinator
> Naropa University
> Allen Ginsberg Library
> (303) 546-3505
> [log in to unmask]
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Richard L. Hess
> Sent: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 10:17 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] rehousing audio cassettes
> 
> Hi, Tom,
> 
> I agree with your points,  but there are batches of tapes
> that are 
> failing in odd ways -- and I'm not even referring to
> the horrid 
> feri-chrome tape in my blog from a few years ago.
> 
> We're seeing some second-tier tapes which are becoming
> dimensionally 
> unstable and won't wind well. This is where I've
> been pointed towards 
> metal cassette shells and other "fixes" short of
> a Studer A80QC to 
> play this stuff back on.
> 
> The tapes tend to "cone up" on their hubs and
> then wedge against the 
> inside of the case. I've seen this with mostly
> second-tier Canadian 
> tapes, but have had a half dozen out of several hundred
> mixed lots 
> that have done this. They are often C-120s, but I think I
> had some 
> C90s do it as well.
> 
> There is another phenomenon that has only been very poorly
> documented 
> and that is loss of highs just sitting in a wood drawer
> with no 
> magnets around. Some suggest that it is a magnetostriction
> effect 
> with the small radii that the tapes in cassettes move over.
> I don't 
> know and I haven't seen anything in the literature, but
> I haven't 
> done a comprehensive search for this specific item.
> 
> It seems to happen shortly after recording ( ~ < 1 year
> ), so it 
> doesn't appear to be something that is limiting life,
> but has already 
> degraded the magnetic record. This may be some of the
> reason that 
> Dolby NR doesn't track as well as we'd hoped it
> would, especially on 
> cassettes (where this problem is most noticeable).
> 
> And yes, of course, always transfer from the best available
> source. 
> Sadly, with many oral history collections, the cassettes
> are the best 
> available source. My big project that I've had in here
> for a while is 
> dragging on because I'm trying to find the best copy of
> stuff and all 
> are horrid. But the metadata the client is doing is farther
> behind 
> than my transfers so if I get to keep ahead of the metadata
> I can do 
> other work.
> 
> I did transfer one nice collection of about 50 reels that
> had been 
> previously transferred to cassettes. I had to throw in the
> baking, 
> because the client thought the cassettes were "good
> enough" but I 
> just couldn't see not doing it from the reels. It was
> such a joy to 
> hear real 1/2-track mono, on 1/4-inch tape without the
> cassette 
> "filter" over it. Even if the reels were mostly
> 1.88 in/s. I think 
> they were done on a Uher or similar.
> 
> Cheers,
> 
> Richard
> 
> At 07:23 PM 2009-01-21, Tom Fine wrote:
> >Hi Richard:
> >
> >I very much agree with you that all magnetic tapes are
> finite, so 
> >anything of value on them should be transferred as the
> clock is always ticking.
> >
> >That said, I've been transferring a group of about
> 50 cassettes I 
> >recently inherited and have been happily surprised by
> the results. A 
> >few of these tapes are, literally from the very dawn of
> cassettes as 
> >a mass medium (made at the first mass-duping plant in
> NY to do 
> >compact cassettes). Others were stored in very
> non-ideal conditions 
> >(a basement damp enough that paper labels were warped
> and stuck to 
> >the plastic cases). Others, including one of historical
> 
> >significance, were made on very low-grade examples of
> the cassette 
> >art. All except one played perfectly the first time in
> the machine. 
> >That one needed a shell transplant, mainly because the
> tape splice 
> >to the leader had dried out and the pressure pad glue
> had dried out. 
> >The audio quality varied from mediocre to very good but
> none was 
> >terrible (even an early mass-duped tape made from a
> 1940's disk 
> >recording). To be fair, almost all were spoken-word so
> the need for 
> >excellent speed stability and reliable frequency range
> extension was 
> >not as great. I was never a fan of cassettes in their
> heyday, on 
> >audio quality grounds (with music), but in recent
> years, my respect 
> >for the design of the medium grows. It is a
> cockroach-like audio 
> >storage medium, relatively non-fragile and usually
> fixable if the 
> >problems are mechanical.
> >
> >Compared to finicky digital-tape media, cassettes are
> likely to 
> >remain playable decades longer. But, Richard is right
> -- all tape is 
> >finite and everything of value on it should be
> transferred. In the 
> >case of cassettes, if you have a better source you will
> have better 
> >audio quality.
> 
> Richard L. Hess                   email:
> [log in to unmask]
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada       (905) 713 6733    
> 1-877-TAPE-FIX
> Detailed contact information:
> http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.


      

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