Here is a link to a very useful database on digital audio and helpful tips.
Marie O'Connell wrote:
> Perhaps you may wish to email [log in to unmask] for his
> findings on DAT preservation and other options, a paper he recently
> presented at the 2009 IASA conference in Athens.
> On Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 9:39 AM, Richard L. Hess <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>> At 01:54 PM 2009-11-01, A. F. Thal wrote:
>> The notion (championed by persons whom I would characterize as being
>>> mis-informed) that archival audio transfer technicians might now collect a
>>> number of such worn-out machines for spare parts, in order to re-assemble
>>> enough working units to go forward with the transfer work, is one I find
>>> preposterous if any (even bare minimum) technical standards are to be met.
>> I would have to agree with Fred here. Having obtained some other decks,
>> sight unseen, thinking they would be useful for parts, has been a very
>> hit-or-miss affair and I now no longer collect parts machines as the same
>> parts seem to be broken on many of them. That is not to say that I'm getting
>> rid of any parts or parts machines, but I see it counter-productive to
>> acquire any more. There comes a time where the most-likely-to-fail part will
>> have to be re-sourced or re-manufactured in one way or another.
>> With that said, the A80 appears to be the most easy to maintain deck
>> available due to its use of standard (but very high quality) ball bearings.
>> I am sure that Fred returns these machines to the finest "Swiss Watch"
>> precision possible.
>> We are seeing fewer and fewer "cream puff" versions of any tape machine and
>> a beat-to-a-pulp machine is a sad thing to try and put right.
>> With that said, I do spend a fair amount of my time in machine maintenance,
>> but the most annoying formats are the oddball cassette formats. My
>> four-track Tascam cassette just died and it sounds better (though is not as
>> flexible) than my CMS unit. Sigh. The real annoyance here is that I do about
>> two to four tapes a year in this format.
>> As a broad caveat, I am not aware of anyone doing what Fred is doing for
>> DAT and other dedicated digital audio tape machines (maybe Manhattan Sound
>> Technicians in Minneapolis) so I think that these dedicated digital formats
>> are even more at risk than the older open reel.
>> Thanks Jim and Fred for highlighting these issues. I feel comfortable that
>> I'll be able to transfer tapes as long as I want to with the parts that I
>> have and are still available, but I'm not encouraging my sons to continue
>> with it (thankfully, one is thinking about being a doctor).
>> 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.