The biggest problem with the duped cassettes was azimuth and also Dolby tracking. You actually could
get the frequency response OK up into the high octaves. Richard Hess probably knows about this, I'm
guessing you have to use very precise head gaps. But you can have these wonderful heads and the best
intentions but then when you use a POS cheapo tape type, run your dupes on an Ampex 3200 varient
transport and load the result into garbage shells, not even the best tape deck can play them back
worth a damn.
I was never that conservative about recording levels on cassettes, I'd let my peak levels get over 0
but the average level would be below or just at 0 depending on how compressed the source was (yes,
there was toothpaste mastering in the LP era, especially with rock records). Dolby HX was a really
good idea and it's too bad it didn't catch on more widely. Luckily, I didn't adopt Dolby C until the
CD era, so very few cassettes that I couldn't just get the CD were made with that system. The
problem with Dolby C is that it gets to terribly mis-tracking as the cassette naturally loses its
level over time.
And yes, them young 'uns today have no idea the geeky rituals us gray dudes used to go through to
hear decent-fidelity music on the go!
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Shoshani" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2011 7:49 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] DATs DELETED but not LPs (was: 15/16 Recording Speed)
> On Thu, 2011-01-13 at 19:21 -0500, Tom Fine wrote:
>> But, none of this warm and fuzzy nostalgia will make those piece of garbage pre-duped tapes sold
>> the Walkman Generation sound any better. They were disposable junk, and almost all of them ended
>> in landfills in the 90's, replaced by much better sounding CD's. I never fell for the trap since
>> could dub my own tapes.
> Same here. I never understood how high speed commercial dubbing worked
> in the first place; it seems that all the high frequencies would be well
> out of the reproduction and recording range of the equipment involved.
> I made my own LP to cassette dubs, carefully setting the recording level
> to kick just below -0 db on the loudest passages so as not to ride gain
> My children will never know such geeky joys. :)
> Michael Shoshani