From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
I used 15/16th ips quite a lot ca. 1965-67. I used it to record Italian radio
on medium wave, after 0030 in the morning until ca. 0330, when daylight
prevented long distance reception. They used to have half-hour thematic and
very nostalgic programs of uninterrupted music. I only recorded the Italian
pop music which still nice and mellow at the time, and which harked back to
the 1950s, when it was really mostly ballads. We have 9 kHz interchannel
distance in Europe, so the upper frequency is strictly limited to 4.5 kHz,
which did not deteriorate on the UHER 4000 Report mono at 15/16th ips speed.
I used the speeds of the UHER very systematically and marked my tapes and
indexes accordingly. "x" was the lowers, "y" was for spoken word, "z" was for
radio programmes with music, and "superior" (7½ ips) was for classical music.
x, y, and z were edited at twice the speed a few times per year when I
collected the content on thematic tapes. This saved time. The only problem
was that after a day's editing I could not fall to sleep at night because of
the Mickey-Mouse voices churning in my head. The second tape machine was
another UHER of the same kind. I still have both; one is merely resting, the
other still does occasional service, because I also fitted it with
continuously variable speed. I avoided wear on the tape guides for quick
rewind by looping the tape outside the headblock, using a home-made Teflon
(R) tape guide.
In this part of the World, 15/16th was a normal monitoring speed, for
instance control tower communications. But those recorders used much larger
reels, 5" is the limit for this tape recorder.
> If you can't find a tape machine that will play at 15/16 in/s, it doesn't
> really matter. Just play it back at 1 7/8 in/s and digitally halve the
> 15/16 in/s was strictly for dictation.
> Aaron Z