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ARSCLIST  February 2012

ARSCLIST February 2012

Subject:

Re: ovens for baking tapes

From:

Jim Lindner <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 21:10:44 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (69 lines)

George's comments are fair enough because I may have not been clear on the second because I did not want to repeat the first caution.  I wrote 2 emails and did caution against getting an oven that had been abused, and since my comments were spread over 2 emails it may have not been crystal clear. So - yes. ovens ARE available at very reasonable prices on Ebay and one should qualify any used oven including ones that you could buy on Ebay to make sure that they have not been abused or used in an industrial process that could have caused contamination. The idea is that you make sure that the oven you get is clean and performing as it should it you get an oven on Ebay - or anywhere else. I just looked again, and although I did not count each one - it seemed that about half of the listings - there are over 700 of them were under $1000 and there were many under $500. So I think is possible to find an oven that both works and has not been abused and suitable for the task at hand for extremely reasonable funds - even for the struggling remastering studio. 

I find it amazing that some of the comments here are from people who are audio aficionados and likely could tell you not only where the fly was in the room but what he had for lunch based on the flutter of his wings....  argue for a process that has absolutely no precision with nothing whatsoever to back it up. And the logic is - "horses for horses"? We are talking about $200 difference to have a real tool and not something made to dry out beef jerky.

 So the argument is to use something never designed to do the task, no precision at all, with absolutely nothing including the manufacturers recommendations to support the activity. With a lab oven it is trivial to actually know what you are doing, and with a food dehydrator you have absolutely nothing - and to save uh - $200? And that is "fancy". You buy a cartridge for how many hundreds, how much do you spend on the stylus, and $200 instead of $59 is excessive expenditure. I mean can you guys really say this with a straight face? Explain this to me or a customer. You want to charge me as a customer $200 to transfer a tape and you are using a $59 dehydrator on MY stuff? No - don't think that will be happening. And the logic is -  it works? Can you serious expect that to hold up when you are a professional? I mean you actually do this as a business - and one day a clients tape will not play back - and you will have baked it in your food dehydrator and they will sue you for gross negligence and you seriously expect that this will hold up? Can you imagine what an idiot you will look like? You take a clients "priceless" master and put it in a food dehydrator - do you think the insurance company will stand behind you on that? 

Let's call up the manufacturer. Ring Ring - acme dehydrator company - hi could I speak to the sales department please? 
Yes, can you please tell me if you recommend your food dehydrator for drying out audio tapes? What is an audio tape? No - it isn't food. Ah then you dont recommend it then. 

And what is the performance range of your dehydrator? Oh - you do not specify any? Really. Do you test any of them for performance in any range? No. Oh - and could you tell me how much you pay for the thermocouple in your dehydrator - oh, you dont know - one tenth of a cent maybe. Ok - thanks have a nice day. 

Can you imagine what will happen to you? Can you for a moment think that doing something like that is professional or responsible? Just "because it works"? Is that the criteria for tools in this field? Is this a professional talking? I mean are you going to continue to defend this absurd position? This is the most fun I have had in days!

I think the same logic can be applied to head phones - I should use the ones that United sells me for $1 on the next flight for remastering - after all they work, thousands of people use them every day to watch movies for hours. They work perfectly well. Everyone uses them - in fact probably more people use those headphones then all of the other professional headphones ever sold in history - every week. So - let's all use airline headphones. Right - same logic? Problem is you cant hear what you are doing. 


Jim Lindner

Email: [log in to unmask]
    
  Media Matters LLC.
  450 West 31st Street 4th Floor
  New York, N.Y. 10001

eFax (646) 349-4475
Mobile: (917) 945-2662
     
www.media-matters.net
Media Matters LLC. is a technical consultancy specializing in archival audio and video material. We provide advice and analysis, to media archives that apply the beneficial advances in technology to collection management.





On Feb 19, 2012, at 7:57 PM, Tom Fine wrote:

> Once again this is a case of horses for courses, as they say. Those who wish to pay as much as they want for anything, should do so. The fact is, many of us have used simple hot-air food dehydrator ovens for years with perfectly fine results (i.e. tapes are playable, do not stick or shed while being played). As we know, when it comes to the government, only the most expensive and complex solutions will do.  And, there is a limitless pile of deficit-spending money, so there is a bias for expensive and complex in order to feed the "authoritative" image, much like a rapper, athlete or hedge-funder will drive an Escalade to boost his "street cred" (yes, this is a stereotype meant to illustrate a point, much like the stereotypes expressed about those who dare use a simple and inexpensive tool to do the same job)
> 
> For an archive, collector or studio on a real-world, limited and defined budget, food dehydrators have a long history of doing the job of making SSS tapes playable, and conserving budget and time for the task of actually preserving and making available audio content. And only a fool would use the dehydrator with both food and tapes, so that's a stupid stereotypical "joke"/derision made by those who like to tell you how much they paid for their fancy toys. Consider that their expensive toys are why you pay too much for their services, stealing budget from actually preserving and making available audio content.
> 
> By the way, the American Harvester dehydrator is quite "repeatable" as far as producing playable tapes, many times over many years. Results speak for themselves. But again, horses for courses. There are more expensive and complex ways to skin the same cat.
> 
> -- Tom Fine
> 
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Bob Olhsson" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Sunday, February 19, 2012 7:27 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] ovens for baking tapes
> 
> 
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From Jim Lindner: "...I freely admit that if I had the opportunity, I would
>> take a certain amount of delight as an expert witness dissecting the
>> opposition (meaning someone using a food dehydrator being sued for gross
>> negligence) if they chose to use a $59 food dehydrator in the treatment of
>> clients tapes..."
>> 
>> As it happens I've used both methods. I found precisely what the chemical
>> engineer who first suggested substituting a food dehydrator predicted to be
>> true. The food dehydrator did less harm to the tapes than the older baking
>> methods you are suggesting. Have you done any actual tests to back up your
>> claims?
>> 
>> Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
>> Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
>> Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!
>> 615.562.4346 http://www.bobolhsson.com http://audiomastery.com
> 

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