I've never tried doing all four tracks of a quarter-track stereo of high-fidelity music all at once
using my Tascam 44-OB, but I have had no problems doing some OTR (4-track mono) tapes. The quality
going in sucked, so the client was very happy to save money not paying for 4 passes across the
heads. I was actually surprised at how good it did sound. He told me his dubs were second-generation
from transfers of transcriptions (so either 3rd or 4th generation from the transmission line). He
had been smart enough to use a good quality deck (I forgot he told me it was Pioneer or Teac,
later-generation so with direct drive capstan and decent azimuth stability). On my scope, the
azimuth looked OK between tracks 1 and 4, so I figured I was probably getting pretty good fidelity
out of all 4 tracks, especially considering the relatively lo-fi source. His smartest moves in
making the tapes were doing them at 7.5IPS and using well-slit Maxell UD tape. We also transferred
at double speed (7.5IPS of 3.75IPS material), and again this did not effect the sound quality of OTR
source material very negatively. The guy got 4 hours of transfer material for every half hour of
tape machine on the clock time. As I said up front, I would never do this for high-fidelity musical
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, March 10, 2015 11:49 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Tape dubbing backwards?
> Some of the four-track in-line heads cheated down a little from the standard 43 mil track width,
> but I think it was down to 38 mils to allow for better crosstalk. This is not well
> documented...but then again we have a variation of at least 75-82 mils in "NAB" two track heads.
> At this point, if one is dealing with more than three tracks on 1/4-inch tapes there are usually
> larger issues than this.
> On 2015-03-09 9:09 PM, Dave Radlauer wrote:
>> Careful there, I don't think there's a one to one relation between 4-track
>> and 1/4 track formats, but I'm sure more knowledgeable voices will chime in.
>> Dave R
> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada 647 479 2800
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.