Hello, David,

Good speaking with you this afternoon.

As I said, I have two X-86 machines (without the digital I/O board) 
that I believe were used as demo machines only. The pinch rollers are 
in iffy shape and I don't have an X-86 tape to play on them, so I 
don't know if they are in operable condition or not. The heads _look_ 
like they have not been worn at all, but I don't know how bad the 
wear has to be in order to make the heads inoperable. The cleaning 
instructions either for these heads or for the Sony DASH heads (which 
are similar in concept, but incompatible from all reports) are to 
treat them like a video tape head and don't use cotton swabs and only 
clean them along the direction of tape motion.

As I found out on this and several other lists, there appear to be 
four flavours of Mitsubishi 2-track recordings:
   - Original X-80 (and that used both 50.4 and 48 ks/s and you'll 
have to speed/pitch convert the 50.4 as it will play at 48)
   - Standard X-86 (15 in/s 20 bit possible (I have the 16 bit 
converters with Apogee filters, I think) 44.1/48 ks/s)
   - High Resolution X-86HS (15 in/s 16 bit 96 ks/s)
   - Radio station X-86LT (7.5 in/s 16 bit 44.1/48 ks/s)

There was an X-86C that would play both the "standard" X-86 tapes and 
had an X-80 mode for playing the legacy tapes.

We should continue our discussion.

I would be curious to understand other than the Eastman School of 
Music how much X-86 tape there is out there. That would influence my 
decision as to what to do with these machines.

I'm not sure it's worthwhile for me to try and equip for all of these 
variants. We found that there are a few places that can transfer X-80 
tapes, but I'm not sure if there are as many that can do X-86. I 
would love to know who else can do any/all of these variants. I'm 
thinking listing them on the Resources page of my Web site might be 
the best answer.

I think, perhaps, finding someone to make some new heads for ESM's 
existing machines might be the way to go.

A philosophical note: I am attempting to reduce the number of 
platforms that I have to maintain. That was the main reason behind 
the "FrankenSony" project that allowed me to use two Sony APR-5003v 
machines next to each other as an up-to-4-track reproducer. That way, 
I was able to dump my Otari MTR-12 and MTR-10s and have one less 
different machine to look after. There is a huge cost (at least to 
this one-person operation) to maintaining different machines.

I have narrowed my mainstream machines down to:
   Sony APR-5003v (1/4 and 1/2 inch 1-4 channels, 1-8 tracks, timecode)
   Sony APR-16 (only one ever made, uses same audio boards as 5003V 
for 1/2 inch 4/8 tracks and 1 inch 8/16 tracks)
   Studer A-810 (1/4 inch 1-2 channels, pilot)
   Nakamichi Dragons (most 0.150 tape even if loaded from other 
cassettes into a Philips cassette)

I have lots of other machines, but dedicated machine-pair-per-format 
will use a lot of space and become a major maintenance headache.



At 02:46 PM 9/12/2005, you wrote:
>At the Eastman School of Music, we are exploring the transfer of 
>material recorded on open reel X-86 tape in the 1990s.  That the 
>playback equipment is no longer manufactured has raised concern over 
>the viability and continuing retrievability of these very recent 
>archival holdings.
>I would be grateful to receive responses, via personal email, from 
>any ARSC members who have worked with this format and who may know 
>of the whereabouts of functional playback equipment.
>With all best wishes,
>David Peter Coppen
>David Peter Coppen
>Special Collections Librarian and Archivist
>Sibley Music Library, Eastman School of Music
>27 Gibbs St.
>Rochester, NY  14604
>tel. (585) 274-1335
>fax (585) 274-1380
>email:  [log in to unmask]

Richard L. Hess                           email: [log in to unmask]
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