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I think when a dictabelt is creased, it's just going to skip. If you want to hear dictabelts 
a-plenty, get the audiobook version of Michael Beschloss's two excellent volumes detailing the LBJ 
White House recordings. I believe there is a third volume in the works that will detail when 
everything went south in the LBJ presidency. I would assume that great efforts were made to get as 
good a transfer as possible from those dictabelts, and some are just better than others.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Robert Hodge" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, December 05, 2006 3:27 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Dictabelts


> I'm not sure that you'd want to make them any more pliable than they
> already are due to the fact that the grove is an embossed one as
> oppossed to being cut and it may well self erase.
>
> My 2 bits...
>
> Bob Hodge
>
> Robert Hodge,
> Senior Engineer
> Belfer Audio Archive
> Syracuse University
> 222 Waverly Ave .
> Syracuse N.Y. 13244-2010
>
> 315-443- 7971
> FAX-315-443-4866
>
>>>> [log in to unmask] 12/5/2006 2:39 PM >>>
> --- Craig Breaden <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> I'm trying to find resources on grooved dictabelt recordings
>> (restoration
>> and care, playback, etc.).  I'm looking specifically for
>> information on
>> restoring pliability to grooved dictabelts.
>
> I use an older Dictaphone machine that has larger-diameter
> mandrels than the newer ones.  I've found that running the
> belt on the machine for an hour or so will help flatten
> out any creases from the belt having been pressed flat.
> The mailer sleeves that Dictaphone sold for the belts also
> pressed them flat, so the company didn't seem to think that
> flattening them would cause permanent damage.  The machine
> I have has an Atstatic crystal pickup which has a line
> level output that terminates in an RCA plug.  This makes
> it very easy to connect to an audio board.  I've never
> tried any kind of chemical on a belt to make it more
> pliable as I've never (in my limited experience)
> encountered one that I would consider stiffer than the
> belts were when new.
>
>
> David Breneman         [log in to unmask]
>
>
>
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