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Richard L. Hess wrote:

> I think it's important that we reinforce the lesson of playing magnetic 
> media on the best available equipment. While there are times when 
> playing a tape on the machine that recorded it will provide the sound 
> that the producer originally heard and intended, in most instances, 
> playing a magnetic recording on a high-end, late-model (but not 
> necessarily last-model) machine will provide superior results.

Let me move a second factor from implicit in Richard's post to explicit. 
It is not only and perhaps not primarily the improvement in audio 
quality that contributes to "superior results". In my experience, 
competent handling of the medium provides at least an equal payoff.

Historic media, whether tape or wire, are often damaged when recovery is 
initiated and are consistently fragile when played back. Since the 
objective is to capture the sound in a single pass, having that pass as 
nearly perfect as possible in the mechanical sense is essential. A 
non-professional deck may offer some advantages in audio recovery 
(though as Richard points out, that is unlikely), but it surely will not 
coddle the medium as a pro deck does.

Mike
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