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I've been digitizing some very early 7 1/2 IPS 1/4" 2 track mono Bel Canto "Hi-Fi" on tape" 5" reels, and although some comments were made regarding the company's low quality of duplication later on, these truly seem to live up to the attempt to manufacture "Hi-Fi" tapes. The recordings include the Ray Charles Chorus' "Moods in Far Away Places" #102, Murray McEachern's buttery trombone and orchestra  "Music for Sleepwalkers Only" #104 and Frank Hunter's orchestra and chorus' "Music for Hearth and Heart" Vol. I #106.  In addition, another same format well recorded album is "Listen to the Hi-Lo's" Jazztape 4002 with Frank Comstock's arrangements and conducting of his orchestra.  So, going by these early tapes, the money spent on these studio sessions must have equaled or
 even paralleled the LPs being produced.  I haven't checked, but maybe these were/have been released in both formats.  I'm really impressed by the crispness and good signal to noise of these little "easy listening" and jazz reels.

--- On Mon, 9/24/12, Scott D. Smith <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Scott D. Smith <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Paper based tapes
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Monday, September 24, 2012, 4:19 PM

Richard's points on the track width and artifacts of DC erasure are well taken. This is one situation where being able to re-position a head anywhere across the tape would be a huge help.

FWIT; I used a Magnetophone M-15A with a 150 mil custom repro head for most of the transfers we did, due to the fact that it
 has the largest radius transport rollers of any machine I know, which helped to minimize the possible separation of oxide from the binder due to tight radius of the rollers on some machines. Your mileage may vary....

Scott D. Smith
Chicago Audio Works, Inc.


On 9/23/2012 4:19 PM, Richard L. Hess wrote:
> Hi, Karl,
> 
> I have run a few dozen paper based tapes on the APR-5000 and a few on the A80 and have been lucky enough to do every one which has been presented over the years.
> 
> The paper tape that I have seen (from both U.S. and Canadian sources, including Brush/Soundmirror boxed tape and Utah tape from Canada, as well as 3M and other unknown material) all seems to have held up reasonably well. I have not seen any that have been under water, but some were not particularly well-cared-for. The recordings generally are not great, especially the home-made ones.
> 
> The tearing issue is
 worse than acetate tape. The track configuration has been odd. The level is usually low enough that I find it difficult to conjure up any sort of developed image of the tracks. I do have a 200-mil centre-track head for this purpose, but, on the other hand, I've also used 43-mil centre-track head (from a stereo NAB cartridge tape which is actually a 3-track head with the same track width as 1/4-track stereo).
> 
> The 200 mil head seems a bit wide and the 43 mil head is a bit narrow. If I had a bunch where the utmost quality was needed, I'd try and mis-adjust the height of an NAB stereo head or maybe a DIN head to get the 82 or 100 mil track in the centre.
> 
> Some of the noise problem (and what drove me to the 43 mil head) seems to come from DC erasure which, as you know, is very noisy. So, even with the 200 mil head (cutting 40 mils off the tape width, it sounded as if too much erased-but-not-re-recorded tape face was being
 reproduced. It was generally quieter in the "rocks" department from the 43 mil head than the 200 on the tapes I've done that with, but the tape hiss (general Gaussian noise) increased, although that was easier to remove with Algorithmix Noise-Free pro than the rocks were, so I opted to go that route.
> 
> On a couple of odd tapes (and I now forget if they were paper or acetate or a mix), I ended up using a full-track head on a Studer A80 because it seemed that odd parts of the tape were erased. Grabbing as much of the signal as possible seemed like a good idea at the time. The client was happy. I wasn't but they got to hear what was on the tape.
> 
> As with any old and unknown-source/format tape, experimentation and your ears are your friends.
> 
> Cheers,
> 
> Richard
> 
> On 2012-09-21 2:03 PM, Karl Miller wrote:
>> I wondered if anyone has had experience with paper based tapes and
 if so, are
>> there any special problems associated with them.
>> 
>> Thanks.
>> 
>> Karl
>> 
>