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Cassette speed limit

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Anonymous
August 3, 2004 3:35:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Another post just got me wondering...
What's the practical speed limit for a 1/4" cassette deck before you'd start
to have problems with recording? The idea of course is to get better signal
to tape.

Was there a technical reason the cassette four tracks ran at the same speed
as consumer decks or was it an arbitrary decision based on part
availability/cost?

jb

More about : cassette speed limit

August 3, 2004 3:35:42 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

reddred wrote:

> Another post just got me wondering...
> What's the practical speed limit for a 1/4" cassette deck before you'd start
> to have problems with recording? The idea of course is to get better signal
> to tape.
>
> Was there a technical reason the cassette four tracks ran at the same speed
> as consumer decks or was it an arbitrary decision based on part
> availability/cost?

There were cassette based four tracks that ran at 3 3/4 ips. That's
double the 1 7/8 ips consumer cassette standard.

--
Eric

Practice Your Mixing Skills
Multi-Track Masters on CD-ROM
www.Raw-Tracks.com
Anonymous
August 3, 2004 6:40:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"reddred" <opaloka@REMOVECAPSyahoo.com> wrote in message
news:0dWdnRTO2ZWmmpLcRVn-vw@adelphia.com...
> Another post just got me wondering...
> What's the practical speed limit for a 1/4" cassette deck before you'd
start
> to have problems with recording? The idea of course is to get better
signal
> to tape.
>
> Was there a technical reason the cassette four tracks ran at the same
speed
> as consumer decks or was it an arbitrary decision based on part
> availability/cost?

Actually some of them ran twice as fast. My guess for the reason they didn't
go faster is that they used consumer transports and there are limits as to
what they can do.
Related resources
Anonymous
August 3, 2004 12:51:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <0dWdnRTO2ZWmmpLcRVn-vw@adelphia.com> opaloka@REMOVECAPSyahoo.com writes:

> What's the practical speed limit for a 1/4" cassette deck before you'd start
> to have problems with recording? The idea of course is to get better signal
> to tape.

If that's what you really meant, there were actually a couple of 1/4"
cassette system built. Most were message machines (the medium was called
a "cartrige" rather than "cassette") and there was the L-Cassette
which looked like a Phillips compact cassette but larger, with 1/4"
tape. It never made it. Most, if not all of these 1/4" cartrige
machines ran at 3-3/4 IPS.

The common audio cassette uses 1/8" tape. The only consumer machines
for straight audio use run at 1-7/8 IPS. Specialized multitrack
machines such as the Portastudio class run at 3-3/4 IPS. High speed
duplicators run up to 8x standard speed (15 IPS) for duplication in
the cassette, and up to 64x standard speed (120 IPS) for duplication
before loading into the cassette. But they're all designed for
standard-speed playback of the duplicate.

> Was there a technical reason the cassette four tracks ran at the same speed
> as consumer decks or was it an arbitrary decision based on part
> availability/cost?

It's a license thing. Phillips (who invented the cassette and has
certain rights to its format) defined a 2-track mono and 4-track
stereo format which would be compatible - you could play a stereo tape
on a mono deck and hear an equal mono mix of the two tracks, or you
could play a mono tape on a stereo deck and hear the single track
equally from both speakers. TASCAM had to get a special exception to
the license in order to selectively record on individual tracks rather
than one (mono) or two (stereo), and they (or maybe Fostex did it
first) had to get an exception to run at 3-3/4 IPS.

So the simple answer is that it's a well controlled standard that's
standard so that any boob can put any cassette into any player and
hear something reasonable, not playback at the wrong speed, one
channel backwards, or only one channel of a stereo recording.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
August 3, 2004 12:58:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

reddred <opaloka@REMOVECAPSyahoo.com> wrote:
>Another post just got me wondering...
>What's the practical speed limit for a 1/4" cassette deck before you'd start
>to have problems with recording? The idea of course is to get better signal
>to tape.

The Philips compact cassette is 1/8" wide tape, run at 1 7/8 ips. You can
run them as fast at 7.5 ips but this changes the flutter more than reduces
it, because you now have lots of chatter from these little reels that were
never supposed to turn that fast. Also, since the contact area of the capstan
is so small, it's very hard to get much torque to the tape.

>Was there a technical reason the cassette four tracks ran at the same speed
>as consumer decks or was it an arbitrary decision based on part
>availability/cost?

The cassette four-track decks I know of all run at twice normal cassette
speed, 3 3/4 ips. In fact, a lot of the higher end cassette decks, like
the Tascam 122, also have double-speed. Unfortunately, every manufacturer
that did this also seemed to use their own proprietary emphasis curve.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
August 3, 2004 1:12:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In this place, Romeo Rondeau was recorded saying ...
>
> "reddred" <opaloka@REMOVECAPSyahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:0dWdnRTO2ZWmmpLcRVn-vw@adelphia.com...
> > Another post just got me wondering...
> > What's the practical speed limit for a 1/4" cassette deck before you'd
> start
> > to have problems with recording? The idea of course is to get better
> signal
> > to tape.
> >
> > Was there a technical reason the cassette four tracks ran at the same
> speed
> > as consumer decks or was it an arbitrary decision based on part
> > availability/cost?
>
> Actually some of them ran twice as fast. My guess for the reason they didn't
> go faster is that they used consumer transports and there are limits as to
> what they can do.

The capstan diameter is limited by the size of the hole in the cassette
case. I suspect there would be mechanical problems if the rotational
speed were increased too much.

Also, tape length is limited by the cassette casing size - every
doubling of speed halves the run time. At 3.3/4ips you only get 15
minutes recording out of a C60 (longer tapes are usually discouraged
because of tape thinness) - at 7.1/2ips that would fall to ~7 minutes.

--

George
Newcastle, England

Problems worthy of attack
Prove their worth, by hitting back [Piet Hein]
Anonymous
August 3, 2004 6:15:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 2004-08-03, reddred <opaloka@REMOVECAPSyahoo.com> wrote:

> What's the practical speed limit for a 1/4" cassette deck before you'd
> start to have problems with recording? The idea of course is to get
> better signal to tape.
>
> Was there a technical reason the cassette four tracks ran at the same
> speed as consumer decks or was it an arbitrary decision based on part
> availability/cost?

The Yamaha MT-100 and Tascam 238 ran at 9.5 cm/s (double speed).

--
André Majorel <URL:http://www.teaser.fr/~amajorel/&gt;
"See daddy ? All the keys are in alphabetical order now."
Anonymous
August 3, 2004 7:08:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Scott Dorsey <kludge@panix.com> wrote:

> The cassette four-track decks I know of all run at twice normal cassette
> speed, 3 3/4 ips. In fact, a lot of the higher end cassette decks, like
> the Tascam 122, also have double-speed. Unfortunately, every manufacturer
> that did this also seemed to use their own proprietary emphasis curve.
> --scott

I still have my Audio Technica RMX64 which was the Cadillac of 4 track
recorders. And it still gets used. Mainly as a playback machine.
The reason is that it always had excellent playback quality. Plus,
like some 4 tracks, it has pitch control.

I occasionally get a little project where someone has a bunch of their old
classical recitals on cassette and want me to assemble a CD. Having the
ability to properly pitch the playback is useful. I know it could be
corrected in software---but I think it is best to do it at the source.
Plus then the "Dubbly" will correctly track.

Rob R.
Anonymous
August 3, 2004 11:08:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Mike Rivers" <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote in message
news:znr1091532590k@trad...
>
> In article <0dWdnRTO2ZWmmpLcRVn-vw@adelphia.com>
opaloka@REMOVECAPSyahoo.com writes:
>
> > What's the practical speed limit for a 1/4" cassette deck before you'd
start
> > to have problems with recording? The idea of course is to get better
signal
> > to tape.
>
> If that's what you really meant, there were actually a couple of 1/4"
> cassette system built. >


No, I had what is technially known as a brain fart. I'm talking about the
Phillips cassette. It's possible I've never thought much about cassettes at
all.

>Most were message machines (the medium was called
> a "cartrige" rather than "cassette") and there was the L-Cassette
> which looked like a Phillips compact cassette but larger, with 1/4"
> tape. It never made it. Most, if not all of these 1/4" cartrige
> machines ran at 3-3/4 IPS.
>
> The common audio cassette uses 1/8" tape. The only consumer machines
> for straight audio use run at 1-7/8 IPS. Specialized multitrack
> machines such as the Portastudio class run at 3-3/4 IPS.

I have before me a mostly-functioning tascam 424. It runs at 1 7/8 IPS, but
then you can turn a 'pitch control' knob which will either double the speed
or cut it in half. The only 4-track I actually used much was the same way
IIRC. I think it's interesting that the knob is labeled 'pitch' instead of
'speed'.


>TASCAM had to get a special exception to
> the license in order to selectively record on individual tracks rather
> than one (mono) or two (stereo), and they (or maybe Fostex did it
> first) had to get an exception to run at 3-3/4 IPS.
>

That could be why the feature is called 'pitch' and not 'speed'. It might be
okay to Phillips way of thinking to change the speed if it is clearly
labeled that it will alter the pitch when played back in a standard system.

jb
Anonymous
August 3, 2004 11:21:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
news:ceo254$gaj$1@panix2.panix.com...
> reddred <opaloka@REMOVECAPSyahoo.com> wrote:
> >Another post just got me wondering...
> >What's the practical speed limit for a 1/4" cassette deck before you'd
start
> >to have problems with recording? The idea of course is to get better
signal
> >to tape.
>
> The Philips compact cassette is 1/8" wide tape, run at 1 7/8 ips.

I stand corrected, again.

>You can
> run them as fast at 7.5 ips but this changes the flutter more than reduces
> it, because you now have lots of chatter from these little reels that were
> never supposed to turn that fast.

I don't see any way to solve that, no matter how high quality the cassette.

> Also, since the contact area of the capstan
> is so small, it's very hard to get much torque to the tape.
>

I think I could pull the tape using the takeup reel.

I wanted to swap the motor out of a 4-track, and possibly record a mono
track across the entire tape. Not for any particularly useful reason, but if
it's not going to do something interesting then I'll just forget about it.

jb

> >Was there a technical reason the cassette four tracks ran at the same
speed
> >as consumer decks or was it an arbitrary decision based on part
> >availability/cost?
>
> The cassette four-track decks I know of all run at twice normal cassette
> speed, 3 3/4 ips. In fact, a lot of the higher end cassette decks, like
> the Tascam 122, also have double-speed. Unfortunately, every manufacturer
> that did this also seemed to use their own proprietary emphasis curve.
> --scott
> --
> "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
August 4, 2004 12:17:34 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

reddred <opaloka@REMOVECAPSyahoo.com> wrote:
>"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote
>
>> Also, since the contact area of the capstan
>> is so small, it's very hard to get much torque to the tape.
>
>I think I could pull the tape using the takeup reel.

How are you going to get constant speed? Even if you ramp the torque on
the takeup reel up as the tape runs, the capstan is still needed to keep
the speed constant. The contact area is already way too small for 1 7/8 ips
use. You run any faster, you are just making the flutter problems that
result worse.

If you don't care about flutter, you can run cassettes damn fast. That
is what a lot of the digital recorders that used cassettes back in the
seventies used to do. Many of them just skipped the capstan completely
gave up on the idea of constant speed, and just ran the takeup reel really
fast and used a control track to compensate for the speed variations. Not
useful for audio but fine for data.

>I wanted to swap the motor out of a 4-track, and possibly record a mono
>track across the entire tape. Not for any particularly useful reason, but if
>it's not going to do something interesting then I'll just forget about it.

You'd need special heads for that. A half-track 1/4" head would have the
right configuration, but you won't be able to get it to fit because of the
cartridge design.

If you can get the tape out of the cartridge, both the small-capstan and
narrow-head issues get solved. Also you get rid of that damn pinch roller.
But then, you wind up with a Nagra SN, which uses 1/8" cassette-style tape
on reels.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
August 4, 2004 3:55:29 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
news:cep9uu$p7p$1@panix2.panix.com...
> reddred <opaloka@REMOVECAPSyahoo.com> wrote:
> >"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote
> >
> >> Also, since the contact area of the capstan
> >> is so small, it's very hard to get much torque to the tape.
> >
> >I think I could pull the tape using the takeup reel.
>
> How are you going to get constant speed? Even if you ramp the torque on
> the takeup reel up as the tape runs, the capstan is still needed to keep
> the speed constant. The contact area is already way too small for 1 7/8
ips
> use. You run any faster, you are just making the flutter problems that
> result worse.

I see. Maybe I could add an additional stabilizing influence that would fit
through the hole the capstan would use if recording to the 'b' side, since I
won't need to flip the tape. Synchronizing it perfectly with the capstan
might be difficult, if that's what I needed to do.

>
> If you don't care about flutter, you can run cassettes damn fast. That
> is what a lot of the digital recorders that used cassettes back in the
> seventies used to do. Many of them just skipped the capstan completely
> gave up on the idea of constant speed, and just ran the takeup reel really
> fast and used a control track to compensate for the speed variations. Not
> useful for audio but fine for data.
>

Well, I could make a 'digital monotracker'. There is certainly room in the
chassis for a small board. I'm not sure about the controllers for this kind
of thing at all.

Then again that isn't what I was looking forward to doing. I'd be much more
interested at this point in converting a piece of 'digital' tape gear to
'analog'.


> >I wanted to swap the motor out of a 4-track, and possibly record a mono
> >track across the entire tape. Not for any particularly useful reason, but
if
> >it's not going to do something interesting then I'll just forget about
it.
>
> You'd need special heads for that. A half-track 1/4" head would have the
> right configuration, but you won't be able to get it to fit because of the
> cartridge design.
>

The cartridge itself is getting in the way of easily increasing the speed as
well.

> If you can get the tape out of the cartridge, both the small-capstan and
> narrow-head issues get solved. Also you get rid of that damn pinch
roller.
> But then, you wind up with a Nagra SN, which uses 1/8" cassette-style tape
> on reels.

I see... well, a faux Nagra is not such a bad thing. Much of the plastic
around the transport could be removed without affecting the structure. I'll
have to look at some more tape decks, but converting this to use tape
without the cassette isn't impossible.

jb


> --scott
>
> --
> "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
August 4, 2004 10:42:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"reddred" <opaloka@REMOVECAPSyahoo.com> wrote in message
news:EPSdnUPQ15rUgI3cRVn-jw@adelphia.com
> "Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
> news:ceo254$gaj$1@panix2.panix.com...

>> You can
>> run them as fast at 7.5 ips but this changes the flutter more than
>> reduces it, because you now have lots of chatter from these little
>> reels that were never supposed to turn that fast.

> I don't see any way to solve that, no matter how high quality the
> cassette.

Pull a big loop of tape out of the cassette, and apply mechanical filters to
the now longer tape path. A mechanical filter for a tape path is a
free-running tape roller, perhaps with a flywheel attached.

>> Also, since the contact area of the capstan
>> is so small, it's very hard to get much torque to the tape.

> I think I could pull the tape using the takeup reel.

How about putting a tachometer on one of your flutter filters, synching a
fast-running PLL to it, and using the PLL to clock the converter that is
attached to the tape head?
Anonymous
August 4, 2004 10:46:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
news:cep9uu$p7p$1@panix2.panix.com
> reddred <opaloka@REMOVECAPSyahoo.com> wrote:
>> "Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote
>>
>>> Also, since the contact area of the capstan
>>> is so small, it's very hard to get much torque to the tape.

>> I think I could pull the tape using the takeup reel.

> How are you going to get constant speed?

Short term variations are problematical, but long term variations are easy
to deal with.

Pull a big loop of tape out of the cassette, and apply mechanical filters to
the now longer tape path. A mechanical filter for a tape path is just a
free-running tape roller, perhaps with a flywheel attached. You don't want
it to slip.

Put a tachometer on one of the flutter filters, synch a fast-running PLL to
the tach, and use the PLL to clock the converter that is
attached to the tape head.

> Even if you ramp the torque
> on the takeup reel up as the tape runs, the capstan is still needed
> to keep the speed constant.

Ramping the speed up is a good idea. Stopping it fast enough, gently enough
could be fun.
Anonymous
August 4, 2004 11:44:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Arny Krueger <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote:

> However, the high speed cassette duplicators I've worked with don't drive
> the tape with a capstan. They presume that both the master and the copies
> are identical (enough), and wind the tape at the same speed at any point in
> time, even when the tape is just driven through the reel motors.

I recall using a duplicator that DID use the capstan, so it seem to be
possible to do so...
--
Eric (Dero) Desrochers
http://homepage.mac.com/dero72

Hiroshima 45, Tchernobyl 86, Windows 95
Anonymous
August 4, 2004 12:20:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <D46dncFUsd2Zh43cRVn-oQ@adelphia.com> opaloka@REMOVECAPSyahoo.com writes:

> I have before me a mostly-functioning tascam 424. It runs at 1 7/8 IPS, but
> then you can turn a 'pitch control' knob which will either double the speed
> or cut it in half. The only 4-track I actually used much was the same way
> IIRC. I think it's interesting that the knob is labeled 'pitch' instead of
> 'speed'.

That's because it was designed to be used by musicians, not
technicians.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
August 4, 2004 1:34:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

reddred <opaloka@REMOVECAPSyahoo.com> wrote:
>"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
>news:cep9uu$p7p$1@panix2.panix.com...
>> reddred <opaloka@REMOVECAPSyahoo.com> wrote:
>> >"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote
>> >
>> >> Also, since the contact area of the capstan
>> >> is so small, it's very hard to get much torque to the tape.
>> >
>> >I think I could pull the tape using the takeup reel.
>>
>> How are you going to get constant speed? Even if you ramp the torque on
>> the takeup reel up as the tape runs, the capstan is still needed to keep
>> the speed constant. The contact area is already way too small for 1 7/8
>ips
>> use. You run any faster, you are just making the flutter problems that
>> result worse.
>
>I see. Maybe I could add an additional stabilizing influence that would fit
>through the hole the capstan would use if recording to the 'b' side, since I
>won't need to flip the tape. Synchronizing it perfectly with the capstan
>might be difficult, if that's what I needed to do.

Sony and Nakamichi both did this with cassette transports in order to get
more stable travel. You might also look at the Technics iso-loop open
reel recorders for an example of how to do this right. With a cassette,
synchronizing the push and pull capstans so that there is constant tension
across the head is nontrivial because there is no space inside for any
extra tape to go. The pressure pad helps you in this regard, though, because
it allows a large tension difference between the pre-head and post-head
sections of tape.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
August 4, 2004 1:38:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Eric Desrochers <deromax@hotmail.com> wrote:
>Arny Krueger <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote:
>
>> However, the high speed cassette duplicators I've worked with don't drive
>> the tape with a capstan. They presume that both the master and the copies
>> are identical (enough), and wind the tape at the same speed at any point in
>> time, even when the tape is just driven through the reel motors.
>
>I recall using a duplicator that DID use the capstan, so it seem to be
>possible to do so...

The only ones that don't are the voice grade units like the Telex machines.
Those are fine for duplicating conference talks, but not so good for music.

The capstan-type duplication systems like the KABAs really can't go anywhere
near as fast. 4X is asking for a lot as it is.

If you want both fast and better-than-nasty quality, you have to duplicate
out of the shell, which is what most of the bin loop systems do.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
August 4, 2004 5:04:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 2004-08-03, reddred <opaloka@REMOVECAPSyahoo.com> wrote:

>> Isn't cassette tape more like 3/16" or 1/8" wide?
>
> 1/8", according to everyone on earth and my own eyeballs.

Very close to 4 mm, according to my rule (I pulled out the
tape). 1/8" is 3.17 mm. 3/16" is 4.76 mm.

If you need a non-metric width, 5/32" would be close with 3.97
mm. But Philips not being a US company, they probably spec'd the
tape in metric units.

(And 1/8" jacks aren't either. They're 3.5 mm.)

--
André Majorel <URL:http://www.teaser.fr/~amajorel/&gt;
"See daddy ? All the keys are in alphabetical order now."
Anonymous
August 5, 2004 12:37:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Scott Dorsey" wrote ...
> The Philips compact cassette is 1/8" wide tape, run at 1 7/8 ips. You can
> run them as fast at 7.5 ips but this changes the flutter more than reduces
> it, because you now have lots of chatter from these little reels that were
> never supposed to turn that fast. Also, since the contact area of the
capstan
> is so small, it's very hard to get much torque to the tape.

I've seen some (data) cassette transports with remarkably large-
diameter (and matte-finish) capstans. Almost certainly an answer
to the torque issue Mr. Dorsey suggests.

Speaking of 1/4" cassettes, I sensed that the "Elcassette" (or however
it was spelled) was doomed from the start when I went to "Pacific
Stereo" (a large consumer hi-fi chain in CA in the 70s) where I could
buy a machine, but they didn't sell the cassettes, only the one that came
with the machine.

The web page http://www.idexter.com/the_house/03_den.html claims
to show an Elcassette machine, but it looks like a conventional Phillips
compact cassette machine to me (unless that is an trick oversize Model
500 dial telephone sitting on top.)
Anonymous
August 5, 2004 3:50:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Scott Dorsey wrote:
>
> If you don't care about flutter, you can run cassettes damn fast. That
> is what a lot of the digital recorders that used cassettes back in the
> seventies used to do.

Wang System 2200S, anyone?
Anonymous
August 5, 2004 4:07:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Richard Crowley <rcrowley7@xprt.net> wrote:
>"Scott Dorsey" wrote ...
>> The Philips compact cassette is 1/8" wide tape, run at 1 7/8 ips. You can
>> run them as fast at 7.5 ips but this changes the flutter more than reduces
>> it, because you now have lots of chatter from these little reels that were
>> never supposed to turn that fast. Also, since the contact area of the
>capstan
>> is so small, it's very hard to get much torque to the tape.
>
>I've seen some (data) cassette transports with remarkably large-
>diameter (and matte-finish) capstans. Almost certainly an answer
>to the torque issue Mr. Dorsey suggests.

How do they get them in there? The hole in the cassette is way too
small. Do they bore a larger hole in the cartride?

>Speaking of 1/4" cassettes, I sensed that the "Elcassette" (or however
>it was spelled) was doomed from the start when I went to "Pacific
>Stereo" (a large consumer hi-fi chain in CA in the 70s) where I could
>buy a machine, but they didn't sell the cassettes, only the one that came
>with the machine.
>
>The web page http://www.idexter.com/the_house/03_den.html claims
>to show an Elcassette machine, but it looks like a conventional Phillips
>compact cassette machine to me (unless that is an trick oversize Model
>500 dial telephone sitting on top.)

It was actually a pretty good idea, but it was another example of why
formats whose only advantage is better sound usually tend to fail. There
was a regular poster here a few years back who had a garage full of Sony
machines that he couldn't get rid of.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
August 5, 2004 4:36:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On or about Tue, 3 Aug 2004 19:45:53 -0400, reddred allegedly wrote:

> "Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote in message

> > Isn't cassette tape more like 3/16" or 1/8" wide?
> >
>
> 1/8", according to everyone on earth and my own eyeballs.

Why does everyone keep saying it's 1/8"?

It's 3.81mm (0.150"), according to Philips, Tascam, and every cassette
that I've seen. (Having been a toolmaker in a former life, I used to
visually judge sizes of that order to within 0.005".)

That's nearly 5/32", so it's pretty well in the middle of Arny's
suggestions.

DAT uses the same tape width. After all, it was originally designed to be
the digital replacement for the compact cassette. For some reason the
data format for DAT is commonly called 4mm, which is rounding it up a bit.


> > However, the high speed cassette duplicators I've worked with don't drive
> > the tape with a capstan. They presume that both the master and the copies
> > are identical (enough), and wind the tape at the same speed at any point in
> > time, even when the tape is just driven through the reel motors.

I've only seen that on a few cheap and nasty cassette duplicators.
Anything with any pretence at quality uses capstans (even the Telex
copyettes). Most of them run at 16 times (30ips) in the cassette shell,
though some better quality duplicators run at 8 times speed.

Because the audio bandwidth is similarly mutiplied, cassette duplicators
have other frequency related problems than you'd have to deal with just
handling real time audio at high tape speeds.

As others have mentioned though, recording at more than 3.75ips doesn't
give much time on a cassette.


Noel Bachelor noelbachelorAT(From:_domain)
Language Recordings Inc (Darwin Australia)
Anonymous
August 5, 2004 12:04:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <41117d8c.1291817435@news.bigpond.com> ChangeMe@bigpond.com writes:

> Why does everyone keep saying it's 1/8"?

Because it's smaller than 1/4", and it's closer to 1/8" than 3/16".
We're Murkins and we talk in inches. And we're partially ignorant so
we like to use small numbers.

It really doesn't make any difference in this context though (though
it would certainly matter if you were making new guides for a cassette
deck and didn't have anything to work from, which would be kind of
silly). It's only when tape gets wider than 1" that it becomes a
guidance problem.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
August 6, 2004 8:43:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On or about Tue, 3 Aug 2004 19:08:02 -0400, reddred allegedly wrote:

> I have before me a mostly-functioning tascam 424. It runs at 1 7/8 IPS, but
> then you can turn a 'pitch control' knob which will either double the speed
> or cut it in half. The only 4-track I actually used much was the same way
> IIRC. I think it's interesting that the knob is labeled 'pitch' instead of
> 'speed'.

I have a page which I copied from a 424 manual I ran into some years back
(It has a very useful diagram of various cassette track formats, with
dimensions).

It does refers to the 424 having three tape speeds - High (3.75ips),
Normal (1.875ips) and Slow (15/16). Presumably if that is switched with
the knob you describe, then it doesn't have a separate variable pitch
control.


Noel Bachelor noelbachelorAT(From:_domain)
Language Recordings Inc (Darwin Australia)
Anonymous
August 7, 2004 5:05:10 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

reddred wrote:

> Another post just got me wondering...
> What's the practical speed limit for a 1/4" cassette deck before you'd start
> to have problems with recording? The idea of course is to get better signal
> to tape.
>

Define "problems"? Double speed (3-3/4 ips) is better than normal
(1-7/8).

> Was there a technical reason the cassette four tracks ran at the same speed
> as consumer decks or was it an arbitrary decision based on part
> availability/cost?


Some ran at double speed.

For rock stuff, a cassette *8* track @3-3/4 is fair dinkum for
getting grungy-ish electric guitar and drums tracks. I wouldn't
wanna try opera on one... ain't great, but it's not the worst
sound in the world.

>
> jb
>
>


--
--
Les Cargill
Anonymous
August 7, 2004 12:44:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On or about 5 Aug 2004 08:04:52 -0400, Mike Rivers allegedly wrote:

> > Why does everyone keep saying it's 1/8"?
>
> Because it's smaller than 1/4", and it's closer to 1/8" than 3/16".

Only just.

> We're Murkins and we talk in inches.

Yeah, I know there is a greater tendancy to use fractions in the US,
whereas it's more common to use decimals most other places.

I know here that change occurred along with the change to metric usage.
Even for a half, it's much more common here to use .5 than ½ (and easier
to type).


> And we're partially ignorant so we like to use small numbers.

So you can use 0.15", or 150 thou (in engineer speak), and no rounding
involved.


Noel Bachelor noelbachelorAT(From:_domain)
Language Recordings Inc (Darwin Australia)
Anonymous
August 8, 2004 10:44:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On or about Sat, 07 Aug 2004 01:05:10 GMT, Les Cargill allegedly wrote:

> reddred wrote:
>
> > Another post just got me wondering...
> > What's the practical speed limit for a 1/4" cassette deck before you'd start
> > to have problems with recording? The idea of course is to get better signal
> > to tape.
> >
>
> Define "problems"? Double speed (3-3/4 ips) is better than normal
> (1-7/8).

Well, running out of tape before the song ends would be a problem.


Noel Bachelor noelbachelorAT(From:_domain)
Language Recordings Inc (Darwin Australia)
!