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Reel to reel warble question

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May 6, 2005 6:40:40 PM

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

Howdy,

Can someone explain what causes an old (1959) reel to reel tape to
warble around left and right playback speakers when it's played? Is it
the tape or my machine? I have an Otari MX-5050. Probably a mono
original - should I just record it in a mono file first? I don't know
much about routine maintence on an analog deck.

thanks,

Albert
Anonymous
May 6, 2005 11:03:43 PM

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

Albert <zbert@alaska.net> wrote:
>
>Can someone explain what causes an old (1959) reel to reel tape to
>warble around left and right playback speakers when it's played? Is it
>the tape or my machine? I have an Otari MX-5050. Probably a mono
>original - should I just record it in a mono file first? I don't know
>much about routine maintence on an analog deck.

Could be the machine or the deck, but what is happening is that either
the azimuth is changing or the level between the two channels is changing
because the tape is curled.

Get an alignment tape and align the deck. If you can play the alignment
tape without image wandering, put the suspect tape on the deck and look
at the heads. Does it curl around the head? Does it wander up and down
in the guides?

If it was made in 1959 and it plays back in two channels of a half-track
machine (your 5050 DOES have half-track heads, right), it may very well
be full-track mono. If so, playing it on a full-track machine will give
you better sound quality than on a half-track machine with the channels
summed to mono.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
May 8, 2005 3:09:07 AM

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

"Albert" <zbert@alaska.net> wrote in message
news:1115415640.745349.283960@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
> Howdy,
>
> Can someone explain what causes an old (1959) reel to reel tape to
> warble around left and right playback speakers when it's played? Is it
> the tape or my machine? I have an Otari MX-5050. Probably a mono
> original - should I just record it in a mono file first? I don't know
> much about routine maintence on an analog deck.
>
> thanks,
>
> Albert

If it is mono, try playing just one channel into both speakers.

Julian
Related resources
Anonymous
May 8, 2005 8:29:38 AM

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

> If it is mono, try playing just one channel into both speakers.

Won't work. You'll still have the level fluctuation.
Anonymous
May 8, 2005 12:50:01 PM

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

Julian Adamaitis <nospamJulianPA@Access4Less.net> wrote:
>"Albert" <zbert@alaska.net> wrote in message
>news:1115415640.745349.283960@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
>> Howdy,
>>
>> Can someone explain what causes an old (1959) reel to reel tape to
>> warble around left and right playback speakers when it's played? Is it
>> the tape or my machine? I have an Otari MX-5050. Probably a mono
>> original - should I just record it in a mono file first? I don't know
>> much about routine maintence on an analog deck.
>>
>
>If it is mono, try playing just one channel into both speakers.

This gives you 3 dB poorer S/N at best, and sometimes a slight change in
frequency response because of fringing. But sometimes it is the right
solution if the problem is caused by partial erasure. If the problem is
caused by poor tape-to-head contact, it's not the right solution.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
!