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 Post subject: audio cassette alignment tapes
PostPosted: Nov Thu 08, 2018 3:25 am 
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Joined: Aug Fri 12, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 313
Location: Houston, TX
I recently acquired some new technical test records and that got me thinking about my bench cassettes.

I have some old ones that still have some life left in them, but I just wondered whether any of you can relate experiences with new offerings.

Anybody can set up a hobby rig and pump these out, and make various claims, but I'm looking for shop tapes at least on par with the OEM ones (e.g., Teac, Sony, Philips). Yes, I know some of these were kept in-house, but you get the idea.

Is anybody in the States making azimuth, level/bias/freq, and speed/W&F tapes? They all seem to be Canadian or overseas.
Are GennLab's worthwhile? How about the much less expensive Duplication.ca ones (I couldn't even find specs on the gear used)?

A tapeless azimuth jig can be made, but there's practically no alternative to using accurate test tapes for certain other adjustments.

I'd like to see credentials (standards & certs) as well, so I know what kind of quality I'll be getting for the [typically] insane prices.


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 Post subject: Re: audio cassette alignment tapes
PostPosted: Nov Thu 08, 2018 6:27 pm 
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Joined: Mar Sun 25, 2018 10:50 pm
Posts: 110
Location: 07960
Have you been on the Tapeheads site? All these questions would be answered in short order there.

Fwiw, there are ebay sellers in China who have NOS Teac test tapes that people, including myself, have been satisfied with. My understanding is that these were bought up when Teac closed down its calibration tape manufacturing. Of course, I would only buy from those sellers known to have the real thing, since there may be fakes out there.


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 Post subject: Re: audio cassette alignment tapes
PostPosted: Nov Thu 08, 2018 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Aug Fri 12, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 313
Location: Houston, TX
I never registered on that forum, but I've read through some of the cal tape threads. Nobody in recent years mentioned (that I noticed) any USA producers of new tapes. There are a few Euro made-to-order outfits like A.N.T.

There's a lot of talk of Abex, but all I could find are listings of "new" tapes from China, but the tapes were made in Japan. I dunno, seems a bit sketchy to me, too easy to fake labels, but they could be legit.

The gold standard BASF are rare new, and forget about OEM Nakamichi (there are several people claiming exact match, mmhmm, sure).

I'll stay on the hunt, though, as I have plenty of time before I need new ones (I hope).


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 Post subject: Re: audio cassette alignment tapes
PostPosted: Nov Thu 08, 2018 11:02 pm 
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Joined: Nov Wed 30, 2016 7:35 pm
Posts: 2345
Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
If you have older ones you can use them to make “secondary standards” tapes. They will be fine for initial alignment and testing and will preserve your standards ones. I used to do that with 3/4 and 1” and 2” video alignment tapes

I’d spend an entire day aligning a machine as precisely as possible and then make a few dupes of the $300 (1970 dollars)factory tape for day to day use. That’s pretty much what the factories did anyway. I got Ampex to confess once upon s time. Long story.....

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 Post subject: Re: audio cassette alignment tapes
PostPosted: Nov Fri 09, 2018 4:58 am 
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Joined: Jun Sun 23, 2013 9:03 pm
Posts: 398
Location: Canandaigua, NY
Nortronics also made very good ones back in the day, so include them in a search.


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 Post subject: Re: audio cassette alignment tapes
PostPosted: Nov Mon 12, 2018 4:37 pm 
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Joined: Sep Thu 23, 2010 6:37 am
Posts: 10353
Location: Powell River BC Canada
Before you use an alignment tape demagnetize the heads and all other metal parts
in the tape path. Also watch out for hard caked pressure bands or pads,

And on old multi head decks make sure no DC offset voltages have snuck into
shorted out heads during playback.

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VE7ASO VE7ZSO
Amateur Radio Literacy Club. May we help you read better.
Steve Dow
ve7aso@rac.ca


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