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Old 06-24-2011, 04:37 PM
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The Word From RMGI Re: LPR-35 Issues

In light of this discussion regarding an ongoing concern with RMGI LPR-35 tape, I have been in contact with them. This afternoon, I spent about an hour on the phone with Phil Paske who is a design engineer for RMGI North America. Among the issues discussed was the tape in question, a little background on the company, and a few related issues.

After our introduction, he acknowledged that yes, there were some production issues with the tape during some of the earlier batches. And my tapes likely do date from that period. However, I have been asked to keep the reason and the number of potentially affected tapes confidential. However, from what he says, it isn't a whole lot, and that he feels the issue has since been rectified. He has given his blessing to post his name and contact information. If you believe that you have one of these affected tapes, please contact him via e-mail here. He will then go over the troubleshooting and corrective actions if needed on a case-by-case basis. One other thing he stressed is do not bake it. It is not a sticky shed type humidity issue and that baking will either have no effect or could possibly make it worse. It is a known defect and if you think you have it, please contact him for assistance. He will want to ask you some questions and go over some things first.

Arrangements are in the works for replacement product to be supplied contingent upon me returning the empty boxes and reels from my old stock upon receipt. A totally reasonable request IMO. Since the tape is likely no good long term, that I should just dump the tape, which I gave him my word I will do. So please do not ask me if I can send it to you, and you'll take your chances with it. The answer is no. If he keeps his word, I will do likewise and post pictures of the discarded tape in a future post.

Next, discussed some of the issues that some users are reporting vís-a-vís scraping, curling, and the like and he believes that it is likely a Quantegy issue. According to Phil, Quantegy, in their later years, slit their tapes ever so slightly narrower than what International IEC and NAB standards called for. So over time, many machines developed wear patterns that mirrored that. Then when the RMGI and ATR tapes began to be used, they were wider (closer to or at the standard widths), it gave the impression of wider tapes. I agree that this is a plausible explanation and may account for some instances. However, it may or may not explain away users who stuck with Maxell and other tapes. Conversely, it could also explain why folks who have stuck with BASF and EMTEC have NOT had any issues. Again, he re-iterated that he wants to examine all complaints on a case-by-case basis and not issue any sweeping blanket statements or assumptions.


Moving on, we discussed some of the issues that surfaced with Maxell with regards to the chemical issues and how it presents a barrier to entry with regards to getting back into the business. His thought on this was while the explanation is true, it isn't the whole story. He believes (which coincides with a theory I suggested) that the needed chemicals/binders/pigments, even if not available off the shelf today, they COULD be made by any number of chemists on a special order basis IF pre-ordered in sufficient quantity. So it may be that the Maxell issue is, once again, more economic: too much capital would need to be fronted and they feel that the return on investment just isn't there.

I did ask about the cassette issue that some of you have mentioned. Basically if new cassettes are still being made, why not more reels? And his answer was that cassette and tape production is fundamentally different in both the base material (tensilized polyester) and of substantially different thicknesses and would just not be practical to run on the same machinery.

Finally, we wrapped up the conversation with my own question: Why not offer a "retro" stye reel and tape package like the one I conceptualized for ATR?

I think he either didn't get or he misunderstood my question. He seemed to think I was referring to the 12 screw precision reel stye versus the three screw. I wasn't, but he did say that regardless, any type of custom reel would again have to be pre-ordered and likely, in a very large quantity. Something on the order of 500 reels minimum (that's one thousand flanges). I didn't spend too much time on this particular point, but if that's the case, and all that's needed, we shouldn't have any trouble ginning up enough support for an RMGI "Classic" tape.

So that's where it stands as of today. Yes, there were some early problems. But he believes they have been corrected. So I will be getting some replacement tape here in the near future to try. I'm not crazy about having to re-do that tape but such as life. It will give me an excuse to do some more recording, which is what it's all about I suppose. I just never liked doing REmakes of programs I already have.

And to please, give it another chance and to stress that if you have any further questions, please contact him directly.

So that's that. We'll see what happens with the new tapes.
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:00 PM
Bob Boyer Bob Boyer is offline
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Thanks for the update, and thanks to RMGI for the concern and conversation. I've not been less than happy with any of my RMGI stock and this pretty much satisfies me as I've not bought anything older than last year's stuff. Glad to know I can rest easy - not that I'm going to outlive my tapes anyways...
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:19 PM
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BTW I communicated with Phil during my 468 issues. He's a straight shooter. The one thing he said that I'll take issue with is on tape width. He mentions that Quantegy slit narrow and now RMGI can "seem wide" My Teac has never seen a reel of Quantegy so the wideness of the RMGI was no illusion brought on by narrow Quantegy.

The following is a list of the tapes my Teac has run

Maxell
Sony
BASF
Ampex
Memorex
Scotch
Realistic
Shamrock
Teac

Each and every one of the brands listed performed perfectly. Some sounded better than others but none of them including the BASF ever produced side shavings. So given the perfect performance history of the tapes listed I'm left to conclude that the RMGI is slit wider than everything else past or present. My LPR 35 seems OK but it is a much thinner tape and if its wide it's not affecting running like the thicker 468 did.

That said I truly hope RMGI decides to make their 1/4" tape a bit narrower say in line with Maxell. It'll boost my confidence in them and will do no harm to anyone.
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Old 06-25-2011, 07:41 AM
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LPR 35

Well this is what I needed to hear. I have on file a pro forma invoice from RMGI Europe for 10 pancake reels of LPR 35 tape but having read through some of the issues and potential longevity of this tape I have been holding off purchasing.

I now feel confident enough to purchase in light of the admission to some early run issues. If an outright denial had been given I would not entertain buying any more of this tape.

Given that some of my TDK GX tape is now failing and the likes of Maxell is commanding daft prices on greedy bay I was holding high hopes on RMGI.

I have a few reels of 911 and 900 which has shown some issues, however I did not buy this tape new so have no idea of purchase date unless the code on the box will identify. So I'm not sure if it's worth speaking to RMGI or not.

The sound on the above tapes is fantastic but the thicker tape does not give me the capacity I'm looking for and as I'm led to believe the LPR35 is the same formula as the 911 (just thinner) then that will be my choice.

Incidentally the cost of LPR35 on metal reels is double that if purchased as pancakes so definitely worth going the latter route if you have spare empty reels.
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Old 06-25-2011, 07:31 PM
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vidguy vidguy is offline
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Des, can you give us an approximate date, as to the bad batches?
Also, did they tell you how we can identify a batch?

I've got 2 cases of this stuff.
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vidguy View Post
Des, can you give us an approximate date, as to the bad batches?
Also, did they tell you how we can identify a batch?

I've got 2 cases of this stuff.
Yes and yes but will need to contact Phil directly for that info. I am not of liberty to divulge it.
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:50 AM
drip.feed drip.feed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Lawson View Post
I'm left to conclude that the RMGI is slit wider than everything else past or present.
The first thing I noticed when I threaded a brand new reel of RMGI LPR35 on my Akai 4000DS MkII was that the tape is a tiny bit wider than the tape guides on the deck. I hope it doesn't damage the tape over time.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:57 PM
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Lance Lawson Lance Lawson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drip.feed View Post
The first thing I noticed when I threaded a brand new reel of RMGI LPR35 on my Akai 4000DS MkII was that the tape is a tiny bit wider than the tape guides on the deck. I hope it doesn't damage the tape over time.
My wide RMGI was 468. It eventually shaved itself to fit the guides but it left lots of side shavings for several passes. It didn't damage the tape. However the LPR-35 I'm running is wonderful and runs perfectly.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:26 AM
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I just recorded to three new 10.5 inch reels of the LPR 35 within the past two weeks. It is perfect in every way. FWIW.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:15 PM
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Just Received yesterday 5 brand new LPR35 and just finished recording my first tape....Not bad result!!!! love it!!!!!!!
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:17 PM
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What I really want to see are some follow up reports from people who have been using it awhile and the tape has had a chance to be ran in and played back repeated times. No one-myself included-ever disputed that it sounds fantastic when new. It's the long term that remains under suspicion.
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:31 PM
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Skywavebe Skywavebe is offline
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The tapes that are said to be wider than standard need to be quantified. Not the number of tapes- that is between you and RMGI but the width. We know it is suppose to be 6.3mm but for those with tape too wide, get your micrometers out or calipers if you have one and get an actual figure. Then instead of saying it is too wide which at that point is opinion lets get some figures up and listed. Then we all can see what is being talked about- number can not be opinions.
I think 6.3mm is .248 of an inch or 248/1000ths.
I have yet to have a problem with any but perhaps all mine is from perfect batches.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:55 AM
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I have 8 of the LPR-35 from what I assume to be recent batches. I say "assume" because it is all tape that I just bought recently. I was told it was from fresh batches.

Nonetheless, so far every reel has been perfect in every way. I have played a few of them around 20 to 25 times and cannot find a single fault anywhere. But, that's just my own personal experience. I'm not saying that there couldn't possibly be a gremlin hiding around in one of those reels, but I highly doubt it at this point.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:33 AM
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This morning I pulled out my little 5" reel of LPR-35 and ran it. This tape I put through a grueling test of many recording, wipes and re-recording. This tape is still fine running clean and still can record and play back a perfect signal.
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:04 PM
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I have a 3600 feet 10 1/2" reel of LPR-35 I use to delay record a satellite program for later broadcast as a backup to the automation system. It has survived over 500 passes record/500 passes reproduce. It has ran clean without edge damage or other issues since the initial 3 passes. No technical issues with reproduction or with dropouts.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent T View Post
I have a 3600 feet 10 1/2" reel of LPR-35 I use to delay record a satellite program for later broadcast as a backup to the automation system. It has survived over 500 passes record/500 passes reproduce. It has ran clean without edge damage or other issues since the initial 3 passes. No technical issues with reproduction or with dropouts.
Thanks Kent T,
That kind of report should give some people a bit of info as to the longevity of any tapes lifetime. I am amazed that 500 passes were had but maybe you are using it on a very good machine and not a Sculley or Akai.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:19 PM
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I'm guessing that he used an Otari.
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Old 12-10-2013, 08:40 AM
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If Kent's story is true and can be duplicated by others, then yes. That is absolutely great news indeed. I myself have started to turn the corner from abject rejection on this tape to cautious and reserved optimism. I told you I did make a new tape using another roll. To date, it's been played about 40 times and so far, outside of some discoloration, have not noted any problems or issues.
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:03 PM
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Yes, the earlier poster was correct. This reel was used with a very well maintained Otari MX 5050 B II. I keep a reel of LPR 35 boxed for use in each control room for backup to the automation for delayed recording of satellite feeds.
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:40 PM
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Good stuff. thanks for the report.
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