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Other Tape Any analog format other than cassette or reel to reel; 8-track, Elcaset, microcassette, VHS, etc.

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Old 11-05-2016, 07:46 AM
trauha trauha is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 5
Reloaded an Elcaset with RMG LPR35. Didn't know till now how amazing EL-5 deck is!

I bet you did not know how good your EL-5 deck was either!

I refilled the Elcaset with RMG LPR 35 1/4 inch tape. And WOW!! The Sony EL-5 deck finally shows an amazing amount of hidden potential.

The electronics really show what they are capable of with a good modern tape.

Recording hot with needles constantly in the red (Revox style) is of no problem anymore to this machine now. Using the Type III bias (vs type1) I am able to drive even hotter without the treble breaking up, with only a pleasant and very tapey mild thickening of the bass. I am amazed. I get good tape saturation with fat lows and the real tape vibe happening. Recording conservatively using the type 1 settings, with the needles never going on the red, it is simply great, but tapey, hifi in a good way.

I get about 15 mins per side. LPR is thinner than 911. I did not max out the reeling, so maybe 18mins a side is doable.

The Elcaset EL-5 being one stage more portable than a reel to reel, this is a great rig for staying totally out of the digital domain when recording anything live into two channels. I hate the audio pixels of digital music and the sound of prosumer converters, and just love the beauty of tape sound.

I had only heard rumours of reloading Elcaset cassettes with modern new tape, but figured it out myself now. I am happy. The hubs are rotated counter clockwise to the clear plate (no force needed) to unlock the tape at the hub, and to remove the hub from the clear plastic spooler table.

Use a pin to remove the tiny hollow metal tube that locks the tape to the hub. All else is self evident. Remember which side of the tape is the recording side. (Differs from most reel to reel machines) Add clear leader tape if you wish. It will prevent the tape breaking as easily at the end of the rewind.

I reload with ferrous tape (not type ii or iii) because I like the sound of type i. In cassette format I always preferred TDK AD to the chrome tapes (except for TDK SA which is not a true chrome tape).

The Sony SLH Elcaset cassettes that I used for reloading, can get sticky inside. So while you are in there do some cleaning.

There is an O ring of sorts made from slippery thin hard plastic film glued around the hole under the clear 'spooler table'.That ring is of that same film that is used on the the opposite side of the cassette, that takes up almost the whole area of the other side of the reel. The hole under the big film has no sticky stuff, so you only need to clean two holes and their counterpart spool hubs.

That glue starts to spread from under the film ring, and makes the cassettes sticky and slow and sluggish and jam. So while cleaning that glue residue why not also change the tape.

As an added bonus I no longer get the printing of the tape to itself. The original Elcaset tape is so thin, it happens to print easier it seems. Too easy for my taste.

Last edited by trauha; 11-05-2016 at 09:54 AM.
Old 11-05-2016, 11:42 AM
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Red_OX Red_OX is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: East Midlands England
Posts: 3,867

Well thats interesting, I bought very thin NOS 3600 ft reel of Zonal tape to try in my Elcaset but still have not got round to trying it yet. I have never had a issue with sound quality on my original Elcaset tapes (apart from the sticky issue) no matter what type i use. I only bought the Zonal because a empty Elcaset shell and reels came my way.

Advice fighting the Elcaset shell and reel sticky issue is always welcome.
God bless Alan...

Last edited by Red_OX; 11-05-2016 at 11:46 AM.
Old 01-11-2017, 12:15 PM
nigelt nigelt is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 9
I'm still using the LC60 and LC90 that I got some years ago.
I will have to see if I can come across some tape I can try and respool onto the cassettes.
Old 01-11-2017, 01:23 PM
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pioneercollector pioneercollector is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Aquae Sulis
Posts: 6,871
Very interesting indeed.... I am using the FeCr and type 1 standard tape. They sound great on my EL-7, But the chance to improve

As for the squeaky tapes, i just rub some thin oil on the take up reel and hey presto! squeak gone...

Time to source some dead elcaset cases methinks

Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, 'In case of emergency, notify:' I put 'DOCTOR.'
Pioneer Spec1 & 4, Pioneer TOTL 1979 stack, and more Pioneer kit...everywhere! Oh and some Danish and English stuff too...and Marantz and Sony..oh and......
Old 01-11-2017, 07:50 PM
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Vashbul Vashbul is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 263
Or better yet, time to find a way to 3D print new ones.

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