Tapeheads Tape, Audio and Music Forums
High quality analog audio tape for professionals and enthusiasts alike.

Go Back   Tapeheads Tape, Audio and Music Forums > Tape, Taping and Tape Machines > Reel To Reel > Open Reel Tape Media

Open Reel Tape Media All aspects of tape itself; quality, characteristics, experiences, use and storage.

Donate to Tapeheads!
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-12-2017, 06:25 PM
Sebastien's Avatar
Sebastien Sebastien is offline
TapeHeads.Net Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Montreal, Québec
Posts: 70
Comparing Capture Audio 930 and ATR MDS-36

Hi everyone,

I don't know if my comparison worth something. Few weeks ago, I started to transfer some CD and LP on Capture Audio Series 930 tape. Then, today, I started transfering a first album on ATR MDS-36, which I received some days ago.

This was done on a Revox B77 mk I entirely revised and calibrated by Leon from Audiomayvin. I must admit that the calibration done is for ATR tape at 370 nW/m. As Leon stated, this is on the high side but the Revox and tape can take it and also benefit from it.

On his side, Roger from Splicit told me that 320 nW/m should be good for the 930. This said, recording were made at the 370 nW/m calibration for both tape. Maybe an advantage for the ATR even if I can't state what this small nW/m difference really make on playback.

First of all, when I compared my original LP, Nina Nastasia, Blackened Air on Touch and Go, to the recording made on the Capture 930, I found the tape recording to be a little bit less interesting then the original LP. The voice of Nina Nastasia appears a bit darker and veiled. Plus, the entire album sound this tiny bit darker but the record was still quite good. I would consider more this tape to transfer an album/song/piece too bright so it could recover a more pleasant tonal balance. I already done this with an AGFA PER528 tape and a CD I really enjoy which the tape help sound even better.

Second, the ATR MDS-36 tape. It presents the voice and instruments with vivacity and energy and the voice was pretty much the same as on LP. But, there is a sense of scale and dynamic which is very impressive. Plus, instrument were really well distinct and precise in space. I found the tape recording to add a plus value to the album already well produced by venerable Steve Albini.

This said, the ATR MDS-36 appears to be an excellent tape to transfer album/song/piece which are already well balanced.

This fall, I'm planing to do some other recording. It will be exciting to discover everyone caracteristics.

Sébastien
__________________
Technics SP-10 mk II, SME 312S, Ortofon X5-MC, Manley Chinook, Revox B77 mk I, Cambridge 840C, 5687 DIY preamp/WOT Tribute, miniDSP OpenDRC-AN, Kaneda amplifier 225 and 228+, Onken: W, OS-500MT, SC-500 Wood and OS-5000T Esprit.
  #2  
Old 09-12-2017, 07:58 PM
Markpilk's Avatar
Markpilk Markpilk is offline
Serious Tapehead
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Madison TN
Posts: 282
I have both tape brands and prefer ATR. Not to knock Capture, but just enough of a difference to select ATR. I can purchase ATR pancakes at a local distributor that makes it easy as well. They only have ATR and RMG so it cost about the same or maybe a little more for Capture with shipping.
__________________
Marantz 2285, 2270, Marantz HD880's speakers, Marantz 6110 TT, Marantz 104 tuner, Sansui SR-2050C TT, Revox A77 R2R, Otari MX 5050 R2R, Bose 301 speakers, Sony TA-2650.
  #3  
Old 09-13-2017, 04:01 AM
Sebastien's Avatar
Sebastien Sebastien is offline
TapeHeads.Net Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Montreal, Québec
Posts: 70
Do you use the same calibration for both tapes or you adjust it depending on which you use?

Sébastien
__________________
Technics SP-10 mk II, SME 312S, Ortofon X5-MC, Manley Chinook, Revox B77 mk I, Cambridge 840C, 5687 DIY preamp/WOT Tribute, miniDSP OpenDRC-AN, Kaneda amplifier 225 and 228+, Onken: W, OS-500MT, SC-500 Wood and OS-5000T Esprit.
  #4  
Old 09-13-2017, 07:21 AM
Skywavebe's Avatar
Skywavebe Skywavebe is offline
Skywave Tape Deck Repair
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bensenville, IL
Posts: 13,868
To have a machine calibrated at such high levels cause the Capture tape to show it's limits being darker or what I would call lack of bandwidth. With a machine adjusted to ATR at 370 nWb/M flux that might mean you are stuck using tapes like ATR Master, SM900 and GP9 or 499 type tape and not going down as that tape is not mean for that level. 930 is a 1 mil tape with a +2.5 dB spec. The 370nWb/M flux is at +5dB.
The tape might do better if you backed your levels down 3-5 dB and record at the tape's own level.
__________________
Best regards,

Sam Palermo, BSEE , ProSquad Member
Skywave Tape Deck Repair- Chicago area
(630)616-0932 Office/ Email skywavebe@sbcglobal.net
Past Teac/Tascam Lead Service Technician at Chicago Factory Service still doing repairs.
http://s609729863.onlinehome.us/tape...uipment-repair
Now accepting MC, Visa, Amex & Discover Cards!
  #5  
Old 09-13-2017, 08:45 AM
Sebastien's Avatar
Sebastien Sebastien is offline
TapeHeads.Net Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Montreal, Québec
Posts: 70
Hi Sam,

I appreciate your precision since I am new to this hobby and I do not know a lot about calibration. Leon told me that at 370 nW/m, it is on the high side of what the ATR can take but honestly, I don't even understand the idea clearly. Are we talking being closer to distorsion?

Regarding the idea to "back the level down" 3-5 dB, do you mean on the Vu meter when I record or on calibration?

Sébastien
__________________
Technics SP-10 mk II, SME 312S, Ortofon X5-MC, Manley Chinook, Revox B77 mk I, Cambridge 840C, 5687 DIY preamp/WOT Tribute, miniDSP OpenDRC-AN, Kaneda amplifier 225 and 228+, Onken: W, OS-500MT, SC-500 Wood and OS-5000T Esprit.
  #6  
Old 09-13-2017, 09:53 AM
Skywavebe's Avatar
Skywavebe Skywavebe is offline
Skywave Tape Deck Repair
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bensenville, IL
Posts: 13,868
Hi Sebastien,

The Flux density of the tape deck is the level at which it's specified output level is had given a certain MRL or other alignment tape with the flux density specified. So if you have a 370 Flux density test tape the deck is calibrated to that operating level so that the Vu meters reflect 0 Vu at the play level.

Then later on the record is adjusted to mirror the output level of the referenced play level. The 370 nWb/M flux density belongs on decks made with 15 IPS and those of 1/2 track format for use with high grade tapes such as the +9 level tapes of today (ATR Master, SM900) and some of the past like Scotch 996, Ampex- Quantegy GP9 or 499 and whatever was released from AGFA or BASF. Maybe SM911 also.

So if your deck is set for 0 Vu with 370 nWb/M flux density and I would not do that with a 1/4 track deck myself, then that means that when you are recording on a tape that is recording at 0 Vu that the extended level of record loudness is up that high to start.
This then leaves little room for transients and peaks that the meters can not see that will then get saturation because you are starting out at +5dB relative to the Ampex standard of 185 nWb/M. Not only that and Leon would have to report this, that the frequency response would be limited by saturation that lower speeds can not take at speeds of 7.5 IPS and below. When I talk about bandwidth it is also a term used in considering the frequency range of recording that a machine can handle.
I have adjusted some of the Teac decks to go 24Hz to 21KHz at 7.5 IPS with regular tapes as LPR35 at 200nWb/M flux density- I get no complaints at all. This is within +2 or -2dB at 0 Vu.
What is happening is that the deck you have is set up in such a way that will limit the types of tape you can use at 0 Vu due to the higher flux density set up.
You get more signal to noise ratio but not better bandwidth with all tapes. This is what you might be calling dark is lack of the high end or limited bandwidth.

Do this test- record with any tape 1KHz at 0 Vu and then 10KHz going in at 0 Vu and see what you get back off of tape- just need to switch from source to tape to see this.
Now the lower level for some tapes. If you record the same two sine wave tones at say -3dB and then -6dB on the meter what do you see happen. The 930 tape is not made for the +5 level so if you record at -5 or -6 Vu you might find that it works perfectly fine. There is nothing wrong with doing that. Flux levels are just another way of saying how loud a signal is recorded onto a tape.
On some regular decks, the signal you have on the B77 will pin the meters of decks like the Teac A series and Pioneer RT707 decks. This is exactly why when a client complained to me about his X2000R and RT707 having such different levels that I looked into it and then found a major mistake in the X2000R service manual. I have been correcting machines ever since then to make the X2000R like it is suppose to be and compatibles with older Teac decks as well as the X1000R and Pioneer, Sony and Revox decks. Another of the design mistakes in the X2000R and it takes modification of the deck to correct this.
__________________
Best regards,

Sam Palermo, BSEE , ProSquad Member
Skywave Tape Deck Repair- Chicago area
(630)616-0932 Office/ Email skywavebe@sbcglobal.net
Past Teac/Tascam Lead Service Technician at Chicago Factory Service still doing repairs.
http://s609729863.onlinehome.us/tape...uipment-repair
Now accepting MC, Visa, Amex & Discover Cards!
  #7  
Old 09-13-2017, 10:53 AM
Markpilk's Avatar
Markpilk Markpilk is offline
Serious Tapehead
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Madison TN
Posts: 282
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastien View Post
Do you use the same calibration for both tapes or you adjust it depending on which you use?

Sébastien
Both my A77 and MX5050 B2 are calibrated for 911 and I suspect that's why I lean toward ATR. There is not much difference if any at all when comparing ATR and Capture on my A77, but it is noticeable on the Otari half track.
__________________
Marantz 2285, 2270, Marantz HD880's speakers, Marantz 6110 TT, Marantz 104 tuner, Sansui SR-2050C TT, Revox A77 R2R, Otari MX 5050 R2R, Bose 301 speakers, Sony TA-2650.
  #8  
Old 09-13-2017, 01:50 PM
Sebastien's Avatar
Sebastien Sebastien is offline
TapeHeads.Net Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Montreal, Québec
Posts: 70
Sam,

Great explanation above. I should learn how to calibrate my Revox and buy a calibration tape. I am accustomed to do some electronics and work with my hands. I don't fear this. The main problem is the lack of time... Don't we have no "sticky" post about calibration on the forum?

On the other side, I don't think I'll do some calibration often. So it might be an option to say at 370 nW/M with ATR tape which is really excellent and at almost the same price for the MDS-36 version which I use.

Regarding this 370 nW/m with 15 IPS, I must say that for the moment, I only record at 7.5 IPS and my other prerecorded tapes are at that speed. I will use for sure 15 IPS one day but it's not an emergency.

I've also done some test with AGFA PER528 with the same calibration and this one sounded also a bit darker. It was even more evident then on the Capture the roll-of in the highs. This said, it makes some harsh sounding program sound damn good!

With the Capture, the lack of highs is really not evident. I haven't feel it on cymbals, violons and guitar for exemple. It's more obvious on the voice.

Mark,

It looks like it the same reason as me. That's why in the beginnig I said:"I don't know if my comparison worth something." We should ask someone who seriously compared both with right calibration. Even if right calibration is an extended conception, or not.

Sébastien
__________________
Technics SP-10 mk II, SME 312S, Ortofon X5-MC, Manley Chinook, Revox B77 mk I, Cambridge 840C, 5687 DIY preamp/WOT Tribute, miniDSP OpenDRC-AN, Kaneda amplifier 225 and 228+, Onken: W, OS-500MT, SC-500 Wood and OS-5000T Esprit.
  #9  
Old 09-14-2017, 07:03 PM
Sebastien's Avatar
Sebastien Sebastien is offline
TapeHeads.Net Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Montreal, Québec
Posts: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skywavebe View Post
Hi Sebastien,

The Flux density of the tape deck is the level at which it's specified output level is had given a certain MRL or other alignment tape with the flux density specified. So if you have a 370 Flux density test tape the deck is calibrated to that operating level so that the Vu meters reflect 0 Vu at the play level...

So if your deck is set for 0 Vu with 370 nWb/M flux density and I would not do that with a 1/4 track deck myself, then that means that when you are recording on a tape that is recording at 0 Vu that the extended level of record loudness is up that high to start.

This then leaves little room for transients and peaks that the meters can not see that will then get saturation because you are starting out at +5dB relative to the Ampex standard of 185 nWb/M. Not only that and Leon would have to report this, that the frequency response would be limited by saturation that lower speeds can not take at speeds of 7.5 IPS and below. When I talk about bandwidth it is also a term used in considering the frequency range of recording that a machine can handle...

Do this test- record with any tape 1KHz at 0 Vu and then 10KHz going in at 0 Vu and see what you get back off of tape- just need to switch from source to tape to see this.
Now the lower level for some tapes. If you record the same two sine wave tones at say -3dB and then -6dB on the meter what do you see happen. The 930 tape is not made for the +5 level so if you record at -5 or -6 Vu you might find that it works perfectly fine. There is nothing wrong with doing that. Flux levels are just another way of saying how loud a signal is recorded onto a tape...
Hi Sam,

In the last two days, I read your previous post many times because it contains much information. I still have a few questions and comments:

1) What does MRL means?

2) Recorded tapes played on my system present a greater output level then my CD and LP;

3) Considering the present work at 7.5 IPS, I understand that it would be a better idea to calibrate with less nW/m;

4) I haven't consult any thread about how to record. I'm now wondering if I'm doing it right. I usually look at the input measure of CD or LP on the Revox Vu meters. Since I know well the album I'm recording, for equalizing, I take a passage where the is lot of energy (bass, drum, etc...) and make sure that the peak are at 0 Vu maximum.

Am I doing it right?

Sébastien
__________________
Technics SP-10 mk II, SME 312S, Ortofon X5-MC, Manley Chinook, Revox B77 mk I, Cambridge 840C, 5687 DIY preamp/WOT Tribute, miniDSP OpenDRC-AN, Kaneda amplifier 225 and 228+, Onken: W, OS-500MT, SC-500 Wood and OS-5000T Esprit.
  #10  
Old 09-14-2017, 08:00 PM
vintagepc vintagepc is online now
Serious Tapehead
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 884
1) MRL = Magnetic Reference Laboratory, a company that sells calibration tapes. There are other options around.

4) Depends on the level the tape is capable of tape and your deck's calibration. Ideally they are matched and you would indeed do as described, though there should be some headroom in the setup so that it is ok if there are occasional bumps above 0 on the meter.

If they are mismatched you need to know the tape's level. For example, if your deck is set for 250 nWb/m but your tape is meant for recording at 200 nWb/m, you would want to record so as not to exceed -3 on the meter (since 3 dB is the difference between those two fluxivities).
  #11  
Old 09-15-2017, 04:17 AM
Sebastien's Avatar
Sebastien Sebastien is offline
TapeHeads.Net Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Montreal, Québec
Posts: 70
Thanks vintagepc.

Is there a rule of thumb with nW/m. For exemple, each slice of 50 nWb/m correspond to 3 dB like in your exemple?

Sébastien
__________________
Technics SP-10 mk II, SME 312S, Ortofon X5-MC, Manley Chinook, Revox B77 mk I, Cambridge 840C, 5687 DIY preamp/WOT Tribute, miniDSP OpenDRC-AN, Kaneda amplifier 225 and 228+, Onken: W, OS-500MT, SC-500 Wood and OS-5000T Esprit.
  #12  
Old 09-15-2017, 05:24 AM
vintagepc vintagepc is online now
Serious Tapehead
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 884
Sure, have a look at this page:

http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calcula...gneticflux.htm

Note my 3dB example is off - I was thinking of 250->185 when I wrote the example, instead of 250->200

Last edited by vintagepc; 09-15-2017 at 05:30 AM.
  #13  
Old 09-15-2017, 06:25 AM
johns82's Avatar
johns82 johns82 is online now
Boy's bright, but he don't allways listen!
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Colton, Ca.
Posts: 7,449
As far as a sticky for calibration not all decks lend themselves to the same "options" of calibration. An Akai has less ability in calibration options then a Teac, Teac less then a Studer. All of these are an extreme case but there it is.

I have found that calibration is more art then science, tape and tape decks are a "compromise" and learning to walk this compromise is the art.

The best source of learning to calibrate is the decks service manual. Then actual hands on experience. This is the best way. Also help from this site, I would have never made it as far as I have without help from here, folks like Tapetech, Tinman, Skywavebe and many others. I didn't forget everybody else. There are to many to post! Great folks here!
__________________
Digital bite's the dust in my house!

Need a Teac recapped? Heads installed? I do that! Contact me thru a PM.
  #14  
Old 09-15-2017, 09:56 AM
ynpguy's Avatar
ynpguy ynpguy is offline
Serious Tapehead
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Yosemite National Park
Posts: 867
Sebastien:
I have always monitored from the tape as I record. This is to mean, that I hear exactly was is recorded through the playback head a microsecond after the tape is recorded to. I can detect any distortion, drop outs as soon as they might happen.

Ideally, you will find little to no difference in sound and tone when switching between "TAPE" and "SOURCE" on your recorder as you are recording, say, an LP.
__________________
My System - Harman Kardon A-700 ~ Garrard SL-65 4-Speed Changer ~ Teac A-6300 ~ Teac X1000R ~ TEAC V-95RX cassette deck ~ Harman Kardon HK20 Speakers. I Own: Teac A-4300 ~ Teac A-4070 (x 2) ~ Akai GX-365D ~ Pioneer 1020L ~
  #15  
Old 09-15-2017, 11:00 AM
Skywavebe's Avatar
Skywavebe Skywavebe is offline
Skywave Tape Deck Repair
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bensenville, IL
Posts: 13,868
Vintagepc summed up the MRL definition pretty good.

When machines are set for such high flux levels then I next want to know what the frequency range of the record ability is at 0 Vu with a plus or minus 2dB mask. If a person who does calibration at such high levels for 7.5 IPS can not give such data then there is something wrong with that picture.
Most all decks except for Tascam 1/2 track decks that are meant for 250 or 370 nWb/M tape which are usually also 15 IPS, I use a 200nWb/M MRL tape.
Setting a machine too high up in flux level stresses the electronics and the recording ability only for the sake of one parameter which is S/N ratio. People have to use common sense and consider all the variables or parameters in record tape not just one. Most modern day decks have a pretty good S/N ratio and that can be enhances by dbx or other NR systems. To chase one parameter as in let's see how high we can record a tape then with no other considerations, that puts that person in the amateur category of playing around with tape decks and NOT following the manual. No disrespect to Leon at all.

If you plane to use ATR tape only then use the deck as it is set but if you are going after a bargain tape like capture then you must know that unlike ATR Master at +10.5dB and the Capture at +2.5dB that there is a difference in this tape type. Further when planning on using the 7.5 IPS most of the time the Technician needs to know that and he should optimize that speed for the better response- the second or lower speed is usually a compromise from the higher speed. So if your deck is adjusted for the 15 IPS you may not be getting the best for the money and the use of bargain cost tape is not at all helping.
If you were in Chicago I could demonstrate these conditions. I work with them all the time.
__________________
Best regards,

Sam Palermo, BSEE , ProSquad Member
Skywave Tape Deck Repair- Chicago area
(630)616-0932 Office/ Email skywavebe@sbcglobal.net
Past Teac/Tascam Lead Service Technician at Chicago Factory Service still doing repairs.
http://s609729863.onlinehome.us/tape...uipment-repair
Now accepting MC, Visa, Amex & Discover Cards!
  #16  
Old 09-15-2017, 02:46 PM
Sebastien's Avatar
Sebastien Sebastien is offline
TapeHeads.Net Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Montreal, Québec
Posts: 70
Hi Sam,

I think Leon has its own reason to calibrate the Revox B77 high like this. He's free to explain us in detail these. It will be of interest, first for me who just start to learn about calibration.

At the time I brought my machine to Leon's place, he asked me about calibration and the tape that I will use which I even don't know. I learn about new production of tapes after. Plus, I don't recall if he calibrated for 15 IPS or 7.5 IPS.

Regarding Capture as a bargain tape, while shopping, I realized that Capture 930 and ATR MDS-36 have about 20% cost difference. For me who won't buy tons of new tapes, it's not a big difference.

Capture 930, 1/4 x 3600' on metal reel: 57$
ATR MDS-36, 1/4″ x 3600′ on metal reel with tape care box: 68$

Capture 930, 1/4, 1800' on plastic reel: 24$
ATR MDS-36, 1/4″ x 1800′ on plastic reel: 30$

Sébastien
__________________
Technics SP-10 mk II, SME 312S, Ortofon X5-MC, Manley Chinook, Revox B77 mk I, Cambridge 840C, 5687 DIY preamp/WOT Tribute, miniDSP OpenDRC-AN, Kaneda amplifier 225 and 228+, Onken: W, OS-500MT, SC-500 Wood and OS-5000T Esprit.
  #17  
Old 09-16-2017, 07:35 PM
Sebastien's Avatar
Sebastien Sebastien is offline
TapeHeads.Net Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Montreal, Québec
Posts: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by johns82 View Post
...The best source of learning to calibrate is the decks service manual...
Hi johns82,

Here's what I found in the Revox B77 manual:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Revox B77 nWb:m.jpg (20.6 KB, 14 views)
__________________
Technics SP-10 mk II, SME 312S, Ortofon X5-MC, Manley Chinook, Revox B77 mk I, Cambridge 840C, 5687 DIY preamp/WOT Tribute, miniDSP OpenDRC-AN, Kaneda amplifier 225 and 228+, Onken: W, OS-500MT, SC-500 Wood and OS-5000T Esprit.
Reply


Would you like to see your company or site here?  CONTACT US
For more Tapeheads affiliates and links, see the Links and Resources page.


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Capture Audio Tape: The New Kid on the Block! El Magnifico Open Reel Tape Media 48 08-28-2017 07:19 AM
Comparing the first Chicago Album to the Second One SongJohn The Music Room 1 05-12-2017 12:19 AM
Comparing CD Player Sound HeadGap Compact Disc 14 01-15-2015 10:59 AM
Comparing turntables Keefer Turntables and Vinyl 4 03-24-2011 10:43 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:37 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2016, Tapeheads.Net. All rights reserved, no use of any element incorporated into this site without express written permission.