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  #1  
Old 05-19-2017, 08:53 AM
Gvoss4 Gvoss4 is offline
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metal tapes in non metal machines

Question?
Is it bad for a machine not designed to record or play metal tapes (older tape decks) to play metal tapes? Will they damage the heads? Wear the heads out sooner?
Thanks!
  #2  
Old 05-19-2017, 09:00 AM
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macstar macstar is offline
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I read once that metal tape can wear your heads sooner. Don't know if true. Playback as sounding goes should be fine id say it will still sound better than a cheap type 1 tape.
  #3  
Old 05-19-2017, 09:22 AM
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Playback is no issue at all - metal cassettes use the same EQ as chrome (type II). They also have the same recognition holes, so either manual or automatic, metals are played back as intended.

Recording is a completely other story.

As for the wearing of heads, I also heard this story. Whether true or not, I do not know. I know however that the researchers did look into this matter but the results of one party were contested by another party and so on. Metal cassettes were rare, as well as metal-recording capable decks, so no true statistics could be made with real life data (eg with two identical decks that played simultaneously one regular ferro and one metal ).
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:35 AM
Audiomayvin Audiomayvin is offline
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Hi Guys!
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this head-wear business was only mentioned concerning (real) chrome tapes, never with metal tapes.
All the best,
Leon(The Audiomayvin, Montreal(514)739-5403)
  #5  
Old 05-19-2017, 09:42 AM
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And even that was pretty much a misnomer. Our member Wilhelm can detail the wear characteristics of true chrome tape, and perhaps will, here. The bottom line is that metal tape can be played in any deck that has 70uS de-emphasis (Type II) capability without consequence in either headwear or sonics. A deck that does not have metal tape capability cannot record on metal tape, but will play it just fine.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:06 AM
Gvoss4 Gvoss4 is offline
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thanks

Yes I have also heard that it can wear heads faster but did not know if it was true. I got a few metal tapes that I've recorded onto and will play them back on other older decks so i thought i'd see what you thought. Thanks guys!
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:45 PM
bohelcho bohelcho is offline
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Head wear due to tape type has long been considered a urban legend.
Neither chromium dioxide nor metal tapes are more abrasive to heads than normal bias (gamma Ferric oxide) tapes.
What can speed up head wear is dusty ambient air, which acts like sand paper on the heads when a tape is played/recorded.

Decks designed and produced before 1979/1980 cannot record on metal tape.
To properly record on metal tapes the deck needs a larger amount of bias current than that necessary for normal/Cro2 tapes.

However, decks made during the pre-metal era can faithfully play back metal tapes recorded on metal capable machines.Metal playback requires equalization of 3180 microseconds + 70 microseconds, which is exactly the equalization applied to chromium dioxide/CO tapes.

Regards
Nick
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Old 05-19-2017, 05:41 PM
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I need to make a clarification.

Chrome/Type II & Metal/Type IV tapes CAN be played back on ANY & every cassette deck be it a lowly Shoebox one or early deck without any Tape Type selector (70uS eq).

What will happen during playback on a deck without the 70uS eq setting is the tapes will sound bright. Which under some conditions may sound better. As a compensation one could just reduce the Treble/Tone control if needed to reduce the brightness. It won't be correct but it will be playable & listenable.
  #9  
Old 05-19-2017, 05:55 PM
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Smile

I remember reading a vintage advert for a Technics deck that I own on the web a couple of years ago claiming true chrome wears heavily on the heads I also remember the same load of old crap being written in the 80's all fake information from Japan.

The truth about metal tape is most if not all budget decks with the metal tape selection switch where incapable of getting the best out of them.
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Last edited by Red_OX; 05-19-2017 at 05:58 PM.
  #10  
Old 05-19-2017, 08:22 PM
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Head wear is a complicated issue, but the warning was also applied to metal tapes when they first appeared, probably to encourage consumers to purchase new equipment. There are many factors involved in the amount of wear on heads, and pigment is only one of them. I know of no testing on metal particle tapes that would indicate that they wear any differently from other tapes. Wear can vary from one manufacturer to another even when both use identical pigment.

In short, metal tapes can be played back on any cassette recorder/player without any problem except the alteration of frequency response in any player that offers only 120-microsecond playback EQ.

As for chrome wear, there are a number of posts on Tapeheads that should have put those rumors to rest. If anyone wants actual test data, I can look that up. We conducted a great test comparing BASF chrome tape to 3M ferric-cobalt tape--the video tape with the lowest wear rate. The blowback on 3M for its false claims cost them a good part of their video duplicator market share.
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:26 PM
RevDoc RevDoc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_OX View Post
I remember reading a vintage advert for a Technics deck that I own on the web a couple of years ago claiming true chrome wears heavily on the heads I also remember the same load of old crap being written in the 80's all fake information from Japan.

The truth about metal tape is most if not all budget decks with the metal tape selection switch where incapable of getting the best out of them.
Which was the reason that I, and probably many other people too, thought that metal tapes were overrated. I had a Technics budget 2-header in the eighties and once tried to record a metal tape. It sounded much too bright and I never used metal tapes again.
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  #12  
Old 05-20-2017, 09:21 AM
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Metal tape is absolutely wonderful.
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I RESTORE VINTAGE AUDIO AND VIDEO GEAR. Master technician for Concept, Quadraflex, Calibre, Pioneer and Sony. Endorsed by Richard Schram for Concept product restoration. Factory technician for both Yamaha and JVC. Sonics consultant for Denon. Pacific Stereo store manager, service manager, Central Service lead tech, liquidator at our demise. Pacific Stereo curator. Infinity IRS dealer. Music buyer for one of the first CD retailers in the USA. Authorized servicer for virtually every brand on the planet at one time or another. Music addict. Mastering & recording engineer, weaned on a Neve (no other console sounds like a Neve!). Industry-respected ears. Head Tapehead.

Need vintage audio & video repair and restoration, or unobtanium semiconductors and parts? Ask me! And do visit the website: pacificstereo.net
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