Do reel to reel tapes degrade?

Reel-to-reel tapes are experiencing a resurgence of interest among audio buffs, but they are prone to degradation, which has been a topic of active research for many years. It’s well known that applying heat can often reverse the damage sufficiently to enable playback, usually by baking the tapes in an oven.

How many times can you use reel-to-reel tape?

The half-life for good tape used to be around 200 – 500 plays, I think, with 1000 plays often consider EOL (end of life) for highest quality.

How do you store reel-to-reel tape?

Store open reel and cassette tapes with the reels or tape packs vertical. Reels should be supported by the hub. [Tapes should be stored like books on a library shelf – on end. They should not be stored laying flat.]

What is the lifespan of a cassette tape?

When properly cared for, your audio cassette tapes have a lifespan of 30 years. However, many factors can shorten that lifespan considerably. By this time, you’ve probably done the math. It has been almost 40 years which means your cassette tapes could be at risk!

Is reel-to-reel better than vinyl?

But to take this audio debate even further, reel-to-reel is often considered an even better audio alternative than vinyl when played at 7½ inches per second versus vinyl at 45 rpm.

Are old reel to reel tapes worth anything?

The value of the collection is in the reels and boxes and the recorded content. The tape itself is not worth anything. Those old tapes are murder on headwear and heads are at a premium now.

How many times can you tape over a cassette?

You can record a cassette an unlimited amount of times. The limiting factor is the physical wear of the tape, which on good decks will last a very very long time provided you keep things clean. The physical wear part is one issue -the other is imperfect erasure.

How many times can a cassette tape be played?

Cassette tape

A TDK SA90 Type II Compact Cassette
EncodingAnalog signal, in four tracks
CapacityMost commonly 30, 45 and 60 minutes per side (C60, C90, and C120)
Read mechanismTape head
Write mechanismTape head

What happens when you record over a tape?

When recording over cassette tapes, oftentimes background sounds from the previous track can still be heard. Some people record “blank” sounds over the cassette tape before re-recording a new track to ensure a better quality sound.

Does anyone make new reel to tape recorders?

Currently, only two companies consistently produce reel-to-reel audio records, one in Pennsylvania, and one in France, so the pickings are pretty slim if you’re looking for something brand new. Some more robust local libraries and archives still possess these recorders, but again, they are fairly few and far between.

How do you clean a recording tape?

Heads are easily accessible and can be kept clean by moistening a q-tip with 92% isopropyl alcohol or higher. Gently use the Q-tip to rub any grime that may have built up over time on the playback heads.

Is magnetic tape toxic?

The inner tape is made of a phthalate-laden form of the plastic polyethylene, often sold under the trade name Mylar, which is not recyclable. What’s worse, in these magnetic tapes the Mylar is coated with toxic metals, especially chromium.

Do cassette tapes degrade over time?

In perfect circumstances, cassette tapes will only last about 30 years if properly stored away from heat, humidity, and UV rays. Whereas a CD stored in the same conditions can last over 100 years. Two common factors for cassette tape deterioration are heat and tape recorder malfunctions.

Should you keep old cassette tapes?

Don’t just throw them in your recycling bin. You need to take any tape cassettes you want to get recycled to a specialty digital recycling center that will accept cassettes. There isn’t much value in any of the materials of a tape cassette, meaning you will likely have to pay to recycle them.

How do you keep cassette tapes in good condition?

Keep your audio cassette collection in a cool, dry, dust-free environment with no moisture. Store away from direct sunlight and fluorescent light. Do not store near combustibles like wood or cardboard. Avoid subjecting tapes to rapid temperature changes.

Does anyone use reel to reel tape?

There has recently been a revival of reel-to-reel, with quite a few companies restoring vintage units and some manufacturing new tape. In 2018, the first new reel-to-reel tape player in over 20 years was released.

Does reel-to-reel sound better than CD?

The Cd copy is just the opposite.. compressed, distorted and the extremes of frequency can be easily heard hitting a brick wall with a lack of detail and balance. The vocals are mish mashed together and all that is pleasant in the open reel copy is absent from the Cd copy.

Does reel-to-reel sound better than digital?

The tapes sounded a bit fuller, more substantial – very pleasing. The digital files sounded lighter, but also with more detail and precision. The digital files had a more airier treble and mid range. They also had more precision in the bass.

Are reel to reels worth money?

Most of what you’ll find is flea-market quality. If they’re AMPEX professional recording studio reel to reel, e.g. AMPEX 440 2-track or bigger, then yes…. these are worth upwards of $2500. With professional recorders, you can still buy AMPEX 456 1/2 inch, 1″ and 2″ mastertape.

Can you erase a cassette tape?

To erase the video recorded on a cassette tape, you can simply record over it or use a bulk video tape eraser. First, ensure the write-protect tab on the cassette [FIG. 1] is set to the REC position. Then, rewind the tape to the beginning of the video that is to be erased.

How do you fix a creased cassette tape?

Coffee mug full of hot water

The basic principle lies in the idea that by wrapping the wrinkled part of a tape around a mug of hot water or coffee, the warmth will help flatten out the magnetic tape. Similar to how ironing works on your clothes or a straightener on your hair.

Are cassettes reusable?

Reuse: Tapes are very retro-stylish at the moment and people are using the plastic bits to make belt buckles, bags and other decorations. The tape can be knitted or crocheted too. Recycle: The tapes are electronic waste so they should be collected by your local authority in their e-waste bins.

What can I play a cassette on?

A cassette player is commonly equipped in old-school boomboxes, DVD recorders, home audio systems, turntables.

How many times can you record over tape?

For most, you can expect to get anywhere from 6-10 reusable recordings on your VHS tape before you’ll begin to see a noticeable dip in audio and visual components.

What are the advantages of tape recorder?

One of the advantages of tape recording is the ability to erase and reuse tapes without the loss of recording quality. Through an electromagnetic erase head, a recorded signal can be removed, and the tape can be reused. If the recording tape breaks, it can be spliced and repaired.

Which chemical is used to coat the tape of tape recorder?

The tape is coated with fine particles of a magnetic substance, usually an oxide of iron, cobalt, or chromium. The coating is normally held on the tape with a special binder.