Discussion in 'Tape' started by vitorzoom, Nov 4, 2018.
I would like to know the manufacturing period of the Ampex 651 reel to reel tapes. Appreciate.
All I've got for now...
651-- 0.5 mil version of 641
641-- 1 mil version of 631 (1960s-present)
631-- 1.5 mil non-backcoated "red oxide" voice-grade audio tape (185 nW/m)
Thank you very much for the feedback
Before Scotch Introduced 201 tape, 631 was a good as most other tapes of the time. Scotch 201 started the low noise race and then high out put tapes came along. in the late 60's. Ampex Grand Master was all right at the time, it out performand Scotch, but the Failure of Grand Master was the binder, which showed up years later. I preferred Maxell's high output taped of the UD series and those that followed. They easily gave another 10 db of performance over the 631 series of Ampex. and up to 6 db over Scotch 201 or more. Can you imagine 300 Ampex with SS electronics having close to 80 db dynamic range. Well they could if tuned up properly, running with AME equalization at 15 ips.
Ampex MR-70-4 and ATR 104. machines were just scary good. Older Ampexs with MCI electronics and the AG series were great, too. But the ATR 104 was just a brilliantly great machine. Advanced noise reduction systems from Dolby and DBX gave magnitudes of better performance. Studer machines were the European answer and in some ways even better. We were all happy and then that nasty word came a long. Soundstream. Great signal to noise, much more liner, and a lower different kind of distortion.
I think the younger generation would be amazed seeing tape 2 inches wide flying by at 30 ips on a big Studer machine, making recordings to be mixed and sent directly to Neumann cutting lathes to make disc from which the stampers would be made only cranking out 10,000 discs. And then the entire process repeated. No 2 channel master tape to add noise, limited use of stampers to insure the best disc for play at home with no compressors or limiters. We could also have 20 or so restored AT 102's to make 15 ips tapes for play back at home using Dolby professional noise reduction. I just imagine the beauty of it all. The costs would be horendous but with great artwork and well done album covers each tape or LP would or could be a master piece. All in analog.
Oh I am sure more advanced electronics with fewer compromises could be made, but wouldn't that destroy some of the beauty of the entire process. I guess some minor tinkering could be done, but I would want the process to be directly connected with the past to the best analog could be.
I wonder How many people are left that can remember and appreciate when analog was King? Some of us wish it still were, it was a fun time. I guess 1983 isn't so long ago, 35 years. Seems like yesterday, some times, and yet so far away at other times..
The big thing that scares me today is Streaming. I know it can be the ultimate answer, but will it be and how long will it take to be as great as its potential.
I know various forms of the Cloud are the ultimate storage location. But as I like to kid the Apple people I ask, What happens if it rains? As long as I am gentle with my LP's and keep them clean they can last another 75 years. will the Cloud be here 75 years from now or will there be a better solution. I hope so. The idea of having thousand of dollars of music stored in some abstract place that can be deprived from us because we can't pay a monthly fee for storage for something we already gave our hard earned money for scares me. You may think I am silly, I hope not. What kind of compression systems are they using to cram more information into a smaller space which is compromising a music files today and will further compromise our files in the future?
Thank you very much for the true "lesson" your text provides. Yes, I'm also from this wonderful time, when these great recorders were the ultimate in sound quality. .
Streaming is an inexpensive and quick way to get acquainted with new and old music groups although I use very little. What I really like is to record some tapes on my Tandberg TD 20a SE or Revox B77 or A 77, or an old Sony TC 850 using good LPs
The sonorous result still impresses some friends less fond of this ancient sound recording art. Some new tapes have been re-manufactured and new recordings (at an absurd price) are released on the market. But this all ends up being a formidable hobby, with demagnetizers, isopropyl alcohol, bias adjustments, sound level regulation etc. Much of our musical culture has been recorded on these sacred monsters and today it has become a niche for the selfless few like us who insist on keeping that format alive.
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