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Help with old wobbly cassette

GUEST,Ian cookieless 28 Jun 09 - 10:21 AM
GUEST,Sedayne (Astray) (S O'P) 28 Jun 09 - 10:31 AM
pdq 28 Jun 09 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,Russ 28 Jun 09 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,Ian cookieless 28 Jun 09 - 12:39 PM
Andy Jackson 28 Jun 09 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,Russ 28 Jun 09 - 12:54 PM
Gene 28 Jun 09 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,Sedayne (Astray) (S O'P) 28 Jun 09 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,Ian cookieless 28 Jun 09 - 02:03 PM
Andy Jackson 28 Jun 09 - 02:44 PM
pdq 28 Jun 09 - 03:15 PM
Art Thieme 29 Jun 09 - 10:31 AM
pdq 29 Jun 09 - 10:37 AM
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Subject: Help with old wobbly cassette
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 10:21 AM

I have a very large number of old cassettes, many of them recordings of live shows from the radio, and therefore irreplaceable. The make of all is TDK, which I always found to be reliable. I am in the process of transferring them to CD, but some - and one in particular that I love and do not want to lose - have gone 'wobbly' in sound (sorry, best way I can describe it). It starts well, but about 10 minutes in the sound trembles.

I thought rehousing the tape in a new cassette casing would help - it didn't.

Before posting I looked up previous threads on cassettes and did not find the answer. Your wisdom and experience will be hugely appreciated.

Yours in hope,
Ian


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Subject: RE: Help with old wobbly cassette
From: GUEST,Sedayne (Astray) (S O'P)
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 10:31 AM

Check your tension; I do this by fully fast forwarding & rewinding an old cassette before playing to even things out. You can also tighten it up further with a pencil in the spool - but don't overdo it.


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Subject: RE: Help with old wobbly cassette
From: pdq
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 10:38 AM

Take a few of suspect cassettes to someone who owns a truly high quality player such as a Nakamichi. If the problems are not evident there, your player is the problem.


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Subject: RE: Help with old wobbly cassette
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 10:41 AM

Ian,

Based on my own experience.

The problem is not with the cassettes. The problem WAS with the machine that was used to record them.

The wobble is caused when the speed with which the tape moves across the recording head varies.

I don't know why that happened in your particular case. In my case I have had problems resulting from the slow death of the batteries in my portable cassette recorders. As the tape is played back the music gets progressively faster.

I learned the hard way to replace those batteries regularly during field recording sessions.

Unfortunately I have found no satisfactory way to deal the problem after the fact.

My guess is that a sophisticated sound file editor might have the ability to handle variations in recording speed within a single file but I have no experience with such an editor.

Russ (Permanent GUEST).


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Subject: RE: Help with old wobbly cassette
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 12:39 PM

Thanks, Sedayne, I'll try that.

Russ, I can't see how the problem is with the recorder when this is a cassette I have enjoyed for years with no problems and has now gone wobbly after probably several hundred plays.

Thanks so far.

Ian


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Subject: RE: Help with old wobbly cassette
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 12:49 PM

It's worth looking at the surface of the tape on a bit that wobbles. I'm afraid it sounds like damage to me, just a hope that it could be something spilt on the tape causing slip in the same place every time.

Good luck.


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Subject: RE: Help with old wobbly cassette
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 12:54 PM

Ian,

Given that additional piece of information,

If you hear the same thing on different players, the problem is with the tape. It has stretched and/or deteriorated. See my original response.

If the problem disappears on a different player, the problem is with your current player.

The former is the bad news, the latter is the good news.

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Help with old wobbly cassette
From: Gene
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 01:21 PM

FWIW Dept:

Cas tapes of the 90 or 100 or 120 minute variety, have a tendency thru ageing to develop a DRAG/wow/wobble/binding problem.

I have had success by cutting the tape in half at a convenient point and re-housing in a spare cassette.

And then transferring both parts to Computer...

That and an also ageing transport mechanism are mostly responsible

G


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Subject: RE: Help with old wobbly cassette
From: GUEST,Sedayne (Astray) (S O'P)
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 01:31 PM

A little off the point, perhaps, but having lost more music using digital media (CD-R, external hard-drives, PCs, laptops, memory sticks, MP3 players & 8-tracks) than I ever did using analogue, I now make sure I back up the really important stuff on cassette!


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Subject: RE: Help with old wobbly cassette
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 02:03 PM

Sedayne, I will keep all my wav files backed on PC and delete *nothing* regardless of burning to CD!

Ian


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Subject: RE: Help with old wobbly cassette
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 02:44 PM

Just a thought but I seem to remember that at least one manufacturer, it may have been Akai, used 1/4" tape motor back tension,tensioning technique instead of the common drag and pressure pad. This may help with a sticky tape.


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Subject: RE: Help with old wobbly cassette
From: pdq
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 03:15 PM

Wobbly cassettes, indeed. Perhaps that's what you get by dealing with the IWW.


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Subject: RE: Help with old wobbly cassette
From: Art Thieme
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 10:31 AM

Who is the old Wobbly singing on this cassette? What is he singing? How old is he? Tell us more of his story. That is an era I have much interest in.

Please!!

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Help with old wobbly cassette
From: pdq
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 10:37 AM

I would expect a proper recording of an old Wobbly would be done on a wire recorder.


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