Reel to Reel accessories and their uses?

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Sean Sullivan
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Reel to Reel accessories and their uses?

Post by Sean Sullivan » Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:36 am

I just purchased a Tascam 388 and was wondering what the purpose of leader tape, hold down tape, and splicing tape are. Also, what type of head/guide cleaners/applicators can you recommend? Finally, how do you use those cleaning supplies (if they don't come with instructions). Requires a of a lengthy response, sorry :D

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Gummy
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Post by Gummy » Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:31 am

Leader tape is to put in between songs etc to mark and separate. You can see it on the reel so you don't have to watch the counter and you don't have to use up tape to space between songs. Splicing tape is to hold together tape splices. I got my head cleaners online from some online tape store (sorry I can't remember which) but it is easy to use. Keep head cleaner away from rubber. You can just use Q-tips to clean the heads. Rubbing alcohol actually works. There are lots of resources online for all this too. Just get the q-tip wet with cleaner and rub it lightly on the head and metal guides until the q-tip comes away clean. Hope this helps a little.
It may be a garage, but it doesn't sound like one.

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Kilroy
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Post by Kilroy » Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:32 am

i didnt think it was a good idea to use rubbing alcohol because it contains other additives. I think it may be better to use straight isopropyl alcohol because its more pure. But im not 100% sure. I have very little experience with tape machines.

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Gummy
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Post by Gummy » Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:58 am

No you're right.
It may be a garage, but it doesn't sound like one.

lacquer_monkey
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Post by lacquer_monkey » Thu Apr 26, 2007 5:49 pm

Rubbing alcohol is typically 30% water. That's why it is not good for tape head cleaning. Most pharmacies carry 99% isopropyl behind the counter. Just ask pharmacy staff for it.

jd
uh... what??

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evilaudio
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Post by evilaudio » Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:13 am

....don't forget your "handimag" or any sort of demagnetizer/degausser tool to remove built-up magnetization on your heads and tape guides!! MRL test tape would be good for calibration. I like to keep toothpicks (wood) around too, incase I need to pick-off tape build-up on the guides and crap like that.
Blah!

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Chrisbrownsound
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Post by Chrisbrownsound » Sun Apr 29, 2007 11:26 am

evilaudio wrote: I like to keep toothpicks (wood) around too, incase I need to pick-off tape build-up on the guides and crap like that.
It should never get that bad if you clean regularly with alcohol.

Justin Foley
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Post by Justin Foley » Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:31 pm

It may get that bad if you get a shitty reel of used tape that sheds all over your machine.

Alcohol - 99%. Make sure you soak the applicator/Qtip, then press it against the inside of the bottle to get rid of excess liquid before applying to the machine. The useful power of the alcohol on the guides will translate to bad news if it seeps down into the bearings. Use what you need to clean the area you're cleaning and no more.

Some people don't trust store bought Qtips. The theory is that the glue that holds the cotton to the paper stick of the swab may dissolve in the alcohol and leave a residue on what you're cleaning. I've never seen any real science behind this, but cotton swabs are cheap, so I just spend the extra three bucks on the 'no glue' kind. Check online for these if you wanna. If anyone wants to debunk this myth, I'm happy to save a couple of dollars.

Razor blades - take care not to magnetize them or they'll leave a "click" on the splices that you make on the tape. This info was given to me from a reliable source. I've been analog for two years and not delved into the world of splicing, so it's best for you to review reasons for types of blades, etc.

One thing I've found about learning analog tape: This is a niche market with a long track record. There's little worry about falling subject to 'phoolery'. The people who know analog tape are hardened skeptics and it's not a place for charlatans to cash in on ignorance or received knowledge. If people usually say -this is the way that it's done - then it's good to trust them today and find out why later on. So buy a Han-D-Mag, buy the good alcohol, take advantage of the Internet as a resource to buy stuff that you can't buy locally.

Also - get an oscillator ($50-$75) with a sweep function, get a reliable oscilloscope ($150-$200), get a voltage ohm meter (I haven't had to buy one for years), get a Radio Shack tweaker ($4), get a good soldering station ($100).

Invest in this technology well today and you'll be able to rely on it tomorrow.

= Justin

psinglet
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Post by psinglet » Mon Apr 30, 2007 1:44 pm

My personal favorite head cleaner is Freon TF. Works on everything in the path, including rubber. Probably not good for the environment, though. Sold sometimes as tape cleaner. Used to be sold at Radio Shack as "professional" head cleaner.

You can also use Everclear - 95% pure grain alcohol. Not for rubber, though. Can also make the evening mellower if added to a cold beverage.

I have heard Formula 409 cut with water works as a good rubber cleaner.

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I'm Painting Again
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Post by I'm Painting Again » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:39 pm

miller-stephenson media head cleaner..safe for the ozone layer too..

http://www.miller-stephenson.com/

soap and water for rubber parts..

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Post by themagicmanmdt » Wed May 02, 2007 8:11 am

mineral spirits work wonderfully, too, for heads, but will dissolve the rubber!
we are the village green
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god bless +6 tape
valves and serviceability

*chief tech and R&D shaman at shadow hills industries*

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the velour fog
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Post by the velour fog » Wed May 02, 2007 10:23 am

and remember when cleaning the heads to go with them side to side, not up and down.
"Set Phasers to Extra Slow."

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jv
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Post by jv » Wed May 02, 2007 11:38 am

Justin Foley wrote: Some people don't trust store bought Qtips. The theory is that the glue that holds the cotton to the paper stick of the swab may dissolve in the alcohol and leave a residue on what you're cleaning. I've never seen any real science behind this, but cotton swabs are cheap, so I just spend the extra three bucks on the 'no glue' kind. Check online for these if you wanna. If anyone wants to debunk this myth, I'm happy to save a couple of dollars.
= Justin
I was told that store bought Qtips had something in the cotton (talcum powder maybe?) that was not good for tape heads.

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