What Kind of Tape Do I Need?

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banana brains
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What Kind of Tape Do I Need?

Post by banana brains » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:13 pm

Hey there,

I have an otari mx5050 bqII. It is a 1/4" four track, four channel deck. I don't have a manual and I cannot find one anywhere. Otari offered to sell me one for $275 :shock: I paid $50 for the deck.

Anyway, I don't have any reels or tape. I've seen a couple of images from the manual (this is all I could find) and it says that the deck uses 10 1/2" NAB or EIN, metal or plastic reels. If I use metal, I believe I have to buy shims.

Can somebody please point me in the right direction regarding where I should buy the tape and reels and what kind of tape I should buy.

Thanks,
Seth

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markjazzbassist
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Post by markjazzbassist » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:30 pm

for new tape rmg 911 would work best, check full compass they sell it there

http://www.fullcompass.com/product/344159.html

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banana brains
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Post by banana brains » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:22 am

Thanks!

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Post by dwelle » Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:39 pm

if it's a 1/4' deck, it doesn't take 1/2" reels....

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markjazzbassist
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Post by markjazzbassist » Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:23 pm

he said 10 1/2" reels but i think he meant 10.5" reels. same thing.

the link i attached is 1/4" tape

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Post by banana brains » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:02 pm

Ya, I'm sorry. I meant 10.5" reels.

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rhythm ranch
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Re: What Kind of Tape Do I Need?

Post by rhythm ranch » Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:55 am

tdrop wrote:I don't have a manual and I cannot find one anywhere.
It's not the exact model you have, but will get you 95% of the way there: Otari Manual

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banana brains
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Post by banana brains » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:06 pm

Thanks for the manual link!

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Post by banana brains » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:07 pm

markjazzbassist wrote:for new tape rmg 911 would work best, check full compass they sell it there

http://www.fullcompass.com/product/344159.html
Is this NAB or IEC?

Does it matter?

Thanks

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tactics
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Post by tactics » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:26 pm

tdrop wrote:
markjazzbassist wrote:for new tape rmg 911 would work best, check full compass they sell it there

http://www.fullcompass.com/product/344159.html
Is this NAB or IEC?

Does it matter?

Thanks
Yes it matters, but not when buying tape. Any tape you purchase does not come formulated as NAB (IEC2) or CCIR (IEC) eq standard.
The tape machine determines which eq curve you use. Not sure what the Otari does in this instance ?
Can it switch to either standard ? Not all machines can.

I have a Studer A820 MCH & on this machine you can select either CCIR or NAB before the calibration process begins
....calibrating with an MRL calibration tape to your desired operating level, eq curve & speed.

Maybe take your machine to a tech & ask him to show & explain to you how & why it is done. It isnt difficult to learn, sometimes understanding why makes the process a lot easier.

Here's a dude calibrating repro on an Otari MTR90...
cleantone wrote:
Microphone Case, Black, Plastic N/A $30.00
What is this case like? I've been thinking about getting one.

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banana brains
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Post by banana brains » Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:50 am

Thanks Tactics.

The B2 manual says that that deck can be switched to either standard. It shows a switch on the back to select NAB or IEC.

Their is no switch on the back panel of the BQII, but I believe I saw some info somewhere that indicated that it is switchable. Perhaps inside the machine somewhere?

So, I just buy tape of the right size and formulation and I'm good to go? So, I can buy RMGI 911 10.5 1/4" and not worry about NAB or IEC?

I sure appreciate everyone's assistance!

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markjazzbassist
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Post by markjazzbassist » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:56 am

yep, the switch on the back let's you choose the EQ, tape doesn't matter.

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tactics
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Post by tactics » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:15 am

tdrop wrote: So, I just buy tape of the right size and formulation and I'm good to go? So, I can buy RMGI 911 10.5 1/4" and not worry about NAB or IEC?
For now just have a play around with the machine & see if its what you want to do
before sinking any more money into it. Get into the specifics later.
You really need to get an MRL calibration tape at some point.
The MRL can be either NAB or CCIR.
Get some Isopropyl Alcohol & give the heads a regular clean also.
Here's the MRL tapes page.
cleantone wrote:
Microphone Case, Black, Plastic N/A $30.00
What is this case like? I've been thinking about getting one.

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Post by banana brains » Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:59 pm

I'm going back and forth on how much I want to get wrapped up in the technical aspect of tape deck maintenance. Part of me wants to get all into working on these machines. The other part of me knows I'll spend all my time on that and won't actually do much recording.

I scheduled an appointment with a local tech who is going to look at the thing and tell me what's going on with it. My fear is that my $50 purchase is going to cost me another $300-400 to have it brought up to spec. Who knows, it may be in really bad shape?

I'll keep you all posted over the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

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Post by banana brains » Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:07 pm

Just ordered some RMGI SM911. I ordered a 10.5 inch empty reel and one with tape. Cost me $85 including shipping. I ordered from Full Compass.

I also dropped the deck off at the local tech's place. He looked at it quickly and told me the heads are in great shape. He also said it looked like the thing was well taken care of. So far, looks like my $50 investment is going to be a good deal.

We'll see what the tech comes back with after a full check up.

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