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|Domestic reel-to-reel tape (up to 7 inch reels)||£30 / hour / reel|
|n.b. Short recordings (<20 mins from e.g. 3 inch reels)||£20 / reel|
|Manual Restoration as required||£10 / reel on average|
|Baking only, of domestic reels (no transfer)||£8 / reel|
|n.b. Reels found to be blank (or content not required) are chargeable||£10 / hour / reel|
|2-channel studio master reel-to-reel tape (7 inch) (includes baking)||£30 / reel|
|2-channel studio master reel-to-reel tape (10.5 inch) (includes baking)||£40 / reel|
|n.b. Reels found to be blank (or content not required) are chargeable||£15 / reel|
Most reel-to-reel tapes that we receive for transfer to CD are found to be in perfectly good condition. Sometimes though, reels will arrive exhibiting signs of SSS – a noticeable ‘squealing’ sound as the tape is played, which is often accompanied by excessive wow and flutter and the shedding of sticky iron oxide particles on the record / playback heads and pinch roller. This is commonly due to the reels having been stored in less than ideal conditions (possibly extremes of temperature /dampness etc.) where the magnetic tape absorbs moisture from the air causing the break-down of the binder used to hold the magnetic particles onto the base film.
At Audio Restored, we use a ‘Carbolite’ laboratory oven supplied with the latest ‘type 301’ controller which is fitted with an over-temperature safety cut-out, to bake tapes suffering with SSS at a carefully controlled 55 degrees C for 24 hours. This technique drives out the moisture in a slow and controlled way, allowing us to retrieve and digitise the recorded content.
Be advised – never attempt to play any tapes exhibiting SSS – it may well destroy the tape and its recorded content. Contact us to discuss a solution.
1/4 inch open-reel tapes come in many formats but generally fall into two categories: “domestic” tape and “studio master” tape. Both types can have a variety of playing speeds and tape lengths, giving a range of playing times as indicated in the table:
|Reel Size||Length||Speed (ips)|
|(inch)||(cm)||(ft)||1 7/8||3 3/4||7 1/2||15|
|5 or 7||12 or 18||1200||2:08||1:04||0:32||0:16|
|7 or 10.5||18 or 26.5||2500||4:24||2:12||1:06||0:33|
Domestic reels: Typical spool diameters are 3.25 inch, 4 inch, 5 inch, 6 inch and 7 inch. Usually the recording speeds are either 1 7/8 ips (inches per second), 3 3/4 ips or 7 1/2 ips and they are often quarter-track (4 track) mono or stereo.
Domestic reels are transcribed using either a Revox B77 deck or a Sony TC-377 deck for tapes running at 1 7/8 ips.
Occasionally we receive tapes running at 15/32 ips or 15/16 ips – these are speed-adjusted using software designed for the purpose.
2-Channel Studio Master reels: Typical spool diameters are 7 inch and 10.5 inch, and they are usually half-track (2 track) stereo recordings running at 15 ips or 30 ips.
1/4 inch Studio tape to CD transfer is performed using one of a pair of Revox B77 professional decks, catering for all speeds from 3 3/4 ips and above in both quarter- and half- track format.
Often, tapes are sent to us that are encoded for dbx type 1 noise reduction – these are decoded using an outboard dbx 150 type 1 NR unit.