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456 vs. 499 vs. GP9

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by McAllister, Jul 2, 2001.

  1. McAllister

    McAllister Member

    What are the sonic differences between these, and other, tape types?
    I'm using a 1/2", 8-track, 15 ips format for mostly rock stuff.

    (my apologies for posting this in 2 places, but I'm looking for as much feedback as possible)
    thanks
    McAllister
     
  2. hi McAllister, I am looking to purchase a 1/2" 8 track soon and was wondering how you liked yours. Do you wish you'd have gotten a 8 track 1" so you could hit tracks harder? does the 1/2" do the job?

    PS. sorry i couldn't answer your question
     
  3. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Never used GP9- I'd think it's probably a waste of time- AFAIK, there are few if any 1/2" machines out there with beefy enough electronics to take advantage of that kind of level. 499 gives you a little more headroom, and I'd use it as such- personally, I don't like the way it sounds when you hit it hard. 456 works pretty well for me most of the time, and it's easy to get at the local store. I do prefer BASF 911 (which is bias compatible with 456), but you'll have to make your own decision based on sound!

    Originally posted by McAllister:
    What are the sonic differences between these, and other, tape types?
    I'm using a 1/2", 8-track, 15 ips format for mostly rock stuff.

    (my apologies for posting this in 2 places, but I'm looking for as much feedback as possible)
    thanks
    McAllister
     
  4. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    What's the 911 sound like? The Basf 468? Anything but 456 I'd have to order, unless anyone knows a good supplier for tape in Austin.

    Bear
     
  5. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    It's not night and day, but I think the 911 sounds a little, uh, better... OK, here's the subjective touchy feely description- I think 456 adds more of a signature overlay to the sound, kind of across the board, while 911 seems to be a little more up front- just a little closer to what's going in to the tape machine, I guess. It's a pretty small difference, and I haven't really taken the time to quantify it- I just like 911 a bit better! I don't know 468, and when it comes right down to it, I'll use what's there and be fine. Aligning properly is a _lot_ more important than tape formulation, IMO.

    Originally posted by Bear's Gone Fission:
    What's the 911 sound like? The Basf 468? Anything but 456 I'd have to order, unless anyone knows a good supplier for tape in Austin.

    Bear
     
  6. GT40sc

    GT40sc Active Member

    McAllister-

    What tape machine are you using? I have a Tascam TSR-8, circa 1990. Designed and built for 456. The electronics in this machine don't really have enough headroom to take advantage of the "elevated level" tapes like 499 and GP-9. Keep them set up at 250 nWb/m and you'll be OK.

    As far as sound quality, I still prefer 456 for rock. 499 is cleaner and has more top end, but not in a good way. And some people say it sheds more, though 456 has plenty of bad history here too. GP-9 is based on the formula for the old Scotch 996, which was an excellent tape; better sounding, I think, than either 456 or 499.

    But I have't had a chance to try the Ampex/Quantegy version (GP-9) since I blew up the doghouse on my ATR-102 about a month ago...(sigh)

    Any good techs in Seattle?

    best of luck,

    SC
     
  7. MPlancke

    MPlancke Member

    Originally posted by GT40sc:
    McAllister-

    But I have't had a chance to try the Ampex/Quantegy version (GP-9) since I blew up the doghouse on my ATR-102 about a month ago...(sigh)
    SC


    Damn, blew it up huh? How'd that happen?

    At any rate, you can bypass the doghouse altogether and go straight into the deck on an ATR. The level will be -5dbu in and out but at least you'll be able to keep running until you get the doghouse up and running again. I'm pretty sure this is detailed in the manual at some point. One more thing, the absolute polarity will be reversed from the doghouse.
     

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