1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

Mystery tape.

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair Modifications DIY' started by frosty55, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. frosty55

    frosty55 Active Member

    I came across some half inch tape today, but dont know what brand it is. My Teac is set up for Ampex 456 and this stuff has white coloured leader tape with the words "Agfa Gevaert Magnet tape" printed on it.
    Any ideas chaps?
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    EMTEC - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  3. frosty55

    frosty55 Active Member

    Thanks but I tried that link but couldnt find the tape mentioned anywhere.
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    What is it that you'd like to know?

    AGFA was (or is) a European company (Belgium or France, I think, I can't remember now) that makes (made) audio recording tape, along with a slew of other products that ranged from medical supplies to microfilm.

    Along with Ampex, Scotch/3M, Sony and others, it was a popular brand of tape used in studios.

    If it has white leader tape, there's a chance that there may already be recorded material on it. Listen for the presence of test tones at the top, this would be a pretty good indication that there is already recorded audio on the tape.

    As long as the reel isn't warped, the tape is in good shape and isn't shedding, brittle or cracking, you could play it on your deck, although I'd be very careful about fast winding - in either direction - if there are edit points; over time the adhesive can decay and those points could break. I also wouldn't "cue wind" - which is a function on many machines that allows you to fast wind a tape in either direction with the tape engaged against the heads in which to hear slates and audio content. Until you make sure the tape is in good shape I would avoid this.

    Do a visual and check for as many possible problems as you can - if the backing is shedding, it can be a real pain in the ass to clean that stuff off of capstans, lifters and heads.

    If there is audio, there's no guarantee that the machine will play the content back as recorded - in fact it's doubtful that it would play exactly as intended because biasing probably differs, so you may hear attenuated or exaggerated frequencies, or a high level of hiss - also, there's always the chance that noise reduction was encoded during recording, and if you don't have the same NR type or modules to decode it, it will play back pretty funky.

    These are just a few things to consider... again, you weren't really specific in your original post about what you wanted to know...

  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    it's right there in black and white. btw it took me about 10 seconds to find this and others in a Google search .... :rolleyes:



    • 1991 - The German chemical company BASF acquired Agfa-Gevaert's magnetic tape business, creating BASF Magnetics.
    • 1996 - BASF Magnetics was spun off of BASF into an independent company, but still 100% owned by BASF.
  6. frosty55

    frosty55 Active Member

    I saw those links, but there isnt anything about that particular tape I got.
  7. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Well I don't really know how much more you want to know, other than what's been mentioned here, either through what I posted or what the links given by Kurt would provide.

    AGFA made several different types of tape, just like any other tape manufacturer did/does... Ampex (later known as Quantegy) made 456, 467, 499,... AGFA made 468, 528, etc., the type(s) of which you would use would be defendant upon your particular tape machine's bias, level preferences, settings, etc.

    You don't have a model number for the tape, so providing any more detail as to its specifics and suggested use is tough.

    As long as your deck is biased and aligned, and as long as the tape is in good condition, isn't shedding, breaking or skewed, then there would be no reason to expect the tape to not give good results if you were to record audio to it...

    The issues you would be more likely to face would be if you were playing back audio that had been recorded on another deck, where the biasing would have been different, or where noise reduction had been encoded during recording.

    Not really much else to tell you...Put it on your machine, whack it with some audio with an RMS around -4db to 0db or so, try to hold to a peak of around +3/+4 db, play it back and see how it responds.


Share This Page