My first and only deck was a Pioneer RT-1011L, which I would probably still have except for one thing: head wear. The heads had obvious visible wear at a time when I was too broke to replace them. So I wound up practically giving it away. One of the dumbest and most regrettable moves of my entire audio career. So yes indeed tape heads do not defy the laws of physics. Reel to reel tape heads definitely do wear.
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What’s your point? First you say one thing, then another. Either way, there’s no question that tape heads are subject to wear. It’s not a "myth."
That’s actually impossible. Cassette and reel are two different formats, two different tape widths.So, many of the consumer reel to reel decks sold on the market like cassette decks were manufactured with heads that never wear down. For that reason ferrite heads for example cannot be relapped. They never develop a flat spot. Since the ferrite is encased in glass unlike metal heads, they can be polished but not reshaped. Also to clarify, head wear and head failure are not the same. Ferrite can go bad.
There are several ways tape can lose HF and wear is only one of them. Exposure to a magnetized tape path is another - that’s the function of a demagnetizer. But I’d sure like to know why you think tape wear changes azimuth.Mostly from wear on the spools. Tape played the first time will not have the same azimuth as the tape played the 200th time.
A VHS tape deck wraps the tape around a rotary spinning tape head, which gives it a high "write speed" relative to the speed of tape travel. There is definitely contact between tape and head and wear is the result.VHS rewinders solved a problem that did not exist. Because of the nature of moving heads, VHS tape floats close to the heads but do not need to make direct contact unlike linear tracks. Early VCRs would load and wrap the videotape virtually completely around the video head (leftover technology from the U-MATIC format) leading to premature wear. Under normal circumstances VHS tape will never "wear out" or "fade". That is a common myth spread around from the ads to "save your tapes".
I have been restoring reel to reel and cassette tape machines since 1980 when plenty where new. I run a service / restoration shop in Brooklyn NY for tape machines. I’ve never been busier with high end, home & pro recording studio folks.
Right now there is a trend of selling broken reel machines for outta-sight prices, then needing repairs after fact.
Heads do wear, but reconditioning / lapping gives many years of life.
Just a little Reel vs Cassette comparison:
There are 3 companies that manufacture new reel to reel tape. On the cassettes front I’m pretty sure no one is making CrO2 tape anymore. and that is the only tape that has the low noise floor and HF response the sounds good with music.
Going back to the beginning of this thread. cassettes no matter how well the calibration on the machine is will never surpass the quality of Reel to reel for so many reasons.
If you would like to discuss further feel free to contact me .
....after looking at this thread, a lot of this was discussed
Great to hear from you Andrew. I agree. Cassettes unfortunately have serious quality control and this is related to azimuth as well. I love rtr decks because of how easy they are to calibrate. Even the best tape decks (the Nak ZX-9, CR-7, the Tandberg 3014, the Revox B215), all aligned and calibrated as per factory spec, will be only average or mediocre when playing back a set of pre-recorded cassettes obtained from different publishers. Each of these decks will accidentally have their playback azimuth alignment very closely aligned with some of your cassettes, but will have poor alignment with other cassettes, and there will be nothing you can do about it. The manufacturers of pre-recorded cassettes, especially in India, on the whole, did not follow close tolerances when manufacturing their cassettes. They even followed mass manufacture processes which make such close tolerances impossible to obtain consistently. Therefore, even the world’s best decks are going to be only average when retrieving the last bit of HF information from a bunch of pre-recorded cassettes. The only exception is a correctly working Dragon with a correctly aligned NAAC sub-system.
benklesc"Tape played the first time will not have the same azimuth as the tape played the 200th time."
This is clearly, absolutely, demonstrably false and so is a lot of the other stuff you wrote you do not know what you are talking about and by the way VHS tape wears like crazy there is a lot of friction in there!
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