Why not magnetic tapes in stead of vinyl records?


My understanding is that previously, original recordings were captured on magnetic tapes. The recording is then transferred to a metal stamper, which then creates the vinyl records we use at home. But, why don't they just copy the magnetic tape to other magnetic tapes and sell us those? I mean the same size and everything that the engineer uses. Then, audiophiles (at least some) would have nice magnetic tape players in stead of turntables.

I know people did use reel to reel for some time. I remember cassettes. But I don't believe people ever had an interface to play the big magnetic tape reels at their homes.
elegal
Before cassettes the major labels did release albums in the reel to reel tape, quarter inch format. Today, the vast majority of recordings originate in a digital format so transferring them to analog tape doesn't really make much sense.

Research The Tape Project for limited edition high quality R2R recordings being done now.
If you and about 100K other people are willing to spend $500 per album, I think it can be done...
The real reasons were pretty simple if you think about it and they were durability and production oriented. You can not mass transfer from tape to tape. To high speed dub from tape to tape, you lose frequency response. Significantly so depending on the speed. Secondly, the vinyl can be mass produced depending on your pressing capacity. For instance, a 45 minute session to replicate 1:1 from tape for maximum fidelity would take 45 minutes....maybe 2:1 would be negligible loss of frequency which would take the transfer to 22.5 minutes. It might take 30 seconds more or less for good vinyl....you can see real quickly that it is simply a matter of economics. The second reason is tapes degrade over time whereas most vinyl is stable indefinitely. Regards.
Ghasley makes some excellent points. In addition, I have a nice Akai 4-track tape deck and about 60 prerecorded tapes that I play infrequently. Too much of a PITA for me (and this from a guy who plays mostly vinyl).
Tape will never surpass vinyl in resolution and signal to noise ratio and dynamic range....Even a top of the line Tandberg Home Reel to Reel. And I don't think people want to spend 1,000 for a 70's tape player. Having said that I still would like to have one to play around with :-) they are fun !
Also, there were until maybe 15 years ago, companies who produced high quality tapes copied at lower speeds. Barclay
Crocker was one of them. Their catalogue was all Classical music. Joe
Yes, the time and cost of reproduction per unit assured the LP's market domination. And although unlimited money can be spent on a turntable to extract that last Nth of music and detail, the entry point for a reel-to-reel tape machine was always higher, and the mechanical complexity is much higher.

The reason for the 14" transcription LPs and 12" tonearms to play them came from a time when live radio programs and performances were recorded, mastered, and stamped to send out to radio stations all over the country. A radio station could easily stamp 100 or more transcription LPs and send them out overnight, where 100 tape duplications would have taken 4500 minutes, or 75 hours.
Get both 2 is better than one.
Professional tape recorders and tapes exceed vinyl in resolution, signal to noise ratio and dynamic range. Do some research. And yes, tape duplication is more complicated than record stamping, but cassette recordings outsold vinyl disc immediately prior to the introduction of the CD format. So somehow and somewhere a few large companies figured out how mass produce magnetic tape recordings. Apparently it can be done.
Tape will never surpass vinyl in resolution and signal to noise ratio and dynamic range....
Nonsense.

Assuming the source is an analog session or master tape, tape to tape copying can produce a copy that's just one lossy step removed from the original.

OTOH, manufacturing a vinyl LP involves many more lossy steps:
1. the session/master tape is played through an equalizer circuit to impart the RIAA (or other) curve
2. the equalized signal drives a cutter head
3. the movements of the cutter head cut the grooves on a master disk
4. the master desk is used as a mold to produce a metal stamper
5. the stamper is used as a mold to produce a vinyl LP

Further, additional lossy steps are required for the consumer to play back the LP:
6. the stylus must track the modulations in the groove
7. the cantilever (which is never perfectly rigid, and which pivots imprecisely within an elastic suspension) must reproduce the movements of the stylus at the armature end of the cartridge
8. the cartridge converts physical motions of the cantilever to an electrical signal
9. the signal is reverse-RIAA equalized
10. the signal is amplified back up to line level.

Only now is the signal compable to the one coming from a playback tape deck, i.e., suitable for the line level input of a preamp.

Tape reproduction and playback can involve as few as 2 lossy transfers (record/play back). Vinyl reproduction requires at least 10.

Direct-to-disk LP recordings eliminate step #1. Even this small reduction results in audible increases in resolution, s/n ratio and dynamic range... which proves the point: every lossy step impairs realistic reproduction.

Whether any particular consumer tape setup is as good as a particular vinyl setup is a different question. Whether the cost of tape copies is affordable or the hassles worthwhile are different questions still. But tape is the inherently superior medium.
My good old c-cassette Uriah Heep: Look at Yourself (Island tapes, UK 1971) outperforms a modern Japanese super technology SHM-CD in terms of dynamics and musicality. It simple sounds more right. This c-cassette does have distortions in some extent but to my great surprise not intrusively. As we know, also CD has limitations in sound quality and sounds more or less distorted too, but I really prefer the tape quality limitations. I have always disliked the digital´s edgy and dull sound. My tapes, bought and self recorded sound better than CDs and I have stopped buying music in CDs, unless it´s extremely rare and not available in analog format. My deck is the Nakamichi RX-505 and the CD player is 24 bit. My system is truly high quality in everything I believe. I record LPs to cassette tape and listen them in my car too.

The vinyl LP is my prime source. I would very much like to experience a professional tape deck. I wonder would my surprise be as big as with cassettes...
Onhwy61, the prerecorded cassette transfers were done high speed and suffered terribly from reduced frequency response. Cassette was a dictation medium and its performance was never even close to reel to reel. Someone above mentioned Tandberg but serious reel folks coveted Revox or its professional twin brother Studer. Any audiophile at that time was buying the album and taping it for themselves. The ONLY reason cassette was a viable format was portabilty. The walkman, every car came with a cassette deck.....then the cd. Cassettes hung around until cd became portable, then kaput!
But tape is the inherently superior medium

Doug has it right.
Convenience is one reason. I am a big fan of tape but have vinyl,cds and SACD's. Total collection is about 25,000 pieces of media. I have over 5000 tapes, R2R and cassettes. My R2R collection has many commercially recorded tapes in both two track and four track formats, including some at 15ips, 7.5ips and 3.75ips. I have quite a few titles in all formats, so I often get to compare the sound quality of each medium, like Miles Blue. Playback equipment is all high end, so most of the comparisons are pretty revealing. Which media is the best? Depends, its complicated. For Miles Blue the SACD is the hands down winner, which was mastered from the original master tapes. Which leads me back to what is best. The most convenient always wins as it means you listen to more music, and for me that is what it is all about.
Sounds like there is a need here to set the record straight, if you will pardon the expression :)

first:


The reason for the 14" transcription LPs and 12" tonearms to play them came from a time when live radio programs and performances were recorded, mastered, and stamped to send out to radio stations all over the country. A radio station could easily stamp 100 or more transcription LPs and send them out overnight, where 100 tape duplications would have taken 4500 minutes, or 75 hours.

There is more to it than the above- 14" lacquers are also used to make 12" records. A 12" arm is awfully handy for sorting out whether a test recording made in the outside inch is viable- if so you can proceed with the cutting method without playing the actual cut to be pressed.

Nonsense.

Assuming the source is an analog session or master tape, tape to tape copying can produce a copy that's just one lossy step removed from the original.

OTOH, manufacturing a vinyl LP involves many more lossy steps:
1. the session/master tape is played through an equalizer circuit to impart the RIAA (or other) curve
2. the equalized signal drives a cutter head
3. the movements of the cutter head cut the grooves on a master disk
4. the master desk is used as a mold to produce a metal stamper
5. the stamper is used as a mold to produce a vinyl LP

Further, additional lossy steps are required for the consumer to play back the LP:
6. the stylus must track the modulations in the groove
7. the cantilever (which is never perfectly rigid, and which pivots imprecisely within an elastic suspension) must reproduce the movements of the stylus at the armature end of the cartridge
8. the cartridge converts physical motions of the cantilever to an electrical signal
9. the signal is reverse-RIAA equalized
10. the signal is amplified back up to line level.

Only now is the signal compable to the one coming from a playback tape deck, i.e., suitable for the line level input of a preamp.

Tape reproduction and playback can involve as few as 2 lossy transfers (record/play back). Vinyl reproduction requires at least 10.

Direct-to-disk LP recordings eliminate step #1. Even this small reduction results in audible increases in resolution, s/n ratio and dynamic range... which proves the point: every lossy step impairs realistic reproduction.

Whether any particular consumer tape setup is as good as a particular vinyl setup is a different question. Whether the cost of tape copies is affordable or the hassles worthwhile are different questions still. But tape is the inherently superior medium.

There are a couple of points to be addressed here. Tape and LP both require EQ during record and playback. The problem here is that the tape used in the home is rarely a copy of the master, usually its a copy of the working copy; IOW most tapes played by audiophiles are 3rd generation copies, not 2nd generation. LPs are usually made from the master tape if the LP was pressed in the same country as the tape was made. Although not a common practice the LP can be made from a 2-step process, which is often used in short runs.

Now what Mattmiller said that got this comment from Doug was the tape will never surpass LP in resolution. That is actually a fact (although rarely realized). The LP has much more capability (in this case defined as lower distortion, wider bandwidth and wider dynamic range) than tape. What LP does not have is convenience in the recording studio! This is why tape is used- you can go back and re-record it. If you mess up while doing direct to disk, the lacquer is so much junk. This is why direct-to-disk is unusual.
Thank you Atamasphere. Onhwy61
I thought we were talking about Home audio products NOT professional gear? Who the Heck bought a REVOX tape player back in the day??? No one for home use. Sony,Akai,Tandberg,Nakamichi,these were the brands in stores for consumers. The only people buying professional tape decks were using them in studios to record live music! Not for LP to Tape transfer.The only reason you would record your LP to tape was to make a custom recording of all your favorite songs or to record a few sides of a record so you wouldn't have to get up and flip after 20mins.
I believe Ralph K. was referring to direct to disc recordings as having better performance than analog tape. As a format I believe direct to disc's popularity ranks well below DVD-As and only slightly above Elcaset. In other words, it's really obscure. In the normal record production process all vinyl discs were sourced from analog tape so it would be impossible for the vinyl copy to exceed the performance of the tape original.

Revox made and sold any number of home oriented reel to reel tape recorders. They were more expensive than the typical Sony or Pioneer and generally had better transports, but did not necessarily sound better. One of the major uses of home reel2reels was recording FM concert and classical music broadcasts.
Well here is one idea as to why: Stamping thousands of records take a lot less time and is cheaper than creating duplicates on to kilometers of expensive tape. I think it has little do to with the sonic attributes, or anything else other than cost/time/ease. I am not an expert, it is just what I always thought.
Nobody loves open reel tape more than I do, but it's a really impractical medium unless you DO love it. You can't find any particular track on a 7" reel without searching endlessly and you sure can't find it on a 10 1/2" reel. So you pretty much have to play the whole thing, like it or not. If your back-coated tape is attacked by "sticky shed syndrome" you might as well throw it out (yeah, I know, there's a fix, but still).

All the commercial reels date from the 60s to 80s (Jim Nabors vocalizing, anyone?) and many have had their high frequencies destroyed from being played with magnetized tape heads. New raw tape is expensive. The machines are mostly 30 years old AT LEAST and tend to be finicky and in need of regular service by too-few tape techs. If you still want to get into this "hair shirt" medium, don't say I didn't warn you :-)

So why do I love it? Because some of the tapes are simply stunning sonically. The sound of open reel tape in general is addictive (but stick to at least 7 1/2 IPS tape speed; slower-speed tape tends to really suck). And you can't beat the sight of those spinning reels.
I thought we were talking about Home audio products NOT professional gear? Who the Heck bought a REVOX tape player back in the day??? No one for home use.
No one? Really?

I did, soon after college in the late 70s. Others I've met here did too. Perhaps you've been hanging with the wrong crowd. ;-)
Large format tape done well blows away ANY other format in existence to-date. I think that is pretty much a well documented fact. Comparison demos with vinyl and CD format digital I have heard in recent years clearly supports that.

Hi res digital may have a chance to match or surpass it someday in terms of both sound quality and ease of use.

Too bad nobody ever figured out a way to make the format work well commercially. Most people would not want to have to deal with handling and care of raw tape reels, especially these days.

You do not realize the sonic limitations of the music formats used today until compared with a high quality large format reference recording played on top notch gear.
My friend works for large recording studio. They got rid of all analog recorders long time ago. Before that they had people assigned to rewind constantly tens of thousands of tapes in the archives to prevent track to track copying. Don't forget hiss of tape itself reduced by Dolby B or C but still audible. CDPs have option of playing with "De-emphasis" to reduce master tape noise but almost nobody uses it since master tapes are digital.
Kijanki, there was a time when most major studios got rid of those tubed German large condenser microphones. The solid state replacements were supposed to be so much more reliable. The tubed mics are now highly desirable collector items prized for their sonics. Studios also got rid of their large analog consoles and replaced them with digitally controlled consoles. Mixes could be automated and settings saved and recalled. The fact that the newer consoles didn't sound as good as the older ones just wasn't that important a factor. Recording studios are a business and the ones that last understand that they have to compete with other studios. It's a hard sell to tell a potential client who is use to 200+ tracks of instant access ProTools computer audio that a 24 track R2R with razor blades for editing really does sound better. And you need to budget at least $10k for tape costs.

A small number of artist and producers still like to record to R2R and a larger number of them when they record digitally mix down to R2R. They like the sound.
Onhwy61, Yes this technique is very popular in the recording community. They go from digital to 2 channel stereo tape and then back to digital to get the tape "saturation" effect. I think it is getting the worse of tape, and degradation since you are re-sampling twice and the process seems silly to me but what do I know. Now there are a lot of plugins that try to emulate the tape artifacts/character.

Will these efforts make it sound like you are getting analog out from a R2R...NO!
http://recordinghacks.com/2013/01/26/analog-tape-vs-digital/
Kijanki, while I find that my clients prefer the analog tape to the digital recordings made from the same mix, its really not relevant as what we are talking about is 2-channel, not multi-channel.
Ralph, that's true, but practicality is important at home as well. I've heard opinion that best analog TVs were better than modern digital HDTV. I don't question that, but it perhaps was very expensive set in studio conditions, plus analog broadcast is gone - no interest to me. Same with the tapes. I had them before and do not wish to use them again. It is silly step backwards IMHO.
I also am not likely to ever want to have to dabble with reel tapes, no matter how good they might sound.

Even back in the mid seventies when RTR tape units were commonly seen and found in audio stores, I never liked having to deal with them.

For technical hobby folks with an interest only I would say.
Whether at home or in the recording studio digital tech is far more flexible and convenient than tape. For the chosen few that's not an issue. Solid state is more practical than tubes, automatic transmissions are easier to use than manual, planes get you there quicker than ocean liners and call girls are less troublesome and more predictable than meeting someone, having a real relationship and possibly having your heart broken. Are you a tourist or a traveler?
Practical, flexible and easy does not equate to best sound....regards.
Practical, flexible and easy does not
equate to best sound

To get absolutely best sound I could hire Symphony Orchestra
to play in my home, but it would be expensive and
impractical.
^^ Kijanki, tape is a lot more practical than a Symphony Orchestra in the home. I think you knew that prior to posting though...

You may not care to 'go back' to tape but its not a step backwards in the opinion of many. To them, digital was a step backwards. This being the analog section of the website and specifically about LP vs tape, the digital stuff seems better suited for another thread.

Performance is often traded off for convenience in our world. We see it all the time in cars, cameras and many other technologies. It should not be any surprise that tape is one of the best-sounding formats that can be played in the home. And while I am keenly aware of how much better the LP can be, I also know that such performance on the LP is rarely realized.
"To them, digital was a step backwards."

It was at first, but no technical reason why it must be that anymore.

I would much rather move forward to the extent needed with very high resolution and quality digital gear than go back to analog tape. Even if studios producing music did, I would not feel the needed. Good digital conveys artifacts of good analog sound quite well, even at mere CD resolution, I have found to-date.

If the potential of 331/3 lp was fully realized with many vinyl recordings, I would then have to consider a move back to analog tape or digital in that the cost and work involved to keep a phono rig capable of delivering maximum results doing that would prevent me from ever going there. Tape would be much easier in comparison.

One of the reasons most lps are as limited as they are is because few have the phono rig needed to play the best possible at all. The whole analog record format is inherently flawed from this perspective in terms of reliability, which matters to most. Most people lived with abysmal sound off records with their cheap home players for years for this reason, ie getting good sound our of even an average recording was beyond their abilities or desire.
Ralph, where one gets analog recordings? Where to store thousands of tapes in proper temperature and humidity? How often to rewind them to avoid print-through copying? Ampex recommends rewinding within 3 years of storage (and to keep track of it). Bart Simpson said "Don't have a cow, man!".

On the other hand if R2R is only supplemental source isn't better to spend money to improve the system (amplifier, speakers etc) instead?
Kijanki, I'm not having a cow- its pretty apparent you jumped in without reading the rest of this thread:

This thread is not about analog vs digital.

If you can store LPs you can store tape. FWIW though, tapes store a lot better in the attic than the basement.

You get analog recordings (as mentioned earlier on this thread) from places like the Tape Project http://www.tapeproject.com/

It has been projects like this one that has had a good number of audiophiles scouring the countryside for high end tape machines and a number of people make a business refurbishing them. There is even one manufacturer in Germany that makes a new machine (saw it at the Munich show in May).

We have had to respond to this because a number of our customers have requested that we set up switchable tape EQ in our preamps. The last one is using an Otari transport and the tape head outputs run directly into the phono/tape section of one of our MP-3s.

I've run Ampex tube machines for decades. Its pretty spectacular playing even pre-recorded (1/2 track) tapes from the 1950s.
As others have mentioned, the closest the industry came to this was with R2R in the 70s. It was a luxury item back then as few could afford the cost of equipment, tapes, and maintenance. They were notoriously fickle machines, prone to issues best done by trained professionals. That being said, the fidelity was quite good. The portability of cassette changed the game in the late 79/80 with the invention of the Sony Walkman. A neighbor of mine growing up who was in the broadcasting industry had a R2R, and he was the envy of all budding audiophiles. I am more of a child of the 80s and gravitated to the advancement of the cassette which saw its demise by the end of the decade. However, I have fond memories of home taping FM concerts and radio broadcasts on decent 3 head unit. Till this day I long for VU meters!
I had a stink with hifi VHS recording back in the 80's using a very good Akai recorder. I got into it thinking of it as a decent modern technical substitute for RTR. I could not find anything near as good to replace it when it died within a few years. I still have some recordings of NPR FM broadcasts I made with it back then that still sound quite nice when played on the Sony Hifi VCR that I still keep around.

HiFI VHS seemed to have some promise in its day, but even that went to the wayside once DVDs and digital recording took over video world as well.

Nowadays, digital audio and video is it. I still like to play my old records and tapes though mostly because I have them already and they have their own unique charms.
Kijanki, I'm not having a cow- its pretty apparent you jumped in without reading the rest of this thread:

The original question was "But, why don't they just copy the magnetic tape to other magnetic tapes and sell us those?"

I've tried to explain inconvenience of using R2R - nothing else. I don't have anything against analog but limited amount of available recordings made me concentrate on CD/computer playback. As for storing tapes in the attic - it is possibly the worst place to keep magnetic tapes since tapes are affected by high temperatures the most followed by temperature changes.

Ampex 1/2" might be nice sounding but it was in 50s. Servicing or repairing would be difficult today. Most people used 1/4" tapes running at 7 1/2 inch/s (half of the minimum studio speed). Prerecorded tapes were available but recorded with Dolby B (that was garbage). Dolby C and S (not to mention SR) or DBX never got to prerecorded tapes (at least I haven't seen them). Newer technologies like Akai HX-PRO (servo on the Bias) extending frequency range of the tape came to Compact Cassette machines when R2R was practically phased out. Again, where do you get analog recordings from?
Ralph says LPs are best and another party says tape is best and I pretty much agree with both statements.

How? If the tape is absolute top quality it will win. However, even "master" tape from sources like Tape Project can get walloped by LP, at least in my system.

One tape I have is undeniably the best, a true original safety from an artist done in his recording studio. This was back up tape for a recording session and so untouched, it is primitive hard left and hard right 2 channel (no mix down) and never duplicated. I'm guessing based on the music it was recorded on an Ampex 350. This tape kills every source, regardless and by a mile.

However, tapes from other good sources that are "master dubs" do not compare to this safety and sometimes not even equal to the best possible LP.

How might this happen? I suspect the true original tape is seldom pulled for anyone. A copy of this master is at hand and that is duplicated when required and sent out.

Now this user gets a "master" that's two or three generations away from the original and even Tape Project frequently dubs again to 1/2" and then that is copied over to 1/4" for subscribers.

Look where we are now compared to true master.

A friend of mine in the record business said that a digital master file at the studio was absolutely amazing and in some ways better than analog. However, the first time it's moved, transferred or copied something happens to it and it's never the same (his words).

So the answer to what is best quality depends. Tape potentially is supreme but most of us do not have access to even one of these at best example, much less a usable library.

As for why not tape instead of vinyl records, I think most points have been stated accurately. My comments are based on listening with my equipment and perhaps a better tape machine could change the outcome.

However, for me to spend more than I already have on a tape machine would be foolish. My Studer A810 with full restoration is already my most expensive source when divided by number of software titles. Basically, my LP library is the most precious thing in my system.
"A friend of mine in the record business said that a digital master file at the studio was absolutely amazing and in some ways better than analog. However, the first time it's moved, transferred or copied something happens to it al tdigind it's never the same (his words)."

No doubt, digital data can be replicated at will with NO loss if done with that goal in mind.

Usually, that is NOT the goal though. Data volumes involved and ability of commercial gear today to handle it is the probably the main reason. There may be other more "artistic" ones as well.

I would have to believe that the digital source formats possible with good pro gear today is capable of surpassing anything prior, but must be watered down still for most to be able to use it practically.
The long term storage of digital music files is problematic and most likely require the periodic porting of files to different (newer) file types. A record from 75 years ago can be easily played with some uncertainty about speed and EQ settings, but it can be played. It's not clear that a WAV file will be decipherable in 2089.
Onhwy61, Do you expect to be alive in 2089? Taiyo Yuden CD-Rs data retention is rated 100 years. Same for SanDisk flash memory. I need only 30 years - no issue for me.
This issue isn't whether it effect either of us, but how it effects future generations of music lovers. Will the music being produced today be accessible to them? A CD may physically survive, but will there be the specific hardware or operating systems needed to access the stored music?
Converting formats of computer files, when needed, is relatively easy.

I just converted all my .wav files to FLAC, something I knew I would do eventually when I started several years back.

I did it with free MediaMonkey software, a few mouse clicks, and my existing external drives.

I converted about 200 CDs worth of files, about 1Tb in .wav format to about .5 Tb in lossless compressed format FLAC. IT did take about 48 hours for all files to convert given that volume of data, but it all worked as it should.

I expect FLAC to be around for quite a while. I do not know of anything at this time coming down the pipe that will necessitate a change again anytime soon, but "never say never".

I would love to convert all my large record collection to digital, but the work and cost involved to do that is prohibitive by far, not even remotely feasible, so I will keep playing those records as well as needed for teh foreseeable future and only convert the "must haves" to digital as time permits.
Whoops I converted about 2000 CDs actually, not just 200 as I typed prior.

That would take 1/10th the time to convert. :^)
I've tried to explain inconvenience of using R2R - nothing else. I don't have anything against analog but limited amount of available recordings made me concentrate on CD/computer playback. As for storing tapes in the attic - it is possibly the worst place to keep magnetic tapes since tapes are affected by high temperatures the most followed by temperature changes.

Kijanki, I speak from experience and I mentioned attics for a reason- tapes don't mind being heated up. In fact its a common practice in the studio to bake an older tape (with a polyester backing) as this chases moisture out of the tape and reduces sticking and shedding dramatically.

Once baked properly, the tape will likely play without shedding for months or several years before needing it again. Of course this practice only works if the tape is not totally shot to begin with...

I run an LP mastering operation; last year we did a reissue project of a local blues/folk musician (Spider John Koerner, for those keeping track, http://www.neros-neptune.com/spider-john-koerner-some-american-folk-songs-like-they-used-to-lp-cd/). The recording was not spectacular, but it was on reel to reel, stored that way in the attic of the artist since 1972. The tapes were in immaculate condition (surprise! -no baking needed!) despite being an early 'high output' formula.

Tapes don't mind being heated up one bit as long as its not excessive. Its a lot better for them than storing them in the basement! I still have cassette tapes in my old Bronco that are 30 years old and still play fine. I store them in the truck and they get heated (baked) there quite a lot. I have no doubt that is why they don't shed after all these years.
I guess baking and storage are different things since
recommendation from National Technology Alliance states:

"Storage at high temperatures ( > 74° F; > 23° C)
increases tape pack tightness. This results in distortion of
the tape backing and an increase in permanent dropouts as
wound-in debris is forced into the tape magnetic layer. Many
layers of tape before and after the debris can be affected
by impressions of the debris. Layer to layer adhesion, known
as tape blocking, also can result after long term storage at
elevated temperatures."

They also stated:

"Variations in temperature and humidity can cause tape
problems. Tape packs are wound under a considerable amount
of tension. This is necessary to maintain the shape of the
tape pack. A reel of tape can be permanently damaged if the
tape pack tension is too high or too low. If the tension is
too high, the tape backing can stretch. If the tension gets
too low, tape layers can slip past each other, resulting in
pack slip, cinching, or popped strands on playback (see
Figure 7). Relaxation of the tape backing can also occur if
the tape pack tension is not properly maintained.
Relaxation, stretching, and deformation of the tape backing
can cause mistracking of a videotape or sound distortion on
an audio tape. Every time a tape pack is heated or cooled,
the tape pack tension will increase or decrease,
respectively. The best way to reduce the degree of tape
backing distortion is to store magnetic media in an
environment that does not vary much in temperature or
humidity."

http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub54/5premature_degrade.ht
ml
Baked tapes.....yummy yummy!

Why not as long as one knows exactly what one is doing. That would not be me in this case. :^)
Totally agree with Atmasphere about tape storage. I have c-cassettes that are over 40 years old and most of them perform just fine. Furthermore I play cassettes in my car in hot summers and very cold winters (28 Celsius minus at lowest).
Certain cassettes are kept many years in my car but never in direct sunlight. Baked or frozen cassettes play nice to me. Of course, excessive heat ruins tape but not excessive cold, heh maybe make the sound more fresh ;-)
Cassettes never sound dull but I have had some worse quality tapes that soon lost higher frequences and become worthless.
Kijanki, my recommendation is to work with tape for a while and then you will see that not only are my observations correct but also those of the NTA. (My statement was that tapes store in an attic much better than a basement, which is different from the argument you are making FWIW.)

A controlled environment is nice, the big deal being low humidity. For this reason I recommend that anyone storing tape consider the use of a pack of silica gel inside the plastic bag in which the reel of tape is stored. It might be hard to search on this but I have made this recommendation a number of times on this forum.