Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Atari_Force

Cassette types (I,II,III,IV)

Recommended Posts

I would think you would want to stick with type 1 because that should be what the 1010 and similar tape drives for the Atari systems were made for. You don't want to mismatch cassette type with the player/recorder.

 

I would think type 4 (metal) would be best for preservation, but worst for actual use in an Atari drive. There used to be kind of an urban legend that using a metal tape in a deck not made for it would wear out the heads really fast, but I'm not sure if that's actually true or if it was one of those hardware myths from back in the day. In any case, though, if the heads aren't made for a particular type of tape, you will get worse audio quality and that's just as true with a computer tape drive as an audio deck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Use a quality Type I. Other formulations will be a mismatch and their main advantages (better response, dynamic range, etc...) don't matter in this application. Tape shouldn't be considered permanent and a digital copy should be made (and saved in a lossless format) as well.

 

Something like the Maxell UR, Sony HF or TDK D range should be fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Bryan stated, type I cassettes are good enough for the application.

The Atari data recorders can read also type II cassettes (slightly exaggerated treble does not matter), but cannot record on them properly. I am not sure about type IV.

 

The urban legend is just an urban legend. You cannot damage the tape. Of course, recording of type II cassette in a recorder that supports only type I will result in poor sound, but the tape is intact.

 

When it comes to preservation, the tape type doesn't matter that much. What matters is the overall manufacturing quality that determines if the magnetic tape lasts for 20 years, or if it degrades to a nasty mush. The storage conditions matter very much too. Cassettes do not like high temperatures.

 

How to determine good manufacturing quality?

 

Get brands and models that have proven themselves over time. Again, as Bryan pointed out, Sony HF, Maxell UR, TDK D are a good choice. I would also add SONY FX, and mainstream BASF/EMTEC Ferro Extra cassettes. I am not sure of Audio PRO. You can also read this instructable.

 

Sadly, it would appear that the only new cassettes available are Maxell UR-90. There are still companies selling tapes wound to a specific length too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These days you must be happy to find more than one type anyway. Recently needed a cassette for an audio application and there was exactly one model for sale in the whole mall. The electronics superstore didn't carry them at all, the drugstore/supermarket had one type.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The urban legend is just an urban legend. You cannot damage the tape. Of course, recording of type II cassette in a recorder that supports only type I will result in poor sound, but the tape is intact.

 

Not the tape, the heads.

 

I don't know if either is true, but I just want to make sure that if someone debunks this, they're debunking the actual myth and not misunderstanding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recommend buying type I tapes from Tape Line that Baktra linked above, and get tape lengths between 15-30 min. Longer tapes are extra weight for the deck and will wear out the motor of the Atari tape deck faster. Commercial software releases were done on the shorter tapes not just for money savings but for the reason above. I won't ever use the 60 min. or more tapes you can still purchase at some stores.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...