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Author Topic: 8-track tapes  (Read 4762 times)

mustang6172

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8-track tapes
« on: 02 May 2013, 20:34 »

I hear a lot of people praise the virtues of 8-track tapes.  Are these just Baby Boomers blinded (or deafened) by nostalgia, or did these tapes have a sound quality I do not understand?
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pwhodges

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Re: 8-track tapes
« Reply #1 on: 03 May 2013, 00:43 »

Nostalgia and cloth ears.
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Re: 8-track tapes
« Reply #2 on: 03 May 2013, 07:00 »

I've heard that 8-tracks tapes have superior sound. It makes sense if you think about it. However, the equipment used to actually play an 8-track may not be up to today's standards.
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pwhodges

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Re: 8-track tapes
« Reply #3 on: 03 May 2013, 07:32 »

The eight-track tape had the same track width as a compact cassette (which came later), but ran at twice the speed (so still half the track width and half the speed of a domestic "hi-fi" tape).  The tape was a continuous loop that fed out from the centre, bending the tape and requiring a lot of slipping of layers over each other, so tape speed was never secure, tape wear was an issue, and rewinding was impossible - you had to wind the whole way round.  The head moved physically between tracks, on a mechanism that gave more scope for misalignment and unreliability.  They were primarily designed for use in cars, which probably says all the rest.

Any idea that it was in any way a decent format is based on nostalgia alone.
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Carl-E

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Re: 8-track tapes
« Reply #4 on: 03 May 2013, 16:30 »

'Twas probably more a matter of content than quality.  Anything you could get on 8-trak was available on vinyl, though, and usually much better quality - and most (but dammit, not all) is available digitally now. 

A few years ago I got my father some CD's of his favorite London "FFRR" (Full Frequancy Range Recordings) Gilbert & Sullivan operettas from the 50's - his vinyl copies were destroyed in a radiator catastrophe back in the 80's. 

He was a very happy man. 
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Re: 8-track tapes
« Reply #5 on: 03 May 2013, 18:40 »

I always figured it was kind of a step between Vinyl Records and the Cassette Tape.
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