Home Tape Trail

Reel to reel, cassette and other analogue tape formats.

RE: Speed range needed according to tapes to be played back

You made the ridiculous statement that master tapes were transparent. My suggestion was for a demonstration to refute this statement. Were master tapes really transparent then it would be possible to go an unlimited number of generations without degradation. I'm pretty sure that 10 generations is going to make the degradation obvious to everybody. It will probably take considerably fewer. (Same goes for 192/24 digital, but it would be interesting to compare the numbers. Test should use an ADC driving a DAC, the two converters to be separately clocked.) Contrast this situation with line level interconnects or microphone cables. One can easily string 10 one meter balanced interconnect cables in tandem without significant degeneration of signal quality if the drivers, receivers and cable are high quality.

Human perception is not transitive. Just because A sounds the same as B and B sounds the same as C, it does not follow that A sounds the same as C. This becomes more and more obvious as the number of comparisons strung together increases. For example, few people can hear a 0.5 dB level reduction on music but everyone can hear a 5 dB level reduction. A record - playback system entails a large number of components in tandem. If one is shooting for perfection the individual links in the chain must be better than apparently transparent.

Another reason for going multiple generations is to exaggerate the errors of a component for training purposes. Once listeners learn to recognize a particular kind of distortion when presented at a gross level they will be better prepared to recognize the same fault when presented in more subtle form. In addition, they will be better able to select program material that brings out this kind of fault in a component under listening test. Of course if one is a musician or music lover and not an audiophile or audio engineer one might be better advised not to undertake this training.

Tony Lauck

"Diversity is the law of nature; no two entities in this universe are uniform." - P.R. Sarkar

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