Home Tape Trail

Reel to reel, cassette and other analogue tape formats.

RE: best deal

The auction was for a used 7-1/2 ips 4T Blood Sweat & Tears 1st album, "Child is Father to the Man". (Al Kooper)

When I received it I noticed that the reel was packed with more tape than I expected. It turned out that the one reel contained two BS&T albums obviously spliced together;... the above noted CIFTTM and also the 2nd Album with David Clayton Thomas. Probably their biggest seller.

At first I was suspicious; was that extra album a home-made recording? After a couple of listens they both sound like directly from the tape master. So I put the 2nd album an a spare reel and in its own case.

I figured I did ok on that deal. Less than $12 for two tapes.

On the other hand I have received my share of defective tape on commercial reels from ebay sellers. On the bad deals the costs were low and so I did not complain or issue negative feedback. Examples, rippled tape on a Mahler Symphony No.2 on a badly warped Columbia reel. I still have it. I replaced the reel and have noticed that even though the tape is rippled sound is not degraded. Evidently the tape drive path straightens the tape enough to get a good read. But I won't sell it. It is damaged goods.

Another; a case of sticky shed on a Walter/Dvorak New World Symphony Columbia tape. Massive squeal. I destroyed the tape, kept the box as a spare box. Those gray columbia reels I don't especially like, so I didn't keep the reel either. Did not complain to seller. Price was low. I'm confident that the seller was sight grading and did not have a clue his/her tape was a non-player. Anyway,I found another copy of this later off ebay at an even lower price. I figured life was ok. It's not like I was shelling out $30 bucks each.

A couple of others like that. But mostly my Ebay purchases were positive. Estimate about 75% satisfactory deals.

Fwiw, I don't blame the seller for tapes which were recorded badly or have 2nd class performances. Not fair to do that. Most of the sellers are just individuals, not big stores.....except for a couple well known sellers that have large supplies of tapes to sell.

Another story.
Trimming out my small collection to raise some short term funds I have sold a dozen or so commercial tapes on ebay. Two of those sales were problematic.

The most notable was an auction for Stravinsky conducts Stravinsky, "The Firebird" on Columbia. This is a tape I've played a few times and was confident of it being a very good tape for condition and sound.

However the buyer issued a return case, which locked funds from the sale on my ebay. Along with the action came a message that complained of sticky shed. My reply was that I doubted this. Were we speaking of the same tape?

A day later came an apology noting that he played the tape a second time and it played well. Then he went on to explain that on the first play he experienced some loud squeal about 3/4 the way through on side 2 and could not finish. Then noted that the second time he played it this did not happen. So he figured it was hardware problem, not the tape. The return case was dropped and he said he was happy with the tape.

Just a note to ebay buyers; try being a seller some time and see how it goes. Sell a couple and everything goes well. Sell higher numbers and you get a larger sample of the buying public. These are used tapes. We are not stores that can issue a return back to Columbia for a replacement. This isn't Best Buy. etc. What's out there in circulation is all that there is.


Edits: 11/23/15 11/23/15

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  • RE: best deal - user510 14:07:02 11/23/15 (0)


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