the dead media: feedback
January 10, 2013
TDK made a great blank tape called super avlon in the early 80's that performed like metal tape on cassettes. I wish I had bought the entire supply of them because it recorded like reel tape. I hope someone starts making 8-track supplies again. Especially tape head lubricant. Can't find it anywhere now.
May 24, 2012
I'd love to find someone who would make 8 track tapes for my band. There is a company in Dallas that does this but they have so many back orders for tapes that they aren't taking any additional orders. Does anyone know of any other folks making new 8 track tapes? firstname.lastname@example.org
September 12, 2011
I think it would be possible to make a simple 8-TRACK player once again. Ironically, the very last brand new 8-TRACK players were sold by Radio Shack, which happens to be based in Fort Worth, TX.
Since it would only be a player, it would just be a matter of being able to have a simple player like the one Radio Shack sold, and have all of the parts identified.
There really are not all that many parts to such a unit. The most complex thing about it would be the "ratchet mechanism" that the head is mounted to that steps it from program to program. Those parts would have to be identified and newly made.
There may still be suppliers that provide that specification of tape head. Many tape heads had two sides, one for erase, and the other for record or playback.
Despite it not being necessary, many simple 8-TRACK players used the two sided head because recorders became common, and that commonality probably made it either easier to find or actually cheaper to acquire quantities of. A player only connects the right side of the head, since there is no need for an erase head.
Other than that, since it would only be a player, the electronics would only consist of the drive motor, (which would have to be well-filtered to eliminate "motor hiss"), a power switch inside the cartridge slot, a simple tape playback preamp with good strong, yet clean sound output, and four program indicator lights. The Radio Shack models had an adjustable output knob on the back.
The remainder of the electronics parts would be simple, common electronic parts.
As far as the mechanics are concerned, it would be a matter of having the individual mechanical parts made to the right size and material specification.
Hope this is of some help. They could be sold online and given a unique modern look.
Have you considered possible contacting some of the major labels about a deal to license album releases?
the dead media
August 30, 2011
thanks for writing. the dead media is located a few hours up i-35 from you in fort worth, texas. i agree that a record club 8 track resurgence would be great. hell, it would be great if we could get 8 track players manufactured once more. people would definitely buy them if they were cheap enough for nothing less than novelty itself. i'm always pleased to run across an 8 track with that green/yellow foam that you're speaking of. it lasts! great idea about the heat laminated splicepoints! feel free to write or ask questions any time. thanks again!
August 28, 2011
Producing high quality, 90 minute blank 8-TRACK tapes would be a very good thing to do also, since there are a lot of functioning, high quality 8-TRACK decks that people would like to have tape to make recordings on.
August 28, 2011
I am an expert regarding 8-TRACK tape repair. I'm curious to know where your company is located.
I think it would be quite revolutionary now that we have the internet, to bring back the "record clubs" that continued to produce 8-TRACK tapes until 1988, after the retail editions were no longer made available after 1983.
People could go then online to see what classic albums, as well as albums made since 1983 are available on 8-TRACK.
If people could get a wide catalog selection of current, recent, and classic albums available just by ordering online, an online 8-TRACK record club service could be VERY successful!
Also, I've discovered that some tapes will still play okay without the pressure pad, provided there is still enough tension on the reel at the time the two ends of the tape are spliced together.
In the later years, certain record companies tended to become rather lax in putting the right amount of tension on the reel prior to the two ends being spliced together with sensing foil tape. Therefore, when the pressure pad would dry out or turn to goo, the tape-to-head contact would be destroyed, causing the tape to sound muffled, and in extreme cases produce the infamous "program drift".
I discovered this when removing dry or gooey pressure pads from some 8-TRACK tapes. Some tape stock is slightly more flexible, while other tape stock tends to be stiffer. Having intact pressure pads do increase the chances of successful program changes occurring, without the infamous "program skip" that could occasionally happen with some tapes.
For some reason, starting in the later 1970's and into the early 1980's, Columbia/Epic used pressure pads made of a foam material that miraculously DID NOT dry out, or become gooey! It would be nice to know what that formula of foam is.
I'm right with you in believing that ALL 8-TRACK tapes should have had a small piece of splicing tape applied to the backside of the tape where the silver splice was located for greater reinforcement.
To take that a step further, if the back splice on the opposite side of the sensing foil tape could be applied through pressure AND precisely controlled heat (similar to a laminating process), hence a "heat splice", it would help in further bonding the splicing tape to the backside of the tape, making the splice last almost indefinitely!
This would also significantly reduce the extra "bump" that would otherwise be present from having two pieces of splicing tape on either side of the tape, and eliminate the tape getting stuck or "hung up" when it comes in contact with the capstan.
I'm very interested in learning more about your company.
San Antonio, Texas
March 26, 2011
(aside: this website is bee-yoo-tiful.)
Bucks Burnett c/o Eight Track Museum
February 3, 2011
If we can't take over the world, let's tape over it.
April 6, 2010
Nathan Brown / THE DEAD MEDIA – is a great resource and was an
immeasurable help in the launch of our 8-Track Magnetic Media project.
He recommended, located and completely refurbished an excellent
Pioneer H-R99 8-track master recorder for our studio. His knowledge of
analog media and vintage recording technologies is exceptional. THE
DEAD MEDIA is Extremely Highly Recommended!
The XART Studio + Media Research Center.
September 24, 2009
i want copies of the d/fw releases!
the dead media
August 10, 2009
thanks for your comment, kennet. you should read the vhs blog in the news section. recording on vhs is bulkier, but better than cassette. i would use cassette to make listening copies for friends and in the car, ect. but not for a master mix-down copy of your music. vhs or high speed reel to reel would be best for that.
August 8, 2009
what about recording on vhs vs. cassette
August 5, 2009