Restoration Tips & Notes Working with audio media (mostly tape) restoration

2006-04-08

Alternate tape equalizations—Teac Extra Efficiency

Filed under: archival practices,reels — Richard L. Hess @ 12:57

While the Ampex Mastering Equalization is well documented on this site and at the MRL site, and standard equalizations are detailed at the MRL site on page 3 of this document, I am always amazed when I discover additional, supported tape equalizations. Certainly there have been proposals for alternate equalizations. Jay McKnight has published a paper (here) about this. This post is about something different.

Teac Corporation, with their X-2000M reel-to-reel tape recorder included a button called “Extra Efficiency” to be used with then-new tapes that had double the coercivity of standard reel-to-reel audio tapes. This changed the recording equalization (and the bias and possibly the reference levels) to better make use of the new tapes to improve the overall sound.

What was fascinating here is not that they used the IEC standard equalization of 35 μs at 15 in/s, which was standard in Europe, but that they also invented their own standard and used 35 μs at 7.5 in/s as well! Not content with that, they invented yet another standard of 50 μs for 3.75 in/s.

The NagraMaster and StellaMaster equalizations are also non-standard and were probably the most widely adopted equalizations after AME, but who knows how widely used this Teac EE equalization was and who knows what tapes are in archives that had this equalization incorrectly applied.

I have been informed that it was only intended for the consumer market.

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