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Tape Winding

Filed under: — 2006-03-19 by Richard L. Hess — Last Edit 2008-02-15 by

There are some things to consider about how a tape is wound onto its reel or hub.

  1. Tapes should be stored with as smooth a wind as possible. The practice with audio tapes has normally been to put them away after playing without rewinding them. This is called “tails out.”
  2. Many late-model recorders had a “library wind” mode that would spool the tape under controlled tension at 60-120 in/s so that a smooth wind was produced in less time and with no head wear as contrasted to playing the tape.
  3. In audio tape, “sides” of a tape are holdovers from “sides” of discs. It’s really more correct to think of the tape “sides” as “edges.” Side One is really Edge One Up, and Side Two is really Edge Two Up.
  4. Tape can be wound on a reel or hub either oxide in or oxide out. The original German Magnetophon machines wound the tape oxide out. That is referred to as B-wind today. Cassettes are B-wind. German Radio stayed with B-wind througout their usage of magnetic tape. The original Ampex 200A was B-wind but most were later converted to A-wind (oxide in).
  5. One should avoid shipping cassettes with active tape exposed. They should be stored and shipped with the tape wound onto either hub, preferably by playing.
  6. See this post for more details (2008-03-15)


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