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(Collector's Weekly)   People collect eight-track tapes. Some of them sell for $5,000, and there are even museums for them in Dallas, Texas, and Roxbury, New York   ( ) divider line
    More: Cool, New York, Texas, Tiny Tim, Dark Side of the Moon, estate sale, Collectors Weekly, museums, Mainly Led Zeppelin  
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5572 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Dec 2012 at 2:29 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-12-15 06:26:15 AM  
4 votes:
TFA was a little short on important facts. For instance, 8-track was not the first format in that particular cartridge. A couple years earlier, they made 4-tracks in nearly the same physical format, but with a giant hole in the bottom side where a rubber pinch roller would flip up from the deck and push the tape against the playback head. Eventually they got smart, added a cheap roller to the cartridge itself, and then doubled the number of tracks while they were at it. Back around 68-69 I remember seeing a little adapter at record and tape stores that you could put in the hole of a 4-track so you could play it in the "new" 8-track players.

Another important thing they should have mentioned is that 8-track audio quality WAS better than cassette tapes - exactly TWICE as good. Cassette tape moves at the ass-draggingly awful speed of 1 7/8 ips (one and seven-eighths inches per second) The faster the tape moves, the more magnetic particles (i.e. "samples") there are representing the waveform. Originally they had virtually ZERO high frequencies (almost nothing above 8khz or so) until they came up with things like metal tape and Dolby noise reduction in the late 70s. Even then, they still sounded like shiat. Cassettes were the audio equivalent of a thumbnail-sized 16-color GIF image.

8-track tape, otoh, moved along twice as fast at 3 3/4 ips and therefore had considerably better fidelity, on par with good vinyl. In fact, the same speed was used on some commercial reel-to-reel tapes of the era, back when audiophiles still preferred tape over lowly vinyl. (FYI, The RIAA curve for vinyl records rolls off HARD at about 50 hz. Tape was good for nearly a half octave lower in the bass range, making it far superior for bass junkies). 3 3/4 represented the lower end of r2r tapes. Most ran at 7 1/2 ips, twice as fast again. Somewhere in a storeroom, I have Led Zeppelin 1 and Moody Blues' Question of Balance on 7" R2R tapes in the original cardboard boxes with miniature versions of the album covers glued on.

Cassette tape is also 1/8 inch wide, so besides being slow, it physically had fewer particles due to the tiny size. Did I mention that casettes sounded like shiat? 8-track and most consumer R2R tapes were 1/4 inch, which held twice as much information.

Another FYI, the 1", 2", and the odd 3" wide multi-track tapes on 10 1/2 inch reels used in commercial recording studios ran at either 15 ips or 30 ips. Since a 2" wide 10.5" reel of professional tape cost about $200 and lasted around 16 minutes at 30 ips, most studios ran everything at 15 when they could get away with it.
2012-12-15 12:29:54 AM  
2 votes:
8-track was crap when it was brand new.
2012-12-14 07:48:18 PM  
2 votes:
They should do a match book sollection there as well.

/you know, to wedge under the 8 track to keep it on the proper channel.
2012-12-15 10:19:01 AM  
1 vote:
Well, it's no Yellow Panasonic TNT 8-track player with a plunger handle, as I had when I was a kid, but you can still buy an 8-Track player today:


Even has a carrying strap, so you can listen to your favorite tunes while jogging!
2012-12-15 04:52:58 AM  
1 vote:

Bathysphere: Friend of mine brought over a girl from Art school whom he wanted to bang. During a conversation, she looked at me and said in a deadly serious voice, "I ONLY listen to vinyl. " I did not know how to respond.
2012-12-15 03:33:43 AM  
1 vote:
Why would an*K-CHOONK!*yone want to collect 8 tracks?
2012-12-15 02:35:18 AM  
1 vote:
There's also a Pinball museum here in Asbury Park, the difference being, is that you can actually *PLAY THEM!*
2012-12-14 10:58:40 PM  
1 vote:
If we can get hipsters away from vinyl and onto 8 track, the world will be a better place.
2012-12-14 10:02:47 PM  
1 vote:
$5000? Really? Holy crap!

Where did I put my copy of John Denver's Greatest Hits...?
2012-12-14 07:31:01 PM  
1 vote:
Stereo 8?

BAH! I'm a niche-niche collector, I go for the quadraphonic 8-tracks.
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