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Anyone out there who can identify this kind of reel-to-reel recording tape?

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Jan 31, 2020 - 2:49:48 AM
3386 posts since 1/2/2004

I'm doing some work in a personal archive belonging to a performing and recording musician, and I came across this large reel of sound recording tape dating to about 1980.

It is, according to the box in which it is packed, a Maxell 35-180 Low Noise/Extended range tape, 192 minutes both directions.

I wonder whether there are businesses that can convert this to a modern format?

I know, when I walk into Staples these days, and ask for tape cassettes for a tape recorder, I get this blank look, so today this is my turn to place that blank look on my face.

I'm also going to poke around on whatever Maxell website might exist.


Lew Stern


Jan 31, 2020 - 5:23:33 AM

1684 posts since 2/10/2003

I suggest looking up a recording studio. Lots that have been around for a while still have their old tape machines, and can play it and record it to a digital format if that is what you wish.

Jan 31, 2020 - 5:30:09 AM

1955 posts since 10/17/2013
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7 (or 15? — hard to tell unless you measured it) inch reel tape; I’m certain there are businesses which specialize in converting this tape. There is nothing particularly special that I see right off hand.

The 7 inch reels can be played on a 15-inch machine or a 7 inch machine.

My dad has a TEAC 15 inch reel-to-reel tape deck. It doesn’t see much use. 

Jan 31, 2020 - 5:31:37 AM

474 posts since 9/21/2018

There are a number of services that will convert that to CD or digital. Just Google reel to reel conversion.

Jan 31, 2020 - 7:23:30 AM
likes this

3386 posts since 1/2/2004

This thing measures 10.5 inches in diameter.

Thanks for your recommendations!

Jan 31, 2020 - 8:12:01 AM

127 posts since 4/3/2009

Standard 1/4" tape reel sizes are most commonly 5, 7, or 10.5 inches. Lew's is a 10.5 inch NAB reel.

Tape speeds are 3.75, 7.5, 15 or 30 inches per second (IPS).

The tape format may be full track, half-track or quarter track, and may be one direction or both.

If you have a hard time finding someone locally, there is an Ampex Recorders Mail List where you may ask for someone who has the resources.  They are a friendly and helpful bunch.

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Jan 31, 2020 - 8:14:30 AM

3386 posts since 1/2/2004

Thanks, Dave Ross!

Jan 31, 2020 - 9:03:44 AM

3386 posts since 1/2/2004

One more piece of information: It was recorded on a Revox half track deck (one direction recording for stereo using the entire tape)

Feb 3, 2020 - 8:12:08 AM

127 posts since 4/3/2009

Originally posted by Brooklynbanjoboy

One more piece of information: It was recorded on a Revox half track deck (one direction recording for stereo using the entire tape)

That makes it easier.  Playback should be compatible with any 10.5" 1/4 inch half track reel-to-reel recorder.  Ampex, TEAC/Tascam, Otari, Studer, Revox are among the most common brands of 1/4 inch half track reel-to-reel recorders.  There are still a few studios who use these I would think.  Good luck in the search.

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