From time to time, we come across quarter-inch tapes that come on small 3-inch spools. When played on our capstan drive machines, they exhibit speed fluctuations, beginning at a fast pace and gradually slowing down to normal speed throughout the recording. Typically, such reels are recorded on rim drive machines which use disks of equal size with rubber edges, onto which each tape reel is set. The rotating motor shaft contacts the rubber edge of the disk, turning the disk and the tape reels. During playback or recording, the take-up reel pulls the tape past the recording head, causing the tape speed to increase as the take-up reel fills up with tape. Due to variations in how the tape is wound on the take-up reel, wow and flutter, which are slow or fast variations of the tape’s velocity, cause noticeable distortion.  These can be addressed through a digital solution available at Creative Audio Works. This process can also correct speed variations caused by recorders that run low on batteries during recording.

Audio restoration companies cannot afford to own and maintain all types of machines due to the time, effort, and storage space required for servicing and repairing them, as well as finding parts. Therefore, we have selected a small range of high-quality tape machines that can carefully play most tapes, speeds, and track formats.