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What is an average life span of a tape loop in a tape echo?
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outermeadow
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2nd December 2012
Old 2nd December 2012
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What is an average life span of a tape loop in a tape echo?

Hi there! I'm thinking about getting a vintage tape echo unit but I'm a bit concerned with the potential necessary maintenance costs. I play music for about 5 hours a week in total. If I had a tape machine, it would be used most of that time.

How often do you have to change the tape loops in your machines?
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2nd December 2012
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It depends! If you get an old machine then plan to change the tape - but it may have already been changed. If you audition a tape echo listen out for mechanical damage to the tape, since this may indicate mechanical problems - tape chewing etc.

Anyhow the only problem with a good machine is gradual loss of high end, and gradual saturation and loss of erasure. This can be due to bad heads as well though. However this can be tolerable, and in fact can add to the sound. So if you have a newish tape in a good machine it can last for a few years - and then wether you want to change it is how much you value repeat fidelity over grunge.
outermeadow
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2nd December 2012
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Thanks, groundbass. A few years - that sounds great. I thought, if I could survive for a couple of months on one tape, it would be worth the hassle.
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2nd December 2012
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On the inside of my RE-201, it says that the tape will last for 300 hours or more if you keep the heads and transport clean.
outermeadow
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2nd December 2012
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300 hrs, with my usage, that would easily be over one year. Currently, I'm using a BBD delay and I'm very pleased with the sound but would love to add a different flavour of organic sounding repeats.
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