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PEM 468 is incredible tape! any of you tape people out there use it? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 27th November 2008
  #1
Gear Addict
 
The Reel Thing's Avatar
 

PEM 468 is incredible tape! any of you tape people out there use it?

hi folks!

i've been raised on Ampex 456. in the last couple of years I've been mainly using GP9.
A couple of weeks ago i purchased an 2" Otari MTR-90II and got a wardrobe full of old both used and NOS Agfa PEM 468 tapes along with it, which was later BASF PEM 468, which is now RMGI SM 468.

i was extremely surprised to find out, that these tapes (some of them were manufactured in the late 70s) have no, i mean NO shed at all and record as if they'd been made yesterday.
Besides, this tape sounds really smooth and rich. I recorded a session with a good jazzrock ensemble, horn section and all on PEM 468, and the guys were delighted with the sound.

Have you ever tried that tape?
I gave it an overbias of -3 [email protected] for 15 ips.
does that sound about right?

best,

tom

analoghaus :: studio label verlag - home
Old 28th November 2008
  #2
Mastering Moderator
 
Riccardo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Reel Thing View Post
hi folks!

i've been raised on Ampex 456. in the last couple of years I've been mainly using GP9.
A couple of weeks ago i purchased an 2" Otari MTR-90II and got a wardrobe full of old both used and NOS Agfa PEM 468 tapes along with it, which was later BASF PEM 468, which is now RMGI SM 468.

i was extremely surprised to find out, that these tapes (some of them were manufactured in the late 70s) have no, i mean NO shed at all and record as if they'd been made yesterday.
Besides, this tape sounds really smooth and rich. I recorded a session with a good jazzrock ensemble, horn section and all on PEM 468, and the guys were delighted with the sound.

Have you ever tried that tape?
I gave it an overbias of -3 [email protected] for 15 ips.
does that sound about right?

best,

tom

analoghaus :: studio label verlag - home


You are indeed correct. You can play, rewind, fast forward the tape for countless hours ................ nothing. And yes it sounds fantastic. One of my favourite tapes.

thumbsup
Old 30th December 2008
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riccardo View Post
You are indeed correct. You can play, rewind, fast forward the tape for countless hours ................ nothing. And yes it sounds fantastic. One of my favourite tapes.

thumbsup
SM468 is an example of "don't screw up success." Since this was first introduced by Agfa decades ago, it's surprising how it's a survivor and is the oldest formulation still manufactured. Actually, I'm a little surprised more people don't use SM468 in the US with the retro thing going strong. I like the sound of it and it winds nicely. For general dubbing, I prefer the performance over SM911, but for tracking I need the higher output tapes like SM900 or ATR Studio Master.

I had a small archive project and got some of the 1/4" test market 7" reels of ATR Tape from US Recording and that worked out very well. The boxes were just white with a label on the front but that's OK since we use our own track sheets anyway. But I compared the ATR to SM468 and found both to be very pleasant tapes when doing an A/B test. The SM468 just seemed to have a presence that was right up front but the ATR was more transparent. Both are very usable and good tapes, but different.

And no, there was no shed from any of the tapes and no, I did not get ripped off on shipping rates.
Old 30th December 2008
  #4
The new RMGI stuff is my fav!thumbsup

Never had the pleasure of using PEM.
Old 30th December 2008
  #5
Lives for gear
 
soundbarnfool's Avatar
 

Are you saying the RMGI 468(new?) tape did not shed at all? That would be great news.
Old 30th December 2008
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundbarnfool View Post
Are you saying the RMGI 468(new?) tape did not shed at all? That would be great news.
Nope. Not even any edge shed issues. But we haven't had any major shed issues with any tape by RMGI or ATR, and our tape paths are all brand new. New heads, new guides.

All tape has very limited break-in shed when it's new until it gets broken in and polished. I'm talking about a speck here and there, not clog-the-heads shed. This generally comes from particles that are dislodged a bit by the slitting process. We never experienced clog-the-heads shed since the first Quantegy bankruptcy. This break in has always existed and always will exist. This is one reason why many people can honestly say "I have this ancient used roll of 3M tape and it doesn't shed a bit" yet new tape can leave some specks. Some people freak out when they see a speck on their deck. This speck may not have even come from the tape, but is residue that clung to the tape from the slitting process. You can't get it all!
Old 1st January 2009
  #7
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Good to know. But i have had really horrible shedding on my MCI decks w/ RMGI 900 in the past. ATR is lots better for me, but I hope RMGI gets (or has gotten) it together.
Old 1st January 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
Interesting...I remember AGFA as always sounding better but having more shedding issues back in the day.

A lot of labels used AGFA to send mixes around the world for replication, its sound was always well loved.

Great to hear it lives on.
Old 1st January 2009
  #9
Gear Addict
 
The Reel Thing's Avatar
 

i'm currently working on a rock production à la Kings Of Leon, Wolfmother, Led Zeppelin, and I'm using the PEM 468 @ 30 ips.
it sounds wonderful.
it has a slight HF raise from about 14 KHz on which makes for smooth and silky overheads. acoustic guitars and vocals are really just peaches and cream. everything i record to it sounds like a real record.

guess i found my fav tape formula.

happy new year to all gearslutz!

tom

analoghaus :: studio label verlag - home
Old 2nd January 2009
  #10
Gear Nut
 

Nobody knows what was going on when there were shedding issues. It could have been an isolated situation that was later resolved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffmo View Post
Interesting...I remember AGFA as always sounding better but having more shedding issues back in the day.

A lot of labels used AGFA to send mixes around the world for replication, its sound was always well loved.

Great to hear it lives on.
Old 16th January 2009
  #11
Gear Addict
 
recky's Avatar
 

Hi,

do any of you know if there has ever been 1" 468? According to the RMG website, they only make 1/4", 1/2" and 2". And I would LOVE to use 468 on my 1" A80 8-track machine...

Cheers,
Recky
Old 16th January 2009
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Reel Thing View Post
hi folks!

i've been raised on Ampex 456. in the last couple of years I've been mainly using GP9.
A couple of weeks ago i purchased an 2" Otari MTR-90II and got a wardrobe full of old both used and NOS Agfa PEM 468 tapes along with it, which was later BASF PEM 468, which is now RMGI SM 468.

i was extremely surprised to find out, that these tapes (some of them were manufactured in the late 70s) have no, i mean NO shed at all and record as if they'd been made yesterday.
Besides, this tape sounds really smooth and rich. I recorded a session with a good jazzrock ensemble, horn section and all on PEM 468, and the guys were delighted with the sound.

Have you ever tried that tape?
I gave it an overbias of -3 [email protected] for 15 ips.
does that sound about right?

best,

tom

analoghaus :: studio label verlag - home
Wow really? You have Agfa 468 from the 70's with no shedding?
Through the archiving work I do I've found 468 to be the most inconsistent and absolutely the worst for sticky shedding. Not all tapes go, so you can never predict whether a reel has gone without putting it on a machine.
It's really weird that some 20 year old batches are fine while some need a week in the oven before you can use them.

I will agree with you on one thing, it is great sounding tape. (Whatever that means). Far better than 456.
Old 19th January 2009
  #13
Gear Addict
 
The Reel Thing's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkRB View Post
Wow really? You have Agfa 468 from the 70's with no shedding?
Through the archiving work I do I've found 468 to be the most inconsistent and absolutely the worst for sticky shedding. Not all tapes go, so you can never predict whether a reel has gone without putting it on a machine.
It's really weird that some 20 year old batches are fine while some need a week in the oven before you can use them.

I will agree with you on one thing, it is great sounding tape. (Whatever that means). Far better than 456.
i'm sorry to hear that.
i've been through about 35 tapes now and they all work absolutely fine.
i also find that the differences in HF response are extremely low between different batches. i can literally just stick my hand into a pile of used 468 reels from different batches and trust the recording will be fine.
maybe i was just very lucky...

tom

analoghaus :: studio label verlag - home
Old 14th May 2009
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Inspired by this thread, I hunted around until I found someone that would sell me single reels of RMGI 468 (Full Compass). I decided to make the switch... I have been using Quantegy 406 tape for 2 years. I got the reel of RMGI and re-calibrated my machine. I haven't worked with it enough to say for sure, but so far I feel the tape sounds amazing and better than the Quantegy tape for sure. Only thing is... the tape has only had one full pass so far and there is a decent amount of shedding already! I read that RMGI had shedding issues but after reading the TapeOp interview with the owner I was convinced they had resolved the issue. I'm afraid this tape is going to shed and stick to where it's unusable. Sucks because I really do love the sound already. I'll post an update after I try using it some more. Might need to try to get a refund or replacement from Full Compass too!
Old 14th May 2009
  #15
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EV676's Avatar
I have 25+ year old reels of Agfa 468 that don't shed. Because 468 biases a little differently than 456, Agfa came out with PEM 469, which shared bias characteristics with the Ampex tape. It was very unstable and shed within months of use.

One thing that was great about Agfa 468 was the even, consistent pack on fast forward or rewind, something Ampex or 3M tapes could never do. The Studer B-67's and A-80 8 track I used back in the day saw nothing but that stuff.

In fact I still have a bunch of BASF branded 468 1/4" pancakes NOS in the store room. I doubt I'll ever use it.
Old 8th April 2016
  #16
Here for the gear
 

To EV676, are you interested in selling any of those tapes?
Old 9th April 2016
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffmo View Post
Interesting...I remember AGFA as always sounding better but having more shedding issues back in the day.
Me too I had some Agfa from back in the day that needs to be baked after just a few years and I'm pretty sure it was 468. The later high output BASF was very nice.
edit, I just checked it was AGFA 469, I need to throw them out
Old 9th April 2016
  #18
Lives for gear
 

468 Tape was always the directed and dedicated Nagra 1V-S Tape once used I haven't tried that formulae of RMGI though the original 456 shredded like a Hot Cadbury Flake of particle junk on my Sony APR, so I've stuck using Hermi-Sealed NOS 499, which has run out! I've been hoping RMGI was batch related seeing as though it's all cut from one sheet! I understood they were the BASF machines, though interesting thought provoking subject!
Old 10th April 2016
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLastByte View Post
468 Tape was always the directed and dedicated Nagra 1V-S Tape once used I haven't tried that formulae of RMGI though the original 456 shredded like a Hot Cadbury Flake of particle junk on my Sony APR, so I've stuck using Hermi-Sealed NOS 499, which has run out! I've been hoping RMGI was batch related seeing as though it's all cut from one sheet! I understood they were the BASF machines, though interesting thought provoking subject!
After an initial bad run of RMGI any 900 I've had has been just fine.
Old 10th April 2016
  #20
What's the THD on that stuff? I got the best results with 996/GP9. I got MCI THD down from .55% at 1k, +3 levels down to .15% at +9 levels with Scotch 996 with a few circuit mods. 2/3 more signal with 2/3 less dirt.

10k hz was still 4%, the nature of analog tape.
Old 10th April 2016
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Agfa was what was used by Dutch broadcasting.

In the eighties and early nineties I worked in photography. Talk about analog. But that's another story.
Anyway, the shop I ran at the time sold Agfa photofilm obviously (Kodak and Fuji, too). And on the side we sold Agfa audio tape. Mostly cassette tape, mind.

One day, a TDK representative came in. Suit and tie, loads of after shave, big shiny car in front of the shop, you get the picture.
He said: "I see you sell audio tape. That's good, but why such an obscure brand for tape? TDK is an A-brand. That is what you should sell."
I said: "Agfa, an obscure audio tape brand?"
He said: "Yeah, what would a photograpy brand know about audio tape?"
Old 5th January 2018
  #22
Here for the gear
 

Sorry to revive this older thread, but I finally have my 1" 16-track more or less working, and I need new tape (I have two lousy reels of Ampex 456, which have a bad case of sticky shed). Someone recommended Afga PEM 468, but I can't find it in 1".

Anyone here know where I might find some for my machine? Or, a reasonable alternative?

Thanks,

c
Old 5th January 2018
  #23
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Silvertone's Avatar
Here you go, it’s now called RTM 468. RTM stands for recording the masters...

Splicit Reel Audio Products
Old 6th January 2018
  #24
Here for the gear
 

OK, I came across that awhile back, but I didn't know it was the same stuff. Thanks!

c
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