Need advice about reel to reel tapes found in an attic

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by amanda246, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. Fanman100

    Fanman100 New Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    Hi. Just wondered if you have communicated with the Tony Hancock appreciation society since you transferred the tape. I see they have left contact details for you on this message board. It would nice if they got to listen to your Hancock transfer as i expect they could identify the shows and tell you if they are missing. There are are several episodes that no longer exist in the archives.
     
    amanda246 likes this.
  2. amanda246

    amanda246 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    london
    Hi everyone,
    I could do with some advice, i have an auction house on at me to take the reels, even though we have only heard part of a couple of them, and one transfered onto cd, what do you suggest we do, let them take them or find a way of listening to each of them incase there is something on one that may be of interest? any help in this will be greatly appreciated. The ones we heard do contain whats on the box even though we only heard the last of one song and the beginning of the next, not listened to the whole reel also if anyone has any idea on what all of these reels could be worth also the whole lot.
    Many Thanks
    Amanda
     
  3. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    You will almost certainly fetch the most money by selling each tape individually via eBay or similar where fans of particular artists can buy exactly what they want and you are also reaching a worldwide audience, an auction houses will almost certainly group the tapes into a few lots so a fan of artist x may be buying 9 tapes they don't want, he won't be bidding any more for the tape he does want, also auction houses will charge you higher fees, will also charge the buyer an additional 20% which won't go to you and generally will not reach much of a worldwide audience.

    If they were mine I would listen to a small number, ones that don't appear to be transfers from tape , unidentified ones and potentially expensive ones, then I would list them all individually at one time, as buy it nows if I had a good idea of a fair price, for auction if I didn't. Without knowing exactly what you have it's very hard to value them, but I'd say that on eBay a four figure sum, possibly well into four figures if there are more good tapes like Stevie Wonder in there, I suspect that after fees you will see less that £1,000 from an auction house and depending on which one a lot less. The only auction sale you should even consider would be an established specialist music one and then I'd want to have fixed reserves.
     
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  4. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    @amanda246 I'm not so sure you'd get the most money via ebay in every scenario.

    Auction houses do have higher fees but they can attract bidders with very deep pockets and will market to them in a way that ebay really doesn't. Auction houses can also reach a worldwide audience as well and I think it's incorrect to suggest otherwise. What they do is attract the right kind of worldwide audience. On ebay you'll need to do publicizing of your own to really get those big numbers. Not every collector willing to pay big $$ for these will be searching ebay. A former boss is one of the biggest Beatles collectors out there and he doesn't even look at ebay. A lot of what he buys are through auctions and private sales between him and other big Beatles collectors. The is the same with many other big collectors out there.

    In addition, if the auction house includes your tapes with the correct lot e.g. as part of a specific music related auction or for example your Beatles tape with a Beatles memorabilia auction, it can attract even higher bids.

    But like Dubmart mentioned, go with one that has an established reputation for musical items. An auction house won't necessarily group a bunch of tapes together in lots unless they deem them to be easier sells together. But you don't have to give all your tapes to them. You can just pick out the ones that will likely garner the most interest and the rest can go to ebay.

    I also think a lot depends on what is actually on the tapes. I know you've verified, based on what you've transferred so far, the band/song on the label is on the tape. But you also need to verify if these are just copies of commercially available tracks rather than alternative takes or mixes. The later will get you the biggest interest. If what you have are copies of the commercially available tracks (even if they're from the master tapes) it's likely they will not fetch as high a price. In that case it might be better to sell them on ebay IMO.

    You also have to remember that doing it yourself via ebay will take up your time and plenty of it. To really get the best bids you need to take a lot of photos, provide a lot of detail, etc. It will take time.

    Has the auction houses given you any terms or suggested how they intend to auction the tapes off e.g. as is or will they get them transferred, etc to verify contents?

    If it were me I'd have a chat with them to see what they intend to do and take it from there. Besides, even if you decide to go it alone, a conversation with them might yield some insights that will help you to sell these on your own.
     
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  5. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Eddiel, I have a lot of experience buying from UK auction houses, even with the internet, specialist records, music items and equipment usually fetches more of a wholesale price than a retail one, there are a few places that have an established reputation for selling music related items, have the customer base and know how to market them and get top prices, but in the UK they are very few and far between, I've had many incredible music related bargains buying from UK auctions. Again, without knowing who Amanda is talking to I can't comment on whether they are any good, but I would imagine they will group the items in 10-15 lots and not advertise them particularly effectively, probably putting them in a general sale rather than a specialist one, that's based on my experience of looking through UK auction catalogues on a weekly basis. If Amanda has been approached by one of the few auction houses that have specialist Rock/Pop memorabilia sales and have a proven track record that is a very different scenario, but even then I doubt they will catalogue and list 100+ tapes individually and if they do there will be associated fees. In the UK sellers generally pay 15-20% fees with VAT charged on top, buyers usually pay around 20% commission with VAT charged on top so that's a very big chunk not going to the seller, especially if there's not two or more people bidding hard.
     
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  6. amanda246

    amanda246 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    london
    Hi Eddiel,
    No they have not said anything at all, it was out of the blue, We had never heard of them before, they contacted me and said they would like to collect them asap even though we have not heard what ones we want to hear and we are booked in again next tuesday to take a few with us to transfer, We had everything planned to get a few transferred onto CD, share how they sound and then work out the best path to take with them, so its a bit of do i do what my son and i had planned or hand them over with no knowledge of what is on the ones we have not heard etc. I was looking at a couple of the reels the other day and noticed three had artist George Martin on them and Engineer as Geoff Emerick and so forth, This is so confusing sometimes, i just do not know what is best, I know this sort of thing takes time etc and i accept that and also to hear them i am facing an hour and half drive to the destination, The ones that contacted us are not music specialist just a general auction house,
    Many thanks
    Amanda
     
  7. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    How did they know you had the tapes Amanda? I've been buying at auction for over thirty years and going to them since I was a kid, I've bought a lot of records and equipment at auctions and I can tell you that outside of specialist music auctions you won't get 20% of what music is worth and that very few auction houses have music experts working at them, most places won't have a clue how to market and lot those tapes, don't let them have them as you will almost certainly regret it.

    Funnily enough I think you had the right idea to start with when you posted here, take your time and list all the tapes you have and some of the many knowledgeable forum members can give you a pretty good idea as to which tapes may have value and what that is, armed with that knowledge you can then choose a proper course of action to sell them.
     
    amanda246 likes this.
  8. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    If any of the reels say "P. McCartney, Tug of War (master)", let us know. Those are missing.
     
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  9. amanda246

    amanda246 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    london
    I have no idea how they knew, maybe google or something? Its okay as i do think my first approach is the best and also will confirm many, and then share some of the contents here for the members here to hear, Thank you for your help in this
    Amanda
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
  10. stereoguy

    stereoguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn
    :wiggle::wiggle:If any of the reels say "The Hullaballoos Third Album" please let me know.....
     
  11. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Victoria, Canada
    The Beatle and McCartney tracks listed on the tape boxes are a real hodge-podge from the late '60s to the middle '70s Wings. Stuff from different times on the same reel. I can't see why there'd be anything significant there, and a lot of them were not recorded in Air but at Abbey Road of course. Hopefully the Hancock people will find something otherwise missing presumed wiped.
     
  12. RiCat

    RiCat Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT, USA
    As to how they heard about the tapes...well this is a public forum and many people from all parts of the world and with many different interests are part of it. Forums are part of social media so never be surprised at the size of the network.
     
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  13. amanda246

    amanda246 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    london
    I dont know what Hodge-podge means beccabear67, whats on the boxes was already on them when we got them, and so far what we heard may only of been an ending of a song and the beginning of another is what is stated on the box they are in, as ive said many times they maybe something they may be nothing, still from the great advice we have received here on how to deal with these what my son and i have taken aboard i really do not have anything else to say to be honest, at least we know for certain the Hancock ones are those as written on them, but what radio shows they are we have no idea as we only got one transferred onto cd, but so far from what was confirmed also we are quite please, but my feet shall stay on the ground as although it was lovely to listen to the ones we took we still have a lot of work ahead of us, also our client was a producer/engineer so to be honest if your comment means what i think it may do, why would he do that? does not make any sense at all, Thank you for your reply RiCat, that does make a lot of sense to how they knew,
    Amanda
     
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  14. RiCat

    RiCat Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT, USA
    Whatever you do with the tapes, I hope you can negotiate a copy (digital) for yourselves. Sons have sons and daughters and so on. Having vintage music to enjoy and tell the story of, as part of a family legacy, might be important to you.
     
  15. amanda246

    amanda246 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    london
    We decided to whom ever gets the tapes have the cd also of that tape if it had been placed on cd. As i felt that was a correct thing to do. As my son wants them sold. And he wants that also.
    Amanda
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
  16. cgoodwin22

    cgoodwin22 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Severna Park, MD
    it's thread titles like this that make me miss the old days of the mid 70's.
     
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  17. amanda246

    amanda246 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    london
    Im wondering if anyone here is able to tell me if they know of a place where i could hire a reel to reel machine and would they show me how to work it, And what type of machine i would need to hire, as we just want to hear the reels only and i am finding travelling a distance is very tiring for me esp just for one to be copied. We are in the South London area UK, any help in this would be great
    Many Thanks
    Amanda
     
  18. rtrt

    rtrt Active Member

    Location:
    UK
    Hi

    Whilst there are a lot of very knowledgeable people on this board, I think many are based in NA.

    When making geography based requests - if you've not done it already, you might want to consider posting to a UK based forum or 2 as well.

    For example Pinkfishmedia is one with lots of knowledgable posters - many UK based. You might find someone willing to let you use their setup.
     
  19. amanda246

    amanda246 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    london
    i dont mind going to them or vice versa, but i thought hiring one would be better at my home as it will take hours, as i can not do a 3hr journey again for an hour. thank you for your reply
    amanda
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
  20. amanda246

    amanda246 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    london
    Hi everyone i found a reel to reel machine thats not far from me, its an Akai 4 and 8 track player, says needs adjustment and head clean? would this be okay for me to listen to the reels at all? and am i also looking at a lot of expense to have the adjustment and head cleaned, or am i wasting my time considering buying this? So sorry to ask this question but i am finding travelling a long distance becoming a hazard for me, and having the reels transferred onto CD as i pay via the hour is becoming costly, and i managed to get one of the Beatles reels on CD today, The reel that says "Hello Goodbye" on it and "The fool on the hill" etc, and has been labeled studio master tape? no idea what that means, printed on the CD. So to save bookings and travelling i am now thinking on the lines of buying a machine to listen to the reels only to confirm whats on them etc. So any advice and help i would be very grateful. Also one reel was played for a while but what played we could find no record of it at all so that was marked so far as unknown and some known, as the person reconised a couple of tracks on it , i shall see what reel that was soon as they are packed away.
    Many thanks
    Amanda
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  21. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Hi Amanda, that's not the right machine for you, I'm not sure if the geography works out and if he still does it, but get in touch with Adrian at Great Bear which I linked to many, many pages ago, we hired a machine for a producer to go through his tapes, not cheap, but a lot cheaper than buying something and Adrian will be able to sort you out the right machine for the job, tell him Martin from Bristol Archive Records pointed you in his direction. I would tell him as much as possible about the tapes; they are stereo, 7.5 ips as far as I can see, mostly EMI tape with no Ampex or anything that needs baking, as far as I can tell and you have some 10.5 inch NAB reels, but mostly 7 inch reels.

    Adrian's in Bristol so it's probably a little quicker to get to him than where you were going before and you only need to do it twice.
     
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  22. amanda246

    amanda246 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    london
    Im in London, but i shall contact him anyway, I know where the post is with the link as i saved it, I just want something to just listen to them on, I was going to also look on ebay, as im certain the one who did the CD's for me said i need a 4/ 8 track machine, due to the hancock ones, and one of them i took had side one and side two on it, tbh i thought the machines were all the same, also his prices excelled since my last visit, but we all need to make a living anyway. Thanks for that im grateful to you
    Amanda
     
  23. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    If Adrian is still hiring machines out and you go for it, go and see him with a selection of tapes including a Hancock, he will rent you exactly what you need and also make sure you know how to use the machine properly and once you've threaded and played a few tapes it's very straightforward.

    Are you going to just listen to the tapes or record them, if the latter you could use a cassette deck or run the signal straight into a computer, assuming you don't have a standalone CD recorder, digital recorder or similar.
     
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  24. amanda246

    amanda246 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    london
    Just listen to them so i know 100% what is on the box is what is on the reel, listen to the full reel not just bits of it, like i did today. Need to ask son to post what we had done on cd here so you can hear it, as i have no knowledge how to do that.
    Many Thanks
    Amanda
     
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  25. Rick Bartlett

    Rick Bartlett Forum Resident

    an Akai 4 / 8 track machine could be a waste of time if it cannot take those 10.5" reels. Make sure it can take those, or
    you wont be able to play them. a concern is also, just picking up a machine and not knowing what it is capable of.
    beware of the fast forward/rewind brake mechanism. if not working correctly, you could end up stretching, breaking
    and destroying the tape! if you do get a machine, make sure you get it serviced first by someone who knows
    what they are doing.
     
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