Dismiss Notice
We are rebuilding the search index and other forum caches this morning. Search results may not appear correct until indexing has completed, and the forum may respond a little slower than normal until this has finished.

Cassette Crosstalk

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by hlennarz, Apr 1, 2020.

  1. hlennarz

    hlennarz Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Today I tried to digitise a commercially recorded cassette (Dolby-B + XDR) on my Sony TC-KE300 deck.

    But no matter how I adjust the head azimuth using the adjustment screw, there is always noticeable crosstalk during quiet portions from the other side of the cassette.

    Is this a manufacturing defect of the tape or could there be something else wrong with my deck ?

    Here's a clip of one section I took (Volume boosted to 0DB peak):
    Cassete Crosstalk Clip

    Otherwise the tape sounds great. Well, I also noticed a few dropouts on the left channel at the beginning of Side-B but they were gone with a second play. :confused:

    The heads and tape path were cleaned just before.

    Edit:
    I can't hear any crosstalk on side-B from side-A.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020
  2. hbucker

    hbucker Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Denver
    It's the tape. It was common for prerecorded tapes to do this here and there. I always loved cassettes, but the prerecorded ones were almost always a disappointment compared to LPs, CDs or tapes made at home from these sources.

    I would never recommend adjusting your cassette deck based on how a prerecorded tape sounds. fwiw They are simply not a good reference.
     
    Lowrider75, arisinwind, WMTC and 6 others like this.
  3. davmar77

    davmar77 I'd rather be drummin'...

    Location:
    clifton park,ny
    ex_mixer, clhboa and jusbe like this.
  4. hlennarz

    hlennarz Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Ah I understand. Thanks for the info :)
    @hbucker : It was only for testing. I read somewhere that this could happen with a misaligned head.
     
  5. Chris Hatter

    Chris Hatter Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Nashville, TN USA
    Only on the player that was used to make the copies, and maybe the duplicators - but not the cassette itself. It's just recorded onto the cassette this way. I noticed the phenomena as a small kid and was fascinated by it, so I've spent years finding out all I can about it (I know...weird thing to be fascinated by LOL). The following is some points about it. *based on USA manufactured cassettes only*

    • The crosstalk is of both L and R channels in mono. Though the crosstalk itself can be centered or favor one channel more than the other.
    • The characteristics in the sound of the crosstalk can vary between record labels/duplication plants used. Sometimes it can be basically just a really faint volume that you have to really listen closely to hear (can be true on most labels depending on the period); sometimes it's extremely Bass-y and/or muffled (certain periods of CBS, early-mid 80s WB); other times it will be void of any bass at all and sound like someone went wide open on the high EQs and doubled or tripled it, to the point where all you really hear is the swooshes of cymbals and sibilants of the vocals (late 70s-early or mid 80s Capitol/EMI (also on some 70s-early 80s WB cassettes manufactured by the same plant who made dupes for Capitol/EMI); on a few occasions I've heard both the Bass-y and sibilant crosstalk mixed together, sometimes one on the L channel and the other on the R channel (various labels).
    • On rare occasions, the crosstalk can have a delay on it, meaning you'll hear it repeated.
    • The crosstalk isn't completely in sync w/the other side playing. It's a few milliseconds ahead or behind the actual program on the other side (confirmed this when I was playing a cassette that had crosstalk on it in a 4 Track cassette recorder).
    • Sometimes you'll hear the backwards crosstalk on one side but not as much if at all on the other.
    These are the most common characteristics that come to mind at the moment.
     
    john morris likes this.
  6. hbucker

    hbucker Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Denver
    Seems like cross-talk from a misaligned head would be backwards... If you're NOT hearing it backwards, it has to be on the tape.
     
    Suncola and john morris like this.
  7. George Cooke

    George Cooke Well unknown member

    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    This is interesting, thanks for the explanations.

    Not wishing to stray off topic, but I've a related question.

    I've noticed that between cassette tracks, before a track starts, sometimes I hear the track faintly before it starts properly.

    What's that all about?
     
  8. hbucker

    hbucker Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Denver

    That's pretty much what the thread is about. Tape gets imprinted with a signal - a ghost - from other parts of the cassette. Most likely from the manufacturing process. I've never had this happen with a tape I recorded myself.
     
    rcsrich likes this.
  9. Chilli

    Chilli Pretend Engineer.

    Location:
    UK
    Tape print through can occur much further up the chain. I noticed it on Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morriett I think, on cd! I think it tends to come from not winding the tape back properly when storing it. I guess the storage issue could occur with compact cassettes too.
     
    Kiko1974 likes this.
  10. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill was tracked (to ADAT multitrack digital tape) and mixed down digitally and digital does not suffer as far as I know of tape print through.
     
  11. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy "catch me if you can..."

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    Hi there. This is a very interesting thread. not really to side track but I have been a cassette guy for a long time and I kept almost all my cassette since the time of the TDK high bias 70/us in the early 80's. So are they still making the players and recorders now the way they use to. I love the LP's but I came in late collecting them so I started with the cassette. I transferred so much remastered lp into a cassette and I really wanna continue this. The other day, I was playing the cassette I made back in 1987 on my primaluna tube amp. Sound quality.. 10 to 1 it beats the new lossless formats I made on ALAC. My player wasn't even that great. What I wanna ask is if the industry will produce "especially" the blank high bias to metal media cassettes like the way they formulate the TDK, I wanna gear myself up again. The analog-remastered sound I get from my system is dream.. Any inputs will be great.
    As I read back in a few, National Audio Company has never stopped producing cassettes. I was wondering if this is the same quality we use in the golden years of hifi.. Thanks,
     
  12. hlennarz

    hlennarz Forum Resident Thread Starter

    No. Pretty much all you get now is very basic, normal-bias ferric tape. I think there is one company in europe wich has started to offer new high-bias type 2 tapes but thats it.
     
    Classic Car Guy likes this.
  13. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy "catch me if you can..."

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    Honestly on the playback, I like the high bias sound on the old TDK not the white package, talking about the grey ones before they turned to gold and black.......
    I just use the metal for master tapes which I only play ones every 4 years.
    ....as far as I remember.
     
  14. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy "catch me if you can..."

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    I tried the mini adat for 2 years. the tone rubs off after a few runs. because its so small.
    if youre talking about the ADAT VHS size, its good but the head technology was not there anymore and plus its too big to physically store.....
     
  15. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy "catch me if you can..."

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    the trip about cassette recording is you don't know if you have enough space and when its gonna que... Its gonna make it..... Its gonna make it.....
     
  16. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy "catch me if you can..."

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    Any latest cassette deck came out of the market. Anything Good?
     
  17. hlennarz

    hlennarz Forum Resident Thread Starter

    No. They all use the same cheap mechanism since it's the only available one left in production. Don't waste your money (300-400$) on a new tascam. Go vintage (early 90s).
     
  18. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy "catch me if you can..."

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    Cant dude. I wish I could. I use the cassette like a workhorse. playback and remastering, So I need a cassette that has a strong backbone or atleast a warranty.
     
  19. hlennarz

    hlennarz Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Cassette decks are pretty sturdy. Just need to replace the belts after a few years and you should still get a ton of use out of an old quality deck.
     
  20. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy "catch me if you can..."

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    if you ever find a good work horse 3 head let me know.
     
  21. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy "catch me if you can..."

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    Hi,
    was wondering if anyone has a cassette case song list labeler in pdf or word that I can download so I can print it.
    Thanks,
     
  22. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA
    Is this similar to what you want?

    [​IMG]


    M~
     
  23. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy "catch me if you can..."

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    cool even better. if you have the format great.
    Thank you...
     
  24. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy "catch me if you can..."

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    I just did the live aid recording. I was going back and forth with the master volume but I think I got the recording done "good to better" in cassette. I wanna make the cover. Thanks,
     
  25. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA
    I have these templates in MS publisher. I have different designs for different styles Noreclo boxes. I think I have one in Word but I didn't care that much for it.

    Here are links to some A. info, B. info . If you want you can pm me and we can figure out if what I have will work for you.


    M~
     

Share This Page