Thursday, 25 May 2006

Eight Tracking in the UK

Eight tracking in the UK
I am currently in the process of repairing an Eight-Track cartridge player from the 1970’s
and have been currently building up a collection of tapes to complement my original collection from the on-line auction site ebay uk.
The picture at the top of this article is of a US eight track cartridge that shows the shape and packaging such tapes came in.
The eight-track was invented in 1965 and was being manufactured in the US until 1989 where it was extremely popular.
It features a continuous loop of tape with four programs spread across 8 tracks (each stereo pair taking up 2 tracks) which are changed automatically by a metal sensing foil or by manually selecting using a button on the player.
Program 1
What’s so good about them? The sound – better high frequencies than pre-recorded cassettes. Also easy to use push in to start, pull out to stop.
Program 2
Who can repair my broken tape?
Kates Track Shack - see your Internet search engine for current link.

They sell replacement pressure pads if the original has crumbled away.
Also see Eight Track Heaven Internet site for details.
Program 3
Where can I get tapes from?
Second hand music shops. Many sellers on E-bay and places like Kates Eight Shack.. On Ebay US here are three great shops - 8 Track Shack
Also Janeen's Music, Sport and History (Great communications) and Olivia's 8 Tracks, Books and Other stuff. Don't forget to work out the postal charges. On Ebay US many retailers have a World-Wide postal charge calculator - do use it. Customs: The UK sharks ignore mail whose value including Post and handling is under £18 for Duty, Customs and the dreaded VAT (See Inland Revenues site for more).
Program 4
At boot fairs and on E-bay you’ll find car and home players being sold.

Update: Firstly it came as shock to me to find my much loved copy of Chicago X (10) which had the smash hit 'If You Leave Me Now' had in the intervening years jammed up (the lubricant in the tape must have dried out). I recently got it repaired by Kates Track Shack - it now plays smoothly -although I'm looking for the US edition to replace it with.
I won the American Eight Track of Supertramp's 'Breakfast in America' which has 'The Logical Song' on it and a copy of Wing's 'London Town' which featured the top ten hit 'With A Little Love' from '78 (own the original UK LP too).

The drive belt had snapped on the auto player and I fixed it by using a thick rubber band - the sort you use for mail.
I won a Akia CR 81D 8 track recorder on Ebay Uk and given it some TLC. The sound is excellent - clear high frequencies and next to no wow and flutter.Now to make my very own!
Was it worth it? Yes because I'm having fun re-discovering my favorites as I heard them back in the day. I've learned all about auction bidding - I'm getting near on 90% of what I bid for and the my feedback from the sellers is marvellous.

I've also discovered some people have no sense of what things are worth, placing bids way, way over the going rate.

1 comment:

Chrissy J. said...

Maplin might be able to help with obtaining drive belts... You can look online but it's more fun (IMO) to look through the catalogue. You always find something in there you can't do without...