Using Analog tape in your DCC recorder

DCC tape is BASF Video Chrome Tape.
It is not regular Chrome Tape, but tape with a special coating that prevents any shedding.
The shedding residue, unfortunately normal with basically any tape, was damaging the heads so badly in the early development days (source Daniel Staudacher and Gijs Wirtz at Tandy and Philips in various interviews documented by the DCC Museum), that heads would only last a few hours. Originally they used regular Chrome Tape.

They made 2 adjustments. The thin film head received a coating and they switched from regular Chrome Tape to the BASF Video Chrome tape.

When using only DCC pre recorded and recordable you can clearly see this effect. There is nearly no residue transferred to the head. Some residue could be on the felt pad, but that is coming from the back of the Video Chrome Tape and a result of specially created DCC Back Matting and cutting the BASF Video Chrome tape to smaller size.
That is also the reason why there are 2 side felt pads in a DCC shell.

The abrasive and corrosive affect of regular analog tape still happening on the coated new thin film head was documented in 1993 and 1994 . Now that most heads are 30 years old it is even better to not be using any analog tape on DCC players.

Full Articles (they are not free unfortunately). We have added some highlight as a picture.


Very interesting!

I have been thinking of the idea of setting up an area in the forums website or on where we would post article-size posts like this with interesting research or reverse engineering news on a regular basis. Kind of like the DCC news magazines that were on Patreon a while ago.

=== Jac

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Hi Jac,
I talked to Rolf about this about a month ago. I would like to update the website, so we can share all documents, brochures etc. We have so much to share. @rolf is on it.

Does this also apply to analog cassette decks with MR playback head (RS-AZ6 & 7) ?

Regular cassette decks are fine. Only the DCC head suffers from this.

I’ve been corresponding about this issue with the Museum a few years ago. Me, as well as my friend, bought DCC170 recorders for etnographic field recordings and both lost access to our irreproducible DCC archives as well as to the useability of the recorders. I also have a document from Philips service shop confirming the issue.
Unfortunately Philips made a grave design error and transferred the costs onto customers. I think this is unpardonable.

What went wrong with the recorders and how did you lose access to your archive? Tapes made with these recorders must be playable in other (stationary) deck I’m sure…