Ferrite heads have been steadily growing in popularity in the professional audio field for the last ten years. Beginning with high speed tape duplicator applications, ferrite has worked its way into the high-end consumer market and the top line professional market. Table 1 lists some of the advantages and disadvantages of ferrite, but by far the greatest selling point has been long life'typically ten times the life of conventional laminated metal heads. This advantage, however, vanishes if the head experiences gap chipping or erosion which produces premature catastrophic head failure. This paper deals with methods of diagnosing ferrite gap chipping by studio maintenance personnel to avoid catastrophic failures.
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