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Some Improvements of the Playback Path of Wire Recorders

The archival transfer of wire recordings to the digital domain is a highly specialized process that incorporates a wide range of specific challenges. One of the basic problems is the format incompatibility between different manufacturers and models. The paper discusses the special design philosophy, using the tone control network in the record path as well as in the playback path. This tone control circuit causes additional phase and group delay distortions. The influence and characteristics of the tone control (which was not a priori present with every model) is discussed and analogue phase correction networks are described. The correction of phase errors is outlined. As this format is obsolete since many decades, a high quality archival transfer can only be reached by modifying dedicated equipment. The authors propose some possible main modifications and improvements of the playback path of wire recorders, such as signal pickup directly after the playback head, introducing a high quality preamplifier, followed by analogue phase correction and correction of the amplitude characteristics. Alternatively signal pickup directly after the playback head, introducing a high quality preamplifier, followed by digital signal processing to optimize the output signal is discussed.

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