RCA Records, Lear Jet Corporation, Motorola Inc., and Ford Motor Co. developed and pioneered the 8-track tape cartridge format more than ten years ago. At that time, RCA became the first large producer of Stereo 8 cartridges, and the original equipment (with modifications) used for duplicating tape in these facilities has been operating ever since. A few years ago, several factors prompted RCA Records to review the availability of new high quality duplicating equipment. Firstly, it was time to consider complete replacement of the high-maintenance old equipment; secondly, there would be savings to be gained in a duplication speed increase with new equipment. Finally, it was felt that RCA Records, being an originator of the 8-track cartridge should lead the industry in improving the audio duplication quality of 8-track tapes to the level of true high fidelity performance. Requirements for the new equipment were submitted to several equipment suppliers. One of these requirements was to duplicate at twice the speed of the present system with improved audio quality. After a thorough review of various proposals, however, we decided that an in-house design would be the best way to achieve our goals.
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