A blank 8-track cartridgeThe inside of an 8-track cartridge
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8-Track Players

The 8-track cartridge is an audio storage magnetic tape cartridge technology, popular from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. The 8-track was created by Bill Lear in 1964 at Lear Inc. more...

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(the company of Lear Jet fame), after he heard Earl "Madman" Muntz's 1962 Stereo-Pak 4-track stereo tape cartridge system, which had been inspired in turn by the 1959 Fidelipac 3-track tape cartridge system used by radio broadcasters for commercials and jingles.

The original format for magnetic tape sound reproduction was reel-to-reel audio tape recording, first made available in the 1940s. However, the machines were bulky and the reels themselves were more difficult to handle than vinyl records. Born from the desire to have an easier-to-use tape format, the enclosed reel mechanism was introduced in the mid 1950s.


The endless loop tape cartridge was designed in 1952 by Bernard Cousino of Toledo, Ohio, around a single reel carrying a continuous loop of standard 1/4 inch plastic oxide-coated recording tape running at 3 3/4 inches/sec (9.5 cm/sec). Program starts and stops were signalled either by a conductive foil splice or sub-audible tones. The 8-track version simplified the mechanism by rolling the motorized metal capstan in the player against a pinch wheel installed inside the cartridge to pull the tape across the player's read head (in the earlier 4-track Stereo-Pak, the pinch wheel was part of the player and flipped into the cartridge through a hole). The tape was pulled from the center of the reel, passed across the opening at the end of the cartridge and wound back onto the outside of the same reel. The spool itself was freewheeling and the tape was driven only by tension from the capstan.

The tape was coated with a slippery backing material patented by Cousino, usually graphite, to ease the continuous slip between the tape layers. This coating sometimes also caused the pinch wheel to slip, leading to poor speed control and tape flutter. Due to these and other problems, 8-track cartridges were unpopular with audiophiles. While the design allowed simple, cheap, and mobile players, unlike a two-reel system it didn't permit winding of the tape in either direction. Some players offered a limited fast-forward by speeding up the motor while cutting off the audio, but rewinding was impossible.

Muntz's 4-track Stereo-Pak cartridge had four monaural or two pairs of stereo tracks. A foil splice passed across a pair of contacts close to the read head, signalling the player to switch to the next program track, achieved by physically moving the head up and down mechanically in most cases. A professional version used in broadcasting, called a cart, achieved much wider bandwidth with single full-track mono or a half-track stereo pair, along with a separate cue track for recording cue tones for fast cues and a fixed, non-moving playback head. While this provided higher fidelity and was extremely convenient and reliable for busy disc jockeys and studio engineers, program length was usually limited to that of a single song and the cartridges required some maintenance, making the format too expensive and limited for consumer use.

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8 Track Robot - Not Working - For Repair or Parts $1.00 Panasonic 8 Track Player Recorder Ra 6600 Ra-6600 Mint $19.95
Panasonic Weltron Era Tnt 8 Track Plunger Player $99.00 Vintage Realistic Tr-801 8 Track PlayerRecorder 14-925A $9.99
Vintage York 8-Track Player : Model 8T D2 : Works !! $9.99 Pioneer 8 Track Player Recorder Model H R100 $4.99
Elgin Portable Am Fm Radio 8 Track Stereo Player Rt5520 $49.69 Vintage G.E. Portable 8 Track Player Rare Model $9.99
Pioneer Rh-65 Stereo Dolby 8 Track Player Cassettes $9.99 Vintage Lot of 72 - 8 track cassettes grandpas storage $9.95
70's Panasonic Dynamite 8 Track. Immaculate- Like New $75.00 Red Panasonic Port. 8 Track Stereo Immaculate Mint $75.00
70's Panasonic 8 Track Recorder Am-Fm stereo Must See! $39.00 Wow!! retro Overture am/fm 8 Track radio. ac/dc/battery $5.00
Vintage Dodge Chevrolet Under Dash 8 Track Player $15.25 Vintage Panasonic 8 Track Player Nr Portable Rare Retro $14.99
70s Concord 8 Track Player / with tapes $9.99 Belair Ch-400 Sold State 8 Track Stereo with Tracks $49.99
Vintage Channel Master 8 Track/Recorder** Nice** L@@K $21.99 Very Clean Cassette Adaptor for Home/Car 8-Track player $5.42
Toyo Crh-740 8-Track Player with Quad Am/Fm Tuner $135.00 Super Funky Red Panasonic Plunger 8 Track Player Works $19.99
Toyo Portable 8-Track Stereo System $6.99 Two 8- Track Players, Muntz & Ross For One Price $6.99
Stereo Cassette Adapter for 8 Track Players $5.00 Soundesign 8 Track Stereo Model 4840 $15.99
Aircastle 8-Track Stereo Tape Player $9.99 Pioneer Th-323 8 Track Am Fm Stereo Receiver Ex 8-track $18.88
akai cr 80D vintage 8 track player recorder very nice $15.99 Sears 8-Track playerand recorder deck $5.00
32 8 Track Tapes $1.04 Panasonic 8 Track Tape Player Deck Rs-802Us Works Well! $24.99
Panasonic Portable Eight 8 Track Player Vintage Works!! $19.95 Portable 8-Track Player Stereo Mod. 8T-10 York Nr! $49.99
vintage 8 tracks (set of 50) $10.95 Vintage Electrobrand 8 Track Solid State Stereo Player $9.99
Ann Murray Christmas Wishes - 8 Track Cassette Tape $3.99 8 Track Telex Stereo Tape Player Deck Plus Tapes $9.99
Wollensak 8055 8-Track Player / Recorder 30Day Warantee $179.00 Lot Vintage Portable Car Audio 8 Track Player Panasonic $14.99
Wollensak 8075 Dolby Nr 8-Track Ply/ Rec. 30Day War $269.00 Pioneer H-R 9000 Stero Receiver 8 Track Ply/Rec/30dayW $269.00
Vintage Akai Cr-80D-Ss 8 Track Player - No Reserve! $43.00 8 Track Player Recorder Portable Nice Clean Condition! $9.99
Audiovox Vintage Car Auto 8 Track Player Audio Rare Nr! $14.99 Vintage 8-Track Car Stereo by Realistic Radio Shack $4.99
Nib~Vintage 8 Track Player For Car~Gibbs Model Cr-335B $14.99 1970s Stereo 8 & 4-Track Tape Cartridges 9 each Vintage $1.99
Vintage Westminster Portable 8 Track, Am-Fm-Tv Radio $6.99 Panasonic Tnt 8-Track Player Rq-830S W/Cord Tnt $23.09
Weltron 2001 space age 8 track player $99.99 Soundesign Model 4840F Vintage 8 Track Player $5.00
Vintage Mustang Model Ca-777F 8 Track Cassette Adapter $5.00 Coronado Under Dash Car 8 Track Tape Deck / Player $9.99
New Panasonic 8 Track Record Rs 806Us Sony Scotch Cart $24.95 15 Piece Set Time Life 8 Track Cartridge "Swing Era" $5.00
Ghetto Blaster * Combo 8 Track/Cassette Recorder/Radio $9.99 Country Christmas - (Vol 1-3) - 8 Track Cassette Tape $6.99
Vintage Grundig C810 - 8 Track Cassette Player $9.99 Beach Boy'S Christmas Album - 8 Track Cassette Tape $5.99
Vintage Bradford Stereo 8 Track Eight Track Recorder $6.00 Realistic 8 Track Am Fm Stereo $24.99
70'S Panasonic Tnt Dynamite Plunger 8 Track Player $14.99 Vintage Gibbs Car Audio Auto 8 Track Player &Box Nice!! $62.00
Audiovox 8-track player $9.99 8 Track & CassetteTape Cartridge Player Recorder Am/Fm $127.51
Portable Ge 8 Track Music System Looks Like New! $9.95 Vintage Panasonic Stereo 8 Track Player-Cool!! $21.51
Vintage Weltron 2001 Space Ball Am Fm 8 Track White $49.99 Rare Original 8 Eight Track Chicago V & Vi Two Tapes $9.99
Original 8 Eight Track Tape Rolling Stones Some Girls $7.99 Rare Original 8 Eight Track Tape Best Of Bachman Bto $7.99
Fisher 8 Track Tape Cartridge Player Mc-3010 + Bonus $71.00 Rare Original 8 Eight Track Charlie Rich Best Two Tapes $9.99
Audiovox Am/Fm Stereo Radio with 8 Track Tape Player $25.00 Vintage Realistic 8 Track Tape Deck Player For Stereo $6.00
Vintage Kmart 8 Track Tape Deck Player For Stereo $6.00 Nib Craig 8 Track Car Stereo Complete Never Used $19.99
Craig 8 Track 3136 Car Tape Player with Fm Stereo radio $7.99 Red Panasonic Portable 8 Track Stereo Immaculate! $69.00
Vintage 8-Track Case Holder holds 10, like new $1.50 Pioneer 8-Track Stereo Deck $15.99
Vintage Realistic 8 Track Stereo System Am/Fm $25.00 Fonzie Favorites 8 Track Tape Happy Days Never Opened $5.99
Panasonic 8 Track Player Home Mounting Cabinet Cj-18Heu $20.00 8 Track Cassette Adapter Model ( Mura ) Ca-88 Mint Lqqk $69.95
Gaf Dual 8mm & Super 8 Home Movie Film Projector/Nice!! $129.00 Panasonic 8 Track Player Rs-836A Am/Fm Tuner Boom Box $9.99
8-Track Player and 126 tapes $25.00 Stereo HiFi with 8 Track Player Excellent Condition $125.00
Rare Original Ford Car 8 Eight Track Tape Sealed Mint $9.99 Pioneer 8-Track car player brand new in box $69.00
8-Track Case with 12 8-Tracks $2.00 Retro Panasonic 8 Track Player Recorder Stereo Re-8140 $19.00
8-Track to Cassette Tape Converter Stereo Adaptor Nr! $6.50 Neat Panasonic Transistor Radio / A C Battery ! $9.99
Montgomery Ward (Airline)Vintage Am/Fm Radio w/ 8 Track $9.97 Wollensak 8-Track Stereo Recording Deck $49.51
Panasonic Quadraphonic 8 Track Am-Fm Receiver. Must See $100.00 8 Track: Lot All factory Sealed !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $1.00
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Prices current as of last update, 12/16/06 7:49pm.