The Dictabelt recorder was designed to record the voice. The recording method was designed to be the best across the area of sound that the voice typically is in, approximately 300 Hz to 3000 Hz. This is sufficient dynamic range to allow for good recordings and for intelligent playback. Therefore music and other audio sources do not reproduce well on a Dictabelt. Also the Dictabelt was designed to be monophonic. During our process, we record the audio to both channels equally. This gives you a richer sound, but it is not stereo.
Although the Dictabelt recorder was designed and built with high quality materials, and the equipment we use is of the highest standards, there will be some variations in the sound during playback. This is particularly noticed if the audio contains music, singing or other continous tonal information.
Although everything possible is done to give you the cleanest possible playback, there will be some pops, clicks and other surface type noises. We make every effort to remove and or reduce this type of noise, however if in our attempts to remove such noise degrades the original information, we will leave as little of the noise as possible and enhance the underlying audio. However it is not possible to give you CD quality audio, nor should such audio quality be desired. Remember these are recordings of old, a small amount of this noise adds to the authenticity of the recording.
We have had good success repairing damaged Dictabelts. Most belts have been stored perfectly flat. This puts two creases in the belt. If the belt is mishandled, these creases can crack or break. When handling the Dictabelts, do not try to open them up. If they are flat leave them that way. We have proven methods to relieve these creases without breakage. If a belt has gotten broken, we still have a very high chance of being able to repair these cracked or broken belts. However, we can not do a multi-piece jig-saw puzzle.