Can you use ED Beta Metal tape (same as betamax tape) in a regular Beta VCR without damaging the heads? Of course , I know the quality will not be better and maybe inferior to regular beta tape. I ask because my ed beta machine no longer rewinds....and I was thinking to rewind the tapes in my superbeta machine .
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Definitely canít record or play an ED-Beta tape in a non-ED Beta machine as the metal formulation requires much higher record/playback strength. Sony stated in the ED Beta manual not to use ED Beta tapes in a regular machine. You canít even erase them with a bulk eraser, I tried it a lark once. Didnít even affect the control track with the eraser directly on the bare tape!
As I recall, during FF and RWD, the tape is kept away from the videoheads by a cushion of air, so thatís not an issue. A real concern is that the tape is still in contact with the upper and lower drums an since the tape is more abrasive will cause additional wear. Given the repair parts are hard to find, Iíd treat your machines with care.
If the rewind on your ED-Beta isnít working, best to get it repaired while parts are still available. It may only be the rewind that doesnít work right now. But if I recall correctly, during unloading, the left spindle (the rewind spindle) moves slightly in reverse as part of the process. Eventually, as it doesnít work correctly, your tape wonít retract correctly and likely jam.
Beta rewinders are rare. mrbetamax.com has a couple of Sony rewinders, but theyíre not cheap, $125 & $195. But still better than adding undue wear and tear on your machines which are getting rarer and harder to fix. A couple of alternate possibilities are to find a cheap Beta machine and use it just for FF and RWD or possibly remove the right spindle on VHS rewinder and use that. Be careful itís likely it may snap the tape if it reaches the end.