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Guidelines for Trading Tapes on Rust
by Cheryl Cherry Garcia Bedard (CHERYL.NICHOLS@hq.doe.gov)
(Before starting, you'll probably want to see
what Neil has said about taping.)
I've been trading tapes since 1978. It was harder
in the old days without email, but we managed. :) Trade protocols
were described to me by some more experienced traders, and they've
served me well for all these years.
If anyone is still reading, I'd also like to urge people to resist the
inclination to turn to Rust as an arbitrator, policer, enforcer or
rule-maker. I'm not interested in ostracizing anyone based on one
person's version of events, nor am I interested in hearing both sides
so I can choose the right vs the wrong party.
- The Golden Rule rules.
Do unto others as you would have them do
- Advertise your expectations.
Create a (form) cover letter that
describes how you like to trade. Clearly state that you expect any
deviations to be discussed and agreed upon before enacting. Don't
forget to establish how long of a turnaround time you expect. Two
weeks is more than reasonable for most trades.
- Use Type II VIRGIN tapes (or better) only.
Someone mentioned how
poorly some decks erase previous recordings. That is the reason for
using virgin tapes. I sometimes tape over tapes for my dad or a non-
trading friend, but never for anyone I think will trade the tape.
- Specify what brand of tapes you prefer.
Expect to be flexible
with traders outside of the US because Maxell tapes can be hard to
get. I've never had a problem with TDK SA tapes, though I prefer
Maxell. Randy mentioned that high-end decks are calibrated to the
specific bias settings of a particular brand of tape. My decks are
calibrated to Maxell XLII-S, and I prefer those tapes, but I don't
expect them from non-US traders.
- Be aware of inexperienced traders.
If someone says they haven't
traded before, ask about their equipment and explain the process to
them. You can avoid problems with a little early education.
- Understand that we all have different standards.
Tape ratings are
very subjective. I have lots of tapes I won't keep or trade because
they don't sound good enough to make me want to listen to them again.
My standard for good tapes was established by the incredible sound
board tapes readily available in the Grateful Dead trading community.
I was shocked when I got my first Neil tape. It was an audience tape
and I thought it sucked. Now I realize it's not bad compared to the
Neil tapes generally available on the trading circuit.
- Give people the benefit of the doubt.
I was saddened to read
references to 'outing' a trader because it wasn't clear to me if a
good-faith attempt had been made to resolve the situation. Try
vigorously to resolve the problem, and give the person some time to
- Remember that anyone can make an error.
I have sent out tapes
with a side blank. I have delayed a project so long the other two
guys quit asking me about it (I'm really going to finish it! SOON!).
I have recorded with the levels too low and been asked to respin the
tapes (and that was just last year). My point is I count myself as an
experienced trader, but not as a flawless one.
- Start small.
One way to guard against getting ripped off or
getting poor quality tapes is to trade only one or two tapes the first
time. I seldom jump right into a multi-tape trade with a person
unless I know they are reputable.
If you feel ripped off
and you want to publicly censure the person, go ahead. But please
remember that when you post to the list "Should I name this bad
person?" the responses you get ONLY represent the people who answered.
The vocal minority does not speak for the silent majority on Rust. If
you get no response, it should be interpreted as "I'm not interested
in this," not as tacit approval.
Just my not-so-humble opinion and all that...
. . . .Cherry
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