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4 Track Tapes

You might say "What is a 4-track cartridge?" Well I'm glad you asked! The 4-track cartridge was introduced to the public 1962 by Earl "Madman" Muntz. They were first advertised as CARtridges, since at the time, the only music you could get in your car was from your car radio. Muntz manufactured the 4-track players and pre-recorded tapes until approx. late 1970, at which time the 8-track tape had become the predominant music format. Music was released on 4-track tape for automobile pleasure and then later for home use.

The 4-track carts have two pairs of stereo tracks. The two program tracks have to be manually switched back and forth between the two tracks. To do this, a manual lever is used which physically moves the head up and down mechanically. 4-tracks don't switch tracks automatically like the 8-tracks, which use the metallic sensing foil to do this.

Also, the 4-track tapes can't generally be played in a regular 8-track player unless you have a special "gidget" that fits in the back of the 4-track cartridge (this is one of the ways you can easily distinguish it from a regular 8-track tape) and allows the roller on the "gidget" to be up against the head of the 8-track player.

You might find yourself saying, "Hey, I want to listen to one of those cool 4-track carts now that I know what they are, but I don't have a 4-track player!" Well, don't fret yourself any! We have a couple of 4-track players that have been tested and play those little 4-track carts just fine. So take a look below and see if you see anything that strikes your fancy and let us know.

You might say that these tapes were the tapes of your parents generation and the 8-tracks were the tape of your generation! You may note that a lot of the 4-track carts are ez listing tapes, but there are some good rock/pop 4-tracks out there too.

As a bit of trivia - notable celebrities such as Frank Sinatra had 4-track players installed in their cars.

We just got these in and they have not been tested and are being sold "As-Is." Some may have the original labels, but have been recorded over. When it's obvious that this has been done, we will let you know.

We can tune-up/repair 4-tracks. We also have 4-track players from time to time so check our players page to find out.


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