I started trading in 2004, so most of the games I have are originals recorded by me.
For the most part they are masters, some of them may be 2nd generation whereas I recorded
the game on a different tape, then dubbed it onto a 2nd tape. Almost all games are in EP/SLP
mode. I can dub them to SP, or LP (although my only vcr that does LP isn't a first rate
model). Most of the DVD's I have were gotten in trade. I have DVD
recorder so I can record to DVD now. I still need a DVD burner for exact
copies of DVDs but most of my stuff is on VHS so it will be a long process
to convert to DVD. Nevertheless, i can record to DVD now and the more
DVDs I acquire will just push me into the DVD burner direction,
eventually. I primarily use Sony DVD-rs. Rating systems for games can be
deceiving so just check w/ me
for the quality of a game. As a general trading rule, If I contact you about a trade then I
send you tapes first and vice versa. Most games should be uninterupted viewing including commercials. Some games I've gotten in trade are missing comercials.
For the countdown broadcasts however, most of those have been edited: commercials edited out, commercial breaks an transitions edited out to keep the flow of song after song going, Xtras have sometiems been added where needed (eg: if Rick just says so-an-so is at #whatever an skips to next song, the missing song I've edited in), however some broadcasts still have the commercial breaks.
Being a tape lover, I steer clear of the cheap dollar store tapes as well as the following brands: Memorex, Fuji. I mainly use maxell & TDK, w/ some Sony. Cassettes are 90mins. VHS: I use T-160 (or 8hr in EP) tapes; I have some maxell T-180s (9hr in EP) tapes but it would seem the "Best Buy"'s around here have stopped stocking this so I will likely start buying them online if I can; And I have some T-200s (10hr in EP) which actually ARE memorex but "Best Buy" stoppped selling these so I've stopped using them.
I do have some stuff on cd-r/dvd but generally I prefer tapes. I've noticed w/ CD-r's sometimes the data degrades at the end of the cd, Plus I accidently cracked 1 cd. Once a cd is cracked, thats it. All data is lost. At least w/ tape, if the tape snaps, I can at least fix it. When I do get my DVD recorder I will still likely retain my tapes as backups. I do have a cd recorder.
As for audio quality, most everything is recorded in mono. Some games/countdowns are in stereo.