I too, do not find that a lack of balance stipe affects focus in any way. My Walton prints look just the same as any others with both stripes.
My Walton films seem to be fine too, I had a 400ft Muppet Movie single stripe a few years ago that had focus issues, it wasn't awful more annoying, that's the only one I've come across. I've also come across a Futtocks End that had sound drop outs, when I checked it the stripe was missing in places, it looked like the balance track on the main track but misaligned, it wasn't my print but was sent it to rerecord it, obviously nothing could be done with that one, Mark
In answer to Paul's earlier question, yes I have had quite a few Walton Tom & Jerry prints plus an odd Laurel & Hardy title, where the sound can contain drop outs or drift at times and can be a little patchy as a result at times.
Not too often but occasionally.
What Tom is highlighting with his complaint of Madagascar, is something completely different anyhow. What I've just described from Walton tracks at times, is a result of patchy pasted stripe but using Agfa paste and decent healthy recording equipment.
Madagascar standards of soundtrack are a result of poor signal to noise ratio being actually placed onto the grey inferior pasted stripe type.
The result is a hissy low level low frequency based type track as result, with nothing by the way of an actual frequency range within the track.
Part of the reason for this is due to the inferior paste but part of it also is because Derann's equipment had been hammered by 1995.
It was half way to the knackers yard by then... hence why you will always achieve something much better if the stripe is applied ok and your equipment is of a suitable state of well being.
"C'Mon Baggy, Get With The Beat"
This later paste was used by Walton /evt magnetics on its later films, and was for the most part successful if a little bit lacking in sonic quality, this is part of a conversation I had with nick at evt magnetics. I call it zonal but in fact it is pyral, not as good as the Agfa f5 but this was withdrawn when Agfa sold its tape side to 3M. I conclude that if Walton could
achieve acceptable recording quality using the same materials, then it is either the application of the paste or recording settings or both in some cases are the reasons for the imperfections. Derann were flying by the seat of there pants most of the time and winging it too, but still achieved some remarkable things, maybe if Kodak hadn't sent the paste
formula minus one vital ingredient they may have got there earlier with more consistent results.