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The readback signals from a ring (Karlqvist) head and recording medium with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy are analyzed using signal processing criteria. The self-consistent model developed by Beardsley and Potter is used to study the feasibility of detecting transitions at high densities. Simulated readback signals are discussed in terms of time and frequency domain characteristics. A simplified linear system model is proposed which includes the effects of media orientation. Filtering and detection methods for the "vertical" channel are discussed.