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Re: [ARSCLIST] If I knew you were coming I'd've baked a tape...
Yes, this is a good article, but the Ampex patent on this (US 5,236,790
1993 08 17) specifies 50-54C or about 122-130F, much lower than the
temperatures mentioned in the email, below.
I would also caution that this writer's experience with cassette tapes and
baking is that most squealing cassette tapes appear to be suffering from
loss-of-lubricant (LoL) rather than the more common Sticky Shed Syndrome
(SSS) that afflicts reel tapes.
While LoL can affect reel tapes (I've seen it in Sony tape from the 1970s),
SSS is more common. I have not actually seen a proven case of SSS in
cassettes, while I have seen several instances of LoL. In fact, I just did
an Ampex air-check cassette from the early 80s for a client that was LoL. I
was pretty sure, being Ampex, it would be SSS, but I was disappointed.
We wish the correspondent(s), below, a safe return.
At 10:59 PM 1/8/2005 -0500, Dick Spottswood wrote:
I don't know much about this topic but I know it remains of interest here,
so I'm forwarding it.
----- Forwarded by Dick Spottswood/dick/AmericanU on 01/08/2005 11:04 PM
01/08/2005 12:45 PM
cc: ChiaroHank@xxxxxxx, dick@xxxxxxxx
Subject: FW: Analog: A Race Against Time
Hank forwarded your email to me. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find any
info specifically about cassette tapes, but because of the plastic casing
and much smaller surface area than other tapes, I'd experiment first with
a cassette that you don't care that much about. Otherwise, this piece by
Eddie Ciletti is about as in depth as any I know of on tape baking:
We've had great success with the baking process, and since this article
came out 10 years after we were already doing it, I use a small Farberware
convection oven (model T4850) that was recommended to me by Ampex at the
time. It works great! I also hear that the Snackmaster Pro (shown in this
article) is wonderful too. I bake most tapes (as many as six 1/4" reels
at a time) at 175 degrees for 3-4 hours. I always try to slow wind them
first (always onto metal reels, not hubs), unless they are so gummy and
badly dried out that my 2-track machine can't even play them. Doing this
has always saved the tapes, but I've destroyed several heads and 2 entire
machines over the past 15+ years. (I'm currently using an Otari 5050, and
I'm sure I'll eventually ruin that too). If you need more info, there's no
greater authority than Wendy Carlos (whom Ciletti refers to in this
article). She also happens to be a good friend of Hank's, so I'm sure he
could pick her brain further if you need him to.
In the meantime, I hope you're back home safely in the very near future.
Thanks and regards,
FW: Analog: A Race Against Time - Billboard August 28, 2004
1/7/2005 1:08:57 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)
How do you bake your tapes? Last Spring when I was home I was having
problems with my 70's and 80's cassettes (air checks mostly). I suspect
it is a similar humidity issue. I would like to get them all transferred
to digital before they deteriorate further. This will be one of my
projects when I return to the States.
If you know Dick, you have probably heard him say that nothing will
outlast a shellac 78. Looks like he may be correct.
Col. Jay Bruder
Commanding Officer I MHG
Camp Falluja, Iraq
DOWNTOWN SOUND / CHIAROSCURO RECORDS