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Re: [ARSCLIST] vinegar reel to reel - is it safe to play?

So is the Durol base what disintegrates? What turns into vinegar? Or is it something that smells like vinegar but is another chemical? Simple Chem 101 answers much appreciated.

For what it's worth, I've not seen a lot of Kodak tape from professional audio sources in the greater NYC area from that late 50's/early 60's timeframe. But, I've seen Kodak tape in several amateur recordist collections, all of which had academic connections. I'm wondering if Kodak marketed to academic A/V departments. They apparently didn't get much traction in the professional studio scene here, but I am not sure about Hollywood or elsewhere in the country.

Again, for what it's worth, the tapes I've seen with vinegar problems have been Scotch/3M acetate-backed and Kodak with a rare case once in a while of AudioTape acetate-based, but most AudioTape of this type I've seen (and I've seen plenty since this was the tape of choice in the 50's and early 60's for various family members and friends in the professional recording business) was not vinegar but was as likely as not warped. I've seen a lot of magnetic film, 35mm and 16mm with vinegar problems, all of it being 50's and 60's vintage. Brands are Scotch/3M and AudioFilm.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- From: "Richard L. Hess" <arclists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, May 11, 2009 7:01 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] vinegar reel to reel - is it safe to play?

At 05:14 PM 2009-05-11, Frances, Melodie wrote:
The box says Kodak and has a sticker that says 'durol base, new high
strength triacetate' - the reel itself has not additional info and yes,
it is separate from everything else (probably by accident by thank

Hello, Melodie,

I recently captured two tapes of this ilk that were rather unplayable on a standard machine. While it wasn't perfect, the client agreed it was "good enough".

Here's the writeup on my website.

It's nasty stuff.



Richard L. Hess email: richard@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.

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