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Re: arsclist RE:Re-evaluating Tape Stock for Mastering

At 16:07 01/06/00 -0400, Jim wrote:

>Comments on back coating vs. non-back coating. Our rationale for using
>non-back coating is the tremendous problems we have seen with back coat
>failure, and no back coat eliminates that issue  - AND  we can't really
>figure out what the real value of backcoat is anyhow these days. Does
>this logic hold?

While not in the archival business, I must say I was surprised to see this
statement.  I can't recall ever having seen a case of backcoat failure from
any of the manufacturers.

The logic of using a backcoat is one which I would have though was very
important for archivists, as it promotes a better wind, stops tape blocking
and eliminates tape slip.  As it is primarily carbon based, it will also
reduce static charge building up on the tape.  I would have thought that
any one of these reasons would have been enough to promote its universal
use for archival puposes.

>Comments regarding 1.5 mil vs 1.0 mil relating to print through and
>other performance characteristics of base film thickness. i.e. with the
>new PET basefilm stocks being used is 1.5 REALLY that much better then
>1.0 mil these days. Is there really a reason to use 1.5 mil for 1/4"?

Yes - there is.  No matter what the material used to manufacture the base
film, the problem of print-through is still directly related to its
thickness.  Thicker tape = lower print-through.  

On top of that, thicker tapes are easier to handle, less prone to stretch
and generally tougher all-round.  Again, I would have thought these were
all very good reasons to use such a tape for archival purposes.

It might also be argued that thinner tape = better head contact, but I
presume these tapes would be played on professional equipment where this is
not really an issue - it's more a way  for domestic equipment manufacturers
to be looser with their mechanical specifications :-).

>Any feedback on storing as pancake vs. NAB metal reels? 

This is moving out of my field, but personally I would avoid the use of
pancakes for a purely practical reason.  If, for whatever reason, one comes
apart, you have 1200' of tape on the floor - that is a good enough reason
for me to not even think of using them.  However, archivists may take a
different view for more important (to them) reasons.

Long-term storage containers for archive is a subject where I can't comment.

>Any comments on current binder systems - are they REALLY that different.
>Performance v. Longevity in actual practice.

I have little to do with tape these days - but I don't think they are any
worse than they used to be (before the sticky-shed nonsense, that is).

>Any bad experiences with recent stocks other then the usual occasional
>bad batches.

Not enough recent experience to comment on this.

>Abrasivity issues?

Similarly - although I would have thought the days of *really* abrasive
tapes was long gone.

Graeme Jaye
Personal-CD - Affordable Audio Restoration

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