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arsclist A Concern: Ampex 611 tape

Hi, folks,

I wanted to pass on a concern that I discovered.

I have been restoring tapes from the mid-60s through the 70s under a grant program and came across a group of three Ampex 611 acetate tapes. These had a mild vinegar odor and showed some substantial spoking--not like the circa 1943 tape on my Web site (the scalloped one) but enough that I've had to wind it a few times to try and get it to play a bit better. Two of the three reels in this group of 611 is showing the problem.

While some of it could be the wind, the 3M 111 of the same era in the same collection has been doing much better and appears to have been treated to the same loose Wollensak-type wind.

I'm only mentioning this because if you have some Ampex 611 in your archives, you might want to check it out for deterioration and transfer it before it becomes significantly degraded.

I'm not implying that all 611 stored under all conditions will be problematic, but I thought sharing this particular problem might be of some interest. I don't know how old the tape was when it was recorded on. The recording dates from 1965. The tape could be older.

Oh, and it's 3.75 ins (fortunately full-track) so it is far more sensitive to the variations and warpage than the older, 30in/s tape pictured on my Web site.

Good luck!


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