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RE: [AV Media Matters] Tape baking

Greetings from a lurker!

I have for a couple of months been employed at DCM, a CD plant in
Sweden, to digitize an archive of reel to reel tapes. Our mission
has been to start with tapes from the early 1980's, for known
reasons. We have also had to bake quite a few of those tapes, and
that has worked out well. Recently, however we've encountered a
phenomenon I haven't heard about before: sticky leader tapes. That
wouldn't be so bad if not the magnetic layer adjacent to it also
stuck to the leader. The effect of it is quite stunning - enormous
tape echo for one turn of tape, coming from the deposited layer on
the leader tape, then somewhat quieter regular sound.

The tapes concerned are mostly Scotch 226, and
some Ampex 456, from 1980 to 1985, possibly manufactured earlier, and they have
been baked for about 8 hours at 50 deg C. Also the tapes "behave sticky",
i.e. unwinds at an angle, but don't leave any deposits. Have anyone out there
seen this before, and maybe have a remedy? Could the baking have affected
the leader tapes detrimentally?

Tommy Sjöberg
Sound Engineer
+46 8 477 20 22
DCM Sweden AB

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