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Subject: Repairing audio cassettes

Repairing audio cassettes

From: Hannah Frost <hfrost>
Date: Thursday, August 29, 2002
In response to Donald Page's query about repairing audio cassettes:

The fiber pad to which you refer is known as the pressure pad.  The
failure of the adhesive used to mount the pad within the cassette is
sure to be an increasingly prevalent problem in collections of sound
recordings.  It is imperative that audio cassettes with missing
pressure pads are not played back, as the metal plate (to which the
pad had been adhered) will damage the tape as it is transported
through the head mechanism.  This is yet another reason why archival
sound recordings should be inspected carefully before they are

I do not know which kinds of adhesive have been used by
manufacturers to mount the pressure pad.  Presuming that you plan to
repair this original master tape and then produce at least one
preservation master copy and user access copies, thereby preventing
excessive wear on or damage to your original by playback,  I
recommend that you use a small dot of PVA (a strong, flexible
adhesive used commonly in library book repair labs) or even a dot of
Elmer's glue (also strong, but more rigid once dried) to re-attach
the pressure pad.

There is a cassette player manufactured by Nakamichi, called the
Dragon, which does not rely on a pressure pad during tape transport.
Professional audio engineers who specialize in reformatting archival
materials use them specifically for this reason.  I can provide you
with a recommendation for a vendor who has this equipment; contact
me off-list if you are interested. Good luck,

Hannah Frost
Media Preservation Librarian
Stanford University Libraries

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:16
                  Distributed: Friday, August 30, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-16-16-005
Received on Thursday, 29 August, 2002

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