I agree. I have worked on 3 3/4 ips reels from as far back as 1954 and other
than poor recording techniques and inferior equipment, have had very few
physical tape problems. And some of the tapes I worked on had been stored
for years in boxes on someone's patio through heat and cold. I've had
several tapes where the oxide was flaking off as I played them and some have
had "tape screech", but have been generally impressed with tape quality. On
the other hand, I am having a horrible time with recordings made in the
1980s. The tape made in the later years is simply awful.
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Art Shifrin
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2003 5:57 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] near the hub phenomena, environment, etc.
Yesterday I did some transfers of 3.75 half track stuff made in 1951. They
were all 600' on original 5" reels with frighteningly small cores. Until a
few years ago, they had been kept in a closet in a house: thankfully not a
garage, attic or basement. They were subsequently moved to a proper (cool &
dry) environment. The stock was 3M 111 & the only problems that occurred
were the spots on adjacent layers near splicing tape. Each tape played
right to its physical end, having been recorded that way because they never
had that great old paper multi-color leader / timing tape applied to either
The only deformations were towards the center: periodic depressions caused
by the very wide threading slots on the cores.
It's a kick to encounter such stability of a 50+ year old synthetic product
that not too long ago, was regarded as inferior to ostensibly state of the
art counterparts made 25 years later!