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ARSCLIST  August 2008

ARSCLIST August 2008

Subject:

Re: Tape Degradation (was ELP Turntable & earlier RIAA EQ software)

From:

"Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 27 Aug 2008 14:28:31 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (36 lines)

At 01:31 PM 2008-08-27, Michael H. Gray wrote:

>I'm curious to know how master tapes 'deteriorate' Is it in the 
>physical carrier or in the magnetic signal?

Yes, and no.

The biggest problems for newer (1970s-1990s) tapes is binder 
degradation--the breakdown of the "glue" that holds the magnetic 
particles to the base film (physical carrier).

The biggest risk, but not yet a huge problem, for older tapes that 
used cellulose acetate as a base film is vinegar syndrome which 
destroys the base film. This has been a huge problem with magnetic 
motion picture film (for sound--essentially thicker tape in film 
widths with sprockets). We are not sure if these mag films are an 
outlier or the "mine canary" for what will happen with the thinner, 
narrower acetate audiotapes.

There are also risks that can damage the magnetism entrusted to the 
tape, but binder problems are, by far, the worst challenge today.

Of course, we wish many tapes had been recorded better as well!

Look for my article on the subject in the next issue of the ARSC Journal.

Cheers,

Richard


Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada       (905) 713 6733     1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes. 

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