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ARSCLIST  February 2012

ARSCLIST February 2012

Subject:

Success with Agfa PEM-469

From:

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

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Sun, 26 Feb 2012 16:57:01 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (93 lines)

Thanks to Marie O'Connell and Corey Bailey for your suggestions. I had 
success with the two reels of PEM-469. I posted a short note in my blog
http://richardhess.com/notes/2012/02/26/agfa-pem-469-success/
but it really points to the degrading tapes page...I've added the 
following to it:
http://richardhess.com/notes/formats/magnetic-media/magnetic-tapes/analog-audio/degrading-tapes/
(You don't need to go to the links..the updates are below).

I put Agfa tapes in their own section as they don't really belong under 
Classic Sticky Shed since we are not at all in agreement about baking.

[added 2012-02-26] One fascinating perspective is emerging from ongoing 
discussions on the Association of Recorded Sound Collections email list 
(ARSC List): different tape types in different parts of the world may 
behave differently. Again, this comes down to plant-to-plant variations 
at least and perhaps formula and/or raw material differences. A factor 
that may have caused the differing formulations could be different local 
environmental regulations for each plant, but that is mostly conjecture 
on this author's part, although there were some studies from Alabama 
attempting to address the pollution from the Ampex/Quantegy plant in 
Opelika.

[added 2012-02-26] The remainder of this update focuses on Agfa PEM 469, 
see notes below.

-----

***Agfa Tapes* (updated 2012-02-26)

*Agfa PEM-526* exhibited dry shedding. See our article here 
<http://richardhess.com/notes/2009/01/30/back-coat-turning-to-powder/>. 
Although a similar condition was reported with PEM-469, experience has 
shown 469 to be more like sticky shed in this regard. It is definitely 
another variant of Soft Binder Syndrome (or SBS).

*Agfa PEM-468, PEM-469* There are mixed reviews on these tapes and most 
of the bad tape was recalled and transferred at Agfa's expense. This was 
supposedly affecting only a half-year's worth of batches from pre-1990. 
Unike Ampex/Quantegy, we do NOT recommend baking Agfa tapes as a matter 
of course, based in part to our experience with the PEM-526 and this 
article <http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/page-42797_32_0.html>, 
although the baking temperature may have been a bit too high (60 C) in 
that discussion.

The author of these pages encountered two very nasty reels of one-inch 
Agfa PEM 469 in 2012-02 (recorded in 1988-01) that shed a waxy 
clear-to-slightly-yellow exudate from the mag coat. The mag coat was 
also transferring slightly to the back coat which was then coming off on 
the capstan (which presses against the back coat side of the tape).

After consultation on the ARSC List and receiving replies from Marie 
O'Connell in New Zealand and Corey Bailey in Los Angeles, I decided to 
continue with the non-baking recommendation as there was just too much 
conversation on the Web and ARSCList against baking to make me feel 
comfortable.

The tape's mag coat was run over a Pellon pad in library wind and then 
over a D5-soaked Pellon pad, also in library wind.  D5 was generously 
applied to the heads and fixed guides immediately before the transfer. 
We applied about 2.5 ml (cc) of D5 to each tape. Note D5 is also known 
as decamethylcyclopentasiloxane, Siloxane D5, CAS # 541-02-6, and 
sometimes referred to as Cyclomethicone (generally in regards to the 
product as produced by Dow Corning). It is found in many personal care 
products and has recently been declared safe for the environment by the 
Canadian Ministry of the Environment 
<http://www.cdr-siloxaned5-bor.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=9320DEF6-0&offset=3&toc=show#s2.1>.

The worse of the two tapes was stopped twice to re-clean the heads and 
reapply D5. It is not clear to me if the slight loss of brightness was 
due to reproduce or recording issues, as apparently some batches of this 
tape shed when originally manufactured.

This tape has been reported stable in parts of Europe, but Ms. O'Connell 
confirmed the clear-to-yellow waxy exudate and indicated that it was one 
of her least favourite tapes to transfer. She reported that it did 
respond to her isopropyl drip technique 
<http://richardhess.com/notes/2006/03/09/wet-playing-of-reel-tapes-with-loss-of-lubricant-a-guest-article-by-marie-oconnell/> 
and Mr. Bailey suggested gentle baking (about 48 C for 24 hours) which 
allowed him to have success with the tape.  He also reports success with 
lubricants from The Last Factory here 
<http://www.baileyzone.net/analog%20tape%20diy.htm> (second to last 
section).

*
*


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

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