This is a tough one. Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) is more of a solvent than a
lubricant, but the line is admittedly fine as WD40 can be either as well
(and not good for much around tape machines).
IPA, I believe works by both being a lubricant and a coolant (part of my
concept about playing the tape below its glass transition temperature
(Tg)). D5 is plain and simple a lubricant that keeps the tape from
The whole suite of solutions: cold playback, D5 playback, and IPA
playback all address similar problems. I don't like IPA fumes and I have
never found a good way to use IPA in a Nakamichi Dragon. I'm also afraid
the IPA might over-degrease the Dragon which would not be good. I did
have a Dragon go non-functional for a while but after a week or several
(I forget now as I just stopped using it), all the excess D5 had
evaporated and it was good as new.
D5's evaporation rate is much slower than IPA which I think is a plus.
I think the IPA approach works best in the fully integrated arrangement
that Marie O'Connell has built. D5 works reasonably well in ad-hoc
setups as my post showed (tape the envelope moistener bottle down to the
transport and move on).
It's all what you have. I will have lots of both chemicals around, but I
think I prefer D5 to IPA. Obviously, one cannot argue with Marie's
successes with IPA in New Zealand and I don't think it has anything to
do with which way the water goes down the drain...or that the sun is in
the north at noon <smile>.
As to technical playback, I don't think either D5 or IPA produces enough
separation from tape to play head to cause any spacing loss worth
mentioning. With D5, less is more in many ways. I find I want to use
more IPA than D5 in ad-hoc settings. I'm not certain that would be the
case with Marie's wonderful machine.
So, how is that for a non-answer.
On 2012-10-09 1:13 PM, Jeff Brown wrote:
> What are the advantages/disadvantages of working with D5 versus
> working with an isopropyl alcohol drip like Marie O'Connell did?
> At 10:42 AM 10/9/2012, you wrote:
>> After much research I found a reasonable source for D5 here in Canada
>> and they will ship to the U.S.A.
>> You may find the info at the top of my blog page at the moment.
>> or go directly there
Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.