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ARSCLIST  February 2013

ARSCLIST February 2013

Subject:

Re: Dealing with unruly acetate tapes RE: [ARSCLIST] Squealing Audio Cassette Tapes

From:

Dennis Rooney <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Mon, 25 Feb 2013 13:23:01 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (184 lines)

Martin,

Have you tried winding the tapes oxide out (known as a B wind) and storing
them for 3 to six mos. That frequently improves tape to head contact when
played back after being so stored.

DDR

On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 5:29 PM, Martin Fisher <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> While we're on the subject of squealing tapes....I'd like to hear some
> thoughts on dealing with deformed acetate backed tapes from the 1950s era.
>
> The main culprits I'm currently dealing with are the Jensen and Irish
> brands.  Main problems are curling and untrue running in the tape path.
>  I've been using a cobbled up pressure pad assembly to maintain improved
> tape to head contact and all this has resulted in excessive wear and
> pitting of the tape head.  (Hope to have a new half track head on the way
> from John French soon.)
>
> I've had some success rehydrating thin acetate tapes in the past to soften
> and reform but find that the proper amount of moisture can be a fairly thin
> line to walk.
>
> Any ideas?
>
> Thanks.  :-)
>
> Martin
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:
> [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Richard L. Hess
> Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 1:41 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Squealing Audio Cassette Tapes
>
> Mike,
>
> The problem with this squealing is that it is often NOT accompanied by the
> massive buildups normally seen with Sticky Shed Syndrome. In fact, most of
> the cassette tapes that squeal do not leave any visible residue AND they do
> not respond to baking.
>
> I am trying to more accurately describe phenomenon and also create an
> umbrella term to describe this family of problems.
>
> Think of a BIG CIRCLE of a Venn Diagram and I'd like to call that Soft
> Binder Syndrome.
>
> Then place a smaller circle fully within the big circle and call that
> Sticky Shed Syndrome.
>
> Have you read my ARSC Journal Paper on tape degradation that was
> originally presented at the Audio Engineering Society's 121st convention in
> October 2006 in San Francisco was published in the ARSC Journal in the Fall
> of 2008? It is available here:
>
> http://www.richardhess.com/tape/history/HESS_Tape_Degradation_ARSC_Journal_39-2.pdf
>
> What we have seen is that the glass transition temperature has fallen to a
> point below room temperature, so the tape mag coat is rubbery instead of
> glass-like at room temperature (or slightly above as the heads often heat
> up a bit from heat generated within the player). We had one tape measured
> and its glass transition temperature was about 8 C. We had another tape
> analyzed and it still retained its approximately normal lubricant load, so
> it is not loss of lubricant, but the fact that more lubricant is needed to
> make the tape play smoothly now that the glass transition temperature has
> become lower.
>
> I have spoken to Karl on the phone and I think he will try cold playback
> and report back.
>
> Using added lubricant works better for me on reels than on cassettes and
> cold playback works better for me on cassettes than reels. One reason for
> that is the reel machines I have throw off too much heat to be kept cool by
> the refrigerator I have. Also one reel machine's capstan froze at 4 C.
>
> It makes sense to me to have a little circle in the overall Venn Diagram
> that involves a symptom/treatment pair and, to me, Sticky Shed Syndrome is
> Massive Shedding, machine stopping, and ameliorated by baking.
>
> This tag, Tape Aging, in my blog pretty well collects all the articles on
> the subject in order of most recent update.
> http://richardhess.com/notes/category/archive-operations/tape-aging/
>
> Cheers,
>
> Richard
>
> On 2013-02-20 2:17 PM, Michael Biel wrote:
> > The fact that the decks have stopped themselves on some of these makes
> > it OBVIOUS that these tapes suffer from  Sticky Shed Syndrome.  If you
> > continue to play these tapes while they squeal you will probably
> > mechanically record the squeal onto the tape due to the actual
> > movement of the oxide particles on the tape.
> >
> > And by the way, you are another of those on the list who have set your
> > email program to have our replies sent to only you instead of the list.
> > Please change this.
> >
> > Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]
> >
> >
> > -------- Original Message --------
> > Subject: [ARSCLIST] Squealing Audio Cassette Tapes
> > From: Karl Fitzke <[log in to unmask]>
> > Date: Wed, February 20, 2013 1:20 pm
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> >
> > Greetings, and thanks right away for your interest and potential help
> > with the following:
> >
> > We have a set of approximately 30 SKC Brand, GX and LX model, Type I
> > cassette tapes on hand to transfer. They are 60 minute tapes.
> >
> > The original field recordist is from New Zealand, where these tapes
> > were
> >
> > recorded.
> >
> > A number of the tapes start squealing after five to twenty minutes of
> > play, and this happens on at least three different Nak CR-7A machines
> > (dual capstan).
> >
> > The squeal is a rather constant tone in amplitude and frequency (2 kHz
> > or so is a guess). The decks have even stopped themselves in some
> > instances. The squealing in some instances has stopped when I stopped
> > the deck, remove the cassette from it for inspection, replaced, and
> > played again. But, only to likely start again a little later.
> >
> > Tapes have been fast forwarded and rewound before being played. I
> > believe the squealing has happened when the tape is packed even
> > better, e.g. after a play on one side (which didn't have noticeable
> issues).
> > But play of the first side may not have been monitored very closely by
> > personnel, so don't give that all too much weight.
> >
> > I've occasionally seen conical wrapping at the outside of the pack
> > (the outside 1/8" or so, thinking radially).
> >
> > I've transferred some of these tapes to new Maxell shells, removed
> > friction sheets in the original shells, removed pressure pads in the
> > original shells, loosened case screws in both shells, threaded tape on
> > the inside (instead of outside) of the posts near the cassette shell
> > rollers in the Maxell shell.
> >
> > I checked W/F specs on all machines. They are okay, or just out of
> > spec, which does not concern me here (yet).
> >
> > The best I've done is maybe reduced the amplitude and regularity of
> > the squealing with playback of one tape I recall, but I haven't gotten
> > rid of it.
> >
> > My current belief is that we have lubricant issues, and I'm off to
> > read/reread everything I can find in old emails from Richard Hess,
> > Marie
> >
> > O'Connell, Steve Smolian that I saved for future reference, like the
> > ones I've forwarded below.
> >
> > I'd be happy to hear anything else someone may have to offer. Even
> > moral
> >
> > support! ;-D Thanks again for your interest.
> >
> > Best wishes,
> > Karl F.
> >
>
> --
> Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada                             647 479 2800
> http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.
>
>


-- 
1006 Langer Way
Delray Beach, FL 33483
212.874.9626

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