Anyone run into any significant batches of Sony SLH-7-550 BL tape? I am
actually assuming that the part number is really a mixed-standard
description: 7" reel 550 m of tape. So, really, what it appears I'm
looking at is SLH-BL tape.
I have 60-70 reels of it.
Based on my Sony PR-150 experience, I expected bad, but this is
First of all, Sony PR-150 is NOT back-coated. SLH-BL is back-coated, so
that appears to add to the problems, but the mag coat looks very similar
to PR-150, it is brown and it is this brown I find on the heads after a
Here is a confusion: The recordist allegedly took 7" reels of this and
split it into 5" reels for the recorder. However, at least one reel has
a mixture of black and brown mag coat and his notes that I have indicate
the second half may not be the SLH...
The black mag coat is coming off more than the brown!
I have tried pre-wiping with Pellon, and while debris comes off (from
both sides), it does not seem to be worth the effort. It might actually
stir up more trouble than it's worth.
I have tried dry-wiping during the play pass on the mag coat and this
helps a bit, but it still squeals.
So far, the best thing is a Pellon wipe and the Pellon liberally doused
with decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5). But, once a piece of mag coat
goo becomes stuck on the head, the stick-slip squeal starts and often
prints to the audio transfer (but not back to the tape).
What I want to know, has anyone baked this tape???? It appears to have
been very popular in the Middle East and was also sold here in Canada.
I may end up baking out of desperation, but the reels I've transferred
aren't a good test cases because they already had a liberal amount of D5
applied (which is slowly evaporating).
I can't fit an A80 in my current fridge, though the A77 (which doesn't
overheat the fridge and fits) might be a choice. However, I'd much
rather transfer these on an A80 for a variety of reasons, not the least
of which is this is an important collection of Gulf States traditional
Telling me this is hateful and horrid material won't help, I know that
already. And while misery loves company, I'm already miserable enough
that I don't need to spread it <sigh>.
What I want to know is what you did to make the tape playable (hopefully
without damaging it). If you did test and damage a reel of this stuff,
I'd like to know, too.
The tapes were nicely recorded on a Sony TC-510-2. It was the
predecessor (I think) to the APR-2003. I've been impressed with the
quietness of the recordings. The speed stability by and large has been
great. It is the singers and players bending the notes, not the recorder
-- 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.