Lou, good question! The blue splicing tape I like is the 3M type, later sold by Quantegy and others.
The blue tape I don't like is new in recent years, maybe sold by the company that bought what was
Agfa and BASF, maybe made by someone else.
None of the tapes I deal with have original splices that are the light blue 3M tape. They are all
white, but I do suspect it was 1960s vintage 3M tape. If they all really were replaced in 1971
(which doesn't seem altogether likely, since there is no evidence of splice replacement such as
dents or marks from old splices or slightly mangled splice points), I suspect the Philips folks
would have been using some sort of European-made splicing tape.
One quick update to my earlier e-mail -- I want to emphasize how much treating the white goo-ooze on
the edges helps. Don't be bashful about the Naptha on the edges. it seems to loosen up all the
points where the splice layer is stuck to adjoining layers except for the middle of the splice. If
it's a good tight splice, it will lift off and can be cleaned and kept. If there's too much ooze in
the middle, the splice will come apart but not pull off oxide bits. I'm now wondering about, in a
very well vented area and perhaps wearing a fumes mask, using a low-lint cloth if not soaked then
heavily dipped in Naptha, and really going at the tape edges as if removing paint. I bet that would
speed up the process and keep more splices intact. This is a production environment, so time is
money. As I said, with unlimited time and money, the best bet may be to replace all splices, but as
I also said, all splicing tape probably oozes over time under tape-pack pressure.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Lou Judson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2015 12:14 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Distressing data point for upcoming ARSC tape playback workshop
> Tom, is there any way to tell which splicing tape it is, the pale blue or the white? I'd be sad if
> the 3M blue tape is doing that - my tapes form the 70s and 80s have Sticky Shed, but the blue
> splicing tape is perfect, peelable and replaceable... not oozing.
> Lou Judson
> Intuitive Audio
> On Mar 1, 2015, at 6:46 AM, Tom Fine wrote:
>> I am right now working with tapes from 1959 and 1961, 3-track 1/2" tapes, with splices "replaced"
>> in 1971 (according to documentation on the boxes) and, in the case of 4 reels, splices cleaned
>> and/or replaced in the early 1990s. Alas, every splice so far has needed new cleaning with Naptha
>> and many of them -- even those cleaned and successfully played in the 1990s -- have required full
>> The replacement splicing tape put on in the 1990s has proven mostly stable but there has been
>> some ooze and stiction around some splices. I tend to believe that is leftover ooze from
>> non-complete cleaning of the original splices before replacement, but it could be new ooze over
>> the past 20 years.
>> Bottom line is that there seems to be no "permanent" splicing tape, it all seems to ooze and/or
>> dry out over time.