I just had e-mail correspondence with one of the first-person participants. He told me that the
tapes were playable as in they'd pass through a transport, but they sounded "worn out" compared to
the EQ'd copies that they used. The decision was to use what the artist and producer thought sounded
better. It's an aesthetic and artistic decision. In any case, moves are afoot to clarify the text on
the HDTracks website.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Eric Jacobs" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, April 07, 2015 11:09 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] More tales of woe from the tape vaults
> Do you think they are referring to the multitrack masters (probably on 2-inch) or the stereo
> masters on 1/4-inch? I could believe the multi tracks unplayable.
> ~ Eric Jacobs
> The Audio Archive
> On Apr 7, 2015, at 5:31 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Check out the details on this announcement of the remaster of Tom Petty's analog albums:
> It's disturbing that master tapes from the late 1970s and early 1980s are now considered
> "unplayable." Without knowing any specifics, I wonder if the tapes had gooey splices and needed
> baking because they were sticky-shed. The baking would make the splices even worse, but I think
> they still might be cleanable with enough time, a very well-vented space and lots of naptha. It
> would be pain-staking, but possibly doable. The other thing that might have happened is that the
> tapes went sticky and someone rewound them without baking them, which would likely ruin them due
> to massive oxide-pulls.
> If anyone knows anyone involved in this project, tell them that as long as they tapes weren't
> rewound when sticky, they might be salvagable. Also, if anyone has tapes they can donate to
> research that are both gooey-spliced and sticky-shed, I'd like to experiment. I'm wondering about
> a soak in a tub of naptha, then thorough drying before baking (obviously, very important for all
> of the explosive/flammable naptha to evaporate before baking). The idea would be, dissolve as much
> splice goo as possible before baking, then very carefully unspool and repair/replace splices after
> baking. This is just a theory right now, I have not tested it.
> -- Tom Fine