I should also mention, Charlie wanted me to send the tape back after the first transfer for "further
processing." I decided, no, I want to see how it holds up in the real (reel) world, over time, under
non-vault storage conditions.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jamie Howarth" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, December 19, 2015 10:54 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] One more sticky-shed data point - Richardson treated tape
Very cool. Rad, scary, but if it holds up that's great.
Please pardon the mispellings and occassional insane word substitution I'm on an iPhone
> On Dec 19, 2015, at 8:54 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Back in early 2014, I sent Charlie Richardson an old Ampex 7.5IPS alignment tape, which is on
> Ampex 406 tape, circa 1970. The tape was definitely sticky-shed, in fact the first couple of
> layers I wound out by hand pulled oxide to the adjoining backing layer. Richardson treated the
> tape with his "Rezorex" process, which apparently uses a chemical peel to remove the back-coat
> layer, which Richardson contends is the source point of sticky-shed. I transferred the tape in May
> 2014 with no problems, then put it on a shelf in ambient metro-NYC indoor environment. That first
> playback was on an Ampex AG-440B. I just rewound and played the tape again, this time on an Ampex
> 352. Still no sticky-shed evidence, and the audio was fine (test tones were 10dB below reference
> tone, for the most part, azimuth tones allowed stable adjustment). Richardson had left a little
> bit of the end of the reel with the back-coat still on, and that tape was solidly sticky-shed. I
> will keep on playing this tape once a year to see if it goes sticky again.
> I think a more scientific test of this process would require sacrifice of both a sticky-shed test
> tape and a high-fidelity music recording on sticky-shed tape. Although Richardson wants tapes not
> to have been previously baked and played, which he contends damages the tape, I'd want a reference
> transfer after one bake. Then let the back-coat layer be removed, and do a transfer with the exact
> same equipment and compare both measurements and careful listening, see if the chemical peel does
> any sonic damage. In the case of my old test tape, all I'm saying is that the tones are at the
> announced levels, and this tape could be used in a pinch to align a tape deck, although I'd want
> to bet on a modern MRL tape if it were for anything critical.
> One other thing. The tape with the backcoat removed is not as thin as I thought it would be. It
> seems to move through the transport just fine. I didn't observe any obvious edge-curl or
> country-lane motion, and it fast-winds just fine through all the static guides on an older Ampex
> I'd want to do more testing with very familiar high-fidelity music recordings to make sure the
> process doesn't do any damage to audio, but for at least a year and a half, it does seem to
> prevent a return of sticky-shed's mechanical symptoms.
> -- Tom Fine