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ARSCLIST  December 2015

ARSCLIST December 2015

Subject:

Re: Interesting sticky-shed data point

From:

Jim Sam <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Fri, 18 Dec 2015 15:35:53 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (326 lines)

Tom,

A variety of stocks.

Jim

On Fri, Dec 18, 2015 at 2:53 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hi Jim:
>
> Just to be clear, are your sticky 3M tapes exclusively 226/227, or other
> types? Thanks in advance. This is a very useful discussion!
>
> -- Tom Fine
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Jim Sam" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Friday, December 18, 2015 5:30 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Interesting sticky-shed data point
>
>
> Richard,
>
> We have excellent storage conditions here and while I see SSS uniformly on
> back-coated polyester tapes--most tapes 3M and here >15 years--8 hours
> always is sufficient.
>
> Jim Sam
> Hoover Institution Library & Archives
> Stanford University
>
>
>
> On Fri, Dec 18, 2015 at 12:07 PM, Richard L. Hess <
> [log in to unmask]>
>
> wrote:
>
> Tom,
>>
>> The one semi interesting data point that I have is that in 2012 when I was
>> at LoC, they said that they are NOT seeing the increase in baking time
>> requirement that many of us on this list have noticed. I confirmed with
>> them that the tapes they are transferring have been in their vaults for an
>> extended period of time. They bake 8 hours and the tapes play fine with no
>> residue.
>>
>> So, I take that to be at least some support for the cold, dry storage
>> environment that they have buried into the hillside.
>>
>> Nothing scientific, just an overall impression based on a confirmed
>> conversation.
>>
>> Cheers,
>>
>> Richard
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On 12/18/2015 2:24 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
>>
>> One thing I'd like to see tested is whether these dry/cold vaults really
>>> make any difference with sticky-shed. I know of a vault that has Ampex
>>> 406 tapes, NOS, that have been stored there since the vault was built,
>>> either before the tapes were purchased or soon afterwards. Acting on the
>>> assumption that all Ampex-branded 406 is likely sticky-shed, especially
>>> later-era 406 (which this is), I'd love for a real-deal lab to get hold
>>> of one of these tapes and test if it's gone sticky. If it has, I would
>>> say the cold/dry vault -- which is likely NOT GOOD for acetate tapes --
>>> turns out to be no help to stave off sticky-shed. If the tape, or a test
>>> batch of tapes, are not sticky, then we have a proven data point about
>>> storage.
>>>
>>> My overall point is, I think there are still a lot of assumptions made
>>> about sticky-shed, which aren't proven and may not be true. The only
>>> thing that does seem to be true is that a sticky tape can be baked and
>>> it will playback in a mechanically successful manner. As I've said, my
>>> experience is that the audio deteriorates after a handful of bakes, but
>>> others disagree and I think we all admit we haven't done rigorous
>>> science on that.
>>>
>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Richard L. Hess"
>>> <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Friday, December 18, 2015 2:03 PM
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Interesting sticky-shed data point
>>>
>>>
>>> Tom,
>>>
>>>>
>>>> It is harder than you think. Work has been done and continues to be
>>>> done on identifying, the causation, and the remediation.
>>>>
>>>> Since we have no new tape (only NOS) to play with, controlled tests
>>>> are practically impossible. One paper I read on potting compound
>>>> hydrolysis, the experimenters made new batches of the polymer to test.
>>>>
>>>> Needless to say, that is more difficult with tape, especially when we
>>>> have anecdotal (at least) evidence that the process control was
>>>> sometimes sub-optimum. And the looooong time it has been around.
>>>>
>>>> Cheers?
>>>>
>>>> Richard
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On 12/18/2015 8:53 AM, Tom Fine wrote:
>>>>
>>>> I submit, then, that we don't have a clear understanding of what causes
>>>>> sticky-shed. Since we know that baking makes the tapes playable,
>>>>> knowing
>>>>> the cause may not matter at this point, but it would be good to close
>>>>> the circle. I'm surprised the government hasn't spent more time and
>>>>> money on nailing this down, given how much instrumentation and audio
>>>>> tape is archived. It seems like one of the defense-contractor labs
>>>>> would
>>>>> have the chemistry analysis and science expertise to figure this out.
>>>>> It
>>>>> seems to have something to do with polymer science, as I understand it.
>>>>> But then it may not, since we see that what's essentially the same
>>>>> material (tapes from the same batch, assumed from the same rolled out
>>>>> mass of slurry) may or may not go sticky or may not go the same amount
>>>>> of sticky, under same storage conditions.
>>>>>
>>>>> By the way, there seems to be a similar thing with some brown-oxide
>>>>> acetate-backed tapes and vinegar syndrome. I told the tale of two
>>>>> Audiotape masters made around the same time, but likely from different
>>>>> batches, the A and B side masters of the MLP mono "1812 Overture." The
>>>>> A
>>>>> side tape is badly decayed from vinegar syndrome. It is actually a
>>>>> later-time tape than the B side master because it was mixed at the
>>>>> studio (music master combined with SFX master to create LP master),
>>>>> whereas the B side master is a first-generation recording, edited into
>>>>> a
>>>>> master. Both are Audiotape acetate-backed tapes, which have a track
>>>>> record of not going vinegar. So why did one go vinegar and one didn't?
>>>>> I
>>>>> think it's safe to assume they've been stored together all these years.
>>>>> My experience has been that Audiotape acetate-backed rarely goes
>>>>> vinegar, Scotch 111 variants seem to be about 50-50 and are dependent
>>>>> on
>>>>> storage conditions, Kodak is 100%, and Irish (pre-Ampex) trends more
>>>>> like Audiotape (unlikely to go vinegar unless stored in damp
>>>>> conditions). So again, why? We've talked about different impurities in
>>>>> the iron oxide in any given batch. Might that also relate to
>>>>> sticky-shed, that the impurities in the iron are the actual culprit?
>>>>> Both conditions seem to relate to moisture being pulled into the tape
>>>>> chemistry.
>>>>>
>>>>> Some food for thought, by real scientists. Too bad no one with that
>>>>> kind
>>>>> of expertise can get the time or funding to nail down the real answers.
>>>>>
>>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>>>
>>>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Corey Bailey"
>>>>> <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>> Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2015 11:23 PM
>>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Interesting sticky-shed data point
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Back in the day, I had a few occasions where batch numbers were not
>>>>>
>>>>>> the same with bulk 1/4" (406 & 456) on hubs. Tape that was on reels in
>>>>>> boxes, when purchased in case lots, were consistent.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I've also had Marie's experience with Sticky Shed where the same tape,
>>>>>> from the same batch (Based on the batch #'s from the tape ends stored
>>>>>> with the reels), stored on the same shelf, had different levels (some
>>>>>> with none) of SS.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Corey
>>>>>> Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
>>>>>> www.baileyzone.net
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On 12/17/2015 7:47 PM, Marie O'Connell wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> When I was in the States I made a largish order of about 1000 reels of
>>>>>>> Emtec 911 open reel tapes.  From memory the boxes contained 20
>>>>>>> reels per
>>>>>>> box and my immediate boss liked me to record the batch number as part
>>>>>>> of my
>>>>>>> workflow.  Not all the tapes in the boxes were from the same batch.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> We had a situation here where the Mitsui Gold CDR's, shrink wrapped
>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>> all, not only had pit holes in them on the gold layer, but when you
>>>>>>> opened
>>>>>>> the shrink-wrap and case they were full of dust!.  We sent them
>>>>>>> back but
>>>>>>> heard that another institution in Asia had complained about the
>>>>>>> pit-holes
>>>>>>> and sent theirs back after opening them.  It appears they were then
>>>>>>> re-shrink-wrapped and we got them!
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> The joys of archiving!
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Marie
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> On Fri, Dec 18, 2015 at 3:54 PM, Richard L.
>>>>>>> Hess<[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Tom, what you describe is the theory. I have heard rumours that
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> was not
>>>>>>>> the case in Opelika. Cases were filled with reels when needed. I
>>>>>>>> suspect
>>>>>>>> that bulk packs were perhaps a bit more likely to be all the same
>>>>>>>> batch.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> How wide were the jumbos in Opelika?
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Cheers,
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Richard
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> On 12/17/2015 9:27 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> I thought the numbers on the box and on the stickers box indicated
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> batch
>>>>>>>>> numbers and dates of manufacture, indicating that all pancakes in
>>>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>>> box were from that batch and date. At least that's how I always
>>>>>>>>> understood 3M and Ampex boxes.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Lou Judson"<[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>>>>> To:<[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>>>>> Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2015 7:54 PM
>>>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Interesting sticky-shed data point
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Tom, is it a documented fact that all (12) rolls (reels or
>>>>>>>>> pancakes) of
>>>>>>>>> tape in a box would be from the same manufacturing/slurry batch? I
>>>>>>>>> never
>>>>>>>>> looked, but it would not surprise me if there were different
>>>>>>>>> manufacturing runs on the same delivery carton…
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> <L>
>>>>>>>>> Lou Judson
>>>>>>>>> Intuitive Audio
>>>>>>>>> 415-883-2689
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> On Dec 17, 2015, at 4:38 PM, Tom Fine<[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Hi Marie:
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> This is very strange:
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> I have also had reels of Ampex 456 come out of the same box of
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> 10 or
>>>>>>>>>>> 20 and
>>>>>>>>>>> purchased at the same time where 1/2 have SSS and the rest are
>>>>>>>>>>> fine!
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> I've never heard of that from anyone else. That would almost
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> seem to
>>>>>>>>>> defy all theories of what causes sticky-shed, because one would
>>>>>>>>>> assume
>>>>>>>>>> by a "box" of tapes you mean a real-deal Ampex case with a batch
>>>>>>>>>> number on it. If that's so, it's really freaky that some tapes
>>>>>>>>>> in the
>>>>>>>>>> same batch (which I think means the same production run of the
>>>>>>>>>> chemical slurry) would get sticky-shed and others wouldn't.
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> I'm not doubting your testimony at all, just saying that is calls
>>>>>>>>>> into
>>>>>>>>>> question what is believed to be the cause of sticky-shed, in that
>>>>>>>>>> I
>>>>>>>>>> can't see how the binder chemistry could differ within a batch.
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> 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.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> --
>>>>>
>>>> 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.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>
>> 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.
>>
>>

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