I agree, having transferred 1000+ cassettes over the years, that what we call Sticky Shed has never
cropped up. However, there have been cases of Loss of Lubricant (LOL) or something similar, which
has rendered the cassette unplayable without baking. Baking has worked for me every time. I've
encountered this mostly with black-oxide off-brand cassettes, circa 1980s and early 1990s, some of
which have been mass-duped (ie professionally duped and packaged for mass-market release).
The other thing I have encountered, mainly with Scotch brand CRO2 tapes circa 1980s and late 1970s,
is terrible warpage that leads to the tape pack sometimes being too big to fit in the shell. My
solution to this has been to very carefully hand-wind enough of the tape-pack over to one side so
both sides move comfortably in the shell, then splice one side into a new cassette housing, transfer
both tapes and edit together in the proper sequence in the DAW.
By far the biggest problem I have encountered with cassettes is the pressure pad having come
unglued. I generally transplant those tapes into a new shell. You can still find screw-together C-0
cassette shells out there for sale, but I usually use one of hundreds of old Maxell and TDK tapes
I've accumulated into a big box, just for that purpose.
There has been talk out in the video world, some of it on the Ampex List, about certain videotape
brands that develop Sticky-Shed and/or LOL. There are definitely some DAT types that develop
something that makes them gooey and non-playable. I've enountered this with TDK brand DAT tapes, and
baking has made them playable.
When Telarc Records was reissuing their Soundstream recordings, which were on 1/2" instrumentation
tapes, standard practice was to bake the tapes in a convection oven. I don't know exactly what brand
and type tapes they used. I don't know enough about reel to reel digital tape systems to know if
DASH tapes need baking.
What is still mysterious to me is why some tapes of a type not known for sticky-shed will go sticky.
For instance, Shai has reported all kinds of problems with Scotch 206 in Israel. I've never had one
sticky 206 tape here in the US northeast. And the same with vinegar syndrome. Some people report
never having problems with Scotch 111, yet my experience is about 50-50 whether a tape will go
vinegar and start edge-curling or not. Audiotape acetate-backed seems less likely, but I've sure
encountered my share of those tapes going vinegar. And yet almost all types of 35mm acetate-backed
audiofilm will go vinegar.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Lou Judson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 2:36 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] One more sticky-shed data point - Richardson treated tape
Here’s a slightly offtopic question. I shared the post of Peters’ with an associate, with whom I am
involved in a restoration project involving cassttes tapes from the 70s through the 1990s. We are
wondering why audio cassettes are so rarely having sticky-shed problems. I know that has been
discussed occasionally here, but why are cassetes relatively immune?
On Jan 20, 2016, at 10:33 AM, lists <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hello all:
> Coming very late to this thread. I don't intend to talk here about Mr.
> Richardson's process but, in answer to Tom's post, I'll try to address some
> of the issues with "sticky shed".