This is a POST to ARSCLIST and I hope the discussion stays there. I am
copying ARSCLIB in case any of the members of that list are interested
in the replies or can contribute, but I would prefer not to have the
discussion split between two lists.
I have become aware of tapes where the mag coat is sloughing off in
chunks either through personal experience or from prospective client
At this point I am at a loss as to any solid techniques to help mitigate
In general, it has been polyester based tapes that suffer from this. I
have seen some tapes that have had the situation reduced by dehydration,
but that has only been in specific cases where the mag coat was prone to
fall off, but needed some shock or bending to trigger it.
I was recently contacted about some tapes that showed severe shedding
after the first two or three minutes of tape was played off the 7-inch
The caller indicated that the tapes were put up on a pencil and as the
tape unrolled, there was no adhesion to either side and the mag coat
just came in off in 1/4-inch wide strips that then crumbled. REPEAT:
There was no apparent adhesion to either where it was supposed to be nor
the back of the underlying layer.
One tape I saw had smaller shards falling off rather than complete
sections of the mag coat. Both are bad.
So far, my experience with this has been with tapes LIKE the Concert
tape that Radio Shack and others sold. I personally have not seen
Shamrock do this. The report of the large shards said Ampex 291 might be
at fault--the boxes said 291, but the tape was charcoal grey with a
shiny backside with no back coat. Neither of us recall what Ampex 291
If anyone has had any experience with this, let's see if we can form a
consensus of what to do and under what circumstances. We may find more
than one procedure might be required for slightly different circumstances.
Also, has anyone noticed an increase in this, or is it just random
Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada 647 479 2800
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.