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Ive been handling tape for at least 70 years and one of the first "tricks" a radio station engineer told me was to always put at least 3-6 ft of paper leader or blank 1.5 mil mylar tape at the head and tail of every reel of tape to protect either end from slot creasing. It can happen on 10 inch to 3" reels with slots for threading the tape end.
A contributing factor to heavy slot creasing is the rewind back tension or take up tension when leaving tails out.
If Alec McLane needs some 1.5mil tape ill send him a 7" reel free.......... ive got hundreds of 7" reels of this stuff from syndicated programs.
bright sound productions