First of all, DO NOT use your microwave for any type of tape
restoration. This has been tried and the results are disastrous. Second,
do not use any kitchen appliance, that is used for food, for baking
audio tapes. The baking of audio tapes produces out-gassing that should
be considered as toxic.If you are going to consider baking the cassettes
in question, you will need to invest in a device that can be dedicated
solely to that task. A food dehydrator will work fine but know that
there is a learning curve. Research the process. The information is out
there. I have written an article about baking audio tape which is posted
on my website under "Useful Information." I am not a fan of baking
audio tapes. I use the process as a last resort. First, I will try
lubricating the tape and for cassettes, I have a transport that I have
modified (hacked) for this procedure. That said, Marie O'Connell posted
that she has successfully baked audio cassettes. So have I and many
other qualified personnel. So, obviously, it's possible.
Cheers and, Happy Easter!
Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
On 4/1/2018 1:11 AM, CJB wrote:
> Hi guys. Thanks for the heads up. The cassettes are off-air recordings
> many from the 1970s from Long Wave / Medium wave and some FM. They are
> Beeb airings - likely all long since deleted, wiped or junked. These
> are the only recordings extant. It is important to rescue the
> The situation started after a few cassettes had gone though. The
> C-120s seemed OK. I then decided to process the C-60s first: Ferro,
> Scotch and BASF. I had two cassettes loaded. Huh - I fell asleep and
> the first started all over again. When I checked the digital file -
> using Audacity - I found that the first was nearly perfect first time
> round - but then when it got repeated the sound level was not only
> lower but it was also muffled. I used a tape head cleaner and tried
> again, the sound came back as loud as it should have been, but then
> quickly deteriorated.
> I'm not sure that I can retrieve the situation. It seems that the
> tapes are shedding and clogging the heads badly. I am nervous about
> baking - I only have a microwave!!
> Issues with azimuth lining is rather too advanced for the project
> which is more one of rescue rather than faultless archiving.
> Chris B.
> On 31/03/2018, Marie O'Connell <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> I have had good success with baking cassette tapes suffering from SSS and
>> the brands are random. Keeping the heads clean is paramount.
>> Like Steve, re-housing the cassette can help along with renewing the slip
>> sheets. As a matter of course I check the felt to make sure it's intact.
>> Happy Easter!
>> On Sun, Apr 1, 2018 at 8:23 AM, John Haley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> I am not recalling exactly what I paid for the Nak Dragon, but it was
>>> something like $1100. I bought it on Ebay and got lucky--it is in
>>> The Nak Dragon is missing one desirable feature--there is no speed
>>> control. But it is rock-steady with moving the tape--probably getting
>>> of the tiny bit of friction of the tape pulling past the pressure pad
>>> helps. It has a piece that pushes back the pressure pad so it is out of
>>> the way, and tape tension against the heads is provided by the closed
>>> dual capstan design.
>>> John Haley
>>> On Sat, Mar 31, 2018 at 1:57 PM, Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> If I remember correctly, the NAK draws the tape away from the pad,
>>>> For what it's worth, I've found the slip sheet inside the cassette
>>>> will exhibit signs of sticky shed.
>>>> One answer is to rehouse each cassette into a new shell. I've done
>>>> many a time.
>>>> Steve Smolian
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Lou Judson
>>>> Sent: Saturday, March 31, 2018 1:02 PM
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Sticky shed - clogged heads?
>>>> Dragon is the gold standard, the Rolls Ryce of cassette decks. Wish the
>>>> project I have could make it affordable! :-)
>>>> Maybe I don't want to know what you had to pay for it. ePay shows $1200
>>>> 3200 today.
>>>> I got my lesser Naks for around $400 each. one needed service, the
>>>> Lou Judson
>>>> Intuitive Audio
>>>> On Mar 31, 2018, at 9:35 AM, John Haley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>> I recently bought a Nak Dragon, which automatically sets the azimuth
>>>>> and keeps monitoring and resetting it as the cassette plays. And I
>>>>> recently dubbed a cassette in which the felt pad was missing. It
>>>> fine. The
>>>>> sound quality is astonishingly good. It really beats my Tascam
>>>>> John Haley