I received today my first shipment of archival tapes that I need to digitize for a public radio documentary I’m working on. These tapes are ultra-cheap Certron-brand tapes of the sort you would get at a dollar store. I have scrupulously cleaned the heads and all other parts of the tape path between every tape playback (even when I flip the tape over to record the second side). Some, but not a lot, of oxide is coming off. When I clean the pinch roller (using 91% isopropyl), there is a little bit of brown on the Q tip after one side of the tape has passed.
The problem is that, as each tape is coming to an end, during the last 5 minutes or so (these are mostly C-60s), a high-pitched squeal starts to be heard. What might be causing this and what, if anything, can I do to mitigate the problem. In the previous set of posts on the subject, the consensus seemed to be that baking is rarely (but not never) needed with cassettes.
Any thoughts or suggestions?
Thanks so much!
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