I am the engineer for a public radio interview program, weekly since 1974. One of my projects is digitizing several thousand cassttes from the early years of the program.
The only problem we encounter is cassettes that have snapped off the hub and need to be spliced back together. Not a single one has had sticky shed or needed baking!
Though some people have had cassettes needing baking, personally, out of thousands, not one has needed baking for me.
It is possiblethat high bias or ”premium” cassettes might have the problem, but we always used normal bias, inexpensive cassettes, and they have been 99% fine. Mostly TDK’s cheapest line, “D”or”Maverick” cassettes. Perhaps your own cassettes would have lasted longer on normal tapes! :-/
The most important thing is to have proper playback, and very accurate azimuth alignment. I use adjustable-azimuth, dual capstan Nakamichi decks for playback. It is worth $300 - 500 to purchase a good adjustable deck if you want excellent playback! The Naks also push the pressure pad away form the head and use the tension between the dual capstans for perfect tape to head contact, eliminating the pad problem.
But Baking? Don’t create a problem if there isn’t one!
On Jun 1, 2018, at 9:57 AM, Dan Gediman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I am a documentary radio producer working on a project where I need to digitize a half-dozen consumer cassette tapes of interviews conducted in the early 90s. I have not yet seen these tapes, but I’m trying to prepare ahead of time for likely problems I might encounter with trying to play these old tapes, which have been been stored in anything like optimum conditions (they have been in a shoebox in a closet without even plastic boxes to protect them). The main problems I have had in the past with old pro-quality cassettes of my own has been mechanical (the pads dry out/fall out and I have at times needed to transfer the tapes to a new shell). But I have also encountered tapes that are completely jammed and won’t play at all and also high-pitched squealing on playback. I have been following the recent discussion about various kinds of problems that befall RTR tapes, but my question is do the same problems happen with cassette tapes from the post-70s era and are the remedies the same (baking in a dehydrator for a TBD amount of time)? I’m assuming there are some unique problems dealing with archival cassettes, and I’d love to know what what symptoms to look for, and what is the state of the art in terms of how to deal with them. I’m sure this has been discussed in the past. If anyone can direct me to any articles online or previous posts on the subject, I would be greatly appreciative.
> All the best,
> Dan Gediman
> 502 299-2565
> [log in to unmask]
> www.dangediman.com <http://www.dangediman.com/>