I think you would be better off using a much gentler machine than an Otari 5050. A home style machine will handle delicate tapes much better, especially a Sony. You donít say what track configuration they are or even if they are mono or stereo. If mono you could use a 105 or 106. Stereo decks from the 150, 250, and 350 groups can pass all sorts of problem tapes. Take the head covers off and the heads and guides are right there and can be manipulated in all sorts of ways. Extra heads are easy to remove. Q-tips are your friends. Nothing need touch the oxide than the play head. Sticky shed tapes can be manipulated to pass. 1/2 mil triple-length tapes that stretch to a wire on professional decks are no problem. No need to be embarrassed using a non-professional machine.
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Tim Gillett <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, August 24, 2019 10:30:39 PM
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Melody 166 recording tape
If you havent already done so, I would carefully lay the machine on
its back and watch how the tape interacts with the heads and guides.
The tape shouldnt deform, curl or crinkle.
Worn tape heads arent good for oversized tapes which may not sit flat
inside the existing wear groove in the head, getting caught on one of
the unworn shoulders of the head, giving poor head to tape contact
and lousy reproduction. If the heads have a significant wear
groove this might be a good time to have them relapped.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List"
<[log in to unmask]>
To:<[log in to unmask]>
Sent:Sat, 24 Aug 2019 12:30:04 -0700
Subject:[ARSCLIST] Melody 166 recording tape
I've got about forty 7" reels of Melody 166 (1.5mil polyester)
in 1969/70, with more on the way. So far I've been able to digitize
of them, but 5 have presented issues of oxide(?) squeal. I am
About the only reference I've found to Melody was Richard Hess
discussing soft binder (in Melody 169) in his Degrading Tapes
mentions that 169 was "3M seconds" and that it also suffered from
slitting issues leaving it sometimes over wide, both of which I
are also true of 166.
My tapes have no symptoms of sticky shed, and relatively little oxide
shed. They were very dirty, and have been wiped with Pellon or
non-abrasive lint free fabric. With the problem tapes I've applied
magnetic tape preservative, hoping its lubricant properties would
even a buckling oversize tape get through the guides without
I am using an Otari 5050, cleaning the guides, heads, and pinch
between reels (and sides).
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