Tim, Michael, Richard,
Thanks for your suggestions. I am still experimenting, but found a
liberal application of the LAST Factory lubricant/preservative using a
pellon/wipe squeezed between the fingers will enable at least two passes
Most of these tapes are half track mono, with a couple of full track.
All are at 7.5ips. I am pretty sure they are dubs made on an Ampex 350
The Otari, and its heads, are in pretty good shape. There is no
significant wear. It lies on a stand at about 10 degrees, which I find
preferable for inspecting, cleaning, adding leader, or fixing bad
splices - A preference picked up years ago at a radio station where we
did a lot of cut-and-splice editing and quick reel changes. Since
starting my project 7 years ago, I've seen very little of tape thinner
than 1mil. If I do come across some, there's a Revox A77 for it, once I
replace the brake lining.
Given that I've now digitized a couple dozen reels of the Melody 166 in
this batch, and encountered the problem squealing on 5 of them, I am
inclined to believe the problem is with "quality control" compounded
with unpleasant storage conditions (a barn in Ontario for 30 or 40 years).
Several years ago, thinking I had seen a lot of different tape types, I
built a little web page featuring some of them. I need to update it,
since the number of odd tape brands and types has now grown by at least
10 fold. http://www.krabarchive.com/krab-recording-tape.html
On 8/24/2019 7:30 PM, Tim Gillett wrote:
> Hi Charles,
> 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
> for suggestions.
> About the only reference I've found to Melody was Richard Hess
> discussing soft binder (in Melody 169) in his Degrading Tapes
> paper. He
> 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).
> Charles Reinsch
> KRAB Archive: www.krabarchive.com
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