Gary - 

Could you expand on what you mean when you say "...tapes so recorded can't be stored tails out..."?  Not sure I'm following your point...

I would presume that if the tape was recorded in 2 directions, whether 1/2-track mono or 1/4-track stereo, that storing after playing in either direction would constitute "tails out" for one side of the tape, "heads out" for the other.  

Are you by any chance saying that storing tape that has been played through in real time, tightly wrapped, is more susceptible to print-through, whether pre-echo or post-echo, than tape that was fast-wound?

I was always under the impression that it was better to store tape tightly wound tails out to avoid damage to the edges of fast-wound tape that invariably stick out after rewind/fast forward on many reel-to-reel machines...  

I do know that the "tails out" as a preferred storage method was drummed into my head when I was first working with 1/4" 2-track tapes 25 years ago...

I'm particularly interested in other ARSC-list members' opinions or knowledge about these issues, as many of the master tapes (all 1/4" 2-track) in our collection appear to have been stored for the past 30-40-50 years or so heads out.  As we will be putting all tapes onto new reels (and into archival-quality tape boxes) as we digitize them, we certainly want to make sure they go back onto the shelf in the best way possible.  

Also (FWIW), I'm helping out a small library in lower Manhattan with a small collection of half-track mono recordings from the early 60's - the same question(s) apply as to the preferred way to store them after digitization.

Thanks -

dave nolan
92nd St. Y


> Unfortunately, the "standard" for half-track mono recordings was to 
> record in both "directions".  Since the tapes so recorded can't be 
> stored "tails out", print-through results in pre-echo on one track
> and post-echo on the other.
> Gary