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This reminds me of what some Ampex cassette tapes from the late 70s do. Nasty goo, totally craps up 
the heads and builds up fast. Anyone have any luck baking them? I've got one I'd like to dub but 
it's not super-important. Sorry but I don't know the tape type number, I just know it's an Ampex 
cassette.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Martin Fisher" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 2:06 PM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Ampex 291--RE: [ARSCLIST] Sticky ACETATE tape and other Acetate Questions


> Anyone had any experience with Ampex 291?  Polyester based, dark brown oxide with no back coating. 
> Winding through against pellon yields a sticky brownish/black residue.  Baking doesn't seem to 
> help.  Usually starts squealing and building up residue on heads and guides within the first 200 
> feet.
>
> Martin
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf 
> Of Tom Fine
> Sent: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 12:07 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Sticky ACETATE tape and other Acetate Questions
>
> Another data point for my theory about acetate needing less-dry storage than is universally 
> adopted for climate-controlled tape storage. I had an old (early 60s) quarter-track Command tape 
> (1-mil Audiotape acetate-back stock, duplicated at Fine Recording). It had bad edge warp. I took a 
> tip from someone on this list (maybe Steve Smolian) and b-wound it (oxide out), carefully using 
> library-wind mode on my Tascam 44-OB. I then kept it downstairs in my NYC suburbs house, which has 
> humidity levels typically between 50 and 60% (sometimes a little higher, but I usually run the 
> dehumidifier if it's above 60% for an extended period). Temps are usually well south of 75 degrees 
> but rarely lower than 55 degrees. The tape sat on the shelf for about 6 months. I then un-did the 
> B-wind. It then played quite well on the Tascam, the tape machine's standard 7" reel tension 
> setting had enough wrap on the heads to avoid left-channel dropouts typical of a badly warped 
> acetate tape. I ascribe the "fix" to both less-dry storage as well as the tight-ish, backward 
> wind, which may have smoothed out some of the edge warps.
>
> The next step is to test this with a 1.5 mil tape. I suspect the "flattening" effect works 
> particularly well on thin 1-mil tape.
>
> -- Tom Fine
>
> PS -- as for Richard's problem, I wish I had something useful to contribute, but I don't. I've 
> never encountered a tape with the problem that Richard described. It's scary if acetate tapes are 
> going sticky!
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 12:33 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Sticky ACETATE tape and other Acetate Questions
>
>
>> Hi, Scott,
>>
>> Thank you for the update.
>>
>> Do you recall if the defective roll peeled off more like masking tape (an exaggeration) rather
>> than just unwinding like most tapes?
>>
>> I think the way the tape unwinds under the influence of just its own weight and gravity is a good
>> field test for layer-to-layer adhesion.
>>
>> If there was this layer-to-layer adhesion on your defective Soundcraft tape, did you glean any
>> insights into that?
>>
>> And you again confirmed the concept that acetate mag film, the "poster child" for vinegar
>> syndrome, is much worse than quarter-inch acetate tape. The big open question on this for me is
>> will acetate tapes ultimately stink like the film. In other words, does the degradation of 1/4
>> inch tape follow the same curve shape as mag film, only over a longer time frame, or will the 
>> tape
>> never reach the critical threshold? This is another unstudied item.
>>
>> Two more unstudied items are:
>>
>> --Is Tom Fine's conjecture that the recommended storage conditions for "tape" which appears
>> fine-tuned for PET-film based tape harmful for acetate tape by drying it out too much?
>>
>> --Is the rule in the standards to not freeze tape eliminating the preservation technique which 
>> has
>> been so good for acetate film? Or, is the potential damage from freezing worse than the potential
>> damage from not freezing?
>>
>> Very interesting. Thanks again!
>>
>> Cheers,
>>
>> Richard
>>
>>
>>
>> On 2013-08-20 11:43 AM, Scott D. Smith wrote:
>>> Richard:
>>>
>>> I ran into a similar situation with some Soundcraft tapes years ago.
>>> Probably mid-fifties vintage. (Don't recall the oxide # right off hand)
>>>
>>> As I recall, I think we ended up having to hand wind most of them (this
>>> is way before we had special transports for cleaning), and cleaned and
>>> lubricated the oxide. I spoke with whoever the rep was at Soundcraft at
>>> the time, and he mentioned that he had heard of some cases of acetate
>>> tapes that had some issues with lubricant. He didn't come right out and
>>> say they were defective from the plant, but that is what I surmised from
>>> the conversation. There were other tapes from the same collectionwith
>>> the same oxide, which had no problems. I also have some tapes in my
>>> personal collection from the same era, and when I played a couple of
>>> them last year, experienced no issuesbeyond some minimal base warping.
>>>
>>> On the other hand, we have done transfers of some Soundcraft 35mm mag
>>> from the same period, and boy did it stink!
>>>
>>> --Scott
>>>
>>> Scott D. Smith CAS
>>> ChicagoAudio Works, Inc.
>>>
>>>
>>> On 8/19/2013 6:19 PM, Richard L. Hess wrote:
>>>> Hello, all,
>>>>
>>>> I have been in touch with a tape conservator who was asking about a
>>>> sticky ACETATE tape. She realizes that it should not be baked, but I
>>>> was wondering if any of you had run across this.
>>>>
>>>> The tape is in a Soundcraft box, but other tapes in Soundcraft boxes
>>>> in the same batch have transferred well. It is on a clear, six-window
>>>> reel (with three of the windows slightly larger than the other three).
>>>> It is brown oxide and not back coated.
>>>>
>>>> There are no visible signs (to the conservator) of water damage to
>>>> either the box or the reel.
>>>>
>>>> The symptoms are:
>>>>
>>>> (1) Tape sticks to underlying layer and does not drop cleanly
>>>>     off the reel
>>>> (2) No oxide appears to be pulling out at the outside
>>>> (3) When attempting to play the tape, it squeals
>>>>
>>>> The tape is half-track mono, perhaps both sides, at 3.75 in/s.
>>>>
>>>> Any and all thoughts/anecdotes would be appreciated. I may be getting
>>>> this tape to transfer and I have some ideas--I'll publish on my blog
>>>> if we have success or learn anything.
>>>>
>>>> Thanks!
>>>>
>>>> Cheers,
>>>>
>>>> Richard
>>>>
>>>> Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
>>>> Aurora, Ontario, Canada                             647 479 2800
>>>> http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm Quality tape transfers --
>>>> even from hard-to-play tapes.
>>>>
>>>
>> Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask] Aurora, Ontario, Canada
>> 647 479 2800 http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm Quality tape transfers -- 
>> even from hard-to-play tapes.
>>
>>
>
>