Print

Print


Check out the details on this announcement of the remaster of Tom Petty's analog albums:
https://www.hdtracks.com/featured-artist

It's disturbing that master tapes from the late 1970s and early 1980s are now considered 
"unplayable." Without knowing any specifics, I wonder if the tapes had gooey splices and needed 
baking because they were sticky-shed. The baking would make the splices even worse, but I think they 
still might be cleanable with enough time, a very well-vented space and lots of naptha. It would be 
pain-staking, but possibly doable. The other thing that might have happened is that the tapes went 
sticky and someone rewound them without baking them, which would likely ruin them due to massive 
oxide-pulls.

If anyone knows anyone involved in this project, tell them that as long as they tapes weren't 
rewound when sticky, they might be salvagable. Also, if anyone has tapes they can donate to research 
that are both gooey-spliced and sticky-shed, I'd like to experiment. I'm wondering about a soak in a 
tub of naptha, then thorough drying before baking (obviously, very important for all of the 
explosive/flammable naptha to evaporate before baking). The idea would be, dissolve as much splice 
goo as possible before baking, then very carefully unspool and repair/replace splices after baking. 
This is just a theory right now, I have not tested it.

-- Tom Fine