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I absolutely love the Maxell tapes. For that matter the TDK LX and GX are
also amazing. I get frist rate audio from these tapes even though they are
35 years old.
Shai Drori

On Thu, Dec 17, 2015 at 11:04 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> Maxell reel tapes were awesome, that's why they go for decent $$$ NOS or
> slightly used on eBay. I wish I had spent more after school job earnings on
> Maxell reel tape than on early 80s rock records! Maxell UDXL90 cassettes
> were equally outstanding in that era. Always reliable and stand up well
> over time. The cassette housing is among the best ever made, which is why I
> kept most of my tapes to re-shell basket cases I get from clients. I've
> been able to play dreaded Scotch black-oxide C-120 tapes when they were
> transplanted to Maxell shells.
>
> It's too bad Maxell never made a push for the pro market. They sold much
> more 1-mil reel stock to home recordists than 1.5-mil to pros. Their
> pricing for 7" reels in boxes was competitive to Scotch and Ampex for the
> home market, so I assume they could have been competitive at least with 10"
> pancakes for the pro market. I could see how shipping metal reels in boxes
> from Japan would crimp the margins, but bulk-shipping pancakes could be
> competitive.
>
> -- Tom Fine
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Richard L. Hess" <
> [log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2015 3:50 PM
>
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Interesting sticky-shed data point
>
>
> Back in the day, I was a real fan of Maxell tapes. All my masters at St.
>> Thomas were done on it except the last one where I couldn't get the tape in
>> Canada and I didn't want to buy it in the states as I needed it in Canada
>> to calibrate the machines before the trip down. I used 407, I think, but it
>> might have been 456 or 457. I think I bought two boxes of 10 bulk-packed
>> pancakes. I recalibrated the machines.
>>
>> Cheers,
>>
>> Richard
>>
>>
>>
>> On 12/17/2015 7:04 AM, Tom Fine wrote:
>>
>>> The Maxell reel also completely surrounds the tape, except for a small
>>> slit from the reel center insert point to the outside. Perhaps that, the
>>> bag and the cardboard box with a laminated outer coating all combined as
>>> a moisture barrier?
>>>
>>> Anyway, interesting. The other interesting thing was, I know it's
>>> totally un-Kosher to splice together 1-mil and 1.5 mil tapes, but there
>>> was no damage or level drop at the splice-point, and, given that I'm
>>> sure I didn't go in and re-calibrate anything when I grabbed that
>>> remnant of 456 to fill out the reel, it's interesting that the Maxell
>>> tape operated close enough to the 456 parameters to not sound different
>>> at all, to my ears. Keep in mind that this tape is a dub, so it's not an
>>> un-colored clone of a pristine source. I was also impressed that Maxell
>>> came up with a back-coat formula that is first of all stable but also
>>> resulted in very low print-through despite 30+ years of tight-wound
>>> storage.
>>>
>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Richard L. Hess"
>>> <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Wednesday, December 16, 2015 10:09 PM
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Interesting sticky-shed data point
>>>
>>>
>>> Hi, Tom,
>>>>
>>>> The sticky shed faeries were with you? Like one tape that exploded on
>>>> me but only the guitar intro was lost...the deceased singer's vocal
>>>> was intact.
>>>>
>>>> Anyway...seriously, perhaps being under high-pressure at the hub
>>>> helped, but I generally find that the most vulnerable section.
>>>>
>>>> As you know, plastic bags (I think generally polyethylene) are not
>>>> excellent vapor barriers, so your guess is as good as mine.
>>>>
>>>> Very interesting.
>>>>
>>>> Thanks for sharing.
>>>>
>>>> Cheers,
>>>>
>>>> Richard
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On 12/16/2015 7:47 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> I just transferred a reel of tape I made back in 1982 at a major NYC
>>>>> recording studio. It was a dub of something. I thought the reel was all
>>>>> Maxell UDXL 35-90, 1-mil back-coated and I've heard few if any reports
>>>>> of it going sticky. The tape played just fine, absolutely no residue
>>>>> from rewinding or playback (it's a 2-track 7.5IPS tape, transfer was
>>>>> done on a Technics 1520). Now here's where it gets interesting. I
>>>>> didn't
>>>>> remember this, but the end of the reel was spliced-in Ampex 456, and it
>>>>> wasn't sticky. I didn't know this before rewinding because I had kept
>>>>> the Maxell end of reel leader tape and just spliced in the Ampex tape
>>>>> because I needed 5 minutes more time at the end of the reel. The reason
>>>>> I noticed this was I was monitoring the end of the tape, heard a splice
>>>>> go through the transport and noticed that the tape oxide color was
>>>>> suddenly brown instead of gray-black like Maxell UDXL. When the tape
>>>>> finished, I wound out the leader tape and examined the end of the
>>>>> spliced-on section. It was definitely 1.5-mil Ampex 456 (that was the
>>>>> only tape available at the studio to splice into my Maxell reel, they
>>>>> were an all-Ampex shop). I felt the tape front and back with my
>>>>> fingers,
>>>>> and didn't feel the tell-tale gummy-sticky-greasy texture of
>>>>> sticky-shed. And, there was no evidence of any layers sticking
>>>>> together.
>>>>> Plus, as I said, no residue on any moving or fixed guides or the tape
>>>>> heads.
>>>>>
>>>>> I have no idea why this piece of tape didn't go sticky. I'm wondering
>>>>> if
>>>>> the non-sticky Maxell tape, making up most of the reel, can somehow
>>>>> absorb or mitigate whatever causes the sticky-shed? It's also worth
>>>>> noting that this tape has always been stored in the plastic bag within
>>>>> the cardboard box.
>>>>>
>>>>> If I had known the section of Ampex 456 was spliced in to the reel, I
>>>>> would have baked the whole thing before playing it. I'm glad it turned
>>>>> out I didn't need to.
>>>>>
>>>>> I'm interested in any theories as to why that piece of 456 wasn't
>>>>> sticky. Other reels of 456 that I recorded at that studio at that time
>>>>> have all been sticky and required baking.
>>>>>
>>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> 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.
>>
>>
>>