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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.



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
>> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.
Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada                             647 479 2800
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.