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Hi Marie:

This is very strange:
> I have also had reels of Ampex 456 come out of the same box of 10 or 20 and
> purchased at the same time where 1/2 have SSS and the rest are fine!
>

I've never heard of that from anyone else. That would almost seem to defy all theories of what 
causes sticky-shed, because one would assume by a "box" of tapes you mean a real-deal Ampex case 
with a batch number on it. If that's so, it's really freaky that some tapes in the same batch (which 
I think means the same production run of the chemical slurry) would get sticky-shed and others 
wouldn't.

I'm not doubting your testimony at all, just saying that is calls into question what is believed to 
be the cause of sticky-shed, in that I can't see how the binder chemistry could differ within a 
batch.

By the way, under the theory of "when in doubt, do the safe thing" ... Last week I did a batch of 
reels for a client and found one that was definitely 406 or 456, and definitely had the tell-tale 
sticky-greasy feel at the beginning of the tape (but the tape layers weren't stuck together on the 
outside of the reel). There was another tape that had back-coating and brown-ish oxide, not light 
brown like 406 but not black like Scotch 206. The tape didn't feel sticky-greasy but it was thin 
(1-mil at most) and I didn't want to risk it pulling oxide, so I decided to bake it with the 
definitely sticky-feeling tape. There was a third back-coated tape in the job. It appeared to be 
Scotch 206 but did not have the distinctive Scotch smell to it. I decided to bake it also. All three 
tapes played perfectly after baking, with no residue and no audible problems. The lesson I took away 
was, with back-coated polyester tapes, bake if there is any question. I baked 12 hours and let cool 
12 hours, by the way. Two of the tapes turned out to be half-track 7.5IPS tapes, well-recorded oral 
history interviews, done by someone who knew how to use a tape recorder and a microphone. 
Ironically, the 456 or 406 reel which set off alarm bells in the first places was completely 
unrelated material in a mis-labelled box.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Marie O'Connell" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2015 7:24 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Interesting sticky-shed data point


> Hi all!
>
> I think the fairies are with you assisting also!
>
> I too have had Ampex 456 spliced in at various points on the reel, a
> typical radio thing to do where they would just grab at what tape was at
> hand, and have had similar results as you Tom.
>
> I have also had reels of Ampex 456 come out of the same box of 10 or 20 and
> purchased at the same time where 1/2 have SSS and the rest are fine!
>
> More things to ponder.....
>
> Merry Christmas all :-)
> Marie
>
> On Fri, Dec 18, 2015 at 11:34 AM, Shai Drori <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> 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.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>>
>
>