This has been a great thread--and I'd like to focus on one part of it. Perhaps there was a different version of Ampex 456 sold into the Commonwealth? Could that be? Although I think all of the 456 I have had has come from Opelika. Ted in the UK, Marie in NZ, and I'm in Canada and we are all seeing extended baking times for 456 and related tapes much of the time. The problem is it's easy once you see the need for extended baking times to make it part of your protocol. It does no damage, whereas insufficient baking can create a problem. But, we have Tom saying he hasn't seen the need and that concurs with the Library of Congress's experience. When I discussed it with the LoC, they were quite surprised, but in the conversation, they indicated that all of their material was coming from their climate controlled vaults and had been there for extended periods. I know that some of the tapes I have received from Canada, Bermuda, and the USA have had horrible storage profiles. I suspect that is true for some of the 456 etc that I have received, but the worst tape I ever received was a reel of 201 1-inch that had absorbed so much moisture it had extruded through the slot in the hub sending a bump an inch into the tape pack. That recording of John Allan Cameron (his first) was salvaged partly through my efforts and substantially polished by the flying fingers of Paul MacDonald in covering each individual blurp. Can we see if we can come up with enough data about baking times that we can better understand this increase that is not uniform? Thanks! 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.