The one tape approximately matching yours that I attempted had been 
"stored" behind a wood stove over several Vermont winters.

The client decided to cut his losses and just write it off as 

I went through all of the thought processes that you did, though the 
edge condition was perhaps worse, the edges of the acetate tape were 
melted together.

There are just some tapes that are essentially unrecoverable. Neither of 
us give up easily, but sometimes...

I thought that continuous splicing tape would probably be the best bet. 
It's thin.

Maybe Charlie Richardson's back-coating techniques could apply to this 
in reverse?



On 1/29/2016 7:13 PM, Eric Jacobs wrote:
> We have a 1/4-inch open reel tape (TDK Synchrotape ca 1966 Japanese stock)
> that is quite literally disintegrating and cannot hold any tension.  The
> very slightest amount of tension causes the tape to snap.  The tape cannot
> even hold a leader without snapping.  We¹ve turned the tape tension way down
> on our Studer A820, but it can¹t be pulled through the transport without
> snapping.
> The tape is heavily curled along the edges (only the center 25% is flat) and
> is anything but straight from exposure to presumably high temperatures over
> the past 50 years.  The outer wraps have bonded to each other.  We can deal
> with the edge curl and the age-induced country-laning by using a custom
> mechanism that gently increases the tape wrap around the PB head (forces the
> tape flat) and additional edge guides fore and aft of the PB head that keeps
> the tape centered on the head.  We can even separate the outer wraps, albeit
> in 1-inch segments that would need to be spliced together ­ this seems like
> a bad idea, but I don¹t see any other choice if we want to get past the
> outer wraps.
> But it¹s the fragility of the tape (lack of tensile strength) that is the
> central issue.  If it were possible to ³back² the tape, it might keep it
> from snapping.  But how do you efficiently and reliably ³back² 1200 feet of
> tape that snaps with the slightest bit of handling?  And what do you back
> the tape with?  Splicing tape? It might be easier to apply backing to the
> centerline of the tape rather than the full width because of tape shrinkage
> and edge distortion, but then the resulting tape pack would probably be
> quite poor, especially if the backing doesn¹t stack precisely on top of the
> previous wrap.  Also, a narrow backing (like cassette splicing tape) may or
> may not affect the ability to force the tape flat at the PB head ­ essential
> for a quality transfer.
> Looking for ideas and suggestions.
> ~ Eric
>     Eric Jacobs, Principal
>     The Audio Archive
>     1325 Howard Ave, #906, Burlingame, CA  94010
>     Tel: 408-221-2128 | [log in to unmask]
> <>
Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada                             647 479 2800
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.