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.  Weıve turned the tape tension way down
on our Studer A820, but it canıt be pulled through the transport without

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 donıt see any other choice if we want to get past the
outer wraps.

But itıs 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 doesnıt 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] <>