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Hi All

The red labeled BASF LH Super Compact Cassette tape is suffering from the
soft binder syndrome. Yellow, orange and green labeled LH Super cassettes
don't seem to have the same problem, so they must contain other type of 
tape.
I have been experimenting with the red labeled LH Super cassettes.

The cassettes start squealing in the deck after less than a minute's 
playback. They
squeal equally in single and double capstan decks. Cleaning the heads 
and the tape
path helps for another minute of playback or so. The squealing causes 
modulation and
disturbing sounds in the audio output. The tape needs dehydration. 
However, I don't
happen to have a tape baking dehydrator at the moment.

I first tried freezing a cassette in the deep-freezer in - 18 degrees 
overnight.
In the morning the tape played without squealing for about five minutes. 
Better
than the less than a minute without any operations.

I have seen suggestions that the complete deck should be put in the 
fridge as well,
but I wouldn't like to do that.

I decided to try silica gel bags. I did two different versions. In the 
first I put a cassette
into a small plastic box and padded it in between silica gel bags. In 
the other, I removed
the tape from the cassette shell and put just the tape in between the 
silica gel bags.

As untreated, the non-squealing playback time of these two cassettes was 
about two
minutes.

The complete cassette that had been in the silica treatment played for 
about five
minutes without squealing.

The tape that had been removed from it's shell played for 12 minutes 
after one night
between the silica gels. After four nights silica treatment the tape 
played for 35
minutes without squealing.

Before each playback attempt I had cleaned the heads. The deck wasn't 
powered
before the test to prevent it from warming up.

I think that this may work so well because it's still winter in Finland 
and the relative
humidity is low. It's about 54% outside right now. As we have the 
central heating on,
it is even drier indoors.

Fortunately, my test cassettes don't have any valuable audio content.

Eero Aro

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