Richard Hess has always been a reliable and generous source of info to me, and I have successfully dealt with Soft Binder Syndrome by using his suggestion of putting tape deck and tape in a refrigerator.  Big kitchen fridge worked better, I believe because smaller 3 cu ft just didn't have the strength to keep up with deck heating up and even brief door openings easily letting out much of the cool air.

I love Nakamichi CR-7A decks for a number of reasons, but one of them is that I don't have to fix cassette pressure pads that fell apart.  That deck, and at least the CR-3A as well, push those pads out of the way anyway, and instead rely on the dual capstans to better maintain the right pressure between tape and head.

Karl Fitzke
Audio/Visual Specialist
214 Olin Library
Ithaca, NY 14853

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From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Dan Gediman <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, June 1, 2018 12:57:44 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Question about baking cassette audio tapes


I am a documentary radio producer working on a project where I need to digitize a half-dozen consumer cassette tapes of interviews conducted in the early 90s. I have not yet seen these tapes, but Iím trying to prepare ahead of time for likely problems I might encounter with trying to play these old tapes, which have been been stored in anything like optimum conditions (they have been in a shoebox in a closet without even plastic boxes to protect them). The main problems I have had in the past with old pro-quality cassettes of my own has been mechanical (the pads dry out/fall out and I have at times needed to transfer the tapes to a new shell). But I have also encountered tapes that are completely jammed and wonít play at all and also high-pitched squealing on playback. I have been following the recent discussion about various kinds of problems that befall RTR tapes, but my question is do the same problems happen with cassette tapes from the post-70s era and are the remedies the same (baking in a dehydrator for a TBD amount of time)? Iím assuming there are some unique problems dealing with archival cassettes, and Iíd love to know what what symptoms to look for, and what is the state of the art in terms of how to deal with them. Iím sure this has been discussed in the past. If anyone can direct me to any articles online or previous posts on the subject, I would be greatly appreciative.

All the best,

Dan Gediman
502 299-2565
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Dan Gediman<>
Dan Gediman is a long-time public radio producer whose work has been heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Marketplace, Jazz Profiles, and This American Life. ...