A Sticky (tape) subject

Discussion in 'Tape' started by rollei35guy, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. RJMiranda

    RJMiranda New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Back in the 70s I had bad experiences with Sony PR-150 tape. Not so good performance, in the first place. And very prone to get sticky. I doubt whether you can find one PR-150 tape in Cuba that can be of any use. Instead, I use their reels for tapes I find on pancake form.
    On the other hand, at that same time I saw lots (I mean lots) of Sony SLH tapes so abused that the back coating was almost fully worn (you could see the brown recording layer thru the back of the tape) but the sound was there.
    Of course a tropical climate is not the best for tapes, but even when the PR-150 were new (and in a permanently climatized room) some gave trouble. And all I can find now are useless.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014

     

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  2. TheNLOwner

    TheNLOwner Analog Tape Addict!

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    I know this is an old post, but this is wrong. Sony PR-150 does not get sticky, it has loss of lubrication. Baking for instance will not work, it will most likely amplify the problem. Just throwing this out there so people don't go baking PR-150's with important recordings. Lubricating the tape will work, you'll need silicone spray, but be careful, some might melt the tape (so try on a spot with no recordings first). And apply a little bit, too much and it will slip out between the capstan and pinch roller.
     
  3. jlb2

    jlb2 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    871
    TheNLOwner is correct that the usual decay mode of the Sony PR150 is not SSS, and does not respond well to baking. OTOH the use of chemicals on decaying tape is a bad idea, especially silicone which is extremely difficult to remove. Cold playing is a common way of playing those tapes - that's right, you play the tape inside a fridge! Believe it or not, it does work!
     
  4. mrdbdigital

    mrdbdigital The TBS Archives Subscriber

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  5. Mozart1220

    Mozart1220 Active Member

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    I used to work for Bonneville Productions (later Video West) in Salt Lake City. When they transferred their masters from 1/4 tape to DAT they were throwing away dozens of cases of tape, most of it Ampex 456 and 499. They said I could take what I wanted (it had all been bulk erased). That was in about 1995. I have tried to keep the tape in a climate controlled environment, but a couple moves forced me into putting a lot of my stuff in storage

    So I have about 100 7" reels of worthless sticky tape. :(

    Ironically, the low quality "greencorp" reels I have are all playing just FINE!
     
  6. mrdbdigital

    mrdbdigital The TBS Archives Subscriber

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    Well, you could always bake it and apply NuFinish. Haven't tried that myself, (NuFinish) but others have had great success with 456/7 treated that way, with the SSS problem not coming back.

    Dave :music:
     

     

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  7. eddisc

    eddisc Super Member

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    I had a very successful bake of two 10'' rolls of Sony SLH-180-36 last weekend. NICE 'cuz one has Tom Petty & Heartbreakers @ The Record Plant 4-23-77 7-1/2ips and HALF TRACK! Along w/a George Thoroughgood & The Destroyers @ The Boarding House also 7-1/2 half-track - both off the air from KSAN. Not sure yet if George is from 5/23/78 or on 11/23/77.
    But DAMN good anyway! Will be treating w/ NuFin in a day or two.
    There's also an Elvis Costello from KSAN - no other info...
     
  8. Mozart1220

    Mozart1220 Active Member

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    Location:
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    I thought of that, but given that I don't use my R2R that much anymore, and I got all that tape for free, (and it's all blank) I might just chuck it and buy new.

    I notice that Ampex is "Quantegy" now.
     
  9. Falstaff

    Falstaff AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  10. TheNLOwner

    TheNLOwner Analog Tape Addict!

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    The AGFA is wrong though. A series of those tapes had issues, not SSS though. AGFA fixed that back then so the chance of having a problematic AGFA 468/469 is small.
     
  11. klipschorn

    klipschorn Klipschorn

    Messages:
    142
    Location:
    Chandler, Arizona
    A Sticky tape subject

    Yes, it is, or more appropriately, will be quite a 'read'. I'll print it for easier reading. I did spend about 15 minutes perusing the article and found it to be extremely interesting and informative. While I have read many articles on SSS as well as experiencing the phenomenon, the first of which was a somewhat of a panic inducing experience, this article really goes into detail.
    Thank you ever so much for posting the link.
    Robert. (klipschorn)





     

     

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  12. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

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    If I had to do it all over again with perfect 20/20 hind sight I never would have used any ampex 400 series or Grand Master tape. I took all the tapes and dubbed them to CD before the issue became irreversible. The TDK and Maxell tapes were dubbed, too just in case. The metal 10 1/2 reel were sold and everything else trashed. I have since pretty much replaced the dubs with original vinyl, and those CD dumped. But there are still over 300 CD's dubs of live performances I recorded and live broadcast performances I have not yet been able to replace. It would be fun to have those tapes back, not so much the 1/2" 15 ips 4 channel tapes, but all the 2 trk 15 inch selections. I still have my B-77 HS, Ampex AG-500 and 350, stored away with one DBX 157. I'm in the process of bringing my F-4460 back to life, just for fun.
     
  13. mcgjohn

    mcgjohn Active Member

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    144
    Location:
    Chicago area
    Like Mozart1220, I bought three cases of 499, thinking Quantegy had fixed the sticky shed. only to find it was still there. ended up selling all 3 cases as reels only.

    as noted, the 400 series ampex (406, 407, 456 457 499) and scotch 226, 227 and the later 3M 808 should be avoided.

    If you have a master you want to transfer, you can bake the tapes in a food dehydrator. Bought one just for that purpose. Takes 4 hrs for a 1/4 tape, and usually 6 hrs for 1/2 tape. have not tried it with any 1 or 2 inch tapes. The tapes will be good for approx 3-6 weeks depending on your local humidity level, then will slowly revert back.

    If you have a deck that was biased for 456, the new EMTEC 911 is super close on bias. can probably use the tape without rebiasing.

    best
     
  14. 337alant

    337alant New Member

    Messages:
    37
    I was recently given a 10.5" tape and was asked to transfer the music from it to CD
    It was a compilation of different types of tape all edited together but most of it had SS
    So I baked it for a couple of hours in the over just wrapped in a towel
    I then cleaned it with several runs through in swabs soaked in Isopropanol
    Then treated it with Nufinish and it played OK
    So I copied it to a hard drive using Audacity
    I found it was some studio recordings of the punk band the Toy Dolls from the 70s

    [​IMG]20180101_172932 by Alan Towell, on Flickr

    Alan
     
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  15. Couldbfishin

    Couldbfishin Couldbfishin

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Houston
    Is Scotch Classic or Scotch 212 prone to these problems of stickiness or degradation? I have several reels of both that I recorded in the mid to late '70s. I don't see either mentioned in these threads.
     
  16. jlb2

    jlb2 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    871
    The best known resource re. tape types prone to degradation is Richard Hess' website - it's best to refer to this page rather than the PDF file version also found on the internet, since Richard Hess keeps the former up to date. Your tapes do not appear in this list: this does not mean that they cannot degrade, of course, but they are not usual offenders.

    As a side note, should you have degrading tapes (unlikely, but you never know), Richard Hess' website is also a great source of information on what you could try to play them, depending on the symptoms: like human diseases, tape diseases don't all need the same treatment, and what cures one will worsen the other. Don't attempt anything before you have at least read the site, and in particular don't apply any chemical (nufinish or other), as this is likely to cause more harm and make the situation more difficult to solve than it already is.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018

     

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  17. audiojones

    audiojones Jonesin' for audio Subscriber

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    Sorry to say but every reel of Scotch Classic tape that I've ever owned has gone sticky just like Scotch 226 and 227. I recently had to transfer some tapes for someone too and every one of the Classics was sticky and had to be baked out in a dehydrator before I could roll them. I know they were all properly stored in a temp controlled living room but they had been sitting for years without being rolled or rewound.

    A friend of mine was having some difficulty with one of his tape decks recently and he traced the trouble back to sticky Scotch 212 tape gumming up the transport. I've never really seen or used 212 before but he had quite a few reels of it and every one he tried was sticky so AFAIC it goes on my sticky list. It was in a silver and black box that said "Dynarange" and it was loaded on the same dark tinted two slot reel as 226/227 and Classic.

    Just for the record Scotch 206/207 comes on this same reel and has a similar aroma but it is not sticky (at least I've never had a sticky reel of it) and IMO is very good tape. I buy 206/207 all the time, it's one of my favorite "go-to" tapes. Just have to hope that someone didn't mix the reels up with one of the others since they are so similar in appearance.
     
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  18. jlb2

    jlb2 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    871
    I have two 207's myself, and they are both clean, but cases of degrading 206 have definitely been reported (http://richardhess.com/notes/2017/07/18/shedding-japanese-206-at-indiana-university/. Granted, it's not SSS, but it's still shedding. Personally I have dealt with degrading PEM368, PEM468 and Quantegy 499 (all supposedly safe) and my only Ampex 456 (aka the worst shedding tape in the world) is perfectly good, showing that one person's experience does not make a general rule :dunno: There is no 100% good tape, or 100% shedding tape, that would be too simple.

    However, we are not discussing whether Couldbfishin should buy those tapes, but the archive recordings that he has. The sensible thing to do is to forget the statistics and treat them as what they are: the case at hand. Do those particular tapes shed, or not? They could be the only lemons of otherwise perfect tape, or the only sound samples of the whole production, it doesn't make any difference since they are the only tapes you have to deal with. All you need to do is to evaluate their condition, and you do it by just loading them on a player and pressing start. Note that there is no type of tape degradation that will damage a recorder before you notice that the tape is degraded, so there is nothing to be afraid of.

    It's very simple really: if you hear a hissing noise, or if you see oxide falling from the heads, then stop immediately: the tape is shedding. If you don't notice this but, after stopping, you see oxide adhering to the heads, even if you haven't noticed anything while playing, it's shedding (and the adhering oxide is easy to remove with a q-tip and alcohol). Try playing for a couple of seconds, then (if no problem) for increasing amounts of time, until you have reached the end of the tape. If there is still nothing suspicious at this point, then your tapes are OK.

    If OTOH you have determined that the tape is faulty, and only then, apply the minimal amount of the proper treatment for the case. See R. Hess' site to check what works for the particular type of degradation of your tape. Don't overdo it, and don't do anything otherwise, as anything you can do is potentially harmful, and useless as a preventative measure.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
  19. audiojones

    audiojones Jonesin' for audio Subscriber

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    Location:
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    True for the most part however if you have a TEAC X series deck or a newer TASCAM I would suggest you first try very briefly fast winding the tape to see how it reacts or try playing it on another machine with a more robust capstan motor. I have (or rather had) a case of Ampex 456 and Scotch 226 as well as 227 that stuck like glue and stopped the transport cold in its tracks in the play mode, and I can assure you the EM1446 capstan motor used in the newer TEAC X series decks will not react well to a dead stall out condition (in other words you have seconds to hit stop before the windings go up in smoke). Also be aware that the Pioneer RT-909 uses the same capstan motor (though the current limiting is handled a little better) so I'd use caution with that model in the play mode too.

    The reel table drive motors don't care about stall out conditions of course since they are torque motors and that's what they are designed for. If the tape slows down, starts to deposit gunk or otherwise shows signs of shedding or sticking after a very brief fast winding then it's best to keep the reels on the machine, un-thread the tape from the transport, hold or tape up the shut-off switch arms and rewind it directly without going through the tape path to avoid more damage to the tape.

    I agree no list is a guarantee of bad tape and even a known good tape can go bad if it's not stored properly. You have to carefully try them out for yourself and see how yours reacts, but also note that very often things don't immediately go wrong. Sometimes defective tapes seem to play fine until you're halfway in and then you hear the dreaded squeal or hear the highs drop out. If it can't fast forward or rewind at regular speed then don't play it on a TEAC X series deck, you don't want the capstan motor current going too high on those.
     
  20. 201bk

    201bk New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Poland
    The ORWO tape I bought a while back (not sure what type that was unfortunately) sticks and sheds like crazy, sound is a big surprise thou at 9cm/s it sounds as good as BASF tapes on 19.05cm/s - but whole tape path is a mess after a short while.
     

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