My tape's screeching........

Discussion in 'Tape Recorders' started by jdsdj98, Sep 11, 2003.

  1. jdsdj98

    jdsdj98 Active Member

    Jun 8, 2002
    Denver, CO
    I'm working on some 1/4" reels to CD for a client and am having problems. The tape is Ampex 9472, circa late 1975 running at 15 ips. I'm using an Otari MX5050 for playback. They're turning out to be some of those old reels that don't want to cooperate. Once I get the reels rewound and the heads and guides cleaned, within 30 seconds to 1 minute the tape starts squeaking/screeching badly as it passes through the guides and across the heads. I've tried a few things. Making sure the whole tape path is impeccably clean, folding a small piece of paper towel for the tape to pass over to lift it out of the first guide, which seems to be the worst, but all to no avail. Since the noise is not only perceptible mechanically, but also comes through on playback, I can't use any of what I'm getting from it.

    Any ideas? Is this particular tape and vintage prone to problems? Does this tape need baking, something I've never done before?

    As always, any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated............
  2. Sebatron

    Sebatron Well-Known Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    …been there done that….

    Yes it is vintage tape stock having a problem with moisture.
    Ampex in particular …. Early eighties especially.

    Try this :
    Leave the tape out in the sun for at least 10 minutes … ( be careful here.. )


    Set oven really really low with front open …. Around five minutes or so ( be very careful here.. )
    Obviously try and remove the metal reels when doing this.

    This will correct the tapes for up to two weeks , then you may have to do it again.

    I tried heaps of things ‘till I read it somewhere.
    Do a search on ‘ Archiving old analog tapes ‘ or something like that. :w:
  3. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    :) Seb is correct, here is some help.
    Tape restoration

  4. jdsdj98

    jdsdj98 Active Member

    Jun 8, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Thanks, guys. Rick, I printed that out and am keeping it here in the studio as a reference for myself or anyone else that comes across it. Seb, due to the lack of a proper oven here at work, I cautiously laid it on the trunk lid of a black car on a warm day last week. 30 minutes per side. And it plays back like a champ now. Thanks again.
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