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Author Topic: How and where does everyone store their tapes?  (Read 2632 times)

Offline Teeg

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How and where does everyone store their tapes?
« on: December 08, 2009, 09:26:51 AM »
  The topic has likely been covered before; I've read some of the papers put out by the major tape manufacturers and looked at the charts. My concern is that you cant always maintain those conditions in the average home.

 I have to 'pack up' the majority of my music media, including the tapes. We are renovating the basement, which includes plans for a dedicated room, and the tapes/LP's simply cannot be in the area where the construction is going on.

 We have an unused bedroom upstairs that would hold all of the media. The upstairs has its own heating/cooling zone; being off the main hallway, the room is typically 68~71 degrees. Humidity is a concern and is probably low due to the forced hot air, and I am awaiting delivery of a humidity meter.

 Does anyone see a concern with using this area for temporary storage of the tapes? The adjacent room is my current audio room and conditions are roughly the same, but I do not keep more than a few tapes in there at one time and have not noticed any detrimental effects.  For short-term storage I felt it deserved a bit more thought.

Thanks,
Tj
T.j. Bassi  
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Offline ironbut

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Re: How and where does everyone store their tapes?
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2009, 01:58:16 PM »
Hi Tj,

I don't think you need to go crazy about your tape storage. The Tape Project tapes are pretty well packed and as long as you store them upright in the temp you stated, and in a played (rather than rewound) state, you should be fine. You should avoid having direct sunlight and the vents from your heating system from blowing directly on them. So, really, if it's ok for you lp's, it should be fine for most tapes.

Older tapes may require just a little more attention. If you have a number of old acetate tapes long term exposure to very low humidity can cause some problems. You mentioned installing an humidifier. I'm not sure if this is really necessary. If you use slip covers over your tape boxes with a seal (which doesn't have to be air tight), I think it negates the need for special equipment in all but the most adverse conditions. They also protect the boxes and isolate the tapes from each other in case one develops mold at some point (it's best to toss any tapes that develop this problem).

I buy my slip covers from a fellow on eBay. They're under $25 for a pack of 100 and are very nice.
http://cgi.ebay.com/100-Acid-Free-Reel-to-Reel-Reusable-Clear-Pro-Sleeves_W0QQitemZ300373375166QQcmdZViewItemQQptZMusic_Other_Formats?hash=item45efa5f8be
Since they seal about 80% (just a WAG) they keep sudden changes in temp and humidity from reaching the tape and they give me a place to affix labels too.

About the only tapes that would benefit from a humidifier are ones that are already showing signs of "vinegar syndrome". These are easily found by the smell of vinegar and many times the inside of the box will have an outline of the reel "printed" on it by the acid that's been emitted by the tape. You can help slow this process by sealing 100% in a bag with fairly high humidity. I usually just use freezer bags and seal them in a steamy bathroom. This is totally unscientific of course and the added humidity can lead to mold if the spores are present. Out of the many acetates that I own, I've only bothered to do this with a couple.

Really important tapes that have loss of lubricant or vinegar syndrome should be sent to a real restoration/archivist for transfer and treatment.
steve koto
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Offline Teeg

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Re: How and where does everyone store their tapes?
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2009, 04:47:32 PM »
  As the majority of my tape collection, 7" reels, is archived in nice cardboard cartons, how would you feel about wrapping each carton in new plastic sheeting or some sort of similar plastic for storage?  I like the slip covers; thanks for the link, but I have a few thousand tapes and would likely spend the rest of the winter bagging them up.

  When the new room is finished, the slip cover idea sounds like a plan before they go back on the shelves.

Tj
T.j. Bassi  
    Martin Logan reQuests....Martin Logan Descent x 2....Atma-Sphere MA1 OTL amplification....Krell KPS25s digital front end....VPI Scoutmaster....Studer A80 VU MKII....Ampex 300-2 Tube/SS Playback "Ampexius Maximus"....Ampex MR-70

Offline ironbut

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Re: How and where does everyone store their tapes?
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2009, 04:55:12 PM »
I think that if the tapes are in their original boxes, and these boxes are boxed up and closed, it's probably fine just they way they are. Finding archival quality plastic sheeting would be a pain anyway.

Regarding the slip covers, you should contact the seller if you're looking for large numbers of them. It's been a while but I seem to recall he was willing to discount multiple orders (they were $17/100 when I ordered some a while back).
steve koto
 Sony scd 777es(R. Kern mods)> Vpi Aires>Dynavector XX-2mkll>Bent mu>CAT ultimate>CJ premeir 140>Magnepan 1.6qr(Jensen xover)Headphone Eddie Current Zana Deux>AT ad2000,HD800 ,Metric Halo ULN-2 (battery powered),
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Offline Teeg

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Re: How and where does everyone store their tapes?
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2009, 09:41:28 PM »
  Thanks for the advice, Steve. I've actually been losing some sleep over the tape storage issue.

Tj
T.j. Bassi  
    Martin Logan reQuests....Martin Logan Descent x 2....Atma-Sphere MA1 OTL amplification....Krell KPS25s digital front end....VPI Scoutmaster....Studer A80 VU MKII....Ampex 300-2 Tube/SS Playback "Ampexius Maximus"....Ampex MR-70