TP-027, Jerry Garcia / David Grisman wins a Writer's Choice Award from Myles Astor of Positive Feedback Online

Author Topic: Sticky shed symptoms  (Read 3781 times)

Offline john

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
Sticky shed symptoms
« on: January 14, 2009, 01:01:01 PM »
So there i was happly rewinding (at play speed) on my Teac X2000R,  tapes I had purchased on Ebay. A collection of classical and opera, just to makes sure they were not wound too tight on the reels. This takes some time of course so I left to make myself a drink. I was greeted on my return by the sight of a small amount of off white powder lying on the desk below the pinch wheels and a white coating the tension arm wheels and heads. I cleaned it off with tape head cleaner, out of twelve 10 1/2 tapes eight were ok ( maxell LD ) and the remainder a mixture of Scotch 207 and 3M were not!! So my question is, is this classic sticky shed or for want of a better description are the Scotch and 3M tapes diseased!!!!
To be safe I have already thrown the tape away and kept the reels, at first I thought it might have been mold but now I'm not so sure.
John Taylor

Revox C270, Teac X-2000R, Technics RS1506, RS7500, Nakamichi Dragon, CR7E, Sony WM-D6C, Sony EL7 ( Elcaset! ) Brinkmann balance, Brinkmann Ti Cart, Clearaudio Balanced Ref, Esoteric XO1-D2, ARC Ref3, Ref 210, JM Lab Micro Utopia Be and Jas Audio Plato.

Offline ironbut

  • Global Moderator
  • leader in spreading disinformation
  • *****
  • Posts: 2503
  • rs1500>repro amp#1
    • View Profile
Re: Sticky shed symptoms
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2009, 02:06:47 PM »
That sounds more like mold. With aluminum reels, it's tough to see the white powdery stuff on the outside of the tape pack. Also, if it was sticky shed, you probably would've heard some squealing, on longer tapes in particular. 3M tapes are very prone to SSS but if the stuff that was on your tape guides and heads cleaned off easily, it's probably mold.
The big problem with mold is the spores. This can spread the mold to other tapes in your collection. Hopefully you didn't fast wind any of the tapes because that will distribute the spores throughout the room (and adjacent rooms if there was a breeze). Of course, spores are everywhere unless you use a good air filter and unless you're the curator of a large collection of priceless tapes, you should be able to minimize any cross contamination pretty easily. You need to clean your entire machine and the immediate area around it with damp cloths changing them often. Let that dry and then vacuum an even larger area. Hydrogen peroxide will kill most spores but I'm not so sure how it will affect the finish. I think if you're very thorough with your vacuuming, you should be OK. Throwing the contaminated tapes out is a good idea but take the reels apart and clean them very well before you reuse them.
Like I said, mold can be a major problem in an archival/restoration facility, but for the casual user, a good cleaning should do the job.
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),
 HE Audio Jades

Offline john

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
Re: Sticky shed symptoms
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2009, 01:43:32 AM »
Thanks Steve,
                   I disassembled the reels and cleaned them with a mixture of warm water and bleach,the deposits on the deck came off easily with alcohol based head cleaner and Q-Tips. There was nothing showing on the outside of the tape pack at all. I made a mistake when i stated the the effected tapes were a mixture of 3M and Scotch, in actual fact they were  TDK LX and 3M. 
John Taylor

Revox C270, Teac X-2000R, Technics RS1506, RS7500, Nakamichi Dragon, CR7E, Sony WM-D6C, Sony EL7 ( Elcaset! ) Brinkmann balance, Brinkmann Ti Cart, Clearaudio Balanced Ref, Esoteric XO1-D2, ARC Ref3, Ref 210, JM Lab Micro Utopia Be and Jas Audio Plato.