ye reel tapes while ye may, old time is still a-flying-
And this same tape that plays today, tomorrow will be dying."
With apologies to poetry lovers everywhere. Unlike diamonds, tapes are not forever. This medium is quite vulnerable to the ravages of time and improper storage, perhaps even more so than acetate discs. In as little as 20 years, the base becomes brittle, the lubricants disappear, oxide starts to shed, and print-through rears it's ugly head. What can you do? Have them transferred to CD as soon as possible. Reel-to-reel tapes of very early vintage may be acetate-base rather than polyester-base. Some of the earliest are even paper. These tapes are extremely brittle, and they only get worse with age.
The tape machines at Deep Sky are cleaned before every use, and demagnetized every 10 hours to ensure that the tapes are in the safest possible mechanical environment. We accept cassettes, 8-tracks, and reels from 3" to 10.5", any speed, any track configuration.
Mystery Tapes - If you don't know what's on your tapes, we will audition them before we begin restoration work and let you know what's on them. That way you won't have to pay for something you may not want.
Sticky shed syndrome is a cause of great concern to tape restorationists. It is caused by the absorption of moisture into the oxide binder. The oxide will actually scrape off onto the non-moving parts of the machine, usually accompanied by a loud squeal. Tapes in such condition can't be played with any degree of safety. However, baking the tape will drive out the moisture in the binder and allow the tape to be played. This is only a temporary fix, but at least it will allow the tape to be transferred to a more permanent medium. We bake tapes at a slight additional charge.
Jammed Cassettes - Many fond memories can be found on inexpenseive cassettes which are now on year 30 of their 10 year life. Such tapes won't even play anymore, jamming after a few minutes or even a few seconds of play, and if they do actually play, the wow and drag makes them unusable. Our success rate with such tapes is 100%.
Deep Sky Audio was chosen by KOPN-FM for their reel tape archive preservation project.
We can not accept "bootleg" concert tapes, Grateful Dead or otherwise.
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