Magnetic Tape Restoration

Audio and Video Tape Restoration and Transfer Service

Many types of magnetic recording media like audio cassettesreel-to-reel, and video tapes are all prone to something called “sticky shed syndrome”.

Sticky shed syndrome happens when magnetic tapes absorb moisture over time. Eventually, the moisture will render your tape unusable. That means not being able to record or playback your magnetic tapes. If you have magnetic media that’s been sitting around for many years, it’s best to avoid playing back these non-rejuvenated tapes. Recording or playing tapes with sticky shed syndrome often damages them and gums up your tape player’s heads.

Fortunately, Two Squares offers affordable and long-term solutions to protect your magnetic media. First, we offer help with audio and video tape restoration through our tape-baking process. Two Squares can also digitize your magnetic media. Our restoration services can preserve your treasured audio and video for many years.

Technical Details of Magnetic Media

Magnetic audio and video tapes contain three parts: plastic tape, iron oxide, and a polyurethane binder. Polyurethane helps magnetically chargeable iron oxide adhere to plastic tape. In the 1970s and 80s, people, companies, and organizations used these tapes as low-cost ways to record audiovideo, and other data. This older media often needs tape restoration before it can be used without issues.

The major problem with magnetic media is that it’s prone to absorbing moisture from the air, otherwise called hydrolysis. After continual exposure to normal ambient living conditions, the urethane molecules in tape binders absorb moisture and migrate to the tape’s surface. This process, otherwise called sticky shed syndrome, causes a gummy residue on the surface of your tapes.

As you can imagine, residue forming on your tapes can cause many problems. This residue is horrible for tape players because it can build up on your tape heads. Besides what this gummy substance does to your players, it can also smear your tapes and worsen their playback quality. Once this gummy tape smudges your magnetic media, it’s likely to cause permanent damage.