Magnetic Tape Restoration

Restoring and Transferring Magnetic Audio and Video

Most common types of magnetic recording media such as audio cassette tapes, reel-to-reel tapes and video tapes are prone to a problem commonly referred to as “sticky shed syndrome”. This problem is caused by the absorption of moisture into the tape over time and will render the tape almost unusable after an extended period of time. Two Squares offers an affordable and long-term solution: Digitize your Magnetic Media with our Tape Restoration & Baking Services.

If you have audio or video tapes that have been sitting around for many years, make sure that you don’t play back a tape that has not been rejuvenated as it will permanently damage your tape quality and also gum up the heads on your playback equipment.

Technical Details of Magnetic Media

Magnetic recording audio and video tape is composed of three main parts. The plastic tape itself, the magnetically chargeable iron-oxide and a polyurethane binder that was used to glue the iron-oxide to the tape. The chemistry of the binders used in the 70s and 80s are widely known to have a problem in which they are prone to hydrolysis or the absorption of moisture from the air. Over several years of exposure to normal ambient living conditions, the urethane molecules in the binder will absorb moisture and migrate to the surface of the tape causing a gummy residue on the surface.

As you can imagine, this is not good for tape players as this residue will build up on the tape heads and cause problems with the equipment, let alone what it will do to the quality of the playback of the tape. Playing back an old tape can permanently damage the recording which will not be recoverable once the gummy tape is smeared over a recording head.