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Thread: Help to id a roll of 2" scotch tape

  1. #1
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    Help to id a roll of 2" scotch tape

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    I first went to my go-to guy, Super Wizard Cory, and he seemed a bit doubtful suggesting I post this question here.

    So all available wizards, listen up please.

    I have a roll of 2" audio tape.

    The reel is SCOTCH.

    The box states:

    ACCESSORY
    R134-2-10 1/2
    84-9800-7747-7

    What I notice about the tape is that it does not degrade in my fingers as does Ampex 456. So it does not appear to be a sticky shed issue. I can't be sure, because I don't yet have a 2" machine upon which I can run the tape until Cory decides to sell me his!!!

    The tape has black oxide-type coating on the outside and an almost reddish-brown inner.

    Check the photos to see if the riddle can be solved.

    Naturally, if it is bad it gets recycled, but I have recycled so much 2" lately the recycle company is going to shut me down.

    The recycle truck driver will probably be sent next week to get it all on tape!!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails scotch-4-jpg   scotch-2-jpg   scotch-1-jpg   scotch-3-jpg  

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    The only thing you know for sure is that it's a Scotch/3M 2" reel. There is no telling what type of tape has been spooled on to it.
    Rick Ruskin
    Lion Dog Music - Seattle WA
    http://liondogmusic.com

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    It's the type tape I am after.

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    Beck Guest
    Short Answer:
    Yes, what Rick said is correct.

    Long Answer:
    This is the number one problem with buying used tape. Unless it’s sealed you can’t be certain what it is. It might not even be 3M/Scotch tape. Once the seal is broken it could be any brand of tape someone has put on the reel. And in this case there are even fewer clues because the product number from the box is for an empty NAB reel. R134 is a 3M silver NAB reel.

    The designation, “ACCESSORY” is the first clue. If the box were for audiotape from this era it would say, “Audio Recording Tape” on the box. It would also say what type. For example, half-inch 206 on a NAB 6-screw reel would say, “206-1/2-2500 R134 84-9800-7722-0.”

    3M/Scotch tape identifying numbers are laid out as below. For this example I’m using 1-inch 250 on a 10-1/2” metal reel.

    Catalog Number: 250-1-2500 R167
    Stock Number: 84-9800-9800-2
    Lot Number: 34-7003-3654-4

    The catalog number tells us what it is in street terms.

    Model: 250
    Width: 1-inch
    Length: 2500 ft
    R167: Reel Model 167 (Gold metal reel)

    The stock number and lot number are pretty useless for us now because they were used internally by 3M. The key to exactly when a tape was made is in the lot number, but unfortunately that’s the most esoteric. All that info died with 3M’s magnetic tape division. We can get a rough idea when a tape was made by the box style, but again if it’s not sealed there’s no way to know for certain what’s in the box is what the box says.

    I could tell you whether it’s Scotch, Ampex, or BASF/EMTEC by the smell, and you can tell whether its 1-mil or 1-1/2-mil by how long it runs at a given speed. You can also narrow it down because it’s backcoated. You can get an idea of whether it’s in the +3 or +6 category by running it on a machine calibrated to a standard like 456. If you record @ 0VU and it plays back a couple dB lower then you know you have a +3 category tape like 206, 406, etc…. or it’s a +6 category tape with sticky-shed. Beyond that you’d have to send it to a forensics lab to know with any certainty.

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    Beck

    I don't care what anyone says, you are all right!

    Great dissertation.

    Makes great sense.

    Many thanks. Most appreciated.

    I can't run it on a machine yet until Cory sells me his or I find a decent one.

    It all makes sense.

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    Beck

    I can mail you a smaple for the sniff test ID!

    Be great to know what it is.

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    The box looks like early '80s era, and it could be that it was sold as an emtpy reel ("accessory") and someone spooled the tape on it. as to what kind of tape? anyone's guess. most common 2" tape for that era would be Ampex 456, Scotch 250 or Scotch 226.

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    Good points and Beck also made excellent points.

    I don't think it's 456, because it does not shed in my hands as did the globs of 456 I recycled.

    So I am thinking it's Scotch but certainly could use Beck's sniffer to verify!!!

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    i think 250 would be my guess, it might shed but probably less inclined to than 456 or 226. Agfa 468 maybe?

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    I appreciate everyone's help.

    Might be 499 as that studio used a great deal.

    I need Beck's sniffer, however!!!

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