Empty 10" Metal Reels v Old Tape on Reels


New member
I have scores of full reels of tape. Across five decades I've produced 100s of live-to-air live music radio broadcasts of a few artists many people know, from Bob Marley to Tom Petty, U2, The Police, Pretenders, Jack DeJohnette, Ozzy, Squeeze, Buddy Guy & Jr Wells, Aerosmith, Talking Heads, BB King, Bonnie Raitt, Elton John...scores more. The tape is mostly either 250 or 456, from the mid 70s though the late 80s. I need to get rid of the tapes and I'm trying to figure out whether the reels are worth more empty or still WITH the tape. Bear in mind, IF I sell these with the tape, I will be erasing all the audio. I do NOT have the Rights and will NEVER aid and abet thievery. I'm first reaching out to the artists themselves to discover if they have interest in my sending the reels to them; but, any reels not retrieved by the artists will be up for sale. Anyone have advice for me? What's the value of the empty reels versus the same reels still wound with 250 or 456?


Tape Wolf
Ampex 456 between about 1975 and 1995 is almost certain to have gone sticky, and selling these as blanks to some unfortunate sounds like a really bad idea. For that matter, you're likely to have a 'fun' time even wiping the things unless you have a bulk eraser to hand. Scotch 250 I'm not sure about, but with the Ampex tapes you probably want to chuck the tape and just sell the empty reels.

In the case of the artists who want the tapes back, they can get a transfer house to bake the tapes and copy the audio off. However this is a temporary fix and the tapes will start turning back into goop after a few weeks - so you really don't want to use them for recording new material.