Tape Squealing Problem


Transferring a tape today, and midway through, I heard the dreaded squealing.
(It's on a Maxell reel, but doesn't look to me to be such, as I've never had such a problem with their tape.)

It wouldn't be such an issue if it didn't also come through the tape signal.
On each pass, it would happen in another part of the tape, which made it very hard to resolve.

I sprayed some silicone on a rag and ran the tape through - this helped a bit, but was rather hit-and-miss for the most part.

Is there any method that has the best result?


Rick Ruskin
The tape more than likely has sticky-shed syndrome and needs to be baked. Tapes in that condition are very hard on the transport and can in extreme cases, destroy heads in one pass.


Active member
Don't even think about trying to play the tape without baking. It will be much kinder on the tape and the machine. Make sure that you have THOROUGHLY cleaned all the heads and guides before trying to use your machine again.


Odd, because there is no shedding.
I must have played the piece over 25 times to finally get it to work.
Problem was the oxide got damaged with the repeated playings, so it's neither here nor there.


Reel deep thoughts...
“Sticky shed” does not always present with shedding. There are various stages and symptoms depending on the tape formulation and age, storage conditions, etc. “Sticky shed” is a broad term that encompasses a number of conditions. Your tape sounds “sticky”. It’s not always throughout. But squealing tape usually means it’s tacky or sticky and starting to bind.