Sticky Shed Syndrome – Baking Tapes

Sticky Shed Syndrome (SSS) is a sad reality for high output tapes from the mid seventies through the eighties and in some cases into the nineties. This includes the following tape types:

  • Ampex/Quantegy 406/407 and 456/457,
  • Audiotape/Capitol Q15
  • Scotch/3M 3M 226, 227, 806, 807, 808, 809 and 250, Classic and Master
  • Scotch/3M 908, 966/986, 967 and 996 have been reported with some instances of SSS
  • Pre 1990 AGFA PEM 468/469

Simply put, SSS is caused by the tapes absorbing moisture and breaking down the glue that holds the magnetic material on the backing. Without good glue, the oxide starts falling off as soon as tape hits friction – and it falls of fast! This impacts your tape, as well as your deck.

Oxide falling off the tape is your music falling on the floor – and it is not repairable!

Oxide accumulating on your deck causes all kinds of havoc on your deck and will quickly bog down tape moving at all!

The solution is to bake your tape. This needs to be done carefully, and slowly.

There are plenty of people who know more about baking tapes than me. Here are sites that I trust to provide solid information on the process of baking tapes.