Hello! I'm attempting to archive a collection of U-Matic tapes and I'm having trouble pinpointing the exact issues with the one I've attached a clip for. Tapes were kept in museum conditions, only played once. All of my capture specs, for the most part, are listed in my profile.
This particular tape is a Sony U-Matic KCA30 Tape that was Recorded on 7/30/1977 and played on 7/31/1977. My U-Matic VTR has been thoroughly cleaned and plays back other U-Matic tapes in the collection just fine. I had similar, albeit far less severe issues with the previous tape in the collection that was also a Sony KCA30.
I understand many of these U-Matic cassette tapes suffer from SSS so I'm curious to know if this tape requires more baking, if it requires cleaning, or if it is just degraded beyond capture. I've noticed the Scotch High Energy UCA30 & 60MIN tapes are far less problematic than the Sony KCA tapes we have which is worrisome because a large portion of this collection are Sony KCA tapes. Are these more prone to issues?
Any insight into this particular issue would be so amazing, thank you so much
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Offhand, it does not appear to be a simple tracking or dropout issue. Best guess is that the tape is either having sticking issues when unspooling from its hub, or one of the hubs inside the cassette is not turning smoothly. What I saw in the clip was commonly a symptom of tape not passing across the heads at a constant speed.
Fast-forward and rewind the tape a few times, then try playing again. Get everything unstuck.
Thanks so much for the excellent info 😊