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Ampex audio tape from the 1980's or so exhibit the "Sticky-Shed" problem on playback in 2004. Lately, all the Ampex I find is exhibiting this syndrome and I have to submit these tapes to our resident expert to work them over to allow a useful dub.
This is what one has to deal with when working with audio tape of this age and origin. What is really a treat is the stuff that builds up on the tape player's contacts when such a tape is re-wound. The gunk that comes off has two states: runny caramel when it's warm from friction and hard plastic when it has cooled. In either state it is difficult and time-consuming to remove. :P
Alas poor Ampex. I knew he would be sticky Horatio.