Reliable company for reattaching cassette tape to spool.
April 13, 2014 10:29 PM   Subscribe

I have a few cassette tapes that survived third class mail from Ohio to Sierra Leone and back in the early seventies, and then have been pretty much left alone for the last 40 years. We have been digitizing them lately and on two of them the end of the tape has detached itself from the spool. I need someone who knows this stuff backwards and forwards to reattach them and/or digitize the content for us. I remember fixing cassette tapes myself back when they were the preferred media, but I also remember having about a 5% failure rate. Way too high for this operation. Company recommendations (US preferably) would be gladly received.
posted by Tell Me No Lies to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A dab of superglue is really all you need. Once the tape's gone round the spool a few times the friction will hold it there anyway.
posted by Sebmojo at 12:33 AM on April 14, 2014

This is not from experience, but it looks like this guy knows his stuff:

Richard L. Hess -- analog audio tape

He links to Specs Bros -- consumer services including tape repair and mastering

I understand your trepidation and these seem to serve the archival and disaster recovery markets, which is where I would look.
posted by dhartung at 1:06 AM on April 14, 2014

"A dab of superglue is really all you need."

Oh God no… People from the future, ignore that rubbish…

At least here in 2014, it's still possible to buy splicing blocks, splicing tape, leader tape, replacement shells & hubs, etc. Or you can just rat a blank cassette for most of the bits.

Open the case, undo the clip holding the broken end of the tape from the hub, splice leader onto the end if necessary, re-clip tape back onto hub…

(not picking on you OP; hope you find an archive/restoration expert locally who can help you.)
posted by Pinback at 1:56 AM on April 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

If it's really important stuff
posted by jmsta at 3:49 AM on April 14, 2014

Best answer: I've heard good things about George Blood Audio when it comes to preservation and digitization. They're in Pennsylvania. Not sure if they do repairs also, but they might be able to point you in the right direction. Seconding dhartung's rec for Spec Bros. Also there's Scene Savers in Kentucky.
posted by pepper bird at 6:35 AM on April 14, 2014

Best answer: Check out the ARSC (Association of Recorded Sound Collections) vendor list. Anyone on the list should be able to do a good job with this type of project, so you can try to find someone near you. George Blood, MediaPreserve, and Specs Brothers, mentioned above, would all be fine.
posted by Awkward Philip at 11:57 AM on April 14, 2014

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