The Sony HF-S cassette was a normal bias Type 1, which was of a superior grade, and described by the manufacturer as Super High Fidelity. There was a big difference in sound quality between these tapes and the very basic ‘Low Noise’ range-proppers – although most high bias chrome tapes would still quite noticeably subordinate them in terms of frequency response.
I used this 1985 cassette to record one of our band rehearsals in the autumn of that year, at a rehearsal and recording facility called Central Studios, situated in Dale End, Birmingham. The rehearsal facilities were purely rooms, and offered no backline, drums, PA gear or integrated live recording. You provided your own mics, amps, etc, and any recordings had to be made on your own equipment – be that a tape deck, ghetto blaster, portastudio or whatever else. I think we used a ghetto blaster to record this session. To save transporting all your gear back and forth into the centre of Birmingham two or three times a week, the studio would store everything in their lock-up room. They’d charge a storage fee for that, but it was still a lot better than trying to organise the transport. The actual cost of the rehearsal room hire was low. About a fiver for a few hours I seem to remember. As one of four band members, that meant I’d have to find £1.25 per rehearsal. Incidentally, some of the people running the studio were members of Edwin Starr’s backing group at the time.