This one took a bit of searching out. It’s a 90 minute Memorex MRXI (or MRX1), bought at the end of 1982. I’d bet that a fairly hefty proportion of these normal bias tapes ended up in the bin, as did the shells for most of mine. I liked the sound of these and used them almost exclusively to record rehearsals for the very first ‘band’ I was in, through the winter and into the spring of 1983. The MRXIs were bold, they could take a good amount of level, and they had considerable quantities of treble for a normal bias tape – albeit around the region of 6 KHz rather than much higher up in the spectrum like a chrome tape. It was a hard sound, which gave our rather polite instrument setup some much needed teen cred.
But over the years the MRXIs didn’t fare well. I found the tape travel prone to stiffness, and the problem worsened the older the cassettes got. This, combined with other design factors, sent the tapes out of alignment against the play heads, and made it impossible to reproduce anything like the original sound as captured. I solved the problem by re-housing the original tape spools in new cassettes, getting rid of the Memorex shells in the process – before I started to get interested in preserving old audio tapes. I thought I’d re-encased all of my MRX1s, but thankfully, after a long search through some lesser-visited corners of the house, I found this one remaining. It does contain a couple of 1983 band rehearsals, and it does have the same problem the rest of the MRX1s had, but in this case I don’t care. This MRX1 is staying in its original case, just for the visual nostalgia.