I won’t try to hide the fact that I loved Type 4 metal tapes. This is a nice one from Sony – a 1987 Metal-ES, in a 60 minute format. I felt this was a tougher tape than Sony’s earlier Metallic, from 1983 and 1984 (I’ll photograph the ’83 Metallic for this blog in due course, but in the mean time it’s depicted in my 1980s Audio Cassettes article)… (UPDATE: I’ve now added my 1983 Sony Metallic to this blog. You can find it via THIS LINK).
The sound seemed less ‘pretty’ with the Metal-ES than with the earlier Metallic, and there seemed a higher resistance to drop-outs. Metal tapes in general didn’t seem greatly troubled by drop-outs (glitches in the fidelity), but this one seemed especially immune. It coped with a hell of a lot of re-recording in the late ‘eighties and it still sounds smooth even now.
It was such a shame metal tapes were so expensive. Indeed, that was one of the reasons this tape was so extensively hammered with re-records. Anything really important I’d want to keep on a metal tape, but I didn’t have many metal tapes, and my view on what was really important constantly changed. So my pet track of the moment would end up being forced onto one of a handful of cassettes – at the expense of something I’d gone off a little, if necessary.