Okay, so I’ve been raiding my 1987 drawer for cassettes today. I used Maxell XLII-S tapes for a number of important projects in the late 1980s, and they really were a special product in their day. The casing design was clearly well ahead of its time, and the cassette instantly feels super-rugged the moment you pick it up. The resilience of the tape itself was phenomenal with the XLII-S, rendering drop-outs virtually non-existent. A bold sound, low noise, and no difficulty at all in taking high volume levels with these. And just look at the lack of gobbledygook on the cartridge. No fancy science words necessary to convince the public that these cassettes were good. You merely used them, and you could tell.
The XLII-S was a high bias Type 2 tape, and it subordinated the UDII, which was another Type 2 available within the same range. The UDII was a great tape, and for something of that quality to be playing second fiddle to this cassette, only goes to highlight what a serious luminary the XLII-S was, back in the days when Stock, Aitken and Waterman ruled the airwaves.