The first Sony HF cassettes of the 1980s took up a position which I felt would have sat somewhere between the former CHF and BHF in the range. This is how they looked. This is a 1985 HF 60, carefully looked after and in very nice condition in its 27th year.
I felt there was something rather endearing about the rounded and distinctively lo-fi sound of Sony’s most basic Type 1 tapes in the 1980s – these more so than the CHFs, which had occupied comparable price territory at the beginning of the decade. The HF 60 wasn’t horrendously hissy, and if you put maximum level onto the tape (HFs could take some level), then added Dolby noise reduction, signal to noise was surprisingly good for a cheapie. In the grand scheme of things, the HFs were noisy, but in their class as low-end Type 1s, they were about as good as you could get. They didn’t have much to offer in terms of treble definition, as you’d probably imagine, but they weren’t just completely dead like many of the alternatives similarly-pitched at the ‘voice or music’ recording market. Sony HFs were definitely up to recording music. They weren’t merely ‘dictaphone’ stock.