What an attractive beast of a tape this was. Very eye-catching in its black plastic casing with black label and shiny gold lettering, the BASF Chromdioxid Super II 60 of 1984 was a leading Type II consumer cassette of its time. The sound was similar to that of the standard Chromdioxid II, but ‘prettier’, with what I felt was a nicer midrange. Despite the sparkly zing at the treble end, and some nice deep bass, this was still a sweet sounding tape, with a good, full, roundness. Sadly, these were a bit on the pricey side for youngsters to be buying in bulk, so I only got a few of them.
I used all of my Chromdioxid Super IIs for a demo I recorded with a local singer at the beginning of 1985. We recorded seven songs as a duo – me backing the singer on keyboards, with auto rhythm and accompaniments. It sounded quite professional with the keyboards directly injected into the tape deck, in stereo. We did the whole thing live, with no overdubs. For our first run through the tracks, I used a phaser shifter pedal to add movement to the keyboard sounds. It was actually a really good performance with no serious mistakes, but on listening to the recording the singer said the phaser was making him feel sick (lol). He insisted we did it again without the phaser effect.
This tape features the phaser version of that 1985 demo, which I liked, and kept. The singer took away another Chromdioxid Super II containing the version without effects. He played it to local promoters, venue managers, etc, and in actual fact it was quite well received. In retrospect, the singer was right – the phaser effect definitely hasn’t stood the test of time. It doesn’t make me want to throw up, exactly, but I do now wish I’d kept the ‘straight’ version instead.