What an excellent tape this BASF Ferro Extra I was. As you’d expect, given the cassette’s name, it was a Type I, normal bias ferric, but it had a lovely refined sound. I bought a few of these in the autumn of 1990, shortly after getting myself a Tascam Porta 05 ministudio (26th September – still got the receipt). The Ferro Extra Is weren’t suitable for use in the Tascam (which only took Type II tapes), but I wanted to master some of the Tascam’s multitrack recordings onto normal bias cassettes which would play on the widest range of equipment.
I’ve just played through the material on this cassette, importing it onto PC at the same time. Great nostalgia trip – it’s years since I listened to the recordings. Aside from the noise level, which is higher than that of a typical high bias tape, this ferric could be mistaken for a Type II, or perhaps even more so a Type III. There’s a really nice top end and excellent bass. No overwhelming power in the high treble regions, but the sizzle is there and it’s very ‘hi-fi’.
What’s perhaps most impressive, though, is how well preserved the sound has remained in the twenty-plus years interim since I made the recording. It really does sound brand new. A seriously good tape.