It’s been no secret on this blog that That’s tapes were among my very favourites. From the early 1990s, I used them more than any other brand, and I can’t remember a single instance in which they let me down in any serious way.
This is the VX60 – a submicro-cobalt-y formulation Type II tape, essentially occupying the territory which, ten years earlier, had been filled by your average chrome job. These VX60s were early ‘90s products – the one in the photo having been bought in 1993 and used for some home multitrack recording in the latter part of that year.
Whilst the That’s VX60 was denoted on the casing as offering “Very High Perfomance”, it was in fact the ‘entry level’ high bias tape in the That’s range. It certainly fills the frequency spectrum from deep lows right up to super-high treble, but the overall tonal balance isn’t as strong and assured as with the more expensive That’s CD/IIF. The VX60 doesn’t seem as rugged as the higher end That’s Type IIs either. You do get the odd drop-out (they’re very sparse though, and some VX60s do stay clear of them). But I did use a hell of a lot of these. They were well priced for what you were getting, and they competed very favourably with more expensive and supposedly illustrious high bias tapes from other manufacturers. Across the board, That’s offered brilliant value, and as a musician who had serious recording needs, I’d say they were undoubtedly one of the most underrated manufacturers in the analogue recording market.