Leda Cassette Head Cleaner

Leda Head Cleaner Compact Cassette 1

Here’s a rare old sight, which might bring back memories for a few of those who can recall the early 1980s. This is a Leda Cassette Head Cleaner. Pretty standard in design for a compact cassette-enclosed head cleaning tape. Ten tick-boxes on the orange paper label, indicating that the life of this unit was (at least intended to be) restricted to ten cleaning operations. It’s not apparent from the photo but you can see from impressions in the paper that the boxes have actually been ticked. It’s just that the cassette was used so long ago that the biro has faded to white!

But what’s interesting about these Leda head cleaners was that they were sold not as a lone item, but as part of a combination cleaning set which included a number of hi-fi maintenance products. Sadly, I don’t have any of the accompanying paraphernalia and I can’t find any info online, so I’m going to have to rely on memory only. But I know the pack included a small bottle of cleaning fluid and some swabs, and I think it also came with a hand-held vinyl record cleaner – the long rectangular block-shaped type, with anti-static material on the bottom surface. I seem to remember the set being known as the Leda Combi Pack. I can’t remember when they stopped making them, but I used to use them not long after I first started regularly buying pop records with my pocket money. That would be onward from 1980.

Only the front of these cassettes would have a label. The backs were plain black plastic. The actual tape is a matt dark military green colour. It looks very unusual. I’ve briefly explained the concept behind head cleaning tapes in the TDK HCL-11 post.

So, another little quirk of analogue recording history, preserved for the future on the web.