Despite the fact that the Memorex dB Series tape doesn’t appear on Vintage Cassettes.com until the period forward from 1985, this dB 60 is definitely from early 1983. It appears on Vintage Cassettes as if the MRXI was replaced by the dB, but in ’83 (here in the UK at least), the dBs were running concurrently with the MRXIs, and consumers had a choice between the two.
Both the MRXI and the dB Series were normal bias Type I cassettes, but there were significant differences in the sound. The MRXI was hard and brash, with a strong ‘presence’ for a Type I. It wasn’t a bright and glassy treble – it was more of a ‘bite’ around the 5-6KHz region.
The dB Series, on the other hand, had a more rounded rendition with a more delicate treble balance. None of the Memorex audio cassettes from 1983 were in technical terms greatly impressive for fidelity. Even the Metal IV, which I did use and still have hopes of finding among the abject mess which is my ‘junk room’, was pretty stodgy sounding in its class. But not everyone wanted super-sparkle in 1983, and Memorex cassettes certainly had personality if not technical brilliance. I liked them. Indeed, these tapes probably would have dominated the market had they been re-introduced and pitched with a bit of imagination when the lo-fi craze struck in the 1990s. It could almost be said that Memorex was a classic lo-fi brand in ’83. Unfortunately for Memorex, ’83 was all about hi-fi.
One of the notable features on this dB 60 is the flat-head screws holding the case together. I can’t think of any other cassette brand which hadn’t switched to cross-heads by this time, but there could have been some which escaped my notice or have slipped my memory.
You can find a little more about the dB Series and MRXI in my 1980s audio cassettes article.