BASF LH Extra I Audio Cassette (1984)

1984 BASF LH Extra I Audio Cassette

BASF were very well known for their high bias chrome formulation cassettes (see the Blank Tapes category for numerous posts relating to those), but they also made some very nice normal bias Type I tapes. A case in point was this, the LH Extra I, probably made in 1984.

I bought a small batch of these at the very beginning of 1985. About to embark on a new chapter as a teenage musician, I was stocking up on cassettes, and planning to use the LH Extra Is for the menial stuff – recording band rehearsals for evaluation, to-ing and fro-ing ideas from one band member to another, etc. And chiefly, that’s what I did with them.

The LH Extra Is did, however, prove more capable than expected, and the singer/manager of the first band I joined in ’85 in fact used a rehearsal tape recorded on one of these to successfully get us interest from the press and at least one gig. Although it was more likely the music and the singer/manager’s charm rather than the cassette that generated the interest, a really woolly-sounding Type I with overwhelming hiss wouldn’t have had the same effect, I’m sure.

The tacky but strangely quite attractive orange of these early ’80s LH Extra Is, was soon switched for a richer red colour, which can be seen in this 1986 version. Note the flat-head plastic screws holding the case together. These were standard across the range at the time, and I can see no difference between the outer construction of this Type I and the early ’80s Chromdioxid II – other than the extra notches in the top of the Type II shell.