BASF were very well known for their high bias chrome formulation cassettes (see the INDEX 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 the music rather than the cassette which generated the interest, a really woolly-sounding Type I with overwhelming hiss wouldn’t have had the same effect, I’m sure. I never had a problem with BASF Type Is, and looking back, I don’t really know why I didn’t use them much more often. I seem to recall they weren’t the cheapest Type Is on the market, and if they were a bit on the pricey side, that may explain it.
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.
So, that’s the early ’80s LH Extra I. I must now go and indulge myself in a little winter ’85 nostalgia. Ah, they were the days…