1990s Mitsubishi C60 Audio Cassette

1990s Mitsubishi C60 Audio Cassette

One of the brands less synonymous with the manufacture of audio cassettes was Mitsubishi. This Mitsubishi C60 tape was given to me by someone I was teaching to play keyboards, near the end of 1999. So there’s a lot of stuff I can’t be sure of about. What I can say is that this is a Type I normal bias cassette, and hiss levels are not at all intrusive. Beyond that, there are some problems, but how much blame the cassette should take for that isn’t clear. Continue reading

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1981 Sony CHF 60 Audio Cassette

1981 Sony CHF 60 Audio Cassette

Sony CHF tapes were among the very first I used for my own recordings after I hit my teens. They were good, if basic, normal bias cassettes with quite a warm sound, but also an acceptable amount of definition for a Type 1 range-propper. Pretty noisy though. I’ve got a fair old few of these, and the material on them ranges quite widely. At one end of the scale there are some all-too-clear renditions of my own instrumental tracks, played on a Bontempi home organ. At the other, performances by chart bands of the day, recorded from the TV, with a cheapish tape recorder placed in front of the set’s speaker, and my family jabbering away in the background. Continue reading

1984 Sony UCX 60 Audio Cassette

1984 Sony UCX 60 Audio Cassette

This was a tape which certainly had the looks, but did it have the sound to match?… The Sony UCX of 1984 was a Type 2, high bias, CrO2 cassette which was competing with the likes of TDK’s SA series, the Maxell XLII, and the BASF Chromdioxid. That was a tough arena for any rival, and I didn’t feel the Sony UCX had enough going for it to really fight its ground. It sounded nice enough, but I didn’t find it particularly resistant to drop-outs – those annoying breaks in recording consistency particularly evident in the high treble frequencies. Chrome tapes were always going to show up drop-outs more easily than normal tapes, simply because their high frequency reproduction was inherently more powerful. But Sony’s Type 2 tape didn’t to me seem as solid and durable as some other brands.

1978 Dindy Super C60 Audio Cassette

1978 Dindy Super C60 audio cassette

A Dindy Super ‘Low Noise’ special from 1978. Sixty minutes of pretty seriously lo-fi recording time. I wonder how many of these got through their inaugural year without at least temporarily preserving the inescapable tones of John Travolta and Olivia Newton John? This one didn’t manage it.