I can’t help feeling that I’ve been harsh with Memorex tapes over the course of this blog. The generation with which I had the most affinity (early ‘80s) were not well designed for the long term, and the high bias variants I used did not produce the sparkling trebles of their rivals. But in a recent test, I found that the actual tape contained in an early ‘80s Memorex MRXI (a normal bias Type I) acquitted itself very well sonically once the design flaws in the cassette were resolved. That prompted me to evaluate a later Memorex Type I… Continue reading
Yes, ‘tis the Clash of the Titans, as four old behemoths of analogue recording media slog it out for supremacy. Continue reading
Okay, so this is in no way a fair contest, but unfair usually makes for more interesting reading, so no apologies for that. In this post, I’m comparing the performance of four well-kept and barely used 60 minute audio tapes, made between the early 1980s and the mid 1990s. The idea was not to make a champion of a particular brand, but to explore how varied old audio cassettes can be in the way they handle a modern recording. Continue reading
This is another of the highly attractive, abundantly classy and sonically spectacular Polydor / Deutsche Grammophon CrO2 pre-records of the 1980s. It’s part of the 3D Classics series, which was released around the cusp of the ‘80s and ‘90s decades, with this particular instalment hitting the shops in 1989. Continue reading
I was quite flippant about the performance when I posted a photo of a Scotch Dynarange C-90 in 2012, but it’s often very hard with old tapes to evaluate them properly, since so little is known about the recording conditions, and there’s little or no space to record new sequences for test purposes.
Gladly, however, I’ve now unearthed an early ‘70s Scotch Dynarange C-120 with plenty of blank space on Side B, so I set about establishing what these 40+ year-old stalwarts are like when it comes to preserving a known quality of signal. Continue reading
Technically, it’s an abomination. Inaccurate sonic reproduction, often lacking high end definition, drizzled in haphazard distortions, subject to random pitch fluctuations and topped off with a hissy backdrop. But to some, these technically woeful traits have come to represent beauty, character, charm. Why? Why do some of us prefer a bad recording to a good one? Why do we actually like lo-fi? Continue reading