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 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. Continue reading

The Type I Normal Bias Audio Cassette

The Type I normal bias audio cassette was the standard and most widely compatible tape format – the direct descendant of the original compact cassette. The tape preserved sound by means of a ferric-oxide coating, and first appeared on the consumer market in the mid 1960s. Even though the new high bias (Type II) cassette appeared in the early 1970s, through the rest of the decade the standard (Type I) format remained so dominant in the market that it wasn’t felt necessary by manufacturers to overtly distinguish it as a type. Only in the 1980s, when high bias tapes really began to take off, did type designations routinely start to appear on cassette shells and/or labels.

mid 1980s Sony HF-ES90 Audio Cassette Continue reading

1993 TDK AR60 Type I Audio Cassette

1993 TDK AR60 Audio Cassette

The TDK AR60 was one of the better Type I audio cassettes. The sound from Type I tapes could vary enormously, going from a woolly blob of poorly defined warbling at the low end of the market, up to a frequency-rich and high fidelity experience in the more expensive echelons. Not that Type I cassettes could ever be described as expensive in themselves, but if you used a lot of them and bought in bulk, there’d be a dramatic difference in price between a batch of low end Type Is and the high end alternatives. Continue reading

Belinda Carlisle – Heaven on Earth Audio Cassette (1987)

Belinda Carlisle - Heaven on Earth Audio Cassette (1987)

For some reason, the solo career of ex-Go-Gos singer Belinda Carlisle always made me think of Feargal Sharkey – the ex-Undertones singer whose solo work had taken off slightly earlier in the decade. They were both characters from the late ’70s alternative (punk-orientated) rock scene, with a similar rapid vibrato in their voices, who turned to the mainstream in the middle of the 1980s and stormed the UK charts in major fashion. Continue reading

1996 Sony FXI 90 Audio Cassette

1996 Sony FXI 90 Audio Cassette

I thought this was an attractive looking tape for its era. This is the Sony FXI, from 1996 – a normal bias Type I cassette which, despite its rather eyecatching appearance, fell very firmly into the cheap and cheerful category. Continue reading

Emtec Sound I 90 Normal Bias Audio Cassette

Emtec Sound I Normal Bias Audio Cassette

An audio cassette from Emtec, which was the brand that engulfed BASF in the late 1990s. This Emtec Sound I 90 is a normal bias Type I tape, bearing the Emtec name, but an amended version of the BASF logo, with ‘EMTEC’ replacing ‘BASF’ in its top left-hand corner. Continue reading

1983 Memorex dB Series 60 Audio Cassette

1983 Memorex dB Series 60 Audio Cassette

Despite the fact that the Memorex dB Series tape doesn’t appear on Vintage 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. Continue reading