Nostalgia for the audio cassette is raging. Taylor Swift and Ellie Goulding both recently released a record on tape, and there are now some really good recordings available on the format.
But how do you know which tape is the best for you? Here are a few things to look for when buying a cassette.
Type 1 tapes, also known as ferrics to cassette tape enthusiasts, are essentially ground rust mixed with some chemicals and stuck to a mylar plastic tape base. They are typically a dark brown color with varying quality.
They will sound good in a standard deck, but can lack bass and high end reproduction when compared to other formulations. They are known to have a “warm” effect on music and can be used to mellow out harsh digital recordings.
They are also notoriously unreliable as the plastic shell can corrode from the constant rubbing of the little reels turning inside. These tapes often command huge prices on ebay and should only be purchased sealed.
Type II tapes, otherwise known as High Bias or Chrome Tapes, are designed to improve on the lack of high frequencies provided by normal bias type I tape. They use chrome based particles instead of just ferric ones to allow them to record higher levels and higher frequencies.
These tapes are compatible with most cassette decks you will find around these days. The trade off is that the low end is slightly compromised compared to type 1.
These tapes are very rare, and only made for a few years. If your machine is not setup for them you will get poor recordings, either too bassy or two crisp.
Type 3s are driven by their desire to outperform others and succeed. This desire for achievement and recognition is often a source of competition and frustration.
This personality type is prone to sacrificing their own personal needs in order to achieve their goals. They also find it difficult to maintain relationships with people who are not striving for the same things as them.
These tapes are made of a mix of iron oxide particles with a chrome top coating. They typically require a bias setting somewhere between normal and high in order to work properly.
A tape with a double layer of ferricobalt which was used in the 1980’s to create a superior quality tape. These were never really popular and are a rare find in the market place.
A very expensive cassette was offered by sony which has an actual metal shell for the tape to enclose in. These are some of the most prized collectors tapes on the market.
They had the highest output levels of any cassette but don’t try to use them for “warm up” sounds as they will not have the same cd like sound and won’t be as punchy as type 1 or 2. This was the last step of a long journey for me to achieve a cd quality sound on a compact cassette.
Reel to Reel
Reel to reel tape (R2R) is a magnetic tape audio recording format. The recording tape is spooled between two progressively empty “take-up” reels, with the end of the tape threaded through mechanical guides and over a tape head assembly.
This format was widely used by professional and amateur musicians until the introduction of compact cassettes in 1963. Although these small, inexpensive tapes had a significant impact on the popularity of the R2R format for consumer use, they compromised fidelity.
Cassette Metal Rollin is the modern day successor to the traditional drawing die system. Its most notable feature is its ability to roll shaped wire and profiles of varying widths without the need for a separate mill. The machine also possesses some of the finest quality equipment and parts on the market – a true testament to its design and engineering. The most exciting part is that it can be tailored to the individual client’s needs, which allows for a higher level of customization than ever before. The resulting machines are the envy of their peers. The company has been around since 1993 and is a leader in the field of industrial screens (paper making, pulp and petroleum) and related hardware.