Best cassettes for recording?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Jamollo, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. Jamollo

    Jamollo Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Buffalo
    I just acquired a Tascam portastudio MKII 4 track recorder. In the manual it says I should be using 45 or 60 minute type II cassettes. Does anyone know anything about recording on cassette tapes and what the best tapes I could get would be. I saw some 30 minute type II TDK cassette tapes on ebay labelled as professional studio master tapes. Those seemed good. Also, could I use type IV cassettes with this machine? I hear those are the best kind. Looking to learn a little more about this before I jump into recording
    Thanks
     
  2. steviej

    steviej Active Member

    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    Head over to duplication.ca and order as many Type II tapes as you'd like. I've been using them for years, and they have always been fantastic.

    90 minute tapes are thinner than 60 minutes, so people recommend using 60 minutes to avoid problems with wear and tear. From my own experience, I haven't found much difference, but I don't do a lot of heavy lifting with the tapes.

    The difference from Type I to Type II is huge in terms of headroom and noise
     
    nosliw likes this.
  3. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Active Member

    Location:
    Colorado foothills
    It depends what you're going to be recording. For copying from another source, Type IV or Metal tapes are overkill, and very pricey.

    Type II will do a good job from most any reputable brand you can find. TDK, Maxell, Fuji and even Sony are the usual suspects.

    Even Type I from prime brands can be better than you'd expect.

    Cheers,
    Larry B.
     
    shirleyujest likes this.
  4. The Portastudios weren't set up for metal tape, so you wouldn't get good results, plus it would cost you a lot to get those not good results. I'd say TDK and Maxell were my preferred high bias tapes, and they can be had for not too much via eBay.
     
  5. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    Maxell XLII-S or TDK SA-X, good product until the end of production.

    I hate to poo-poo, but "poo poo". This might be an okay bedroom jam recorder, but even the most basic computer sound interface will excel over it in sound quality, and you don't have to wait for the tape to rewind.
     
  6. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Active Member

    Location:
    Colorado foothills
    Another thing to keep in mind is that the "type" is in no way an indicator of quality - it merely specifies the bias and equalization standards it was intended for. There are good and bad examples of all types (although I doubt there's very many bad Type IV!).

    Cheers,
    Larry B.
     
  7. Jamollo

    Jamollo Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Buffalo
    I’m recording and mixing my own music. I see a lot of Maxell type II tapes that say Black Magnetite. Is this a good material?
     
  8. Jamollo

    Jamollo Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Buffalo
  9. brianplowe

    brianplowe Member

    Location:
    Kansas
    I use the ones in my avatar.
     
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  10. Nick Dunning

    Nick Dunning Forum Resident

    Maxell XL-11S.

    The best quality cassettes I ever used in my Tascam portastudio. Even now we have a fair sized stock in case they're needed.

    I've played a couple of 20+ year old tapes recently. Still sound incredible.
     
  11. Guitarded

    Guitarded Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montana
    Like most here I used mainly XL IIS and SA-X 90 and all of my tapes have held up well.

    Also had real good luck with Denon HD8 tapes through the years.
     
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  12. Jamollo

    Jamollo Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Buffalo
    If they’re being sold still sealed from 20+ years ago would they probably have warped or be unusable at this point similar to vinyl that has been in its originally packaging for many years.
     
  13. Nick Dunning

    Nick Dunning Forum Resident

    We used a sealed one in April for a muckabout session and it was fine.
     
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  14. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    TDK SA-X, always liked these better than the standard SA tapes.
     
  15. Guitarded

    Guitarded Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montana
    Not if they were properly stored.

    With any cassette, anymore - make sure you flat wind them before you start using them to record.
     
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  16. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germantown, Md.
    Sure, I have a good deck, and good quality blank tapes. I'm not going to throw them out. The sound quality is great. I record just the music I want to play,
    and don't have to fast forward, or rewind. There are many things still happening "in the 21st century". Don't be too shocked. Jeez...
     
    andrewskyDE, Alan2, TheVU and 3 others like this.
  17. Guitarded

    Guitarded Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montana

    Still running tapes on occasion. Can't help it. I have too many early / 1st gen bootlegs to not enjoy it.
     
    vinylontubes likes this.
  18. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germantown, Md.
    There ya go. :righton:
     
  19. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Active Member

    Location:
    Colorado foothills
    TDK and Maxell, just like cassette. Even some Scotch Classic. Seriously.

    Cheers,
    Larry B.
     
    dalem5467 likes this.
  20. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA
    Go here, and ask for a demo pak. Test them out and try for yourself. They offer "fresh" tape and can handle your other production needs if required.

    M~
     
    vinylontubes likes this.
  21. Jamollo

    Jamollo Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Buffalo
    Thanks for the tip. These seem pretty good. How do you ask for a demo pack?
     
  22. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA
    Email them. They are very good about helping to meet their customer's needs. Your particular situation seems to be one that fits their business model.

    M~
     
  23. A lot of guys into vintage cars like to use the vintage audio gear from that era. Cassette players were the going thing for a couple decades. This is just one area, of many, that justifies quality cassette tapes and making mix tapes. Besides, why can't a guy use cassette tapes, and that equipment, simply because he wants to?
    That is like saying never again ride a horse because we now have cars.
    Never again cook over an open wood fire because we now have natural gas and electric ranges.
    Never again fly a piston engine, propeller, airplane because we now have jets.

    Some things are done just for the fun of it.
     
    DRM, ohnothimagen, JimSpark and 2 others like this.
  24. Thesmellofvinyl

    Thesmellofvinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cohoes, NY USA
    Even on a modest system, an LP dubbed to cassette can sound just about as good as the vinyl; and as others have mentioned, it's fun. My favorite was Maxell II-S but I rarely bought those. I would wait until a 10-pack of TDK SA90 was on sale for about $16 at Harry's Discount Department Store. That usually held me until the next sale.
    [​IMG]
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  25. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Active Member

    Location:
    Colorado foothills
    Guess I'd better dump my last VCR, and all the great concerts from MTV recorded in the '80s that were never repeated or reissued.

    Oh well, gotta keep up...

    Cheers,
    Larry B.
     

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