Tascam making new Type II Cassettes

Findlay

Member
Apologies if this has been posted already but just spotted this:


Great news for Portastudio owners. Have a number of questions. Wonder what the price will be, how long they will be available for and if we will be able to buy them in the UK. Also made me consider that I think Tascam are recommending re-biasing and eq adjustment. Made me wonder if anyone had ever taken my recommendation a few years ago to rebias for Maxell Type I. No need to reset the eq with this and it sounds terrific.
 

Sheff37

Member
This is exciting. I bought my first 244 Tascam in 1982. In fact l bought the exact same recording rig that George Harrison bought. My first recording blew away my friend's Teac 4 track reel to reel. But l never ever used Type ll chrome or metal tape. Word got around they put too much wear on the tape heads, so we used Sony Black Magnetite. The 244 ran at double speed so the Type ll was going to be harder on the heads. And we slammed the meters. No need to rebias. We also only ran 90 minute tapes because the thinner recording tape hugged the heads better. Especially when we upgraded to the cassette 8 tracks in the late 80's. We bought a 388 too. There were concerns with the 90 min tapes stretching but we never had that issue.

I pretty much did nothing but digital recordings since 1996, although we recorded our 1998 CD on 1 inch 486. But about 10 years ago we found a Marantz deck in a Goodwill, bought a $1 brand new type l and recorded our gig that night. We used all digital processors and electric drums and the recording came out Fantastic. Its on youtube if you care to listen. But after that l decided to go back to tape. While l sold the 244 in the 80's l still had a Yamaha MTX8 and MTX4. So l put all new belts and rollers etc. This was back in LA and l was able to find NOS parts for both, but decent tape has been a problem since.

While this new tape is not true Type ll, and it is not Sony Magnetite, it is said to be Cobalt which is the next best thing. And you dont have to rebias, just trust you ears, not your meters. Slam those and get as much signal on the tape as possible. I also hope Tascam makes it in 90 inch lengths but that may be asking too much. We never had issues with the 4 Tracks, but on the 8 Tracks we found with 60 inch tape sometimes we would lose Track-8. And it really was all the tape. Once we switched back to 90 minute tape that problem went away.

This is how we record: guitar and bass through processors into a COSM amp simulator, then into a tube preamp directly to a tape channel. Vocals into a VX300 directly to tape. The processor has great preamps and eq so thats all you need. V-Drums into a COSM amp simulator to tape. V-Drums cymbals to a tube preamp to tape. You want your lead instruments to go directly to tape. Keyboard can be added in the DAW. When your done recording to tape you dump all 4 or 8 tracks to the DAW. While it isnt good practice to record everything to tape wet, the tape takes the digital edge off and brings your sound to "Life". Hence we record everything wet.

But this is exciting. I hope Tascam is listening to us.
 

Sheff37

Member
My worry is this limited time thing. Which means there has been only one manufacturing run. I ran a tape duplicating facilty from 1986 to around the turn of the Century. We used Tascam porta studios and duplicated millions of cassettes. Mostly spoken word, for guys like Jim Baker and some of the biggest preachers in the business. But all spoken word has music. We broke every recording rule in the book and created new ones. Our sound quality was better than the major labels. There is no doubt this tape will sell out fast. And it probably wont be cheap, but if Tascam can make enough profit, hopefully they can keep it going for another 10 years.
 

Sheff37

Member
Apologies if this has been posted already but just spotted this:


Great news for Portastudio owners. Have a number of questions. Wonder what the price will be, how long they will be available for and if we will be able to buy them in the UK. Also made me consider that I think Tascam are recommending re-biasing and eq adjustment. Made me wonder if anyone had ever taken my recommendation a few years ago to rebias for Maxell Type I. No need to reset the eq with this and it sounds terrific.
I would not worry about adjusting the bias. Get a good recording that sounds good to your ears. Everyone that buys this new tape is going to pull out thier old porta studios and put as little wear and tear on them as possible.
 

Findlay

Member
Az
This is exciting. I bought my first 244 Tascam in 1982. In fact l bought the exact same recording rig that George Harrison bought. My first recording blew away my friend's Teac 4 track reel to reel. But l never ever used Type ll chrome or metal tape. Word got around they put too much wear on the tape heads, so we used Sony Black Magnetite. The 244 ran at double speed so the Type ll was going to be harder on the heads. And we slammed the meters. No need to rebias. We also only ran 90 minute tapes because the thinner recording tape hugged the heads better. Especially when we upgraded to the cassette 8 tracks in the late 80's. We bought a 388 too. There were concerns with the 90 min tapes stretching but we never had that issue.

I pretty much did nothing but digital recordings since 1996, although we recorded our 1998 CD on 1 inch 486. But about 10 years ago we found a Marantz deck in a Goodwill, bought a $1 brand new type l and recorded our gig that night. We used all digital processors and electric drums and the recording came out Fantastic. Its on youtube if you care to listen. But after that l decided to go back to tape. While l sold the 244 in the 80's l still had a Yamaha MTX8 and MTX4. So l put all new belts and rollers etc. This was back in LA and l was able to find NOS parts for both, but decent tape has been a problem since.

While this new tape is not true Type ll, and it is not Sony Magnetite, it is said to be Cobalt which is the next best thing. And you dont have to rebias, just trust you ears, not your meters. Slam those and get as much signal on the tape as possible. I also hope Tascam makes it in 90 inch lengths but that may be asking too much. We never had issues with the 4 Tracks, but on the 8 Tracks we found with 60 inch tape sometimes we would lose Track-8. And it really was all the tape. Once we switched back to 90 minute tape that problem went away.

This is how we record: guitar and bass through processors into a COSM amp simulator, then into a tube preamp directly to a tape channel. Vocals into a VX300 directly to tape. The processor has great preamps and eq so thats all you need. V-Drums into a COSM amp simulator to tape. V-Drums cymbals to a tube preamp to tape. You want your lead instruments to go directly to tape. Keyboard can be added in the DAW. When your done recording to tape you dump all 4 or 8 tracks to the DAW. While it isnt good practice to record everything to tape wet, the tape takes the digital edge off and brings your sound to "Life". Hence we record everything wet.

But this is exciting. I hope Tascam is listening to us.
I am wondering if it is really a cobalt type I. I get such good results with rebiased type I it would make sense. Easy enough to rebias, takes about 15 minutes
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I just mentioned this in the technical dressing room - present were two from the sound team the DSM and a 30+ ASM. Some nodded their heads, sagely. I also mentioned I's just been outbid on Ebay for a reel to reel. "What's a reel to reel?" The sound No1 sighed and walked out of the room. Sound 2 shook her head. I described what a reel to reel was. "Oh" he said "Like a movie projector?" I just said "sort of" and left. It's a sad world, isn't it! The DSM is explaining what a cassette is....
 
Hate to be a buzzkill but these cassettes aren't very good. They're manufactured by NAC, which produced this formula after 4 years of trial and error and it doesn't have a great reputation. These Tascam cassettes are collectors items and that's about it. $22 a tape is WAY overpriced and they won't perform anywhere near what an old MAxell XLII or TDK SA will in your Porta or tape deck. It's not actual Type II tape, it's basically a type I cobalt tape biased for type II. If you have a three head deck then it will work better for you as you can bias it yourself, but for what we do you're better off buying new or used Maxell/Sony/TDK cassettes.
 

flyingace

Active member
I saw that posted on the Tascam FB page, really fun and exciting. I’m definitely going to get some, if anything just for show in my old Portastudio 244 and 122MkIII cassette deck!!
 

Findlay

Member
My worry is this limited time thing. Which means there has been only one manufacturing run. I ran a tape duplicating facilty from 1986 to around the turn of the Century. We used Tascam porta studios and duplicated millions of cassettes. Mostly spoken word, for guys like Jim Baker and some of the biggest preachers in the business. But all spoken word has music. We broke every recording rule in the book and created new ones. Our sound quality was better than the major labels. There is no doubt this tape will sell out fast. And it probably wont be cheap, but if Tascam can make enough profit, hopefully they can keep it going for another 10 years.
Hate to be a buzzkill but these cassettes aren't very good. They're manufactured by NAC, which produced this formula after 4 years of trial and error and it doesn't have a great reputation. These Tascam cassettes are collectors items and that's about it. $22 a tape is WAY overpriced and they won't perform anywhere near what an old MAxell XLII or TDK SA will in your Porta or tape deck. It's not actual Type II tape, it's basically a type I cobalt tape biased for type II. If you have a three head deck then it will work better for you as you can bias it yourself, but for what we do you're better off buying new or used Maxell/Sony/TDK cassettes.
Great to hear from you Level Anything. Hope you are well. Just seen your reply. Looks like these are going to cost $35 each and not available in the UK. Thanks for the heads up about these not being true Type II. I'm going to stick with re-biasing to my Maxell Type 1s, around $1 each. Sort of reinforces my ideas that the 244 runs superbly on re-biased Type 1.
 

flyingace

Active member
So, I got this cassette last month. What a piece of crap. I thought the reels were aluminum and that it would be a high quality plastic case, Etc. but it’s super cheap, the tape is mediocre at best and the reels are plastic (thin At that) and “painted” to look like metal. Very cheap, big ripoff. When I contacted them, they said I’d have to ship it back for a refund at my own cost In the box (ridiculously oversized for one cassette) Not worth the $12 to send back to them when I paid $24. I’ll keep it as a novelty. But I wouldn’t recommend anyone buying them!
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
I wonder how much all my old UD XLIIs TDK SAs, Fuji FRIIs etc are worth. I could hit them with the bulk eraser and put them on the market. The majority were just album dubs anyway, so they don't have anything that isn't available anymore.
 
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