Slowakische Kassettensite mit allen Einlegern
#1
Liebe alle

Beim Surfen bin ich heute auf diese slowakische Kassettensite gestossen - vielleicht kennt Ihr sie schon; im Gegensatz zu so machen anderen Kassetten-Webseiten scheint mir der Macher aber ziemlich bis sehr gut Bescheid zu wissen - so jedenfalls meine Einschätzung. Die Site ist nur slowakisch, ich musste daher einen Webtranslator bemühen. Seh schön finde ich, dass man bei jedem Exemplar die OVP, die Kassette ausgepackt und dann auch noch die Einleger von allen Seiten sieht. Das hat der echt super gemacht.

Hier der Link - die Site ist gemäss meiner Einschätzung seriös, man kann die also öffnen trotz der etwas seltsamen Bezeichnung:
AUDIO (ez647.sk)

Wie schätzt Ihr seine Einschätzungen zu den Bandzusammensetzungen ein? Auf mich wirkt das sehr kompetent, und wo er sich nicht sicher ist schreibt er das auch hin (etwa bei den Greencorp-Typ II). Das macht die Sache glaubwürdig.

Gerade weil er auf mich kompetent wirkt finde ich aber sehr bemerkenswert, dass er beiden ICM-Typ II-Kassetten ab etwa 1986 grundsätzlich davon ausgeht, dass es sich um BASF/AGFA-Band handelt. Selbst bei den Philips UCX und MCX mit dem ICM-Gehäuse und den PDM CD und PDM CD-X geht er von BASF/AGFA aus (bei den älteren Philips und den PDMagnetics mit den Philips-Gehäusen differenziert er die Angaben). Kann da sein?

Interessant finde ich auch, dass er bei den SK-Kassetten Typ II (und auch bei der Lifetec, die ja aus demselben Haus kommt) davon ausgeht, dass es sich um BASF-Band "neueren Datums" handelt, und das auch explizit ausformuliert: also FeCo. 

LG
Manuel
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#2
Zitat:vielleicht kennt Ihr sie schon

Ja die Seite ist bereits bekannt und wurde auch in vielen Threads hier schon verlinkt.  Die Seite ist echt mit viel Aufwand gemacht, es gibt sogar Übersichten zu Wickelkernen und Vorspannbändern.
Die Bandzusammensetzungen sind weitesgehend richtig, aber in solchen Spezailfällen wie OEMs sind die mit Sicherheit auch oft nur "plausibel geraten" aber nicht gesichert.
Die TDK AR wird dort als Avilyn Band bezeichnet ist aber laut TDK kein Avilyn. Auch bei den Erscheinungsjahren gibts einige Fehler... Trotzdem tolle Seite und fast immer meine erste Anlaufstelle.
Schreib ihn doch einfach mal an (ez1647(at)gmail.com) und frage ihn ob das gesicherte Infos sind, oder warum er die Herkunft zumindest stark vermutet...
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#3
Ich kannte die Seite noch nicht. Ist sehr interessant.
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#4
Hi,
I'm from Slovakia, I own website ez647.sk. Thank you for your trust, and for the wealth of information you have gathered over the years on your forum.
I would like to join and present some cassettes about which I have not learned enough information. At the same time to share photos and other information.
I don't know if this thread is appropriate for presenting audio cassettes from my collection, but I'll assume so Smile

I want to comment on the previous TDK AR cassette posts. The technical data in the TDK catalog for 1990 and 1992 lists the composition as "NP Avilyn" On the older production AR cassettes themselves, only NP Ferric is listed, and on the newer TDK AR cassettes, only "Super Premium Ferric" TDK and its marketing is a bit untrustworthy, so I've left NP Avilyn listed everywhere according to the period catalogs. It's correctly listed on TDK DS-X cassettes for the US market, there it says NP Avilyn Formulation.

My first cassette I will introduce in the very first post will be the Polymer Diamant Chromdioxide. I have no idea the year of manufacture at all. The shell design is unknown to me. A presumption of later direct production by Polimer? The tape looks like chromdioxide, there is very little aroma.
The tape is not translucent.
I've never seen a packaged audiotape in a black box without a transparent film.
https://ez647.sk/cc/polimer_chromdioxid_diamant.html

Thank you for the information.
Sincerely EZ


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#5
Hi, welcome to this board! Great to have the maker of one of the most interesting and detailed cassette web sites on here.

Your Polimer cassette is most likely from the early 90's, when some of the traditional East European tape companies came with modernised offerings, but unfortunately didn't survive but a few years, because everyone wanted their Maxell, TDK and Sony when they finally were freely available.

Even though I didn't know about this Polimer series in the 1990's, it was around that time I first saw this cassette shell. It came with a typical German "B-Brand" cassette called Golden Pon Superferro.

Golden Pon were always OEM products from Magna, who had a long collaboration with Polimer: From the late 70's and throughout the 80's, there were Magna cassettes with Polimer shells and vice versa. There were even cassettes labelled with both Magna and Polimer logos, and a text "Tape made in Western Germany" on them. So my guess is that the collaboration was still intact when this late Ploimer cassette was made, and the tape probably came to Hungary via Magna, who either still made it themselves, or took it from their other collaboration with Zonal in the UK.

The inside architecture of the shell is compatible to most Magna constructions from the 80's. Strangely, I have not yet seen any Magna branded cassette with this black shell, but that might be because Magna had switched to full clear shells only for their own brand by that time. Another possibility is that the shell was made in Hungary by Polimer on equipment they acquired from Magna. The softer than usual quality of the plastic would support that last theory. Hubs and slip sheets are probably standard parts bought from third parties.

Sorry for a lot of qualified guess work :-)

Regards
Martin
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#6
Thank you, I'm enjoying it, but there is still a lot of work to do on the site and a lot of inaccuracies, so with your help we would be putting it back in order little by little.

So for the Polimer Diamant cassette can I write Made in W.Germany, year 1990+ (newer) and the chromdioxide tape?
Or do I just put Tape Made in W.Germany?

Then I have an interesting Dixons DXII 90 cassette, I haven't taken pictures yet, but you can see it at the link.
https://ez647.sk/cc/dixons_dxii.html
It's strange, I thought it was a very old chromdioxide where the holes for type II were not yet standardized. But only recently I found out that it actually contains ferrochrome tape. That's why it surprised me, and the design is also very strange.
In addition, the tape suffers from an extreme amount of white grease, I will add photos later.

EZ
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#7
I'd rather write Assembled in Hungary for the Polimer cassette, and tape likely made in Germany. CrO2 tape formulation is also likely, if you say it looks black and is not translucent.

The Dixons has an Italian shell. I don't know the name of the manufacturer yet, but it's the same who provided Magnex and also the Italian PDM and MElectronic cassettes with shells.

White residue on FeCr tape is a hint on Agfa. If the tape surface is a rather matte dark grey, it would also point towards Agfa Carat FeCr tape.

Regards
Martin
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#8
Dixons DXII 90 Made in W.Germany
Could it be a marketing or manufacturing mistake with the FeCr tape?
I was thinking that they meant the older version of Agfa Superchrome tape, where there was real FeCr tape, but then again there is Type I cassette detection.
The white coating on the tape was wiped off with the heads, leaving a white line where I stopped the machine.

Other than that I digress, but again the Agfa Carat FeCr cassette in my collection is filled with ordinary ferro tape Smile


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#9
Hi, sorry for my delayed answer. You are right, it could also be Agfa's early Superchrom tape, which technically was a FeCr for Chrome/High position. I am not really sure what was the actual difference between these tapes, but it could be that the lower layer of the Carat coating was the classic Super Ferro Dynamic, while they took the "Japan-deck-optimised" Super Ferro Dynamic _I_ pigments for the lower layer of the Superchrom. I need to go through old Agfa promotional publications, sometimes they give useful information.

However, if it is the type II tape, then the company somewhere in Great Britain who loaded the German Agfa tape into the Italian shell has made a mistake and picked the wrong shell. And if it is the type III tape, they have picked the right shell, but still made a mistake and put the wrong labels and j-card on it :-)

I will post some pictures related to the Dixons and Polimer cassettes we discussed here in the "Cassettenschätze" thread.

Regards,
Martin
Martin
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#10
Thanks,
I'll start making notes on these cassettes, I'll change the Dixons to Shell Made in Italy, Tape Made in Germany by Agfa, FeCr type (old Stereochrome, or Carat)
The promotional materials could be very interesting. I've only collected a few things, but they are still very rare, which I'm sure you already know. https://ez647.sk/cc/c/katalog.html
I looked at the other thread, so I see you know both cassettes very well Smile

I still have to thank you very much though. I was recently going through some threads on your forum, I found translations of Japanese characters, from Japanese cassettes, where the origin is indicated. I expanded this knowledge and finally identified the Japanese cassettes correctly, these were mainly Sony CDix of recent vintage. I found out which ones had US tape put in them. So the packaging claimed USA, but I think we know where this is going.
I think the Mexican Aurex tape in the Japanese models of Sony cartridges has been exposed. I did find at least three types of tape in the last CDix though. It is very sad that some even suffer from scratching and sticking, decomposition of the binder, and these are very new pieces.
On this occasion I also wrote a post on the Slovak forum Vintagehifi.sk Where it is also possible to come and ask questions in any language Smile

EZ
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#11
Nora HDX Made in Turkey.
At first I only had the pictures I received in the mail and I had no idea what it was about.
When I got the tape physically, I found out that it said Turkish origin and I immediately associated it with Raks. But shell design elements are not common for Raks. The finish on the edge of the body is similar to some Sony's. The hubs look pretty much like the old Raks. The leader tape has a brand print.
The tape is unusable. Binder is in decomposition, showing signs of scratching and sticking. I haven't encountered this with Raks yet.
What do we know about these cassettes and tape? I have only found a single mention on the forum, but no detailed information.
Regards EZ


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#12
Hi and thanks for the link! Yes, I've been on that page with the catalogues before, but it must have been a while ago, because more have been added since.

Unfortunately I could not find technical info by Agfa on their early Superchrom formulation. Their publication "Magneton-Illustrierte", which sometimes had quite detailed product descriptions, seems to have ceased just about one year before the Carat, and 2-3 years before the Superchrom was introduced. Anyway, for the older models, you can find lots of useful information there (all in German):

http://www.tbf-austria.org/agfa.html

As an example, take a look at the article about Super Ferro Dynamic on pages 2-4 of this number:

http://www.tbf-austria.org/files/agfa39.pdf

Besides the technical data and graphs for frequency response and THD, they reveal some formulation codes:

PE 67, PE 87, PE 127 is Stereochrom (C-60/90/120)
PE 68, PE 88, PE 128 is Super (their early Superferric)
PE 69, PE 89, PE 129 is Super Ferro Dynamic (the newer Superferric with higher dynamic and pigment from Pfizer)

Not mentioned in this article, but in earlier editions:

PE 65, PE 85, PE 125 were Agfa's first cassette tapes from the mid-late 1960's (with PE 65 being the exact same tape as the triple record for reel to reel)
PE 66, PE 86, PE 126 was the Low Noise type (again, PE 66 was also availabe for reel to reel)

Now about the Nora tape. I think this was an independent manufacturer in Turkey. Even though Raks also had shells which mimicked the 1979 Sony shells, they are too different from each other.

Some of the last generation Magna cassettes have shells which I suspect are from Nora, too (or whoever actually made them):

http://agfabasf.com/images/content/1347.jpg

I need to find an open one and take pictures. They have many details in common with the Nora shells. The problems with the tape you described sound familiar to me from a tape that Magna used in some of their better type I models, like Super Ferro XD or XD Professional. Could be either Magna's own or a Zonal tape.

Regards
Martin
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#13
(26.06.2022, 09:38)Kirunavaara schrieb: Hi, welcome to this board! Great to have the maker of one of the most interesting and detailed cassette web sites on here.

I second that...  welcome EZ!
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#14
Very interesting materials. It's really a pity it didn't last until the end, until 1989.
I would like to see those compositions regarding tape and pigment in all cassettes and other manufacturers.
I'll have to study it and pick out the right information for the descriptions of the Agfa audio cassettes I have on the site, because especially with Type I, my knowledge is lacking, as there were many similar models, especially with the superferro ones I never know when it's ultra-fine iron oxide and when the cobalt starts to come in. Although I suppose with Agfa it probably started with Magnetite and not cobalt.
If I'm going through my Agfa Type I's, the only thing I'd probably be most interested in is the difference between LN and LNS. Then the Super High Dynamic and the Super Ferro Dynamic. Of course, I've read about the latter in those publications where ultra fine iron oxide with perfect needle geometry is mentioned.
Those composition codes PE 67 etc. are probably not listed on the audiotape packaging, are they?

I only have two Magna audiotapes in the clear shell. They are both different, and don't even match the one you gave from the Agfabasf link, apparently each cassette is unique and I don't know them at all, to me they are exotics in the collection. But my Superferro has the classic screws, but the chrome version is welded.
So far I haven't had a problem with the binder and tape sticking with the Magna, but I'm finding these problems more and more often on the cassettes.
With the Agfa, I've occasionally had tapes that were incorrectly wrapped, the foil didn't match the inserted audio cassette.
With the Magna I had the problem that apparently during assembly the shielding metal plate fell into the cassette body and got stuck between the reels. I thought it was a damaged moulding, but after opening it up I found that the shielding plate was in the right place and another one was stuck between the reels, which can be seen clearly here: https://ez647.sk/cc/magnaii/b/magna_chro...i6084c.jpg

I still want to ask about the Pfizer one, is it the same company as recently discussed very often regarding the crisis?

As another topic that has been bothering me, I would like to address SNC vs Saehan Korea, these companies are driving me crazy because apart from the Japan sign I don't see the difference Big Grin


2245:
Thank you very much!
I really appreciate what you have done with the Maxell cassettes and their serial numbers.
I want to ask, is there any hope of decoding the Sony audiocassettes?


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#15
Zitat:I want to ask, is there any hope of decoding the Sony audiocassettes?

To the same extend like TDK and Maxell... I don't think so, but I had the same feeling when I tried Maxell after I  managed to decipher most of the TDK codes around 5 years ago.
And when I tried again earlier this year, suddenly I had an idea and it went very easy from that point on.
So far I'm pretty sure, that for many Sony Cassettes from the 80s til somwhere around 1991-92 the third digit from the right is the year of manufacturing and after that, It might be the second digit from the right, but there are some Sony cassettes where it does not make sense...
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#16
Very interesting, indeed on most Sony audiotapes it makes sense.
I have a few models that aren't in the catalogs at all, so I'll have to check them all out.
I tentatively think, for example, that the Sony EF 1988 and 1990 are to be switched as well, judging by the booklet design, which fits more with the EF 1992.
I also think the Sony HF USA 1995 is actually supposed to be 1998 and the Hifi cassette will be older.
I'm going to go through and make notes, I think there will be a lot of things to fix.
Thanks a lot!
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#17
A brief compilation of Agfa cassette tapes:

- ca 1965: PE 65, 85, 125: Standard formula (PE 85 and 125 for C-90 and C-120 came a year or two later)
- ca 1968: PE 66, 86, 126: Low noise
- ca 1971: PE 67, 87, 127: Stereochrom
- ca 1972: PE 68, 88, 128: Super
- ca 1975: PE 69, 89, 129: Super Ferro Dynamic
- ca 1976: PE 610, 810: FeCr Carat
- ca 1978: PE 611, 811, 1211: Super Ferro Dynamic I
- ca 1979: PE 612: Magnetite for duplicators
- ca 1979: PE 613, 813: Superchrom (FeCr coated)
- ca 1980: PE 614(?), 814(?): Metal
- ca 1981: PE 619, 819, 1219: IEC I standard ferric for Ferrocolor HD, LNX and duplicators
- ca 1982: PE 662, 962, 1262: Magnetite for Superferro HDX and F-DX I S
- ca 1987: PE 649, 949: IEC I standard ferric for F-DX I, HR, LNX and duplicators. No C-120 thickness any more.
- ca 1989: PE 657, 957: SR-XS double layer CrO2
- ca 1989: PE 667, 967: SR single layer Cr or Cr/Co hybrid?
- ca 1989: 601, 901: Maxell UD I tape for Agfa HR-S
- ca 1989: 603, 903: Maxell XL I-S tape for Agfa HR-XS
- ca 1989: 604, 904: Maxell UD II or XL II tape for Agfa SR-S
- ca 1990: 605, 905: BASF Ferro Maxima I tape for Agfa HR-XS

The last one or two digits are the crhinoligical number of the pigment type. The Magnetite tape was first introduced for duplicators, with little success, which must have been around 1978-79, and returned later in the Superferro HDX and F-DX I S consumer models.

Some numbers are missing, especially the newer iterations of Stereochrom and Superchrom from 1982 onwards. You can find the codes on the spine of the cassettes in the last edition from 1989-91, but not on older Agfa cassettes. I have collected them mostly from Agfa's publications, and from third party cassettes where the smaller companies were kind enough to write which Agfa pancakes they used to wind into their shells.

In the last line-up from 1989, many tapes were sourced from other companies. HR-S is Maxell UD I, HR-XS is sometimes Maxell XL I-S and sometimes BASF Ferro Maxima, SR-S is Maxell UD II or XL II.

LNS was a budget model below the official entry level Ferrocolor. Probably the same tape, which may either be pigment type 6 or 8. I suppose the old type 6 was discontinued by the late 70's, so the type 8 "Super" formula is more likely here. A hint on this is the "High Dynamic" marking, which had been there since the first use of type 8 tape in the white Super models from 1972.

Yes, Pfizer is the big chemical company you are thinking about. In the mid-70's, they had developed a process to make finer iron oxide particles than what was available before. Many of the US and European tape producers jumped on it: Agfa Super Ferro Dynamic, Ampex 20/20, BASF LH super, Memorex MRX3 and Philips Super Quality all used that very same oxide from Pfizer as base material. Not sure about Audio Magnetics XHE, Certron HE, EMI X1000 and Scotch High Energy.

That hum shield in your Magna was funny :-) Such things happened, with most brands, except for the Japanese, these were almost always perfect.

For me it is also impossible to distinguish between SNC and early Saehan. The later Saehan have a lesser refined surface with thicker lines between the "TDK bricks" on the shell, but the early ones look quite exactly the same as the original SNC. The best clue is the storage case, if you can make sure it is still the original. The SNC made tapes have cases where there is almost always a Made in Japan on them, the Saehan made ones have either one of Saehan's own case designs or cases that look like Fuji from the early 80's.

Yes, the Sony EF versions you have listed as 1988 and 1990 need to be switched around. Then maybe the older one is from 1989/90 and the newer from 1991/92. The EAN code gives the hint that the first one of these two was released about the same time as the first Metal-XR and Metal-S. Unfortunately the EAN codes were not changed any more with design updates since the early 90's.

Unfortunately I don't know much about Sony's US line-ups. But I tend to agree with you that the "Hifi" should be the older version than the red/grey HF.

Regards
Martin
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#18
Thank you very much for the precious information! It's going to take a lot of time to process this and get it in order.

I was thinking of Pfizer in the context of vaccines, since even google identifies this company as the largest pharmaceutical company in the world.

I've thought about Saehan many times because for example their higher end Type II's like the Saehan SX, MA, or most of those older models have a very strange tape that has some hints of Metal type. Its smell is similar to some of the old metal ones, in my case I recall an identical aroma to the Scotch Metafine tape.
The color of Type IV tape is often a lighter gray than black. Lighter than chromdioxide or Black Magnetite.
Even these Saehan's sometimes accomplish this. Its sonic properties are also special. It sometimes requires a high bias, higher than other Type IIs. Some automatic calibrations can have problems with it like Technics. Machines without calibration sometimes sound very harsh to ugly and unhealthy on these tapes.
Do we know anything about Saehan, SNC, and old Konica-Magnax manufacturing practices? I was just always wondering about some manufacturing connections regarding the tape process, coating and things like that.
Saehan/Samsung probably never offered Type IV audiotapes or Video8 format, maybe they thought differently and could have combined FeCo and metal technologies, but that's my big imagination as with many other theories. But that "metal" feeling has been confirmed to me by several members on our Slovakia forum.
The sudden switch of the old Konica/Magnax brand from Japanese production to Saehan products is also so strange, but maybe it may not be anything exceptional Smile.
The merging of designs between SNC and Saehan is also strange, or is it just a silly copy of designs.
I'll keep an eye out for Made in Japan brands, but other than the labels, packaging and plastic cases, I don't think I've noticed it on SNC.
There is an SNC HQ1 in my collection that says on the back that it was made to Soda Nikka's instructions, so I left the origin as Saehan Korea for now.
In the case of the SoundBreeze Type II, it's listed the same way, but the hubs there also betray the classic Saehan design.

Well there is a lot more to come, for now thank you for your knowledge.
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#19
Hi

For this month, I got new tapes. I can't get to grips with the two Scotch CX and the Dynarange. They look the same but have a different tape, the CX is for Europe and the Dynarange for the US. Both audiotapes look like the old SKC. Yet the Dynarange packaging says Made in USA.

EZ


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#20
Yes, looking like SKC, even the Norelco Box has the typical SKC "hubstar" wich most probably was copied from DENON and turned by 180 degrees.

   
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#21
So I was a bit wrong, I meant to say that these are old SKCs, we have experience with cassettes like Vision SH https://ez647.sk/cc/skc_i/b/vision_sh6082c.jpg
The newer Scotch CX https://ez647.sk/cc/scotchi/b/scotch_cx9088c.jpg
Or Quantegy AVX https://ez647.sk/cc/rozne/b/quantegy.jpg
So I just don't understand why both cassettes are the same, if the packaging says Made in USA on one and Made in Korea on the other. Deceiving the customer again? Or did they really use SKC cassettes and filled them in the USA with their own tape?
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#22
Zitat:Deceiving the customer again?
To some part of course, but the US laws were strict, so I doubt they really cheated with the imprint. So like you said they probably ordered the cassettes without tape from Korea and löaded them with US made tape or they got all the the parts from Korea and assembled them in the US.  But who knows, maybe they even got casting molds from SKC to to mold the shells in the US for some time....



Btw. the 1988 Korean XSII is missing on your site, do you want to have pictures to ad it?
   
   
   
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#23
Thank you, but currently I have the activity of adding pictures from people on hold. I had a few hundred images stacked up, I had a work in progress on them at the beginning of the year, but the hard drive died with them. So I've put adding on hold for now, because I haven't decided whether I want to deal with saving the disk or doing it all over again. I've put too many activities on myself and so I'm not keeping up at all.
But you can email me, I'll still have to go through all the materials and process them. There's really an extreme amount of pictures.
I'm currently very tight on processing the audiotapes that came to me physically for this month. But it's probably still a bad habit this year to do the update on the last days of the month.
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#24
Hi! I have also stumbled across these Scotch Dynarange with SKM-shaped shells and Made in USA imprint, and I support the theory that 3M or a US-based sub-contractor ordered C-0 shells from Korea to load them with tape, label and package them in the USA. Why am I thinking so? Because this was common practice among some American tape companies during the early-mid 1980's.

A similar case that comes to my mind are late Memorex HB II, those with screws. It's the same SKM shell (just for type II of course), loaded with a tape that looks like the original Memorex HB II, put in a Norelco box that comes from either Memorex themselves or from Radio Shack, and it also has the Made in USA imprint.

Additionally, you have several Audio Magnetics cassettes, partly from their sub-brand "Tracs", partly from their Canadian branch, that come in SKM and Saehan shells, but all the packaging is completely American, not sure about the tape though.

Back to the early 80's Scotch series. Most likely, the line-up in this design was marketed with the new names in Europe from the beginning, and with all tapes being OEM products:

BX from Hong Kong
CX from SKM
XS I, XS II and XSM IV from Denon

All these were probably also available in the US at a later point, because you can find them quite frequently in American eBay offers (not only from the big flippers who have tapes from everywhere...). But in the beginning, the US market received their own series, which was quite short-lived, and provided the last cassettes made by 3M themselves:

Highlander - in old blue shell
Dynarange - SKM shell, maybe 3M's own tape or Memorex tape
Master I, Master II - in new, black 3M shells which only existed for a short time, and for these two models

Here you can find them all:
http://agfabasf.com/catalog/scotch/scotch-1982-useur/

Now I have a hope to one fine day find a Metafine in the same design. I don't know if it exists.

Cheers
Martin
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#25
Thank you for your reply.

Scotch and Memorex are extremely complicated brands for me. Memorex I tried to understand and do an article on, but there are an extraordinary number of models that hierarchically don't make sense.
It's like a sampling of audiotapes from different manufacturers around the world, especially small or cheap ones.
The Memorex HBII I have is the most recent one, circa 1988. https://ez647.sk/cc/memorex_hbii.html#88
My understanding was that the shell design is superficially based on SKC, but the internal tape routing is based on the old black Tandy audio cassettes (Memorex) The hubs match the design as it was in the 1988 Realistic cassettes, so I considered the shell to be a modern Tandy product.
But it was more interesting with the Cire I and II audiocassettes. Where the Cire II was with the same shell as the aforementioned HBII, but the coils used the "Emtec" type fragile coils that some confuse with SKC.
The Cire I is even more interesting because even that tape routing in the shell doesn't match the old Memorex-Tandy audio cassettes. Yet it states Made in USA, I assumed they also made the shell, and the coils were bought from Asia, or made by them themselves. (And I could still mention the GoldStar cartridges, where the shell and hubs designs cross each other in different ways and nothing makes sense)
https://ez647.sk/cc/memorex_cireii.html
https://ez647.sk/cc/memorex_cirei.html

AudioMagnetics I understood to be a US-Mexico manufacture, then Portugal and Canada. I probably don't have any AM/Tracs in the SKM, Saehan shells. But I do have one that looks like a classic China cartridge. https://ez647.sk/cc/am_pro.html

Scotch and its distribution were clear to me. At least that's what I thought until now Smile
I assumed that if the cassettes look the same, there is no need to deal with it anymore, so now this fact of the differences between the old CX and the American Dynarange surprised me a lot.
So Master I, II, III I only have the European ones in clear shells with dark foils, Made in Italy, where there is also a problem with the tape binder and gluing, except for the type III, which I have not tried to go through the whole length of the tape.

By metaphine do you mean in the black version? I don't know about that. But I have noticed that Scotch shells also in the case of the Metafine audiotape has at least two types of shell, which is well visible on my web site, the difference between C46 and C60. https://ez647.sk/cc/scotch_metafine.html
One shell is very precise with quality workmanship and quality hubs and the other is very imprecise, not very nice and has very bad hubs with weird tape locking.

Still while we are on those Memorex, I have a question what is this? https://ez647.sk/cc/memorex_cdx2.html
SKM didn't normally offer such tapes. But the packaging claims "Epitaxial cobalt magnetite" Indeed the tape is extremely powerful like the Maxell XLII-S, but it probably wasn't appropriate to post it directly on the page because I have no idea what they used there.
I had a very strong impression that it was written about on Tapeheads, but I've never been able to trace that information back.

Regards EZ
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#26
Hello, the tapes for July 2022 are on the web.
https://ez647.sk/update.html

Please post any errors in the descriptions or links in this thread.

EZ
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#27
Hi!

(17.07.2022, 23:30)EZ647 schrieb: The Memorex HBII I have is the most recent one, circa 1988. https://ez647.sk/cc/memorex_hbii.html#88
My understanding was that the shell design is superficially based on SKC, but the internal tape routing is based on the old black Tandy audio cassettes (Memorex) The hubs match the design as it was in the 1988 Realistic cassettes, so I considered the shell to be a modern Tandy product.
Oh, I had completely forgotten about that clear shell version, which probably was the last HB II. I have never seen them in Europe back in the day, seems like they were mainly a US market thing. And yes, the shell has the same inside architecture as contemporary Radio Shack and other Memorex cassettes. Sometimes they also appeared as black C-zero shells for custom loaders, and were referred to as "Lenco shells". So I don't know who really made them: Tandy/Memorex, or an OEM.

The HB II with SKM shells I referred to was a version from the mid-80's which was available for a short time only. I have posted some pictures in the Cassettenschätze Teil 7 thread, where I also added another version in the same packaging, which should be from between the black ones and your clear shell HB II. These gold labelled ones with black shells are also likely to be a US market thing, as they do not appear in European collections at all.

Zitat:But it was more interesting with the Cire I and II audiocassettes. Where the Cire II was with the same shell as the aforementioned HBII, but the coils used the "Emtec" type fragile coils that some confuse with SKC.
The Cire I is even more interesting because even that tape routing in the shell doesn't match the old Memorex-Tandy audio cassettes. Yet it states Made in USA, I assumed they also made the shell, and the coils were bought from Asia, or made by them themselves. (And I could still mention the GoldStar cartridges, where the shell and hubs designs cross each other in different ways and nothing makes sense)
https://ez647.sk/cc/memorex_cireii.html
https://ez647.sk/cc/memorex_cirei.html
My guess here is that the shell halves here also are US made products from Tandy, Memorex or Lenco. Hubs in these shells can be randomly mixed, so probably the company who made these shells didn't make hubs themselves, but sourced them from different third parties.

Zitat:AudioMagnetics I understood to be a US-Mexico manufacture, then Portugal and Canada. I probably don't have any AM/Tracs in the SKM, Saehan shells. But I do have one that looks like a classic China cartridge. https://ez647.sk/cc/am_pro.html
The company was originally founded in Gardena, California. First cassettes were made in USA, then in Mexico, some completely, some assembled in Mexico with US parts. For the EU market, a production plant in Portugal was established in the early 70's, which by the early 80's became independent and continued a while under the new name EuroAudio. The Canadian branch was also making themselves independent by the late 70''s and heavily investing in quality improvement (the guy who ran Audio Magnetics Canada also ran the duplicator company Cinram, and he came from Agfa - according to "Wilhelm", and I tend to believe him, because the late Canadian XHE cassettes and Cinram duplicated pre-recordeds have a tape which is suspiciously similar to Agfa PE 619...). And from the mid-80's, there was a company in Driebergen, Netherlands, who had bought the name AudioMagnetics, selling some Hong Kong tapes (probably made by Hanny) as XHE I, as well as some Permaton tapes, which I just recently discovered.

The Pro tape you have is probably a late version made by Acme, which was sold by the Canadian branch when they had dropped the quality thinking :-) In the other thread linked above, I have posted pictures of two earlier versions of that model, with the first one being a real beauty with shiny printings and smoked clear shell.

I need to dig out the Audio Magnetics cassettes with Korean shells and make more pictures...

Zitat:By metaphine do you mean in the black version? I don't know about that. But I have noticed that Scotch shells also in the case of the Metafine audiotape has at least two types of shell, which is well visible on my web site, the difference between C46 and C60. https://ez647.sk/cc/scotch_metafine.html
One shell is very precise with quality workmanship and quality hubs and the other is very imprecise, not very nice and has very bad hubs with weird tape locking.
Yes, I meant I wonder whether there was a Metafine in that last US made series of Highlander, Dynarange and Master I/II in black shells. It could also be in clear shell, but with labels and packaging modernised to fit into the rest of the line-up.

The more precise version of your Metafine shells is probably from 3M Japan, but can be assembled in the USA or Italy anyway. The easiest way to detect the Japanese shells are the hubs and the slip sheets with the big, oval cut-out. And yes, even within the US or Italian made clear shells, there are a handful ob sub-versions: Scotch logotype in old and in new font, different fonts for side 1/2 markings, slightly different slip sheets, metal cassettes with and without type IV detection holes, and maybe more details which I haven't even discovered yet.

Zitat:Still while we are on those Memorex, I have a question what is this? https://ez647.sk/cc/memorex_cdx2.html
SKM didn't normally offer such tapes. But the packaging claims "Epitaxial cobalt magnetite" Indeed the tape is extremely powerful like the Maxell XLII-S, but it probably wasn't appropriate to post it directly on the page because I have no idea what they used there.
I had a very strong impression that it was written about on Tapeheads, but I've never been able to trace that information back.

Here are some advertisements from SKM for their range of duplicator tapes, including a type II chrome/cobalt hybrid called ECX which I hadn't been aware of before.

Referring to our discussions here some weeks ago, I have also added to the thread linked above pictures of the Magna cassettes with shells that I suspect to come from the same source as your turkish Nora cassette. The tape in the Magna cassettes looks like being classic Magna/Zonal formulations which I recognise from other Magna cassettes with German shells.

Regards
Martin
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#28
Thank you, that's a wealth of information,
so I guess I'll take it a little easier, we'll look at the SKM/SKC to start with.

I've always categorized SKM manufacturer's tapes into these categories and never knew of anything else. Since we live in Europe I've always considered SKC as the model.

ferro - LX, GX
superferro - AX
Type II FeCo - QX
Type II Chromium Dioxide - CD
Type IV metal - ZX

I thought SKC audiotapes and OEM products for other brands always included one of these base tapes I listed.
But it worries me that even within the same model over the years, or even within the same vintage in different batches, there could be very different tapes.
Then the mention of Memorex CDX2 with a tape called Epitaxial, as in Maxell, surprised me a lot.
From the leaflets you showed, did they really make Cobalt-chromdioxide Tape?
That breakdown was clear and now it looks so very complicated.
Are the tapes really the same within the same model?
In the future I plan to take all my SKC LX and GX for example, make recordings and tape comparisons with photos, tape color, condition, gloss, translucency.
And I will find that there is always a different tape.
Or another example, I take a Memorex DBS from SKM, compare it to SKC GX, compare it to Scotch BX SKM, and find that there is always a different tape with very different characteristics? And I could go on and on like this, SKM has made cartridges for many brands, if we are in the basic ferro oxide class, why are there so many different tapes?
And I could go on in the QX class, if I compare SKM type II products for other brands, again I find a lot of differences in how the tapes look and what properties they have.

In the case of the ZX, I was never sure if it was their own tape or if it was purchased from Japan. Some pieces have the typical white dust, textures arranged exactly like TDK Metal, some pieces have the tape just right.
The Memorex Cire IV and CDX IV in the C110 version were fine, but the length also suggests a possible TDK connection.
SKC ZX, Smat MT have white dust. Calibrated to TDK MA according to my Akai DX-57 machine, which according to the service manual is calibrated to TDK MA, so with the new generation SKC ZX or Smat MT the BIAS value corresponds to exactly 0, as per the manual.

The tape translucency test is also interesting, with the SKC QX model occasionally showing very little or no translucency. The colour and gloss of the tape also changes over the vintages, sometimes quite radically rather than what I would consider a classic evolutionary change.
Then there are the older generation SKC models with other names, or the Smat brand, where I felt there was a greater variety of models on offer than the actual tape they were able to produce.

In the photos I picked at random some SKC audiotapes, you can see the big differences between the ferro versions of the tape.
The Memorex CDX2 with the "epitaxial" tape is dark brown and noticeably translucent. It is thus completely different from all SKC type II tapes.
Smat MT looks like TDK MA according to the dust.
Finally, I also found AudioMagentics XHE HD II Canada, the tape is dark, not translucent.


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#29
Hi,

Some of the new audiotapes in the collection, they'll be on the site by the end of the month.
I don't know exactly which German manufacturer it could be, Agfa, Basf, Magna? There's a lot of odd features, but the hubs look like fragile Agfa types. Shell with a narrow window like the old Basf, but some of the elements don't match.
Chromdioxide tape is starting to show signs of silver Smile
Magnetic sheet turned into ferro oxide Big Grin

Regards EZ


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#30
More likely Magna than BASF orAgfa. But i'm no expert for the german 70s stuff, Martin will let us know...
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#31
Yes, this is a Magna. The quickest way to distinguish them from similar BASF and ICM is that the scale under the window (100-50-0) is divided into 20 sections, not only the usual 10.

Hubs and slip sheets were parts which Magna didn't always make themselves, which is why you can find quite a variety of both in these shells. The white spots on the tape could be binder breakdown and a hint on Agfa tape, but not necessarily. Magna used some "mystery tapes" from different sources, and not all of them are stable after 40 years.

Regards
Martin
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#32
I recently added some audio tapes to the web.
Saft chromdioxide super we've already addressed, thanks.

Next, the Agfa CRX is interesting, is there really a white and darker version of this model with a different year of manufacture?
https://ez647.sk/cc/agfa_crx.html

On the Hitachi LN, I couldn't find the serial number on the booklet or on the cassette.
https://ez647.sk/cc/hitachi_ln.html#76

Maxell Communicator Series C120, very surprised by the shell cassette in this package.
https://ez647.sk/cc/maxell_cspi.html

Sony CD-IT USA High version, I am surprised, indeed this piece of mine has UX tape and not Aurex Mexico, the color and translucency of the tape give away a lot!
Of course it is impossible to guarantee with all pieces.
https://ez647.sk/cc/sony_cdit_usa.html#98

JVC and Sony MD, Made in R.Korea, does anyone know about minidisc manufacturing? I really gave the Saehan Korea option after seeing them exist, but there probably won't be many MD manufacturers.

Oh, and other interesting pieces already by default https://ez647.sk/update.html
Basf Batman and other High Performance, it's always a big dilemma whether they used a ChromePlus tape or FeCo there, I know they alternated without warning.

Yet on the occasion of acquiring more That's audiotapes, especially the newer generation, I was surprised to see Made in Japan lettering on the back even on the ones made for Europe by General Magentics. I think that on these audiocassettes if the serial number is stamped, it is Singapore if it is printed in black, it is Japan. What do you think?
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#33
I can finally present a TDK AR version where the nonporous Avilyn is actually featured!

Then one feels like a fool here, just because TDK can't put the correct information on all the tapes Big Grin


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#34
Hi,
I've got this Memorex Normal Bias audio cassette that says Made in Ireland.
Apart from the fact that I can't identify the year, I'm intrigued that it's inside a Magna, so should it correctly be Made in Germany and not Ireland?
I have previously acquired another version of the Memorex Normal Bias which states Made in Ireland, USA assembly, where I have determined the year by AgfaBasf.com https://ez647.sk/cc/memorex_normalbias.html
But the version in the photos is not there.

Regards EZ


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#35
Hi!

- Memorex Normal Bias: That model was included in a catalogue from 1981 or 82, even with a photo showing this shell. Yes, it is a Magna shell, but the tape inside should be Memorex's own. They continued to make their old MRX2 or MRX3 for these basic NB cassettes, while MRX I was a new formulation. I guess they imported the shells and Norelco cases from Germany and loaded them in Ireland with US or Irish tape. There are also versions of this Memorex NB and the subsequent dB Series, which say made in Ireland, but have a German Schneider shell. On the other hand, there are EMI cassettes from the late 70's and early 80's which also use these Magna shells. If the connection between Magna and Zonal was already active by that time, this could be the link explaining why that originally German shell suddenly apperaed on different British cassettes, too. It is also possible that the same shell design was made at more than one place, like UK/Ireland, Germany and Hungary (Polimer).

- Agfa CRX: These appeared first in the brown-ish version around 1983, and were changed into white by ca 1985. LNX was always blue. Additionally, there were a handful of sub-versions where they only altered minor details like the position of some text, omitted frames around the diagrams and bar codes, or changed the name behind the address from Agfa-Gevaert to only Agfa. You can identify the year and month when the respective sub-version was first released by searching for tiny four digit numbers in a corner. For example, your brown CRX has 8405 on the sealing and 8404 on the j-card. The white CRX has 8605 on the sealing and 8807 on the j-card. And the last generation, which you have listed as 1987, actually didn't come before 1989, and has accordingly 8905 written on its sealing and j-card.

- Hitachi LN: Older cassettes don't have the codes. The oldest ones I have found on the j-cards of Maxell cassettes are from 1978.

- BASF comics and promotional cassettes: The first ones were labelled Chrome Extra II, and depending on the year, it is either the old pure chrome, or from ca 1992/93 it is Chrome Plus. Then they were labelled Chrome II Plus, which points to the exact tape they used. Later ones are labelled High Performance II, and these should be different generations of FeCo tape which was also used in contemporary CS II and CM II.

Zitat:I think that on these audiocassettes if the serial number is stamped, it is Singapore if it is printed in black, it is Japan. What do you think?

That's exactly what I have also figured out.

Regards
Martin
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#36
Thank you very much
I've gotten used to Emi shells looking slightly different from different surface textures, but the fact that there can be different tape in different shells is sometimes quite scary and messy. For example, I got Emi here: https://ez647.sk/cc/memorex_hiintensitycassette.html
So I'll list 1981/82 with a Magna cassette, and Memorex tape, which was therefore made in the USA, or Ireland, mounting also Ireland.
And the Memorex Normal Bias audio cassette on the link with the red descriptions is the year 1979 correct, or older, or younger?

As for Agfa, now I'm very surprised, I guess I wasn't paying attention in the older texts when you mentioned it, i.e. I couldn't find it, now I'm clear.
I'll go through all the Agfa's next and correct the years by numbers.
For the older Agfa is this also mentioned somewhere?

I'll still tentatively reveal plans for this month, I'll be adding these audiotapes/other media that are in the photos, by the end of the month, maybe by the end of the week.
Questions and comments would be appreciated.
I have found the following:
WoolWoorth Chrome is Forward, although I was looking forward to the Basf CEII.
LG CD is Made in Korea, LG HD is Made in China, although they have identical hubs design, the shells are slightly different.
MR Audio is the worst Chinese quality.
JVC UFII-S - now I don't know if there is an Agfa superchrome or a Basf CSII.
National Karaoke's SNC
RTM FOX is the other version with Emtec/China hubs and shell
OXUS is GoldStar Korea
Konica is Forward, for Japan Market

Regards EZ


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#37
Hi!

Your Memorex Hi Intensity cassette (blue inlay and sliver labels) actually has an EMI shell, you are correct there. That one is easily identified by the vertical lines pattern, 4 screws and a "Made in U.K." embossing at the same place where Maxells usually have their Japan or England embossings.

But there are also EMI cassettes from the late 70's and early 80's which have that Magna shell with rough surface, 5 screws and the refined 100-50-0 scale under the window, same as your black Memorex NB. Unfortunately I couldn't find pictures online, need to dig out my own ones and take photographs.

Concerning the vintage of your black Memorex Normal Bias with red text, I am uncertain. These were not sold in Germany, I only have very few examples, but not with the original memorex shell as yours, mine have the Magna shell. Best guess would be around 1980, because the design is somewhat renewed compared to the blue Hi Intensity cassette which fits into the 1979 line-up, but older than the NB, which fits into the 1981 line-up.

The Woolworths tapes from the 90's exist in two versions, with the same package design. So you need to guess the thickness of the box when you buy them online: The (earlier) Forward examples have slim cases, and the (later) BASF examples have standard size Norelco cases. The Forwards exist as Ferric (blue), Chrome (green) and Superchrome (brown). From BASF, I have so far only seen Woolworths Ferric and Chrome, and still wonder whether there was also a BASF-made Superchrome or not. It would be especially cool if that one came in one of the better CS or CM shells, like the BASF-made Philips MCX.

JVC UF II-S is, according to a test in German "Stereo" magazine from the early 90's, a double layer pure chrome with properties similar to BASF Chrome Maxima. They wrote the same about Philips MCX and Scotch XS II-SP. All of these came in ICM shells, too. It is not yet clear who really made the tape, but some of us have started considering it could all be PDM tape from Oosterhout, because these pure chrome cassettes in ICM shells are nowadays suffering less from CrO2 degradation symptoms, compared to their BASF siblings.

The tiny date indications on Agfa cassettes can only be found on cassettes that were introduced in 1983 and later. So the 1982 series doesn't have them yet, but the 1985, 1987 and 1989 line-ups have them, as well as LNX and CRX.

Regards
Martin
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#38
Thank you very much for the response.
I've already added the tapes to the site, please message me in this thread in case of incorrect data or broken links.
https://ez647.sk/update.html

Emi I have three cassettes, Boots, Emi and Memorex, but Boots unusually has 5 screws as you wrote.

WoolWoorths I had no idea there was also a brown superchrome version, I had to look it up on google and it looks really good. I'm just sorry there's a China Cassette in there.

I want to ask, wasn't it possible to determine the year of manufacture on some of the Saehan and SKC cassettes? Especially with Saehan cassettes sometimes the beginning, the first two numbers are quite logical, would that make sense or not?

Regards EZ
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