Slowakische Kassettensite mit allen Einlegern
54 was also a typical number used for German/French BASF cassettes (and storage cases!). This doesn't necessarily mean that it was also completely assembled in Germany.

The lack of any "Made in..." marking and the presence of Portuguese text on the inlay, plus the fact that you bought it from Portugal, make me think it was delivered as complete cassette, but unpackaged, to either Brazil or Spain, where it was put in its box together with a locally printed inlay.

I also have a 1987-89 Chrome Super II somewhere with Brazilian inlay (including "Industria Brazileira" and checkboxes for 60 or 90 minutes), but the cassette looks quite German.

Are there any codes engraved in the storage case? They can sometimes also tell stories.

The magnetic material was marketed as Megadium starting with the first LH-M I in late 1984. I have never found any official mentioning of Cobalt in the context of LH-M, LH-MX, Ferro Super and Ferro Maxima cassettes; always only Megadium; and the later generations of Ferro Maxima in the 90's with a different formulation name again (if any).

For the predecessors, green LH super I and ferro super LH I, cobald doping has been confirmed by people involved in BASF's tape business back in the day. But it still remains a secret what "Megadium" really is.

Martin, Thank you for your reply!

In the case of LH Maxima the code is BP2

I've always considered Megadium to be classic cobalt, Basf just made up an extra name for it, like other companies did for their FeCo tapes.
The only strange thing is that Basf never made up such names, maybe because if they used chromdioxide it was unique.

But what's also strange is that on LH-M the packaging says it's just iron oxide, they don't even talk about fineness, LH M XI talks about exclusive iron oxide.
Megadium was first mentioned only new line from 1987/88 in the Ferro Super and Ferro Maxima cassette.
So I'm going to list it there anyway?

In the green and red LH Super I thought it was a fine oxide from Pfizer, and that they didn't add cobalt until the newer green from 1981 onwards I guess? I'm quite confused about this, I'd probably have to go through each piece of this cassette individually to get it on the web
to fix everything the way it's supposed to be.

Regards EZ
Megadium is mentioned in the 1985 brochure, which I unfortunatey can't find now. Here is a quote from the book Zeitschichten, 4th edition, page 511:

"Als Nachfolger der ferro super LH I von 1978 fungierte seit 1982 die Kassette LH super I, ihrerseits 1985
abgelöst von LH maxima I, beschichtet mit einem neuartigen Pigment, dem BASF den Namen Megadium gegeben
hatte. Wie der Namensteil „maxima“ zeigt (und neutrale Testergebnisse bestätigten), gehörte diese Kassette
zum Spitzenbereich der IEC I-Klasse 3417 (und erhob damit den analogen Anspruch zur chromdioxid maxima II).
1986 folgte mit LH maxima XI kurzzeitig eine Megadium-Doppelschicht-Kassette,3418 die sich allerdings nicht
durchsetzen konnte."

When I find the brochure again, I will post a picture. 

The Pfizer oxide was first used for LH super in 1973 or 74. My guess is that the first ferro super LH I from 1978 is based on the same pigments, but treated with cobalt. It is also likely that LH super I in 1982 used the new LH-D pigment (no idea whether it was still based on Pfizer, or BASF's own base material) and cobalt-doped it. There is also an in-between generation of ferro super LH I tape from ca 1979/80 to 1982, which looks slightly darker than the first generation, but has less shedding and violining issues. 

BP is a new code I've never seen before, but putting together all pieces of information, I am quite sure it means Portugal. I have not yet found evidence that BASF had an own assembly line there, but there were some obvious collaborations with local companies ike Audio Magnetics and Sonovox in the 70's and 80's. I wouldn't be surprised if Sonovox/Eurex packaged these German made cassettes for the Portuguese market, in order to save some import taxes or similar considerations (Portugal and Spain became members of the EC in 1986).

Oh, and there was also another name for a BASF tape coating: LD Linear Directed iron oxide, found on Ferro Extra I from 1991 onwards, but first appeared on the Colours Of Sound and Soundtrack design series in 1990:

Thechnicaly, it was just a marketing term for the LH-D type, and was continued to be printed onto Ferro Extras when they contained x49 tape from Munich. At least they didn't mention LD on the Saehan made version for the US market:

Well, my LH Maxima is an interesting curiosity, for now the Made in Germany description remains.
Maybe I will add the possibility of Portuguese packaging.

About the composition:
do I understand correctly, Pfizer here?:

Pfizer here is doped with cobalt? for all versions pictured? The latest one I have there is the 1981 version.

So The Colours of Sound uses modern Ferro Extra tape in both the GMS and ICM versions? I know it says so on the packaging, but the ICM ones I was under the impression was a completely different tape.

The yellow Soundtrack model from GMS also has LD oxide listed, but that tape is completely different to the tape in The Colour of Sound
preparation for update, cassettes 07/2024, one more package will come to me tomorrow, on the web in three weeks approx.

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Nice! Two different kinds of hubs in the two Memorex HBS II, yet probably both still made in USA. Will be interesting to see their shells - there are also different versions which sometimes look very similar to SKM, sometimes it's more obvious that they are different. Saft is probably a Magna. And the National Ångrom will be tricky to identify concerning who made which part.

Zitat:do I understand correctly, Pfizer here?:



Not sure, especially for the third one with 1980-82 labels. Around 1979/80, there was a modernisation of the tape which made it more stable against violining, the surface has a slightly different look. I don't know whether they only changed the binder composition, or also the pigments used. Late examples already have LH-D tape, but yours is from 1980, so probably not yet for that one. There are also ferro super LH with these late labels that were made in USA and have another different kind of tape, which corresponds to their performance I cassettes (before even those were loaded with LH-D from ca 1983).

Zitat:Pfizer here is doped with cobalt? for all versions pictured? The latest one I have there is the 1981 version.

I think we can be quite sure that all of these were cobalt doped, but I have never found any information about Pfizer pigments in "green LH", it has only ever been confirmed for "red LH". Now the first generation of fsLH I tape should be only in your two cassettes with the oldest labels (two indexing lines, C-120 and C-60). The other C-60 (second label version, four lines) from late 1979 probably has the intermediate generation of tape, as well as your examples from 1980 and 1981.

Zitat:So The Colours of Sound uses modern Ferro Extra tape in both the GMS and ICM versions?

Usually, yes. The ones in ICM shells have German LH-D tape, the ones assembled by Genmag have Indonesian LH-D tape, which has a slightly darker colour and more shiny surface (and unfortunately a little less S/N and a higher risk for squealing).

There could be even more variations, I think Sebastian has a Colours of Sound with ICM shell and darker tape, which suspiciously looks like Ferro Super I (single layer Megadium)... but that was not the default tape used in these for sure :-)


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