TASCAM has announced the introduction of the new 424 Studio Master High Bias Type II cassette tape that’s specifically designed for use with the company’s Portastudio series cassette recorders.
In 1979, TASCAM/TEAC created the 144 Portastudio, one of the first portable home studios integrating a mixer and multi-track recorder. Other follow-up Portastudios such as the 244, 246, Porta One, Porta-02, 424 series and more used inexpensive and easily found Type II High Bias cassettes. In the early 1980s TASCAM created the “gold reel” cassettes, which are now collector items, but today, any high bias type II cassettes are difficult to find.
The new TASCAM 424 cassette was developed in coordination with National Audio Company of Springfield, MO, the world’s largest manufacturer of cassette tape and duplicator of recorded music cassettes. The 424 has a hand-assembled shell manufactured using traditional injection molding and 3-D printing to re-create the original TEAC shell with miniature gold reels from the early 1980s.
Steve Stepp, president of National Audio Company, explains, “The TASCAM 424 Type II cassette is a Type II High Bias cobalt formulation using currently available magnetic oxides to recreate the tape which Portastudios were designed to use. The recording bias and equalization settings for this tape are as near a match for Portastudios as possible with materials available in 2021. Operators familiar with Portastudios will easily be capable of ‘fine tuning’ for the new tape.
The new TASCAM 424 cassette is not National Audio Company’s only experience with TASCAM products. The company uses 122mkIII 3-head broadcast series cassette decks in its mastering suites for quality control due to durability and reliability.
“The TASCAM 424 cassettes will satisfy the demand for new cassettes formulated to perform properly in Portastudios while capturing the look of and feel of the company’s heritage,” Stepp concludes. “The fact that these cassettes were tested throughout development using a TASCAM 424 Portastudio shows how everyone involved in this effort wanted to ensure the highest level of authenticity. No more overpriced, years old NOS (new old stock), such as you might find available online, which may have been stored in less-than-optimal conditions, thus degrading their quality. These are the only High Bias Type II cassettes currently being manufactured today.”
The new TASCAM 424 cassette tapes are expected to be available soon.