Tascam has announced the Tascam 424 Studio Master High Bias Type II Cassette tape, specifically formulated for use with the company’s Portastudio series of cassette recorders.

Steve SteppThe 424 Studio Master C-60 was developed for the 50th anniversary of Tascam as a tribute to the Tascam/TEAC 144 Portastudio, the world’s first portable home studio integrating a mixer and multitrack recorder. The 144 revolutionised home recording for the masses, led to follow-up Portastudios including the 244, 246, Porta One and Porta-02 that 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, Type II High Bias cassettes are hard to find.

The new Tascam 424 cassette was developed in close coordination with National Audio Company, the world’s largest manufacturer of quality cassette tape and the world’s largest duplicator of recorded music cassettes. The Tascam 424 cassette employs a hand assembled shell manufactured using traditional injection moluding and 3D printing to re-create the original TEAC shell with miniature gold reels from the early 1980s. The cassette packaging will read: Tascam 424 Studio Master C-60.

‘The Tascam 424 Type II cassette is a Type II High Bias cobalt formulation using currently available magnetic oxides to recreate the tape that Portastudios were designed to use,’ says Steve Stepp, President of National Audio Company. ‘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.

‘In the words of one of our music cassette customers, nothing sounds like tape,’ he continues. ‘Nostalgia for something “real” makes analogue a vital part of music production to this day. We used a Tascam 424 Portastudio that was refurbished to like-new condition for beta testing during the tape formulation process. These new cassettes are, without a doubt, the optimal media to use on vintage Tascam Portastudios.’

The Tascam 424 cassette is far from National Audio Company’s only experience with Tascam products. In addition to being the leader in both cassette tape manufacturing and duplication, the company uses Tascam 122MkIII three-head broadcast series cassette decks in its mastering suites for quality control because of their durable construction and reliable performance.

‘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 says. ‘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 424 Studio Master C-60 Cassette is offered as a limited-edition product. ‘As soon as we determined that the legendary gold reel TEAC cassettes could be recreated, we immediately decided this was a perfect way to celebrate the profound history of Tascam and the Portastudio,’ says Tascam Director of Product Marketing, Paul Youngblood. ‘I personally own at least 20 of the originals, which I used with my cherished 244 Portastudio.’

More: www.tascam.com

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