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Vintage Tape (Audio), Cassette, Wire and Magnetic Disc Recorders and Players Open-reel tape recorders, cassette recorders, 8-track players etc.

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Old 12th Sep 2018, 11:08 pm   #1
Andrew64
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Default Maxell UD 18-180 RtR Tape Quality?

Hi Folks,

I have recently bought a few NOS reels of this tape still in cellophane and they look in pristine condition, can any of you experts out there give your opinions on quality of this tape?
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Old 12th Sep 2018, 11:13 pm   #2
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Default Re: Maxell UD 18-180 RtR Tape Quality?

All the 80s Japanese domestic formulations are high quality and particularly good for low speed recording. They tend to have relatively high bias requirements for optimum performance but they may actually sound better if underbiased because this will compensate for the poor HF response of a typical domestic machine. They don't suffer from the dreaded sticky shed syndrome.
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Old 12th Sep 2018, 11:40 pm   #3
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Default Re: Maxell UD 18-180 RtR Tape Quality?

Thanks for that info Paul and glad to hear it!

I purchased an Akai GX-77 deck at the same time, it's a non-worker thats seen a lot of service, preliminary checks show the 17.v & 18.7v power supplies are down, F1 blown. I'll start another thread on this.
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Last edited by Andrew64; 13th Sep 2018 at 12:05 am. Reason: spelling
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Old 12th Sep 2018, 11:57 pm   #4
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Default Re: Maxell UD 18-180 RtR Tape Quality?

An attractive deck heavily influenced by the cassette deck styling of the period (1982). Maxell UD tape will work well with it. UD-XL will be even better if you can find some.
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Old 13th Sep 2018, 8:11 am   #5
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Default Re: Maxell UD 18-180 RtR Tape Quality?

The first two digits are tape thickness - 50 is standard play, 35 is long play and seems to be the most common (all the Maxell I have is 35-90B).

25 will be double play, so 18 will be very thin tape indeed. It's quite fragile, so make sure your machine is in excellent condition before trying to use it!
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Old 13th Sep 2018, 9:23 am   #6
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Default Re: Maxell UD 18-180 RtR Tape Quality?

Hi arjoll,
Yes they are thin, says 18 micron on the box.
On a different topic did you ever get a BBC B?
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Old 13th Sep 2018, 9:36 am   #7
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Default Re: Maxell UD 18-180 RtR Tape Quality?

Yes, I sent him one (actually a Master I think).

Your tape will be triple play. That is indeed quite fragile and the thin oxide coating will limit performance to some extent. Nevertheless, it should be fine on a 70s/80s Japanese domestic machine designed with extended play tapes in mind. A 7" spool with run continuously for 3 hours at 3.75ips, 6 hours at 1.875ips. Just try to treat it gently.
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Old 14th Sep 2018, 10:34 pm   #8
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Default Re: Maxell UD 18-180 RtR Tape Quality?

Hi Paul/Arjoll,

Thanks for your tips, I will indeed be careful when I use the tapes but first I have to get the deck going, I will soon start a thread detailing this.

All for now,
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Old 15th Sep 2018, 3:59 am   #9
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Default Re: Maxell UD 18-180 RtR Tape Quality?

Maxell were probably the only manufacturer who made a C-180 cassette - now that is a
thin tape.
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Old 15th Sep 2018, 10:01 am   #10
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Default Re: Maxell UD 18-180 RtR Tape Quality?

I have a TDK C180.
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 2:21 am   #11
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Default Re: Maxell UD 18-180 RtR Tape Quality?

I've never seen a Maxell C-180. I have seen a TDK C-180 though. Tape so thin you could see through it. It was one of their bottom range D series tapes, type 1. The oxide coating was so thin the output was about 10 dB lower than that of any other cassette, making them useless for music recording at all, never mind Dolby etc.
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 12:07 pm   #12
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Default Re: Maxell UD 18-180 RtR Tape Quality?

TDK were the only people to make a C-180 cassette from 1972 to 1982 I think.

Maxell "triple play" 18u tape does jam/twist in some machines while others love it. I have used it for radio plays presented in multiple parts. If your machine gets on with it, you might find good uses for it...but like those C180 cassettes, output will be lower than double, long and standard play reels.
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Old 1st Oct 2018, 6:06 am   #13
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Default Re: Maxell UD 18-180 RtR Tape Quality?

The Akai GX77 I have does seem to like these tapes, I will try and get hold of some thicker good quality tapes and see if the output is higher.

See some of you at Tonbridge next Sunday.
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Old 1st Oct 2018, 6:09 am   #14
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Default Re: Maxell UD 18-180 RtR Tape Quality?

Yea !!!.

Just made Tetrode, yes I know, little things..........
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Old 18th Nov 2018, 9:32 pm   #15
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Default Re: Maxell UD 18-180 RtR Tape Quality?

Time to close please mods, thanks all who contributed.
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