• 12-26-2003, 07:07 PM
    keithant
    Maxell XLII-S or TDK SA-X?
    Hello,I just bought a used but mint Sony TCK-677ES 3 Head Dual capstan deck with manual bias and sensitivity controls and i have a chance to buy a bulk amount of SA-X or XLII-S tapes from a internet site thats going out of bussiness for the same price.There is no way i can compare these two tapes against each other so i need some help in choosing one.I have heard good and bad about both but which should i spend my money on Maxell XLII-S or TDK SA-X?Thanks for any help!! Keith H.
  • 12-27-2003, 04:39 PM
    Woochifer
    I would almost say it's a wash between those two types of tapes. Keep in mind it's been a few years since I've used either one. I'd always felt that TDKs had superior sound quality, but I gradually migrated over to the Maxells after TDK cranked out a few batches with leaders that easily broke loose from tape. In terms of sound quality, I think that the TDKs have higher output and better resolution in the highs. But, the Maxells are a little more transparent in the mids, and probably have more reliable mechanisms. This is completely subjective of course.

    If you really want to try them out, there's gotta be a retailer out there that still sells blank tapes. I mean, Fry's Electronics still sells blank Betamax tape, so you should be able to try before you buy.
  • 12-27-2003, 06:33 PM
    tentoze
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by keithant
    Hello,I just bought a used but mint Sony TCK-677ES 3 Head Dual capstan deck with manual bias and sensitivity controls and i have a chance to buy a bulk amount of SA-X or XLII-S tapes from a internet site thats going out of bussiness for the same price.There is no way i can compare these two tapes against each other so i need some help in choosing one.I have heard good and bad about both but which should i spend my money on Maxell XLII-S or TDK SA-X?Thanks for any help!! Keith H.

    Back in the day, I used both, and was always partial to the maxells. The TDK's self-destructed, mechanically, on me a lot. YMMV.
  • 12-27-2003, 06:51 PM
    DMK
    Ok, here you go (stepping up on soap box)
    This is my experience only and is not meant to be definitive but you touched a raw nerve. First, a little history:

    In the 1980's, I discovered the CD and decided to record my LP collection to cassettes and dump the LP's. Thank God I only got halfway through the journey (I kept the LP's) but I still own most of those tapes and play them in my car. TDK SA-90's were my blank of choice but I made a few memorable purchases of Maxell XLII's, about 40 of them. This was mostly done in the 1980's but I did about a dozen in the 1990's. I also used about 100 SA-X's.

    After all these years have passed, the TDK's still sound excellent. I had zero problems with their tapes. Of the 40 or so Maxell's, few have survived. I experienced massive dropouts, tight casings and other anomalies, sonic and otherwise. Interestingly, they did sound pretty good for awhile but that didn't last.

    Funny thing - when I got into CD recording, my first batch of 125 discs were Maxell's. 19 of them flaked out on me and had to be redone. I've since recorded about 300 TDK blank CD-R's and only had one problem.

    I cannot recommend Maxell. My experience is that their quality control is asleep at the switch and they churn out more garbage than The Sanfords. Pure crap! Do not trust the music you love to Maxell unless you want to listen to Van Morrison sounding like he's singing through a whammy bar or taking a two word break when the music evaporates. On the other hand, I've got TDK's that are 25 years old with no noticeable loss in sonic quality. Maxell is probably the one piece of analog software that sounds worse than CD... and that's about the worst thing I can say about anything :)
  • 12-28-2003, 10:50 AM
    trollgirl
    DMK, you da man!
    I agree - I've got TDK's that are so old, the labels have fallen off (cassettes), but they still play and sound great! 'Nuff said...

    Laz
  • 12-29-2003, 09:53 PM
    royphil345
    I also like the TDK. In my experience the Maxells can sound a little better when new, but the TDKs seem to hold up better sound-wise and not mess up the tape heads as much as they age.
  • 01-03-2004, 08:08 AM
    DMK
    Experiences differ
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by trollgirl
    I agree - I've got TDK's that are so old, the labels have fallen off (cassettes), but they still play and sound great! 'Nuff said...

    Laz

    But anything with the name Maxell on it has been the worst audio experience of my life - and I'm including the years I spent listening to a Sony rack system! :) Gotta give the Sony credit, though. The dang speakers and receiver are almost 20 years old and still breathing in my brothers apartment. Of course, the CD player had to be changed about 5 times.