TDK SA or Maxell XLII? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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07-30-2004, 06:28 PM
Which of these blank cassette do folks like the best?Thanks,Keith H....

07-31-2004, 02:36 AM
Why the XLII's of course... I've always favored them over any TDK product. How I miss the analog media days.

07-31-2004, 03:20 AM
Which of these blank cassette do folks like the best?Thanks,Keith H....I've always prefered TDK over Maxell, but if you ever read detailed tests comparing the hundred or so brands of tape out there, both TDK & Maxell are nearly identical in coercitivity, noise, and a dozen other tech specs. They're also both at the top of the heap over other brands.

The SA-X series is a little hotter, so I prefer that, but it depends a lot on your machine, and how the bias is set (whether you can manually set/change it). For most normal (compressed) music, like loud rock, I've always used normal bias tapes anyway.

07-31-2004, 03:34 AM
..a LOT depends on how your deck is biased. A good tech can optiomize virtually any deck for virtually any tape, this is kind of a loaded question.

When I got a Teac 360 in '76 I found that TDK tapes sounded best to met. I tried the other biggies (BASF, Maxell, etc...) and found that yes, TDK did sound better to me. I've had good luck with TDK since then and have continued with them. I latched onto a fairly large supply of TDK SA-X taped a few years ago and haven't had to purchase any lately.

Actually, I use the deck less and less as CD's and CD recorders are becoming the logical next step in the eveloutionary chain so what I'm sitting on will probably see me well into the next step. I've got two active decks now, a teac w/dbx and a NAD and hardly use them any more.

Ultimately, your deck can be calibrated to work with any tape you, or the manufacturer, specify.

07-31-2004, 08:09 AM
Which of these blank cassette do folks like the best?Thanks,Keith H....

Long story but many years ago, I recorded 1000 or so LP's to cassette. My tape of choice was the TDK SA-90. When I couldn't find them, I bought Maxell XLS-II's. I have about 700 of the TDK's and 200 of the Maxell's. At the time, there were only very slight sonic differences to my ears.

Years later, the TDK's consistently outperform the Maxell's. The latter tapes have dropouts, loss of high frequencies and also mechanical problems such as tight casings which cause the tape to play too slowly and not rewind. Most of the Maxell's exhibit some or all of these problems while the TDK's play flawlessly.

It's funny because even in these CD-R days, TDK waaaaay outperforms Maxell in my system. I've recently re-recorded all those cassettes to CD-R for archiving. By the way, I lost about a two dozen cassettes due to total unplayability - all Maxell's. For this job, I purchased TDK CD blanks. They've worked flawlessly. I stupidly bought Maxell's when I couldn't find TDK's - about 100 or so. About 20% of the Maxell's had problems and wouldn't record. One of about 600 TDK's had a problem. Even then I got most of the music recorded and I simply used a second blank to record the two tracks that got omitted.

As you can see, I find Maxell's quality control ( or lack thereof) to be a huge problem and I will never again entrust my precious music to their products. I lost some great stuff and even the stuff that still plays sounds terrible. I cannot recommend anything with the Maxell brand name on it.