Tascam 424 “Gold Reel” Gets Re-Run
Limited edition cassettes developed & optimised for use in vintage Tascam Portastudios, as part of its 50th anniversary
To this day, many audio recording aficionados adamantly maintain that analog recording and the ‘good old days’ of tape will never be replaced by today’s random access digital solutions. And considering that many of today’s digital recordings are mastered at least partially in the analog domain for the ‘warmth’ that many musicians feel digital lacks, analog is likely to be with us for a long time. With that in mind, Tascam introduces the Tascam 424 Studio Master High Bias Type II Cassette tape—specifically designed for use with the company’s Portastudio series cassette recorders.
The 424 Studio Master C-60 was developed for the 50th anniversary of Tascam as a tribute to their rich heritage. In 1979, Tascam/TEAC created the 144 Portastudio, the world’s first portable home studio integrating a mixer and multi-track recorder. The 144 transformed home recording for the masses, and a great number of artists and musicians created their music on a Portastudio. The 144 Portastudio and other follow up Portastudios such as the 244, 246, Porta One, Porta-02, 424 series along with the inexpensive and easily found Type II High Bias cassettes. In the early 1980’s Tascam created the legendary “gold reel” cassettes, which are now collector items. But today, any high bias type II cassettes are very hard to find.
The new Tascam 424 cassette was developed in close coordination with National Audio Company, Inc. of Springfield, MO, 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 moulding and 3-D printing to re-create the original TEAC shell with miniature gold reels from the early 1980s—in many ways, making the cassette a modern collector’s item. The cassette packaging will read ‘Tascam 424 Studio Master C-60’.
Steve Stepp, President of National Audio Company, offered his perspective of the Tascam 424 cassette, “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 equalisation 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 424 Studio Master C-60 Cassette is part of Tascam’s 50th anniversary celebration and offered as a limited-edition product. Tascam Director of Product Marketing Paul Youngblood added, “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. I personally own at least 20 of the originals, which I used with my 244 Portastudio”.