Maxell XLII-S - 1986 - US
This Maxell XLII-S could be the epitome of late 80s Type IIs.
Gorgeous to look at, a really heavy, almost ceramic feeling, well made shell and tape that really does capture the top end well.
You need to put positive bias on these cassettes to get the best out of them, but that also means you get the bass.
A true classic.
NOTE: LAST ONE!
NOTE: Hazy or dull see-through windows are a common annoyance of this run from Maxell, often making anyone second-guess themselves as to “what might this haze actually be?” Is it something that can be wiped off or is it... mould? Well, I decided to test this annoyance. Read below.
Personal NOTE: This Maxell line-up (1986~1991) has a very unusual and annoying hazy see-through window. According to Julian of Ontario, Canada, it was due to Maxell’s choice of the type of polystyrene that caused this problem. A slow chemical reaction with the air makes these windows go “foggy” after a while. I truly dislike this characteristic about this Maxell run of cassettes, and so I decided to see for myself, if this haze could be removed by wiping it down from the inside of the cassette. I unsealed a brand-new Maxell MX with a bad wrapper, but with that annoying hazy window. I removed the screws and then opened the shells apart carefully. I removed the first slip sheet off to the side (that was easy) and proceeded to wipe down the window of that "easy" first shell. Lo and behold, wiping off the window worked beautifully! There was no way Maxell had any intention of creating such a dull see-through window. A mildly humid microfiber cloth with a bit of watered-down Windex and this dull hazy window immediately turned into a super clean and sharp-looking window. Cleaning the other shell was way more "difficult" as putting everything back together properly, i.e., the slip sheet exactly where it should go, the tape pancake reels, the small metal plate, pressure felt pad, and the plastic tape guides in place was no easy feat. You will need a lot of patience to get it done right. Conclusion? If you are going to unwrap one of these up for use, go that extra mile and wipe these "hazy" windows and enjoy these brilliant tapes from Maxell looking clear and sharp!
Maxell was formed in 1960, when a dry cell manufacturing plant was created at the company's headquarters in Ibaraki, Osaka. In 1961, Maxell Electric Industrial Company, Limited was created out of the dry battery and magnetic tape divisions of Nitto Electric Industrial Company, Limited (now Nitto Denko Corporation).
The company's notable products are batteries—the company's name is a contraction of "maximum capacity dry cell"—wireless charging solutions, storage devices, computer tapes, professional broadcast tapes and functional materials. In the past, the company manufactured recording media, including audio cassettes and blank VHS tapes, and recordable optical discs including CD-R/RW and DVD±RW.
On March 4, 2008, Maxell announced that they would outsource the manufacturing of their optical media.
During the height of the Compact Audio Cassette's popularity, Maxell's audio cassettes were held in high regard, producing some of the finest examples of the standard available. The performance of the XLII-S (CrO2) and MX (pure metal particles) cassettes was regarded by many audiophiles to be the ultimate achievement in the pre digital domestic recording medium.
In the 1980s, Maxell became an icon of pop culture when it produced advertisements popularly known as "Blown Away Guy" for its line of audio cassettes. The original campaign conceived by Art Director Lars Anderson began as a two-page spread in Rolling Stone Magazine ad in 1980, and was made into television spots in 1981 which ran throughout the 1980s.
Maxell audio cassettes are available in 46, 60, 90, 100, 120 and 150 minute lengths.
Maxell XLII-S - 1986 - US