Best Blank Cassette Tapes

I haven't made any cassette tapes in a long while. I'd now like to start recording some CDs and some live radio. I'm using a Nakamichi RX-505. I know Nak and Denon used to make tapes. Does anyone know where I might be able to get hold of some of these. Any other suggestions on which blank tapes to use would help.


You can surf e-bay for BASF. I would suggest to take type one tape since it's not damaging the tape head and less noisy. I'm not sure if AMPEX is still producing them but they used to be very good.

If you are serious, and the 505 is decent enough, take it to a good tech with a Maxell UDXL II or IIS cassette and have it internally tweeked for that formula. The noise floor will drop substantially, everything about the recording will be better. Maxell makes a very durable, dynamic and clean running product with a stable housing. Sony also makes a great tape, although it tends to be expensive and not discounted much. Good luck.
I've used type II Maxell and TDK top of the line tapes with excellent results. They are high quality with very quiet mechanisms. Craig.
I am still making tapes on my two Nak decks (Dragon and CR-7) and over the years have found TDK MAX (a metal tape) the very best sounding tape I've used. Also superb is Maxell top of the line metal, I can't remember the exact model no. right now.
As the cassette medium is fading more and more, manufacturers are slowly dwindling the products they offer. Metal tapes are becoming ever increasingly hard to find. A very good and durable cassette is the Maxell XL-II and they are plenteous in supply.

When I learned Maxell was no longer going to make the MX-S, I found a place on-line that still had some and stocked up. When comparing the MX-S and XL-II on a Nak. ZX-9, the MX-S was slightly better. On a side note, the Maxell "S" tapes, XL-IIS and MX-S, do not work well on the Nak CR-7 because of the way it's calibration works. (I don't think these tapes are available anymore though.)

The RX-505 doesn't have any calibration, so I would suggest you purchase a couple different brands of tape and experiment to see which works best on your deck.

I preferred the consistency of the Maxell tapes. The Nak tapes you referred to were made by TDK, so your deck "may" work best with those, although I am sure the tape formulation used when calibrating your deck is no longer used.

As another has mentioned, if you ever send your deck in for service, send your favorite type of tape and have them calibrate the deck for it.
I have a Nak LS-5 I still use

I use Maxell XL II tape exclusively (best bang per buck)
I still make tapes for the car on occasion
You can pick up an 8 pack C -90 brick for $9 at Sam's Wholesalers

I used to bias tape decks using the Nak analyzer,

If you have the bias controls on the 505 (sorry I can't remember if that came on that machine - past my time)
the Maxell tapes were a -1 bias versus TDK and Nak SA tape formulations on my LS5. With a three head setup, you can isolate the correct tape bias via ear using headphones and material like piano music

hope this helps

Maxell Vestex are the ones you want.
Your question has to be divided in two parts. Who made the best shell and who made the best tape. The Best shell ever produced was TDK MA-R manfactured between 1982-1985. This is a solid metal alloy shell with clear plactic on the two sides. I still have over 20 of these I use. The 2nd best is the MA-XG produced from 85-89 which is a metal and plastic combo. The metal vertex is only slightly better that the current maxell MX-X that was just discontinued and was way overpriced when it came out. Now for the Tape: The two best are TDK MA-X and Maxell MX-S. I have A-B both in the same shell and perfer the maxell although both are excellent. The maxell has more body and better balance. The TDk has a bit more detail and resolution but does not sound as Smoooth as the Maxell MXS. I use the Maxell tape in my TDK shell for the best of both worlds. Buy as much Maxell as you can now before its too late, Its a great tape. John
Rob: I saw your posting about audiocassette tapes and
thought I might put in my two cents worth. A number of
the audiocassettes listed above are all of fairly decent
quality. However, finding some of them may be a problem.
And if you have to get anything by mail order - you set
yourself up for anything from backorders to shipping
Of all the audiocassette out there that you can
easily find, I think that TDK SA is a really great tape.
I say this as not only an audio enthusiast, but also as
the owner of a twelve year old video editing and media
duplication company. I've duplicated hundreds of TDK SA
cassettes over the past six or seven years - of everything
from sermons to legal depositions to local bands - and
never had any problems I could think of. TDK has great
quality control, puts their tape in a decent quality
shell, and as I've mentioned is not hard to find. Pick
up some TDK SAs soon.