Maxell tape has always had a better binder and calendering system than TDK did IMHO. Sonic wise I like allot of the TDK tapes better, but the Maxell UD-xl-2 were a fav of mine. Having a Tandberg 3014,Nak ZX-7, and various decks from JVC,Teac,Sony es, etc., I have run the gamut of different tapes and such. I use a Tascam 122 mk.3 now because it sounds decent, the support when ever it breaks is superb. I used TDK open reel tape with great satisfaction and liked them better than Maxells. Cassette though for the long run, bias and eq. for Maxell of your choice and be done. Happy taping.