Thanks to Gary (62vauxhall) TDK MA-XG & Sony Metal Master

Elite-ist

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#1
Gary was good enough to PM me to ask whether I was interested in a pair of these cassettes, while he had an ad up for them on Canuck Audio Mart. A great deal for the pair and only the second Sony Metal Master, I own.

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Thank you, Gary. I hope your upcoming move to a new place works out without too much fuss.

Nando.
 

vince666

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#2
Nice stuff there! Really TOP quality!

anyways, Nando, I you never tried the Sony Metal ES from the mid 80's, I guess you should try some...
those might be at least as good as the Metal Master, with their double coating of Extralloy formulation...

on a really capable deck of mine (with really good heads) , on a first version Sony Metal ES from 1985 I've measured a MOL of +12,7dB VU , which is definitely into the super metal territory, and together with a really nice frequency response (and sound) and the typical low hiss of type2 tapes.
Into the tape test reviews of mid 80's HiFi magazines, the Metal ES used to get the best performance of all the tapes under test and by a good margin too.

And it also looks just nice, despite the bad quality of my picture... that one is an example of the first version from 1985, with the light grey hubs with orange C-clamp... the tape isn't wound too evenly because this is a cassette I use for testing purposes then it's continuosly subjected to partial REW/FFWD cycles.

Sony Metal ES from 1985.jpg
 
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Elite-ist

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#3
Vincent: I rarely see those vintage of Sony Metal-ES cassettes on my travels, but I do love a number of the Sony tapes of different tape types. It's quite likely the brand I have used most in all of my mix tape exchanges.

I recently recorded a mix tape on an NOS Sony ES-II 90 and I found the recording as nice as the same project recorded to an NOS Maxell MX 90.

Nando.
 

vince666

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#5
Oh yes, Nando! In fact, I've received a mixtape of yours onto a Sony ES-II not long ago. :)

Not a surprise the ES-II sounds nice (it existed also as Esprit II here in Europe)... it's Sony UX-S tape into a fancy anti-vibration shell... and UX-S is a hell of a good type2 tape.

That said, regarding Sony Metal tapes in general... I believe the most capable models are the Metal ES (most likely also the older Metallic, which I don't have to try/test) , the Metal Master and Super Metal Master and the last version of the Metal XR which probably was filled with better tape than the usual Metal XR tape.
It does also exist the ES-IV / Esprit IV but this tape performs quite exactly like the Metal XR of its same era then it's a different tape than the Metal ES.

And, regarding the Metal ES versions from the 80's (when it was Sony's TOTL model) , I do also have the second (1986-87) and the third (1988-89) version but I didn't test these yet, to see how they do compare to the impressive first version from 1985... but they might be just similar, I guess.

I believe the main difference between the typical Metal XR and the Metal ES is that the Metal XR is a single coated extralloy tape while the Metal ES is a double coated extralloy tape... of course, double coating is responsible for the "monster" MOL (and a bit higher sensitivity) but it also gives the tape that typical frequency response of the double coated tapes, which isn't just exactly flat but it shows a small drop on mid-high frequencies (or some treble boost if you lower the bias a bit, but reducing the bias would also reduce the actual MOL a bit)... while, for example, the single coated Metal XR have just the typical flat response.

Cheers,

Vince.


EDIT: @J!m ... which version of TDK MA are you meaning?
 

vince666

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#7
1988 TDK MA flavor. Shell looks very similar.
if really so, then it was just TDK to take inspiration from the Sony look, since that Metal ES is from 1985. :iconbiggrin:

i should have a MA (or maybe it's a MA-X ? ) from 1988... must take it and carefully look at it again.
 
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