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 Die Entwicklung der Phillips Kassette vom EL3300 (1963) bis zum Tascam 202MKVII (2018)

based on a Tapehead thread from Richard (Richlooker)


Cassette genealogy

In 1962, Philips invented the Compact Cassette medium for audio storage, introducing it in Europe on 30 August 1963 at the Berlin Radio Show, and in the United States (under the Norelco brand) in November 1964, with the trademark name Compact Cassette. The team at Philips was led by Lou Ottens in Hasselt, Belgium.

Philips was competing with Telefunken and Grundig in a race to establish its cassette tape as the worldwide standard, and it wanted support from Japanese electronics manufacturers. However, Philips' Compact Cassette became dominant as a result of Sony pressuring Philips to license the format to them free of charge. Philips also released the Norelco Carry-Corder 150 recorder/player in the US in November 1964. By 1966 over 250,000 recorders had been sold in the US alone and Japan soon became the major source of recorders. By 1968, 85 manufacturers had sold over 2.4 million players.By the end of the 1960s, the cassette business was worth an estimated 150 million dollars

The first compact cassette recorder appeared on 30th August at the Berlin Radio Show: Philips EL3300

  • Mono
  • Battery powered
  • Multi-function lever for tape transport control
  • DC motor / unregulated power supply (speed varies with battery voltage)
  • Combined recording/playback head: Permalloy core in bakelite housing
  • Erase head: Permalloy core in plastic housing
  • Built-in amp and speaker
  • Microphone input
  • Speaker output
  • Single uncalibrated tangential-reading moving-coil level meter
  • Phillips Cassette loaded with "PES 18" tape from BASF (TypeI)


  • Philips EL3301
    • Regulated power supply for motor
    • Protection against accidental recording


  • the first prerecorded cassettes was released as "Musicassette" or M.C. in Europe


The first cassette recorder aimed at stationary use: Philips EL3310

  • Mono
  • Mains power only
  • Horizontal / top-loading design
  • Piano keys for tape transport control
  • Pop-up lid and cassette eject
  • Tone control
  • Shaded-pole AC motor
  • Built-in amp and speaker
  • Single uncalibrated radial-reading moving-coil level meter
  • Wooden case; styling reflected its intended use in e.g. living room

The first stereo cassette recorder: Philips EL3312, styled similarly to and building upon EL3310

  • Stereo
  • No built-in speakers
  • Built-in amp + speaker outputs
  • Line level inputs and outputs


  • Sony TC-100: Sony's first cassette recorder; a portable with many innovations
    • Mains or battery powered - 4 C cells or rechargeable battery pack, charged within the unit
    • Automatic recording level
    • Line-level input
    • Piano keys for tape transport control
    • Pop-up lid and cassette eject
    • Tone control
  • Sony TC-124: The first stereo portable cassette recorder
    • The same form factor as TC-100, with a single built-in speaker
    • Included F99S stereo microphone
    • Also delivered as TC-124CS with two external speakers
  • DuPont introducing CrO₂"Crolyn" particle coating for tape
  • Philips N2500: The first (very basic) cassette deck (no built-in amp or speakers)
    • Stereo
    • Playback only
    • Rotary knob for tape transport control
    • Only line-level output


  • The first recording stereo cassette decks
    • Harman Kardon CAD4
      • Manual recording level
      • Two calibrated moving-coil radial scale VU meters
    • Sony TC-125
      • Automatic recording level
      • No level meters
  • Philips N2502: The first cassette changer
    • Magazine holding six cassettes stacked


  • The first hi-fi cassette decks; mostly electronical innovations
    • Advent 200 (designed by Nakamichi), Harman Kardon CAD5, Fisher RC-80
      • Calibrated moving-coil radial scale VU meters (Advent 200 had one, the other two)
      • Dolby B
    • Advent 200:
      • Type II / CrO₂ tape capability
      • Recording sensitivity adjustment
  • Cassette changers
    • Philips N2401: Six-cassette endless loop "ski-slope" magazine
    • Denon TRC-798: Twelve-cassette sliding tray
  • BASF introduced "L" Low Noise ferro cassettes
  • CrO₂ TypeII cassette:
    • Advent Chromium Dioxide, loaded with Memorex tape using DuPont's Crolyn
    • Memorex Chromium Dioxide
    • Agfa Stereo Chrom using their own coating, based on different particle material (not DuPont) from Bayer AG
    • BASF gets an exclusive license for the making of own coatings,  Sony was licensed to distribute DuPont Crolyn coating in Japan


  • Panasonic RS-275US
    • Ferrite head
    • Solenoid actuated mechanism
    • Button controls
    • Two motors:
      • Direct-drive capstan motor
      • Separate motor for fast forward/rewind
  • Auto-reverse: Panasonic RS-272US
    • Bidirectional tape transport / 4-channel head
  • Memory rewind: Panasonic RS-270US
  • Wurlitzer C110: Cassette Jukebox with 10 cassettes
  • Cobalt doped ferro tape: 3M Scotch "High Energy"
  • BASF introduced "LH" Low noise-High Output ferro cassettes
  • Uher patented the smallest portable DIN 45500 HiFi Stereo recorder: Uher Compact Report Stereo 124
  • First mobile fourtrack Autoreverse deck: Uher CR124
  • Auto-reverse: Akai CS50(D)
    • Flipping Cassette tape transport, "Invert-O-Matic"
    • Full Auto-Shut-Off


  • Tandberg TCD-300 (Patent Sony): first home deck which fullfilled the german DIN 45500 HiFi standard
  • Several mechanical innovations:
    • Vertical / upright design
    • Soft-touch controls
    • Closed-loop dual capstans
    • Three motors:
      • Hysteresis synchronous AC capstan motor
      • Two direct drive AC reel motors
    • Peak-reading equalized meters
      • Reflecting the treble boost - dependent on tape type - of the signal sent to the recording head
  • Hot-pressed ferrite head: Tandberg TCD 300
  • 3M Scotch introduced metal particle coating material
  • TDK released the C180LN cassette
  • First "walkman": Andreas Pavel's "Stereobelt"
  • Crystalline ferrite Glass head: Akai GXC-40D
  • Akai GXC-46D
    • ADR (automatic distortion reduction) "System which changes recording equalizer characteristics according to the signal level of a certain frequency band (>8Khz) to achieve low distortion over an extended frequency range"
    • Switchable "O.L.S." Limiter with "Dynamic extension and lower Distortion <1,5%"
  • Phillips invented "DNL" Dynamic Noise Limiter, external unit N6720
  • Cassette changer: Panasonic RS-296US
    • Twenty-cassette rotating carousel / "turntable"


  • Uher CG360: the breakthrough for modern front-loaded decks
    • Stackable/rack design
    • Slot-loading
    • Logic control
    • Dual calibrated, frequency compensated, tangential-reading moving coil peak meters
    • Automatic tape type sensing
    • Modular skeleton chassis
    • Integrated Dolby Circuit (NE545B)
    • Full tone control for HP out
    • Remote (cable)
    • Pluggable 2x10W power amp
    • Backlighted cassette window
  • LED peak indicator: Teac A-450
  • Top-loading design, controls on front / vertical panel: Teac A-450
  • Discrete recording and playback heads: Nakamichi 1000 Tri-Tracer
  • Nakamichi 1000 Tri-Tracer
    • Sensitivity calibration test tone (400Hz)
    • Manual sensitivity calibration
    • Manual recording head azimuth adjustment
  • FeCr / TypeIII tape capability: Sony TC-177SD, Sony TC-137SD
  • FeCr / TypeIII cassette: Sony Ferri Chrome (first double layer tape)
  • Dolby FM decoding / Dolby copy: Teac A-450
  • Noise reduction
    • ANRS (Dolby B equivalent): JVC CD-1669
    • DNL (playback-only noise gate): Philips N 2510


  • Internal, sloped cassette well behind door: Pioneer CT-F6161
  • Cobalt absorbed iron oxide (Avilyn) was introduced by TDK


  • FG Servo DC motor: Teac A-440/A-460
  • Diagonal/sloped top-loading design: Nakamichi 600, Yamaha TC-800
  • Sandwiched recording and playback heads: Akai GXC-570D, Akai GXC-760D, Akai GXC-325D
  • Akai GXC-570D
    • Pitch control
    • Adjustable FFWD/REW speed
  • Peak meters with incandescent light bulbs: Bang&Olufsen Beocord 5000 (model 4705)
  • Tandberg TCD 330: first 3head/3motor tapedeck with full electronic logic control


  • DBX Type II: Teac A-860
  • Two-box: RS-9900US
  • Open cassette bay, hinged head cover: Pioneer CT-F1000


  • Sendust head: Beocord 5000 (model 4715)
  • LED peak meters: Dual C-939
  • LCD peak meters: Sony TC-K8
  • Super ANRS: JVC CD-1770
  • Dual cassette mechanisms: Clarion MD-8181A
  • Blank search: Optonica RT-1515
  • Differential FET playback amp: Yamaha TC-1000
  • Fade Edit: Dual 939


  • Pressure pad lifter: Nakamichi 580
  • Motor-actuated head bridge: Nakamichi 580
  • Manual bias adjustment: Nakamichi 580
  • Double-speed recording and playback 9,5cm/sec: B.I.C. T3M
  • Full functional wireless remote: Fisher CR5150
  • IEC Type I,II,III,IV classification was approved
  • Programmable music play/search up to 9 titles: Uher CG350
  • Motorized cassette eject: Uher CG350
  • Fader start recording: Uher CG350
  • Metal Typ IV capability: Tandberg TCD 340-AM
  • Actilinear Recording : Tandberg TCD 340-AM
  • Metal "Type IV" cassette: 3M Scotch Metafine
  • adres NR: Toshiba PC-X6AD
  • Bias and equalisation preset option through exchangeable plug-in card: Teac C-1 (card: CX-8)
  • Fluorescent level meters: Technics RS-641
  • Built in Spectrum analyzer: JVC KD-65, KD-85
  • Quick auto reverse: Akai GXC-735D
    • Laterally moving head
    • Infrared leader tape detection


  • Brushless slotless motor: Sony TC-K55/TC-K65/TC-K75
  • Dedicated Calibration Meter: Hitachi D777
  • HighCom NR: Telefunken HC3000
  • Cue and review function: Telefunken HC3000
  • Sony released the first truly self-contained Walkman: TPS-L2
  • Electronic real-time tape counter: Luxman 5K50
  • Analog VU meters / multi-segment LED peak indicator: Sansui SC-5300
  • Microprocessor control: Eumig FL-1000µP
  • Eumig FL-1000µP:
    • Opto-electronic capstan servo (no flywheel, photo-etched disc w/ 2500 points)
    • Counter "go to" function
  • Bias calibration test tone: Nakamichi 581/582 (15kHz)
  • Automatic bias, level and eq calibration: JVC KD-A8, Nakamichi 1000ZXL
  • Nakamichi 1000ZXL:
    • Separate bias and erase oscillators
    • Automatic record azimuth calibration
    • 0.6µm playback head gap, 3.5µm record head gap (standard: 1.0µm/4.0µm)
    • Per-index tagging of playback eq, noise reduction and program index as 5Hz/20 bit code (R.A.M.M.)
  • Half-speed recording and playback: Nakamichi 680
  • Super D NR: Sanyo Plus D64
  • Notches for automatic tape type recognition were introduced
  • DynEQ: Tandberg TCD 440-A
  • Dolby HX invented by Dolby : Neal 312


  • Three motor DD + belt driven slave capstan in a single motor block (Made by Papst): ASC 3000
  • Dolby C: NAD 6150C
  • Powered cassette retention: Tandberg TCD-3004
  • Seperate cassette door cover for heads cleaning: Pioneer CT-A1
  • Twin stacked double deck: Sharp WQ T282 H
  • Motorized drawer: Sony TC-K88


  • ReVox B-710: Four motors (Patent Papst):
    • Two direct-drive capstans
    • Two direct-drive reels
  • HX Pro: Bang&Olufsen Beocord 8000
  • Analog mirror peak meters: Alpage AL-80
  • Aiwa AD-FF8: ADMS- Automatic Head Demagnetizer
  • The IEC technical recording comittee "TC 60" from 21 countries with 115 delegates and their sound recording sub comitee "SC60A" (Chairman: C.Henocq, United States) from the spring meeting in Prague definite the new cassette playback and recording standards = IEC 94
  • BASF and TEAC was advised to manufacture the new calibration standard cassettes, so called "IEC 1981"


  • Amorphous head: Teac V-66C, Sony TC-FX66, Sony TC-FX77
  • NAAC -automatic powered playback azimuth calibration: Nakamichi Dragon
  • (Double) Transformer placed outside: Sony TC K777ES
  • The BASF "reference calibration mechanism" becomes the ITA (US norming institute), IEC and Dolby Labs reference cassette
  • Auto Dolby invented by Aiwa : subsonic ident tones recorded for choosing automaticly B, C or none on playback: F990/B&O 7000


  • Phillips MAAC, piezo powered azimuth correction: Marantz SD930


  • Phillips AZTEC azimuth correction: Phillips F6335
  • Automatic cassette door closing when the cassette was insert (optical sensor): Pioneer CT-A9
  • Foil Sendust Head: Pioneer CT-A9
  • Luxman K-03 - manual head demagnetizer
  • Tandberg TCR 555 - first cassette deck optimzed for visually handicaped people


  • PlayTrim: NAD 6155


  • CAR Kompressor, works reverse, makes all louder below -40dB: NAD 6325
  • Permanent Azimuth Tape Error Correction: Grundig CF8200
  • Outside placed Twin Transformer: Sony TC K777ESII


  • Dolby HX-Pro + DynEQ combined: NAD 6300/6100


  • solenoid powered SAMTS (Super Anti Modulation Tape Stabilizer): Aiwa XK009
  • portable recorder with triple speed  1,2; 2,4; 4,7cm/sek: Uher CR1600/1601 Monitor


  • Dolby S: Harman Kardon TD4600 & TD4800
  • Digital in, built in 18bit D/A Converter: Aiwa XK7000
  • Blank Tape Optimized Recording (no erasing on recording): Aiwa XK9000
  • Resonance Damping Wood Base: Aiwa XK9000



  • DCC, downward compatible digital recording based on the cassette standard: Phillips DCC900
  • Beocord 7000 full automatic featured:
    • Auto Dolby - subsonic ident tones recorded for choosing automaticly B, C or none on playback
    • Auto Record Level - Automatic leveling with monitoring distortion, independent from source or kind of tape in real time
    • Auto track search/auto reverse - track search was available no matter if the track was on side one or two of the tape. Even if you executed a manual TURN function (i.e. change playback direction)


  • Pioneer CT-S740S
    • Super Auto BLE XD (Headroom Extension depending to tape)
    • FLEX (Frequency Level Expander)


  • Technics RS-AZ7: thin film heads (AmorphousZ)
  • Pioneer CT-W706DR
    • Digital NR
    • Digital Flex
    • Digital Super Auto BLE XD
    • 20Bit Legato Link Conversion
    • TDNS Copy
    • ALCA (Auto Level Control with Tape Analysis)


  • Pioneer CT-W806DR: digital "Service Mode"  for bias, level and tape sensivity, no pots inside except speed.


  • Pioneer CT-S670D: complete digital processing three header, the last one ! Built up to 2002


  • USB 2.0 out: Tascam 202 MKVII