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----- Original Message ----- From: "Mike Hirst" <mike.hirst@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
In the period 1975-85 there are three distinct version of the BASF LH 60 cassette. Externally these differ municipally in the size and shape of the central window.
Prior to 1980 all tapes have a small window:
c.1980-81 the window changes shape and size:
After 1981 the window size is increased again:
In the small window version of the cassette the leader is attached to the spools using wide clips or cleats:
In the later versions the fixing method is modified:
It is the earlier version of the cassette that is causing the problem (the image shows a selection of broken cleats).
In the later versions the fixing method is more reliable and can be viewed for verification prior to playing in the later large window version.
It seems to me that the greatest vulnerability in working with vintage cassette tapes is the tape mechanism itself. Following this experience I intend to spend some time collecting images and details of the internal mechanism of the cassettes I work with. If there is interest, I would be happy to share this information with others.

I still own...and occasionally play...a handful of Philips cassettes, bought
at the PX in Garmisch, Germany c.1967 (when Philips had just introduced
the cassette tape..!) So far, they work just fine! Also  have a miscellany
of tapes bought around 1980-81...same result. In fact, the main thing I
lost casssettes to was (were?) automobile decks...which had a nasty
habit of "eating" the tape, winding it around their "innards" in usually-
unsalvageable condition, when one least expected it...!

Steven C. Barr

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