• Brand: Basf / Emtec
  • Type: SP 52, LP35 DP26, TP18 LH
  • Reel: 5" (13cm), 5-3/4" (15cm), 7" (18cm), 8-1/4" (22 cm), 10.5" (26.5cm)
  • Lengths Available: 900' (275m), 1200' (360m), 1800' (550m), 2400' (720m), 3600' (1100m)
  • Thickness: SP (1.5 mil), LP (1.0 mil), DP (0.5 -0.75 mil), TP (0.5 mil)
  • Tape Grade / Performance Level: 3-Low Noise / High Output
  • Base Material: Polyester
  • 2024 Advice: Suitable for Master Recording, Suitable for Music Recording, Good for all speeds
  • Where Produced: Germany
  • Mfg Years: Late 1960s, Early 1970s, Late 1970s, 1980s
  • Sale Condition: Refurbished - 90 day warranty
  • Description:

    BASF LH is, according to BASF, the first Low Noise / High Output tape (Type 3) released in 1967 to the world market, with a claimed +8 dB higher signal to noise ratio over the standard LGS or LP/DP/TP tapes. These were made form 1967 to 1986. This is the formulation that made BASF’s reputation worldwide as a top reel to reel tape producer. It was also renamed “Performance Series” for the US market from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. This tape is know for it’s excellent quality, with flat frequency response and excellent stability and tape to head contact, with excellent performance at 3-3/4ips. Advanced R&D made sure this tape would last a long time, even when stored in adverse conditions. Please note: I have updated this page in 6/2022 with updated information. This tape was not made in Standard Play SP. The LH Series was only made in Long Play LP (LP35-LH, Double Play DP (DP26-LH) and Triple Play TP (TP18-LH). This formulation was produced for over 20 years and is known for its high performance and reliability.

    • When looking at BASF tapes from this era, you need to check the leader to know what you are getting – the tapes come in plain gray boxes and when you buy used you have no idea what is in the box. The type of the tape – “LP 35 LH” – is printed at the beginning of the green leader, identifying the tape type. The “LH” stands for the Low Noise, Hifi formulation.
    • The “35” denotes the micron thicknesses signifying LP (long play) thickness.
    • The “26” denotes the micron thickness signifying DP (double play). The DP does not share the same oxide thickness and performance as the LP version – it has a slightly thinner coating and a thicker base film than other DP tapes, unlike DP tapes from Scotch or Ampex which used the thinner base with the SP/LP coating. As a result, the performance is a little lower than the LP versions.
    • The “18” denotes the micron thickness signifying TP (triple play). Like other TP tapes, this has a very thin oxide coating, providing a lower output than the thicker tapes. The recording level must be set lower to avoid distortion.
    • As with any thin tape, extra care must be taken when handling as it can easily stretch or crumble under stress.
    • Some BASF Tapes of this vintage shed more than other tapes from the same time period, but this does not seem to affect long term performance or quality. This is not a sign that this tape is degrading, it should be considered normal.
    • This is a formula that has withstood the test of time. It is amazing to consider that you can make a high quality recordings on a 40 or 50 year old tape, but this is indeed possible.
    • These tapes came in three series, all with the same formulation:
      • 1. Early series with a clear classic three window reel and gray plastic clamshell box (1967- late 1970s)
      • 2. Later series called “performance” with a single thread gray reel and a black clamshell box (late 70s-early 80s)
      • 3. Latest production (sold in Germany), back with the clear classic three window reel and black cardboard boxes. the newer series with a solid black two window reel (early 1980s-early 1990s). It is also marked without the “LH” on the leader or box, confusing the formulations from the old tapes.
    • Available Refurbished: Yes, you can buy refurbished reels of LH in our store of all of the lengths and thicknesses, many of them directly imported from Germany. We label the boxes to ensure you get what you ordered, as we check the formula and length for each tape we sell. 

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