• Brand: Sony
  • Type: SLH, ULH
  • Reel: 7" (18cm), 10.5" (26.5cm)
  • Lengths Available: 1200' (360m), 1800' (550m), 3600' (1100m)
  • Thickness: LP (1.0 mil)
  • Tape Grade / Performance Level: 4-High Ouput / High Bias +3
  • Base Material: Polyester Backcoated
  • 2020 Advice: Playback Only - Do Not Record, Sticky Shed - Must be Baked Before Transfer
  • Where Produced: Japan
  • Mfg Years: Late 1970s, 1980s
  • Sale Condition: Used - At your own risk
  • Description:

    Sony ULH was Sony’s last top end, low noise, high output tape, classified as a +3 (type 4) for the consumer market, roughly equivalent to Maxell UDXL or Ampex Grand Master available in the 1970s-1980s. As new tapes, they were excellent, even at 3-3/4ips. They were available through the 1980s until Sony exited the reel to reel tape business. Notes:

    • You can identify the ULH has a much darker brown – almost black, finish.  Both series were available in the LP thicknesses in 7″ and 10.5 metal reels. The 1200 ft version used a 7″ reel with a larger hub with the same LP tape thickness.
    • Unfortunately like many tapes of this period, they suffer from Sticky Shed and cannot be played without baking. In fact, many batches cannot even be WOUND without baking as the oxide can be stripped off and the tape permanently destroyed. We have encountered some tapes that are less sticky than others, but there is no way to tell as the sticky shed condition seems to be dependent on the humidity of the environment they were stored in…and it has been over 40 years. If there is any valuable program material, these tapes need to be baked first.
    • In addition, Sony tapes – if the batch does not suffer from Sticky Shed – it might also suffer from the SBS (soft binder syndrome) that causes some tapes to squeal. These might need other treatments to play.
    • As we have recently learned, in Japan and other countries, this tape was also available in a non-backcoated version. We have tested this tape and the quality seems to be high, and our small batches do not suffer from either SSS (sticky Shed) or SBS (soft Binder Syndrome). These *might* be OK for daily use. Unfortunately, we have seen so little of this tape that we cannot make an official recommendation. If you run in to this tape, try it first.
    • Available Refurbished: No we do not sell refurbished reels of ULH but some *might* be available used (sold without a guarantee) in our store that are available for collectors or research purposes. As a result, we cannot recommend using these tapes today.

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