This week, a cassette with a license to be sold in The Netherlands:
Vendomatic C60 Chroomdioxyde
This Vendomatic cassette is presented with an inlaycard that features a nice silvery effect. Silver – or even better, gold – was used frequently on inlay cards for a luxurious touch, normally on the cassettes of better quality.
This continues on the cassette itself; it’s not just grey.
It’s still early days of the compact cassette when this is released, I guess. To not have potential customers wonder about mono and stereo, a mention of ‘stereo sound’ is prominently put on the cassette.
Vot country are you frum?
The oxide used in this tape is of the CrO2-variety, but there’s something going on here… On the box it’s mentioned in Dutch (‘chroomdioxyde’), and on the cassette itself in German (‘chromdioxid’).
The reason for this is the department stores where these cassettes were sold in the Netherlands: Vroom en Dreesmann (1887-2015), or V&D for short. Vendomatic was one of their house brands: ‘V-and-D-omatic’, where the ‘and’ translates to ‘en’ in Dutch. Hence the ‘Vendomatic’, for anything that was slightly technical.
V&D had the cassettes made under license in Western-Germany (not to be confused with West Germany). This must be the reason for the mix of languages, and more importantly: the missing brand name on the cassette itself.
Holding back the years
The chromiumdioxide-tape was introduced by Philips in 1971, so the ’78’ on the label could be interpreted as the year of production.
That feels about right for the design of this cassette, but it can’t be, because of this.
That logo in front of ‘Vendomatic’ was introduced, allegedly, in 1988 (no other source for this to be found). That feels way too late for the design of this cassette, but is a match for the period for this logo in my mind.
Any other method to date this? Well…
… Giuseppe Sinopoli was the conductor of the London based Philharmonia Orchestra from 1984 until 1994. A clue, but the cassette may have been waiting to be used for years.
How about that DIN then? Just like the cassette of a fortnight ago, this one is DIN-certified. A slight difference though: DIN 45 500, not DIN 45 512.
What does it all mean?
These numbers should be traceable, but as mentioned a fortnight ago, this is no publicly available information. However, for DIN 45 500, there is an online explanation. From this we learn that DIN 45 500 was published in 1966 by the German standards body (Deutscher Industrie Normenausschuss) and specifies minimum requirements for nonprofessional equipment to be called ‘HiFi’.
So, the DIN says something about the equipment to be used, and nothing about the cassette itself. That’s a bit misleading, that is!
Back to front
The front of the J-card features a rather futuristic headphone, that looks like reversed virtual reality glasses.
It also features a bit of nonsense. Should you play this tape in a deck without a ‘chrome button’, then it will not sound as good as possible (true), but it will also advance the wear on the tape heads. I can’t think of a reason for this.
All in all: black, white and silver, with some nicely bright reds.