Maxell magnetic tape ad in the Reel2ReelTexas-MOMSR - Theophilus vintage recording collection

 

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Manufacturer Profiles

This is a list of information we have gathered from a variety of sources on some of the major analog reel to reel tape recorder and related equipment manufacturers.  While we have strived to provide the best information available to us, there will be corrections and additions. We include personal stories about the companies when they are provided to us.  We always invite input on corrections and updates. Thank you!

Go to: • 3MAEG/MagnetophonAkaiAltecAmplifier CorpAmpexAmproAstaticAstrocom/MarluxBang & OlufsenlBell & HowellBell LabsBerlant ConcertoneBeyerdynamicBrüel & KjærBrenellBrushCetec GaussConcordCraigCrown • DenonDokorderDualEdisonEicoElectro SoundElectro VoiceEMI/GramophoneFerrographFostexFreemanGrundigHeathKitITCJVCKLHLeevers RichLyrecMagnecordMarantzMaxellMCIMitsubishiNagraNakamichiNeumannNewcombNeveOkiOtariPentronPhilipsPioneerPrestoRadio Shack/RealisticRangertoneRCAReeves Soundcraft • RobertsRolaSansuiScullySennheiserShureSolid State LogicSonySoundcraftSpectoneStancil HoffmanStellavoxStephensStuder ReVoxTandbergTape-AthonTapesonicTeac/TascamTechnicsTelefunkenTolnai ToshibaUher VikingVortexion Ltd UKWebster Chicago/WebcorWebster ElectricWestern Electric/AltecWilcox-GayWollensak

 

 

Maxell

 

Maxell Holdings, Ltd. commonly known as Maxell, is a Japanese company that manufactures consumer electronics.

The company's name is a contraction of "maximum capacity dry cell". Its main products are batteries, wireless charging products, storage devices, LCD and laser projectors and functional materials. In the past, the company manufactured recording media, including audio reel to reel tapes, cassettes and blank VHS tapes, floppy disks, a10" Maxell reel on MOMSR's Studer A807 reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas/MOMST/Theophilus vintage reel tape recorder collectionnd recordable optical discs including CD-R/RW and DVD±RW. On March 4, 2008, Maxell announced that they would outsource the manufacturing of their optical media.

Maxell was formed in 1960, when a dry cell manufacturing plant was created at the company's headquarters in Ibaraki, Osaka. In New 7" Maxell reel tapes in the Reel2ReelTexas/MOMST/Theophilus vintage reel tape recorder collection1961, Maxell Electric Industrial Company, Limited was created out of the dry battery and magnetic tape divisions of Nitto Electric Industrial Company, Limited (now Nitto Denko Corporation).

On March 18, 2014, the company was listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. In 2013, Maxell, Ltd. acquired Hitachi Consumer Electronics, Co., Ltd.’s projector design, development and manufacturing assets and resources. On October 1, 2019, Maxell Corporation of America announced it would assume responsibility for all operations related to both Hitachi- brand and Maxell-brand projector products and accessories in the North American market.

During the height of the Compact Audio Cassette's popularity, Maxell's audio cassettes were held in high regard, producing some of the finest examples of the standard available. The performance of the XLII-S (CrO2) and MX (pure metal particles) cassettes was highly regarded in the pre-digital domestic recording medium.

Until the beginning of 2020, Maxell still produced UR ferric-oxide-based cassettes for the international market. Maxell has since stopped distributing their UR cassettes outside of Japan.

Maxell audio cassettes were available in 46, 60, 90, 100, 120 and 150 minute lengths. Currently, depending on region, they are available in 10, 20, 46, 60, 90 and 120 minute lengths.

In the 1980s, Maxell became an icon of pop culture when it produced advertisements popularly known as "Blown Away Guy" for its line of audio cassettes. The original campaign conceived by Art Director Lars Anderson began as a two-page spread in Rolling Stone Magazine ad in 1980, and was made into television spots in 1981 which ran throughout the 1980s.

Steve Steigman was the photographer and Richard Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" was used for music. In the United Kingdom, the music used was "Night on Bald Mountain" by Modest Mussorgsky.

The adverts depict a man sitting low in a (Le Corbusier Grand Confort LC2 high armed chair (on the right side of the screen) in front of, and facing, a JBL L100 speaker (the left side of the screen). His hair and necktie, along with the lampshade to the man's right and the martini glass on the low table to the man's left, are being blown back by the tremendous sound from speakers in front of him — supposedly due to the audio accuracy of Maxell's product.

He is shown desperately clinging to the armrests but defiantly looking ahead at the source of the music through sunglasses, though calmly catching his drink before it slides off the end table. Television commercials showed the chair, a drink and nearby lamp, being pushed away from the stereo by the strong force of the sound waves. The image became the de facto standard of those who believed their stereo equipment had sufficient power or accuracy to move the mind and the soul. The model for the United Kingdom (not United States) advert campaign was musician Peter Murphy of the group Bauhaus.

The model for the campaign for the United States, however, was the makeup artist Jac Colello, hired for the shoot by photographer Steve Steigman. The impact of the advertising campaign on popular culture still resonates today: "Blown Away Guy" was parodied on the popular animated television show Family Guy in the episode "Model Misbehavior".

This is only the most recent in countless parodies over the years, which includes a parody in the John Ritter film Stay Tuned, (which featured a character's head being blown off by a "Max-Hell" tape). In the movie Jackass 3D, the commercial is parodied with Ryan Dunn sitting in the chair, while the blast from a jet engine sends the set blowing away. The original soundtrack of the first television advert read, "After 500 plays, Maxell still delivers high fidelity". This durability and quality message did not have the staying power of the "blown away" image, which still lives today.

On December 12, 2005, Maxell decided to bring "Blown Away Guy" back due to its popularity. As Maxell now makes blank DVDs and CDs, headphones, speakers, and blank audio and video tape, the ads have been updated with photos of iPods and accessories underneath the image. "Get blown away" is the headline while copy urges consumers to use Maxell accessories to "make your small iPod sound like a huge audio system".


Maxell Ads

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All donations to MOMSR go 100% to support restoration of vintage magnetic recording devices in the private collection and help fund the web site development and hosting.


Go to: • 3MAEG/MagnetophonAkaiAltecAmplifier CorpAmpexAmproAstaticAstrocom/MarluxBang & OlufsenlBell & HowellBell LabsBerlant ConcertoneBeyerdynamicBrüel & KjærBrenellBrushCetec GaussConcordCraigCrown • DenonDokorderDualEdisonEicoElectro SoundElectro VoiceEMI/GramophoneFerrographFostexFreemanGrundigHeathKitITCJVCKLHLeevers RichLyrecMagnecordMarantzMaxellMCIMitsubishiNagraNakamichiNeumannNewcombNeveOkiOtariPentronPhilipsPioneerPrestoRadio Shack/RealisticRangertoneRCAReeves Soundcraft • RobertsRolaSansuiScullySennheiserShureSolid State LogicSonySoundcraftSpectoneStancil HoffmanStellavoxStephensStuder ReVoxTandbergTape-AthonTapesonicTeac/TascamTechnicsTelefunkenTolnai ToshibaUher VikingVortexion Ltd UKWebster Chicago/WebcorWebster ElectricWestern Electric/AltecWilcox-GayWollensak


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We offer seven hours of 50 video segments via download about our collection and the history of magnetic recording available at this link.

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