Tape selection   

Use only the highest quality tape designed for the equipment being used. Good analog tape has better frequency response and is less prone to drop-outs and loss of oxide due to friction. 

Quality digital tape has lower error counts. 

In cassette tapes the quality of the internal tape transport is very important for accurate tracking of individual tracks and can effect frequency response. Not only will the sonic results be of higher quality and and storage life longer but the equipment will last longer and need servicing less frequently due to problems associated with low quality tapes such as head wear, oxide deposits, and cassette tape jamming. 

reel to reel analog low noise, high output  cassette 
chrome or metal 
C-60 or C-90 (longer formats are prone to stretching and jamming) 
ADAT: high quality S-VHS, DA-88: high quality Hi8