Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

radio, tape, stands and accessories
VinyldechezPierre
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by VinyldechezPierre » 01 Dec 2019 16:15

Issuesman666 wrote:
30 Nov 2019 15:32
It is cheaper to record to computer, back up and listen to great sound quality.
True, it is cheaper.

But the sound quality may/will probably require work.

I did some transfers of vinyl in the early days of CDs when a lot of weirder stuff was not yet available and I should have waited because it is not that easy to get great sound quality. And I once was a sound engineer. :D

Issuesman666
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by Issuesman666 » 01 Dec 2019 18:08

VinyldechezPierre wrote:
01 Dec 2019 16:15
Issuesman666 wrote:
30 Nov 2019 15:32
It is cheaper to record to computer, back up and listen to great sound quality.
True, it is cheaper.

But the sound quality may/will probably require work.

I did some transfers of vinyl in the early days of CDs when a lot of weirder stuff was not yet available and I should have waited because it is not that easy to get great sound quality. And I once was a sound engineer. :D
If the Tape is compromised or shot and I really love the album I would buy it on CD but I have too much tapes to just buy back the album on CD without a good reason.

The sound quality of the Tapes I've recorded so far is great .Rush's 1977 album 'A farewell to Kings' is a great example of a wonderful sounding transfer.

VinyldechezPierre
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by VinyldechezPierre » 02 Dec 2019 21:02

Issuesman666 wrote:
01 Dec 2019 18:08
If the Tape is compromised or shot and I really love the album I would buy it on CD but I have too much tapes to just buy back the album on CD without a good reason.
I understand. My own music budget is fairly limited but, little by little, I've replaced my home-digitized music by the better CDs.

When they exist, that is.

jdjohn
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by jdjohn » 13 Dec 2019 22:11

_ITX_ wrote:
19 Nov 2019 15:35
I'm starting to feel like the major tech companies are missing out on the next big trend. I never really stopped listening to my cassettes, but over the years, all my stationary devices crashed and now the only thing that's left for me to listen to my cassette tapes, is an old AIWA Walkman.

Since I recently moved to a new appartment, I wanted to up my hifi game once again and buy a decent cassette deck. The only problem: Apart from the Teac W-1200, there's really nothing new to chose from. The only other option is to buy a used/vintage deck, which couldn't be more complicated since those in good condition (belts replaced, etc.) are waaay too expensive, and the more affordable ones still rock the original belts that are most likely disintegrated by now. Please help a fellow tape head out!
I wish you were closer, as I need to find good homes for some of these from my dad's garage.
denon.jpg
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nak680.jpg
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projone.jpg
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tandb.jpg
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_ITX_
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by _ITX_ » 23 Dec 2019 08:08

OMG, the Project/One with the VU-Meters looks gorgeous!! Where do you live?

jdjohn
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by jdjohn » 23 Dec 2019 15:38

_ITX_ wrote:
23 Dec 2019 08:08
OMG, the Project/One with the VU-Meters looks gorgeous!! Where do you live?
Nashville, TN USA

Sind sie in Österreich?

Roberto C2H3
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by Roberto C2H3 » 23 Dec 2019 16:54

Purchase a working Nakamichi CR-1A. Great two head deck, which is practically direct drive. You will not be dissapointed. Probably the best value out there...

Roberto C2H3
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by Roberto C2H3 » 23 Dec 2019 16:57

Roberto C2H3 wrote:
23 Dec 2019 16:54
Purchase a working Nakamichi CR-1A. Great two head deck, which is practically direct drive. You will not be dissapointed. Probably the best value out there...
Or the CR-2A, which is the same but with a bias fine tune control and a digital counter... 8) Me, I prefer the old numbers rolling by, but that is just me, or perhaps not :lol:

Jim Leach
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by Jim Leach » 31 Dec 2019 16:33

This is the solution:

Purchase a Tascam 122 (any variety) and send it to Sam at Skywave in Chicago. He has done both of my 122 Mk.III decks and he does excellent work. He was the Teac/Tascam official repair center before they closed and he had a massive stock of parts, as well as having NLA parts re-made to OEM spec.

His decks are literally better than new.

Direct driver
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by Direct driver » 31 Dec 2019 16:52

If cassettes ever do have a "revival" like vinyl, it will be brief and short lived. For vinyl, nostalgia is only a small part of the equation. For cassette it would be pretty much all of it.

I am one of those guys who used to buy a brand new album and immediately record it to cassette, preserving the album from wear. I have a lot of tapes from the 70's that still sound pretty good, considering their age. However, all the vinyl I have from that time period sounds exactly like it did at the time, any wear notwithstanding.

Cassettes were about convenience. I could play them in my car and ghetto blaster. But then came CD's, which destroyed the very advantage cassettes had, especially when they became recordable.

Cassettes are mechanical devises, kinda like 8 tracks, and don't expect an 8-track resurgence either.

I have a very nice cassette deck that I never use (Pioneer CT-F1250) and several hundred cassettes along with quite a few NOS bricks of blanks. I have it for nostalgia purposes and the deck looks great. I also have several portable players, one even with Dolby. I would use those occasionally in my car with an aux input cable. But it's all about nostalgia, not sound quality. Some of them sound amazing, to be sure, but I can just download the audio off youtube videos and pretty much always get better sound than the cassette if I really want the songs.

So you should be able to get a halfway decent cassette deck at a garage sale or goodwill, etc. and then, if necessary, get a belt replacement kit off eBay or something. However, if you live in a second or third world country, all bets are off.

scho2684
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by scho2684 » 31 Dec 2019 21:43

bernard1 wrote:
20 Nov 2019 11:34
The Nakamichi Dragon was TOTL in the 80's.
I don't understand why a lot of people think that, it's simply not true: it was one of the more advanced decks from Nakamichi though but certainly not the only one or the best they ever made...
It was the only deck that had auto Azimuth during playback and which was auto reverse compatible.
That makes it also the most fragile deck, as you will never be able to restore one, once the head is gone...

If you really want a good deck, I recommend the Nakamichi 480 (over any CR series in the same price range btw)
The 480 has in basics the same transport as the 1000ZXL (that one comes close to TOTL btw)
The 480 has 3 motors, a dual capstan and a tapepad lifter.
The 480 can be acquired sometimes for almost nothing, you spend a few bugs with a true restorer and you will guaranteed be happy for the rest of your tape life...
There is also the 480Z which has in addition a bias setting, Dolby C and led vu meters, I had them both, I thought the basic 480 was a lot better in sound (and both where restored by a true Nakamichi believer)
I also had a CR-3 (3 head version of the CR-2, and dual capstan) but that thing never caught me due to the cheap basic plastic look, it did recorded and sounded quit well though...

The 480 and 480Z are available in beautiful silver and also in black.
There is also a 482 (and Z) which is the 3 headed version, that was only available in black.

The later CR series are not bad but nothing special.
The later CR 1 and 2 series which replaced the 480 and 480Z did not had dual capstan, no tape pad lifter and the transport was no longer made by Nakamichi...

Obviously there are other well made cassette decks of course, I have only experienced these (next to a 1000ZXL)
A well restored 480 will never fail you, you will never be bored and replacement parts are endless available...
480.jpg
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480Z.jpg
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Among the best they made:
1000ZXL (and Limited version of that)
ZX-7 and 9 (7 is belt, 9 is direct drive) < true impressive machines
Dragon (okay, here you are)
CR-7

Roberto C2H3
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by Roberto C2H3 » 31 Dec 2019 23:43

scho2684 wrote:
31 Dec 2019 21:43
bernard1 wrote:
20 Nov 2019 11:34
The Nakamichi Dragon was TOTL in the 80's.
I don't understand why a lot of people think that, it's simply not true: it was one of the more advanced decks from Nakamichi though but certainly not the only one or the best they ever made...
It was the only deck that had auto Azimuth during playback and which was auto reverse compatible.
That makes it also the most fragile deck, as you will never be able to restore one, once the head is gone...

If you really want a good deck, I recommend the Nakamichi 480 (over any CR series in the same price range btw)
The 480 has in basics the same transport as the 1000ZXL (that one comes close to TOTL btw)
The 480 has 3 motors, a dual capstan and a tapepad lifter.
The 480 can be acquired sometimes for almost nothing, you spend a few bugs with a true restorer and you will guaranteed be happy for the rest of your tape life...
There is also the 480Z which has in addition a bias setting, Dolby C and led vu meters, I had them both, I thought the basic 480 was a lot better in sound (and both where restored by a true Nakamichi believer)
I also had a CR-3 (3 head version of the CR-2, and dual capstan) but that thing never caught me due to the cheap basic plastic look, it did recorded and sounded quit well though...

The 480 and 480Z are available in beautiful silver and also in black.
There is also a 482 (and Z) which is the 3 headed version, that was only available in black.

The later CR series are not bad but nothing special.
The later CR 1 and 2 series which replaced the 480 and 480Z did not had dual capstan, no tape pad lifter and the transport was no longer made by Nakamichi...

Obviously there are other well made cassette decks of course, I have only experienced these (next to a 1000ZXL)
A well restored 480 will never fail you, you will never be bored and replacement parts are endless available...

480.jpg

480Z.jpg

Among the best they made:
1000ZXL (and Limited version of that)
ZX-7 and 9 (7 is belt, 9 is direct drive) < true impressive machines
Dragon (okay, here you are)
CR-7
The Nakamichi 480, and all others with the classic transport, are superior to the CR series indeed. However, be prepared to invest no less than about USD 300 to have them brought back to specs. And you need a technician whom will be thorough, disassemble the transport fully, clean it, relube and only then rebuild. Not cheap, and not trivial.

The CR 1-A and CR 2-A are indeed nothing special. However, they are practically direct drive, and will probably only need the belt for the counter replaced (CR-1A). IMO they are one of the best values for the money out there if you want a reliable and decent deck.

Best from the Pampas,
roberto

scho2684
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by scho2684 » 01 Jan 2020 00:01

Roberto C2H3 wrote:
31 Dec 2019 23:43
The CR 1-A and CR 2-A are indeed nothing special. However, they are practically direct drive
How's that? even the CR-3 is belt drive...
The first direct drive is the CR-5 I think...

I spent less then $300 but indeed it wont be fixed for $50...

Roberto C2H3
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by Roberto C2H3 » 01 Jan 2020 00:12

scho2684 wrote:
01 Jan 2020 00:01
Roberto C2H3 wrote:
31 Dec 2019 23:43
The CR 1-A and CR 2-A are indeed nothing special. However, they are practically direct drive
How's that? even the CR-3 is belt drive...
The first direct drive is the CR-5 I think...

I spent less then $300 but indeed it wont be fixed for $50...
I wrote practically... In any event, they are far less expensive to bring back to specs than any Nak with the classic transport...

Roberto C2H3
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by Roberto C2H3 » 01 Jan 2020 04:15

Roberto C2H3 wrote:
01 Jan 2020 00:12
scho2684 wrote:
01 Jan 2020 00:01
Roberto C2H3 wrote:
31 Dec 2019 23:43
The CR 1-A and CR 2-A are indeed nothing special. However, they are practically direct drive
How's that? even the CR-3 is belt drive...
The first direct drive is the CR-5 I think...

I spent less then $300 but indeed it wont be fixed for $50...
I wrote practically... In any event, they are far less expensive to bring back to specs than any Nak with the classic transport...
https://picclick.com/Nakamichi-Cr-1A-Au ... 22326.html