The Unequal Struggle...

radio, tape, stands and accessories
Post Reply
simonineaston
senior member
senior member
Great Britain
Posts: 286
Joined: 02 Feb 2004 14:20
Location: Bristol, UK

The Unequal Struggle...

Post by simonineaston » 16 Jun 2019 10:58

Back in the '70s, several companies worked hard to get good sound out of the compact cassette - I recall, amongst others, Sony, Nakamichi & Neal doing their best. As I did my dusting this morning, I fondly wiped the leather case of my WM-D6 and fell to wondering if anyone out there in VE-land still uses their cassette players regularly - do tell... Slightly oddly, probably Neal's biggest customers were the UK police forces! They still make a similar product, based on compact disc!

abril
long player
long player
Georgia
Posts: 2531
Joined: 13 Oct 2002 20:48
Location: Republic of Georgia/Cornwall

Re: The Unequal Struggle...

Post by abril » 16 Jun 2019 11:57

I have a hefty collection of recordings off air 200 or so.
Played these days with a diddy but perfectly reasonable Yamaha deck from a compact system.
My Nak 600 had to go before we moved :cry:

lini
vinyl addict
vinyl addict
Germany
Posts: 6621
Joined: 22 Sep 2007 05:17
Location: Munich/Bavaria

Re: The Unequal Struggle...

Post by lini » 16 Jun 2019 16:07

sie: Not really, to be honest. I.e., while I still keep my Teac V-3000, Sony WM-D6C and Aiwa HS-PC202MkIII (and I've also still got a WM-DC2 and a HS-PX410 somewhere - and a Commodore Datasette (which I would have never bought myself, of course - but I got one from a friend, when he got rid of his old C64 stuff...)), I don't use any of these anymore - 'cause as cool as theese may be (or at least may have been), there's practically nothing a neat, little PCM-M10 wouldn't do better. So I have to admit that I merely keep the old cassette tape stuff, because it yet seems too valuable to throw it all away (*).

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini

*) I really wish we had something like a local "vintage consumer tech museum", so I wouldn't have to throw away some of my stuff sooner or later, but could rather donate it for a good purpose - also including some of my computer stuff. For example, how could I ever throw away my lovely Telebit WordBlazer?

zlartibartfast
senior member
senior member
United States of America
Posts: 304
Joined: 20 Feb 2019 02:11
Location: 45th parallel

Re: The Unequal Struggle...

Post by zlartibartfast » 16 Jun 2019 16:34

Though I once made my cassette decks the center of the music system, today I'm down to one & it only serves when I need to play a tape that I want to dub. Occasionally I use it for field recording (it can operate on D cell batteries).

When I need to record a musical performance these days, I use a laptop.

chgc
member
member
Posts: 214
Joined: 20 Jan 2018 20:54

Re: The Unequal Struggle...

Post by chgc » 16 Jun 2019 17:36

I still use cassettes regularly. I enjoy them for many of the same reasons I enjoy records— the analog experience is unmediated by an internet connection/computer, I tend to listen to full albums and mix tapes instead of clicking through song fragments, I enjoy fixing the old players, there is a certain ritual involved that means something to me (I’m not sure what), I have a lot of music in this format and it works just fine… plus I have a cassette player in the car and a number of Walkmans for listening on the go.

plyscds
senior member
senior member
United States of America
Posts: 542
Joined: 14 Jan 2010 20:58
Location: PA

Re: The Unequal Struggle...

Post by plyscds » 16 Jun 2019 17:54

The absolute best sounding cassette player I ever had was an option in a 1991 Honda Civic Sedan. I never put a lot of money into home component units because my first component unit was disappointment right out of the box. It was a Technics RS07. Left channel was always stronger on playback and I never figured out how to set the recording balance to fix it. So my home recorded tapes went out to the car where it didn't matter so much. I have a Sony dual well deck which would probably be my best sounding deck if I had it back in a system - it needed drive belts replaced, and until I figured out how to do that I used a ba$ic Onkyo stereo deck, which due to to how much disassembly I would need to undertake to change cassette decks, remains, mostly ignored, in the system. When I traded in my last car with cassette capability, cassette playback became very low priority. To make a custom CD for car playback took lots less time, and now that CD decks are also disappearing and thumb drive audio is now still viable and quicker to make, that's where I am. I sense with all the push to put subscription music capability in new car radios at the expense of replaying what we already have on shelves at home, the music industry is trying to make anything we listen to on the road something we have to pay for to access again, either via subscriptions or commercial interruptions.

Bob Dillon
senior member
senior member
United States of America
Posts: 423
Joined: 03 Mar 2019 20:22

Re: The Unequal Struggle...

Post by Bob Dillon » 16 Jun 2019 20:33

Bought my last cassette deck in 1997. A brand new Denon it was. It worked until just the early 2000's by which time I had acquired a Phillips CD recorder deck. When the Denon stopped working, I didn't bother to get it fixed. I've not owned another cassette deck since. :bike:

Jim Leach
senior member
senior member
United States of America
Posts: 809
Joined: 03 Mar 2010 18:40
Location: Back in CT!

Re: The Unequal Struggle...

Post by Jim Leach » 17 Jun 2019 00:13

Still using cassettes. More so lately than the previous two decades, as I had a CD recorder (which died) replaced by another (Tascam) and I have two working cassette decks now. The Tascam 122 Mk. III and the Kenwood Kx-1030 (from 1977)

I have been buying up NOS TDK SA tape from 1984-1987 and storing it. I have maybe 20 surviving recordings and pre-recorded tapes from the 80’s and 90’s.

And I just replaced (not received yet) my beloved Panasonic RX-F35 which will also be fully functional (somehow).

So cassette is not dead yet. A few companies are offering new production cassettes (besides the Maxell UR tapes at Rite-Aid etc.) go to www.tapeheads.net to see how good/bad it is...

jusbe
senior member
senior member
Great Britain
Posts: 445
Joined: 15 Jul 2002 00:00
Location: Yorkshire.

Re: The Unequal Struggle...

Post by jusbe » 17 Jun 2019 14:12

I bought my most recent deck(s), last year. I love the medium and have never really let go of it. I have 5 decks and 4 Walkmans. I can't promise I won't buy any more!

I regularly by cassettes, both blank and NOS pre-recorded. I also buy new production pre-recorded tapes, from sites like Bandcamp. I have about 150 pre-recorded and many more blanks.

simonineaston
senior member
senior member
Great Britain
Posts: 286
Joined: 02 Feb 2004 14:20
Location: Bristol, UK

Re: The Unequal Struggle...

Post by simonineaston » 17 Jun 2019 19:49

It's so great to hear that cassettes still get a whirl round the capstans! Not that I'm particulary fond of the medium nowadays, myself. But when designers & makers try real hard to squeeze a swan out of an ugly duckling, it might make them feel good that some of us are still enjoying all that sweat & tears!
I still keep the D6 for rather the same reasons I have an old Olympus Pen and a pair of Nikon 8x30 porroprism bin.s - just to remind myself how jolly good Japanese manufacturers were (maybe still are...) at making high quality instruments. I used to be glued to my Sony Walkman - I found a Sport Walkman, complete with radio, in a flat I moved into in 1986 which I wore out from constant use...
I was wondering, 'cos a lot of the local bands, here in Bristol, offer pre-recorded cassettes for sale at their gigs, as well as vinyl and, of course old hat CD ;-)

chgc
member
member
Posts: 214
Joined: 20 Jan 2018 20:54

Re: The Unequal Struggle...

Post by chgc » 19 Jun 2019 03:26

I have many 40 year old cassettes that sound better than “near mint” records I’ve bought off ebay. And the fact that bands can distribute their music directly to listeners is priceless, in my opinion.

Sunwire
long player
long player
United States of America
Posts: 1950
Joined: 07 Oct 2004 21:54
Location: New York

Re: The Unequal Struggle...

Post by Sunwire » 19 Jun 2019 04:37

When I was an audio salesman back around 1980, I spent many of my days at work recording LPs onto cassette. I have several hundred cassettes, but haven't played one for quite awhile.
I own a Tandberg TCD-440A, which is a fantastic machine only beat by a few Nakamichis. But it developed some kind of power supply problem I've never bothered to fix.
At the time I bought it, I was really more into the cassette deck than I was into my turntable, a Sony PS-2251 with ADC LMF-2 tonearm and B&O MMC-2 cartridge.
That's a turntable that has nice potential, but the spring suspended plinth is very resonant. It always sounded like the wood it's made out of. At the time, I didn't realize I could probably fix that with damping compound and then I moved on to a Thorens TD-160 Super.
About ten years ago, I bought a Nakamichi DR-2, which is a great machine, too. It has adjustable playback head azimuth which is the only way to get the best playback from a tape recorded on another machine (as ALL my tapes are). But that one developed a problem, too. Still not fixed.
I found a Nakamichi DR-3 at a thrift store for very cheap a couple of years ago to use as a dubbing deck. That's the only one that works now, but I almost never turn it on.
I spent a huge amount of time in the 80s making mix tapes and recording radio shows.
I loved to sit with my cassette deck fired up in record/pause mode while spinning the dial on my tuner.
When I heard something I liked, I'd un-pause the recorder and keep it on until the music got boring. Then either tune to another station while still recording or put it in pause until I found something else that sounded good.
I got some GREAT tapes that way, with mixes and seques that I could never have created by planning them out. They also captured certain moments in my life nicely with the music of that day or week.
I've never tried that using a computer. Maybe I should. :)

vinyl master
vinyl addict
vinyl addict
United States of America
Posts: 19503
Joined: 01 Nov 2013 05:27

Re: The Unequal Struggle...

Post by vinyl master » 19 Jun 2019 04:46

I was really into cassettes in the late 80's and throughout the 90's...What I love is finding all these old cassette cases I didn't know I had, cleaning them up and filling them up with extra blanks...There is something to be said about the good old-fashioned mixtape, too! I have quite an archive of old radio shows on tape, too, both the stuff from the 30's, 40's and 50's (The Great Gildersleeve, Fibber McGee & Molly, Richard Diamond Private Detective, The Shadow, Our Miss Brooks, etc.) and airchecks of later DJ's like Casey Kasem, Wolfman Jack, Mad Daddy and more!

The late 80's and early 90's brought on the cassette single and I still have all of those, too, plus my sister's collection that she "gifted" to me! :wink:

It's fun to pop them on once in a while... :)

AsOriginallyRecorded
senior member
senior member
Canada
Posts: 764
Joined: 26 Jun 2018 06:05

Re: The Unequal Struggle...

Post by AsOriginallyRecorded » 19 Jun 2019 05:12

Likewise, I have a long lasting love affair going with cassettes. I currently have two players in place, one a Denon DRM-800, the other a JVC TR-611. Both very competent machines, and get regular use when the mood strikes me. I used to be moving in a CD only direction until I re-discovered vinyl, and love cassette for the same reason. Both mediums are hands on, tactile, and leave one feeling connected to the music process, while both having certain tonal qualities that digital does not have unless much manipulated. Just can't get the same pleasure from inserting a disc or pushing a button. And as mentioned above, never truly went away, is increasing in popularity once again, and building a strong following. And for the new bands trying to break in....still the most convenient medium to get your music out there. Long live the cassette! =D> =D> :D 8)

Tonybro
long player
long player
Great Britain
Posts: 2033
Joined: 01 May 2014 16:44
Location: Lancashire

Re: The Unequal Struggle...

Post by Tonybro » 19 Jun 2019 07:23

For me, cassette has always been part of a complete hi-fi. Yes, the relevance today is minimal but if you have old cassettes recorded on a good deck they still sound fantastic.

Like Vinyl Master, I have a collection of mix tapes created during the period from 1985 - 1993, mostly recorded on high-end chrome or metal tapes and they sound amazing. Although a mix tape is superficially the equivalent to a play list, a mix tape seems so much more permanent and they were exchanged as gifts and, to a certain generation, have sentimental value too and sustained relationships during the period where they were prevalent.

I have three decks, a Sony TC-K590, a Nakamichi BX-300E and a Nakamichi ZX-7. All three head machines and all sound good. The ZX-7 is phenomenal.

As a few have mentioned, new bands can cheaply get their music out there by distributing it on cassette so the format still lives.

Post Reply