Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

radio, tape, stands and accessories
_ITX_
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Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by _ITX_ » 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!

Tonybro
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by Tonybro » 19 Nov 2019 17:58

The market for new Cassette Decks is so small to be not worth investing by the manufacturers. The only option is to buy vintage used.

Fact of economics more than anything else... :-(

I've kept my three machines. ;-)

_ITX_
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by _ITX_ » 20 Nov 2019 07:21

Thanks for the heads up! Well, here's hoping the market will grow in the near future, to become nearly as big as the vinyl market. As of now, I will look out for a decent vintage machine on eBay and the likes. Out of curiosity: Which era is best for buying used cassette decks? 70s, 80s or 90s? TIA!

AsOriginallyRecorded
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by AsOriginallyRecorded » 20 Nov 2019 08:11

Generally, TOTL models from any of the big name manufacturers will have the best features and overall reliability. This would put them primarily in the late 80s and early 90s, but some very nice units were produced in the mid-80s as well. Three head models get a lot of attention for those requiring the extra options, but all TOTL or slightly below that level by essentially all big name manufacturers will provide very good to great playback and recording in restored condition. One of the most complex components ever made for music playback, so at this point in time a complete refurbishing is likely to be unavoidable. Check out tapeheads.net for more information and insight. :wink:

_ITX_
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by _ITX_ » 20 Nov 2019 09:16

Thanks for this very detailed information, you guys are the best!! Found some pretty cool late 80s/early 90s models on willhaben.at, an austrian equivalent of craigslist. Will keep you updated!

bernard1
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by bernard1 » 20 Nov 2019 11:34

Nakamichi cassette decks were among the more advanced.
The Nakamichi Dragon was TOTL in the 80's.
The price asked for them is out of reasonable.

_ITX_
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by _ITX_ » 20 Nov 2019 11:54

bernard1 wrote:
20 Nov 2019 11:34
The price asked for them is out of reasonable.
So true! Prices are beyond ridiculous and waaaay above my budget, but I would love to own a Nakamichi one day. It's mesmerizing watching a Dragon in action on Youtube.... :mrgreen:

Tinkaroo
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by Tinkaroo » 22 Nov 2019 14:10

_ITX_ wrote:
20 Nov 2019 11:54
bernard1 wrote:
20 Nov 2019 11:34
The price asked for them is out of reasonable.
So true! Prices are beyond ridiculous and waaaay above my budget, but I would love to own a Nakamichi one day. It's mesmerizing watching a Dragon in action on Youtube.... :mrgreen:
You shouldn't overlook some of the two head decks from Nakamichi or other well known brands. Three head decks have an advantage in being able to monitor as you record but the two head decks play back very well and record well too other than lacking the monitor function.

If you look for something that has been serviced, perhaps with new belts it should serve you well.

vinyl master
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by vinyl master » 23 Nov 2019 04:01

Any of the 3-head decks from Sony (I have a lovely TC-K620 model, for instance) are good...The TC-K models ending in ES are also very highly regarded...You want to look for the single decks rather than the dual decks, too, as the single decks are of a generally better quality, I feel...and I'm not the only one who thinks so...

https://www.tapeheads.net/showthread.php?t=19234
http://www.tapeheads.net/showthread.php?t=56597

I also own a lovely Sanyo from the 80's and a Technics M15 that work well...Of course, I just like to collect them and have fun with them...

Other makers to look for include Denon, Kenwood, Onkyo, Aiwa, Teac, etc.

Issuesman666
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by Issuesman666 » 23 Nov 2019 14:00

At this stage it is not advisable to buy used decks with auto reverse or dual wells. These were more prone to spoiling and the sound quality is lesser compared to good decks with a single well and no auto reverse.

If you can get a vintage deck with Dolby HX pro which has new belts and was serviced then go for that.

As for new I don't know of any.

VinyldechezPierre
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by VinyldechezPierre » 30 Nov 2019 14:46

_ITX_ wrote:
19 Nov 2019 15:35
Since I recently moved to a new appartment, I wanted to up my hifi game once again and buy a decent cassette deck.
WHY?

Did you just buy an old car with nothing but a cassette player?

Now, to be honest, I bought one myself a few months ago... but only because I have those cassettes from when I worked doing demo tapes for local bands. Yes, I'm old.

That said, once I've digitized the tapes, the deck will be put up for sale.

And, believe me, I traded quite a few tapes with friends way back then. It was our way of discovering the great music that was never played on the radio. But today, who are you going to trade with?

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

Post by Direct driver » 30 Nov 2019 14:53

_ITX_ wrote:
20 Nov 2019 11:54
bernard1 wrote:
20 Nov 2019 11:34
The price asked for them is out of reasonable.
So true! Prices are beyond ridiculous and waaaay above my budget, but I would love to own a Nakamichi one day. It's mesmerizing watching a Dragon in action on Youtube.... :mrgreen:
I used to have a Nakamichi 202. It sounded amazing. But it had a problem with the take up reel motor. It apparently had a flat spot or something and it would stop playback in the first few minutes of the tape, if I didn't manually push it, or something like that. The guys at Tapeheads shared the details of the problem and what it took to fix it, but it just wasn't worth it. The deck looked and sounded brand new (even the plastic cover for tape rotator was scratch free), but it was one of several decks I had, so I gave it to goodwill. This was a couple of years ago. BTW, I only paid $5 for it at an estate sale.

If you haven't already done so, go to estatesales.net for your city. That's where to find stuff that is not in its "collecable" stage. You can't get turntables all that cheap now, but cassette decks can probably be had pretty cheaply. And belt kits are usually available on line if there are issues there.

Issuesman666
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by Issuesman666 » 30 Nov 2019 15:11

VinyldechezPierre wrote:
30 Nov 2019 14:46
_ITX_ wrote:
19 Nov 2019 15:35
Since I recently moved to a new appartment, I wanted to up my hifi game once again and buy a decent cassette deck.
WHY?

Did you just buy an old car with nothing but a cassette player?

Now, to be honest, I bought one myself a few months ago... but only because I have those cassettes from when I worked doing demo tapes for local bands. Yes, I'm old.

That said, once I've digitized the tapes, the deck will be put up for sale.

And, believe me, I traded quite a few tapes with friends way back then. It was our way of discovering the great music that was never played on the radio. But today, who are you going to trade with?
I'm in the process of recording my cassettes to my computer. The fragile nature of tapes and the unpredictability of tapes and decks has made me realize I have to save the music on my tapes sooner rather than later.

The ones done so far sound great through my SoundBlaster Titanium HD which is said to be an 'audiophile' level sound card. I'm still learning the ropes of Audacity.

VinyldechezPierre
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by VinyldechezPierre » 30 Nov 2019 15:24

Issuesman666 wrote:
30 Nov 2019 15:11
I'm in the process of recording my cassettes to my computer. The fragile nature of tapes and the unpredictability of tapes and decks has made me realize I have to save the music on my tapes sooner rather than later.
Sounds like you're doing something similar to what I'm doing. Except you don't say anything about what IS on the tapes...

If you tapes exist on CD, what the hell are you doing?

Issuesman666
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Re: Are there any GOOD new cassette decks?

Post by Issuesman666 » 30 Nov 2019 15:32

Why should I buy CD's which mostly have to be shipped from the USA when I already have the music on some great sounding cassettes?

It is cheaper to record to computer, back up and listen to great sound quality.

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