Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Cowboy Kim, Feb 3, 2017.
I still love my Nakamichi Dragon so I vote for it.
What about that Revox cassette deck? It's super rare and heard it's studio quality.
Those late model Sony's with Dolby S were probably the best for the money, if you're looking to record new cassettes.
The TEAC C-1 is surely worth a mention in this thread.
I used to rock XLII 90's! Those and SA-90's were my faves.
Are those owned by Crocodile Dundee?
More seriously, was that the factory color? Or customized?
Anyway there was a Luxman deck that was quite good-but not as adjustable as the Dragon.
For me, the greatest deck was a Radio Shack 3-head, made by I forget who. The price while not cheap was reasonable, and I could get VERY transparent sound out of that thing with good tape. Finally gave it and piles of cassettes away to a nearby Forum-ite who wanted to get into cassette with his kid; hope they are still having retro fun.
On that note, my child once got a bunch of extra credit in music class for recording something on "retro technology"
Yes, a contender for one of the finest cassette decks ever made. Reliable, sounded great, durable. Technics DD models are also at the head of the list. And the early ReVox/Studer models also.
Upon giving up 8-track recording with a Sony, I purchased a Pioneer CT-F9191 in ~ 75. Developed the habit of playing new albums twice: once to set the recording level, and then to record; almost always on TDK SA-90s or Maxell UD-XLII 90s. The Pioneer lost one channel & I replaced it w/a couple of different Aiwa 3-heads which did not last too long (~ 84-86). As stated, I honestly settled for the sound of Dolby B/C in my system & all my cars had Dolby cassette decks.
When I switched to CDs ~ 1986 (my first CD purchase was David Grisman's Acousticity), I soon got a TOTL Denon DRM-800 w/Dolby B, C, HX Pro so that I could tape the CDs to play in our cars, & only used Dolby B from that point on. My system was still based upon ~ 72 Yamaha CA-600 integrated, Beogram 3000 TT & B & O 3702 speakers. To my ears, my recorded cassettes matched the SQ of albums. They came awfully close to CD, but CDs were more convenient. When we sold our daily driver 1988 FJ62 Land Cruiser in 2008, we were still listening to tapes.
I'm not sure that I have more than half a dozen pre-recorded tapes from over all those years. Tried a few Metal tapes of CDs (playback in cars). Have a few unopened Maxell UD-XLIIs, the Denon, NOS Dishwasher demagnetizers & head cleaners, a RS handheld demagnetizer & ~ 125 tapes I recorded (1 album/side). All stacked on top of some audio gear my wife is (rightly) on my case to dispose of.
My B & O dealer carried the Nakamichi decks, I've never listened to one. As I only played cassettes recorded on my own decks, azimuth adj. was never a concern. I did have a Ranger 8-track w/azimuth adj in my '70 MG Midget, but it did nothing for track changes within a song.
THANX for the trip down memory lane. Joe
My NAK wasn't working properly, so I took it up to a tech and asked "do you work on Nakamichi cassette players." He said, "yes...It's not a Dragon is it" and he groaned audibly when I told him it was. Apparently they aren't fun to work on.
My buddy has one, and it is the holy grail. Taps never sounded so good. Good tapes recorded on a great deck like this (from vinyl usually back in the day) can easily hang with a CD in terms of overall sound quality.
Akai made some decent machines, and they weren't cheap, either. $850 in 1984 for the GX-R99 was rather costly. The best thing about it was direct drive on the capstan. Mine's been through four moves and has been beat to death over the years, and it's still hanging in there. And it sounds not bad at all.
The General Consensus of the internet is the Nakamichi Dragon
Nakamichi Dragon Auto Reverse Cassette Deck Great website has specs and everything
I have a Nakamichi 700 and I love it!
I'll put my Aiwa XKS-9000 against it any day. That deck is considered to be THE best deck ever.
For Teac's best ever I'd say my V-8030S with Dolby S /HX PRO is Teac's swan song.
Bottom of the stack:
I have the Nakamichi BX-300 (bought it new in 1987) and upgraded the drive to the gear system. It's been functioning flawlessly and sounding fantastic for decades. I do wish I still had my old Dragon. IMHO, the Dragon was one of the best that you could buy.
The strong near cult following of the Dragon is odd, as it has always exhibited a terrible rolled off high end, perhaps folks like that? Nak had a few cheaper but sonically better decks than the Dragon which is too complex and a repair reliability issue nightmare.
I personally believe it was between two decks, the Dragon, which many believe was the best and then there is the ultimate German engineering in Studer/ReVox. The H-1 by many people is considered the very best of all consumer decks, it's performance is unsurpassed and it's design is magnificent. The other two decks by Studer/ReVox are functionally the same but cosmetically different, the B-215 and the B-215S. Because of the ultimate design of the H-1, that is my vote for the best of the best. Here they are!
The Studer/ReVox H-1
Studer/ReVox Standard Model 215 (I owned this tape deck for many years, wonderful) !
Studer/ReVox Model 215-S
ALL THREE WOULD BE CONSIDERED THE FINEST CONSUMER DECK IN THE WORLD!
I find it hard to consider any deck without Dolby S /HX PRO as being in the running for best ever. Before the advent of Dolby S /HX PRO, sure, I'll buy into that, but not after.
You should check your alternative facts, please: In the beginning Studer was a Swiss company, founded in Zürich, Switzerland. Now it is a subsidiary of Harman International Industries: Studer - Wikipedia
Back in the '80s, Nakamichi had a road-show traveling from dealer to dealer showing off the Dragon in a blind test with a source CD. You'd sit in a chair in the sweet-spot and the Nak rep would switch between original and recorded sources. You weren't supposed to be able to tell the difference. My wife and I attended our local dealer's session. At every change we were both able to correctly identify the tape and the CD. Somewhat disappointed by our results, the Nak rep and the shop owner sort of apologized. I said there was no need since I'd never heard a cassette recorder/player that sounded better! And I bought a Dragon . . . which I still have today. It's still working fine without ever failing to work properly, and I'm in line for Terry to give it the once-over when he has the time, so it can be ready for the next quarter-century.
Oh my gosh, I can't believe I made that error, I knew very well it was a SWISS company, I posted late and I had just watched a documentary on Germany, and had Germany on my mind. Living here in Nashville, where their headquarters was for years and years, I'm surprised I made that mistake, Studer/ReVox is indeed a SWISS brand, I appreciate your correction! My age is really showing.
[QUOTE="forthlin, post: 15857641, member: 12802”...I've read that the drawback to a Nak deck is that tapes made on the Nak and played back on a different machine were sometimes sub-par...[/QUOTE]
That was true - I used to be in sessions at the old Hit Factory in NYC, around 1990/91. The engineer said that they took out the Nakamichi decks in all of the studios and replaced them with Studers because recordings made on the Nakamichi decks did not hold up on other machines...
Harmon-Kardon. HK 2000.
If couldnt afford the nak, this was the way to go.
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