Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Cowboy Kim, Feb 3, 2017.
Sad but true. I feel sorry for someone being introduced to cassettes for the first time this way.
Over the years, I have mostly associated JVC as the company which invented the VHS video cassette format that destroyed the Sony BetaMax ...
Yea...And that too.
Can't be done today without the infrastructure to build quality heads, quality motors and transport components, and new tape of quality. And lots of high quality money to pay for it on a small scale modern production real world. Want performance like this, you have to buy a vintage deck, and do what's necessary to restore it back to specification. You ask for more than what can be built today for you. Reality simply put.
All the mid to low priced audio gears are made in places where QC essentially is non-existent and given cassette decks have many moving parts, the prospect for any successful comeback is bleak IMO ...
Someone would have to spend $$$ re-engineering the cassette deck using modern materials and components and more sophisticated computer control. I'm positive we could build vastly superior heads and transports using modern technology - thanks in part to all of the advances made for hard drives - but it would be crazy expensive. Turntables are a much bigger market and even there, I think the engineering is kinda pathetic. Consumer turntables from the '80s are more sophisticated than most of the platters being churned out today.
When was the first "modern" turntable made again?
To me - just like Dolby B which came around in 1969-1970-1971 and became a standard, I would say "modern" turntables started about 1975 with the first Technics direct drive, which I think was the SL-1200 (but I think there were a couple very similar direct drives branded just Panasonic [or National] before that one). All the Japanese companies essentially copied that, and even European companies copied it to some extent or went intentionally opposite of its design. It and its successor models influenced everything since.
I am surprised, as I thought DUAL always had straight arm but DUAL 1239 did not ...
The 1239 had the straight arm, the 1239A you pictured had the Technics inspired S arm and the Technics inspired turntable platter. It seems the 1239A is far less common than the 1239.
I am pretty sure DUAL was already selling its turntables back in the 1960's ...
How about this one?
They certainly were.
original 1239, 1976, look at that strobe line
Definite trend there. OK they went back to straight arms.
back to Nakamichi and its competitors...
Overall, the Dragon
At any given time, the best would have been the first Advent, the 2nd Advent... then various Nakamichis such as the 1000, 100XL (?) or was it ZXL(?) then finally the Dragon.
Mr. Nakamichi was obsessed with perfection, but digital tape killed the whole idea - there is a history online somewhere
Perhaps a 1000zxl with a Dragon transport?
So the Dragon is the only DD cassette deck made by Nakamichi?
I don’t know. He also replaced a 1000zxl transport with a zx-9 transport.
I have the ZX-7, which is the little brother to ZX-9. ZX-7 is belt-drive so I presume ZX-9 should be belt-drive as well ...
and the ZXE, which is very similar to the ZXL ...
Any near top of the line Nak but the Dragon is a top contender IMO and listening experience. It just has too much poor working stuff like auto reverse and other issues that end up killing it's consistency in sonic performance. I'ce seen Dragons on the bench show a bad drop off past 1oKz....terrible just terrible, unless you like that bad tube amp sound that is.
I am now officially depressed...Damn, I miss 1986.
You are not the only one!
Exactly, which is why putting out cassette recorders today is silly. The sound quality is so bad it's pointless.
They stopped making analog multitracks 15 years ago but you can still buy 1/4 ,1/2, 1 and 2 inch analog tape. But for how long? On a side line they stopped making 1/2 and 2 inch DASH (Digital Audio Stationary Head) tape in 2006. Yes, you would be surprised how many famous engineers use DASH (a dead format). Tom Lord-Alge and his brother Chris still use DASH. They find modern converters to clean. They prefer the harder colder sound of older A/D converters. (Not kidding) And DASH tape is more reliable than a Pro Tools Seesion on some hard drive. You pull up a project on DASH tape - all the tracks are there. You can open a Pro Tools session someone sent you to mix and stuff is missing. Hard drives fail. Tape doesn't.
Not trying to thread jump. I thought this subject connected to our cassette topic.
You can't buy new Type 2 or Metal tape unless someone's selling a box of TDK MA 90 on Ebay. Eventually all the tape will dry up.
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