The greatest consumer cassette tape deck ever produced?*

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Cowboy Kim, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. ralf11

    ralf11 Active Member

    How much is a 680ZX worth?
     
  2. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    Did you mean Type 4 or Metal tape ... ?
     
  3. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    You will be surprised to find out it is still reasonably priced ...
     
  4. john morris

    john morris Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    In 1980 I got my first stereo system. Purchased at Pascals in Toronto for $350. A Ridgewood receiver, big speakers with 12 inch woofers and a BSR turntable that looked exactly like this one in the picture. Maybe it was made by Dual. I swear those woofers were made out of paper.
     
  5. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    I would not be surprised as kevlar had not yet been invented ...
     
  6. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    Analog tape is archival, digital tape is not so archival nor robust. DASH also lacks parts or knowledgeable technicians to keep the machines alive.
     
    sunspot42 likes this.
  7. StarDoG

    StarDoG Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Coventry
    The Walkman DM6 was better than 95% of consumer large form cassette decks.
     
    DRM likes this.
  8. john morris

    john morris Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Type 4 is Metal. Although Nackamachi called it "ZX." All I have seen on sale in stores (that companies are still making) is Type 1, normal.
    Type 1 normal
    Type 2 chrome
    Type 3 Back in the 70's they used to be a Type 3. I have no idea what it is and it doesn't exist anymore.
    Type 4 Metal. In the early days of Metal tape, formulations were pure. Much harder on the heads. That's why they came up with the glass/crystal head formulations. That's what I heard back in 1985.
     
  9. john morris

    john morris Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Don't confuse ADAT with DASH. The Sony PCM 3348 and 3348HR are work horses - Well built, top quality and made too last. Tom's 3348 HR still works without a hitch after 25 years.
     
    kevinsinnott likes this.
  10. ChadHahn

    ChadHahn Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Tucson, AZ, USA
    And sounds pretty good to boot.

    Chad
     
  11. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    Akai always bragged about the quality of its glass crystal heads on its open-reel decks. Not sure if those EE tapes were metal tapes. One of my three open-reel decks are Akai, which is also EE capable ...
     
  12. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    My Dual CS-721, purchased in 78 or 79, has the similar platter and strobe ...

    [​IMG]

    It is still a wonderful DD turntable and has never been heavily used ...
     
  13. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    They were, but where's service and parts support? They don't have either. New tape, who's making that? I know the difference between an ADAT and DASH, big time. An MCI JH 16 or JH 24 has a lot better parts/service support, and you can still buy tape. Not knocking Tom, but those machines aren't what I'd trust my living to today. Early digital tape ANYTHING is on life support at best. Not what new recordings should be done on. On the Digital Multitrack tape machines, the Sony was superb in every way. However, in Nashville Pro-Digi ruled. People need to transfer and archive their digital tape, PRONTO.
     
    john morris likes this.
  14. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    EE was CRO2 equivalent cobalt enhanced ferric formula tape, a la Maxell XLII and TDK SA. In practice no better than XL1 or TDK LX. At the same speed. Akai machines are for me, the machines with the worst manufacturer support in the USA since the boffins at DoKorder, Akai hardly ever stocked parts, nor had very good English speaking people in parts or service. Of all the Japanese makes, Teac had far and away the best parts and service support, they stocked parts, their people were fantastic to deal with. The Akai heads also were not as good as claimed, many issues with gap scatter, and their machines often had transistors which had to be replaced. In the UK, Akai was handled by the Rank HiFi division, and they did a much better job with parts stock, with support, and with service. Roberts did best with Akai in the era when they sold Akai in the USA under their name, they had quality parts, service, and support.
     
  15. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    I made a few recordings using the EE tapes and they do sound a bit more dynamic ...
     
  16. john morris

    john morris Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    No argument there.

    But for the professionals recording to digital (93% of the population) recording to DASH tape is more reliable than letting it sit on a hard drive. My earlier post had to do with opening up Pro Tool files and finding tracks missing or worse nothing at all. My example was Tom and Chris Lord-Alge who back up all their digital projects to a Sony Dash 3348HR. I know of 3348 tapes that still play 25 years later. Now if you have 32 track RDAT you will be in trouble. The machines with spinning heads such as multitrack RDAT and DAT 2 track are the ones that have the reputation of breaking down and being difficult to fix.

    Transferring DASH, RDAT and Pro Tool files to analog 2 inch....mmmm........interesting...Not a bad idea. Small problem....Most recording projects in the last 10 years contain 100 tracks. You would have to sync up at least 5 analog 2 inch machines. Even at 96 tracks you would still need five machines as you lose a track to the sync pulse for each analog multitrack. Although most of these Pro Tool files could be squeezed down to between 42 and 46 tracks. A lot of times all the extra tracks are vocal takes or my pet peeve - a snare drum miked 7 ways 'till Sunday.

    Yes, so many albums done on digital in the last 30 years. And unless someone does something radical (soon) All or most of these multitracks will be unplayable in 30 years...Maybe less. The good think about digital is you can always make a digital copy. Is this our future? Digital copies made every 10 to 15 years? And yet as sad as that sounds they aren't even doing that!

    Back to cassette. I have cassette demo tapes (good qualtiy) that were recorded in 1985 and they play perfect, with no loss of quality like they were made yesterday. A Chrome can take up to 100 plays before it shows any degradation. Can't say that for DAT tapes.
     
  17. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    I thought DAT tapes were made of pretty much the same formulation as "chrome" (high bias) tapes. Not sure why the tapes are degrading so quickly - videotape seems to generally be doing OK, and that's essentially what DAT is. Or is it the decks that have all gone tits up? That I could see - they always struck me as delicate little miniature VCRs, and those are all slowly dying of old age.
     
  18. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN

    Hard drives are the main storage options for digital. Have to back up frequently. Digital is not archival either. Cassette is also far from high speed open reel in quality. I don't care what NR system you use, which Metal tape you use, Open reel beats cassettes hands down where it counts. In analog recording, the wider the tracks, the higher the tape speed, the better the frequency response is, the better the signal to noise ratio, and a lot less issues with azimuth stability and dropouts. Cassettes are good for what they are, they've done amazing things. But open reel is still best. Also remember not everybody's spec sheets are rated the same. Crown, ReVox, and Ampex, and most professional or near professional machines quote the minimum their machines are guaranteed to perform at.
     
  19. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    Strongly :agree:
     
  20. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    I purchased 2 used Walkmans in the last few years. It's amazing how good the sound is.
     
  21. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    The pure analog sound and I bet they may sound better than a new full-sized new cassette deck ...
     
    DRM likes this.
  22. ralf11

    ralf11 Active Member

    Nothing is archival given the impending heat death of the universe
     
  23. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    I have also heard a new Ice Age is fast approaching ... :confused:
     
    DRM likes this.
  24. john morris

    john morris Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Not always. They were hundreds of tapes that had to be baked. Remember sticky tape syndrome? A lot of 2 inch tapes that had to be baked got only 2 plays and then they were useless. Just ask Eric Clapton. Trying to assemble the original masters for The Crossroads Box set was a nightmare.

    You know any 20 year old hard drives still working? Know any 10 year old hard drives still working? Hard drives are and have never been a reliable storage media. That's why a lot of pros are backing of their projects to DASH. But this will come to an end as no one is making DASH tapes anymore.

    They should be baking up data but many aren't.
     
  25. john morris

    john morris Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    I believe there is a 24/96 version of DAT being used. Only in studios of course and not in the studio where I work. we offer a half inch half track 30ips back up of a client's 24/192, 24/96, 32/192 (Don't ask) master file for a fee. But when they hear the price they don't want it. A lot of people say they want analog but don't want to pay the price for it.
     

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