The greatest consumer cassette tape deck ever produced?*

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

  1. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    "Onkyo produced decks with anti resonant heads"...no such heads were ever made, more like anti resonant tape path and chassis and tapes with anti resonant shells. Never heads. No such animal.

    In 1988 the Onkyo TA-2090 was their top of the line deck besting the Nak Dragon in a 5 way deck shootout, the TA-2090 was discontinued by 1991, that was followed by their new best deck the TA-2080 of which I have.
    The TA-2080 continued for sale until 1994, that was THE last of their great decks. All that followed were cheap offerings.

    The Nak 582 was from way earlier, 1979 to 1981 and was not a very good deck. Any top of the line Onkyo would have been better.
     
    HiFi Guy likes this.
  2. BrettyD

    BrettyD Active Member

    Location:
    New Zealand
    As I recall, Nakamichi had a different interpretation of cassette equalisation to other manufacturers.
    I know this sounds a little stupid but I recall coming across this point a number of times.
    It certainly gelled with my own experience with recordings made on my own CR-5 and later CR-7 that didn't always sound their best on other machines.
    As an aside I had an Akai GXM10 that made tapes that sounded great anywhere.
    Pre-recorded tapes sounded worse than they should have though.
     
    macster likes this.
  3. Blue Cactus

    Blue Cactus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Illinois
    Uh, no way.

    All unsold units and blank tapes were shipped from Sony to Finland who got them pretty cheap.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. powerq

    powerq Forum Resident

    Location:
    Whitehall, PA, USA
    Got a good package deal price on a HK integrated amp and a CD491. Almost got the Onkyo instead. Ran the HK deck into the ground. Had it inspected and serviced because I thought the high end had faded. I suspected the Dolby chip was going bad. The engineer (really) that worked on it said it was just plain worn out. I put a lot of miles on that recorder.
     
  5. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I had a CD491, amazing deck for it's time for sure.
     
  6. GMav

    GMav Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Salem, Oregon, USA
    sunspot42.

    Metal tape was introduced in 1979. That same year I purchased a Nakamichi 582. Dolby C was introduced the following year (1980). If you think the Elcaset's PERFORMANCE stomped cassette well into the 80's then why did the format die out by 1980? Why didn't it survive? By the time of "well into the 80's" the Elcaset was a distant memory, and cassettes (and cassette decks) had caught up well before then. Numerous things lead to Elcaset's demise. The reasons can be found all over the internet so I don't need to list them, here. And, while the compact cassette tape and decks have dwindled in popularity over the past decade and longer, you can still find blank tape being manufactured and sold. Elcaset hasn't been able to say the same for decades.
     
  7. dividebytube

    dividebytube Forum Resident

    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Back in the day, I had a Tandberg 340A - it was one great sounding tape deck. The line level electronics in it were very good, using it a sort of preamp through the tape-in gave quality results feeding a Scott tubed integrated and little Dynaudio monitors.
     
  8. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Tandberg had some serious cassette decks, but they were quite pricey, the top of the line Tandberg 3014A was $2,000 in 1984.
     
  9. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    It was dead by '79. Sony was already dumping the decks in Finland by that point. Elcaset would have continued to stomp the cassette into the dirt from a performance perspective had it survived and adopted metal tape and Dolby C - it could already achieve SNR results similar to a high-end Dolby-equipped cassette deck without utilizing Dolby NR. Which shouldn't be a surprise, since Elcaset is essentially open reel tape in a shell...

    As for why the format died out, we already covered that up above. As I said already:

    I think size and convenience had a lot more to do with it - cassette was "good enough" for most users, and many audiophiles already had open reel decks and a library of tapes to play on them. They had no real need for Elcaset.

    (Also, the name was, frankly, kinda goofy.)

    Even if Elcaset had survived to 1980, the rise of the Walkman, the proliferation of cassette decks in cars, and the arrival of Dolby C and metal tape almost certainly would have killed it off. Those things pretty much killed off reel to reel...


    Dolby C and metal tape made cassette "good enough" for most users. The truly hardcore audiophiles who wanted stellar performance already had or bought open reel decks anyhow, since it offered even better performance (especially at higher tape speeds), and it was the only audiophile format that had any pre-recorded material available (granted, a dwindling supply of it by that point).
     
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  10. GMav

    GMav Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Salem, Oregon, USA

    sunspot42,

    Regardless of your empty claim that "Elcaset would have continued to stomp the cassette into the dirt", the PROVEN fact is that it DIDN'T. It didn't survive or adopt anything. History has proven that.
     
  11. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Well, yeah - Sony pulled the plug. But it was always going to be superior to cassette, since it was essentially open reel tape in a shell. It ran faster than cassette and the tape was broader (and the transport more sophisticated).
     
  12. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    That's the model on my list search.
    Got a BX300 a few weeks back, guess that will have to do meantime.
     
    Pinknik likes this.
  13. My favorite deck would be the Nakamichi CR-7a. I have no real world experience with it, but I think it was purty and you push a button and it'd calibrate and align the heads for you automatically. I liked the green florescent meters better than the red ones on the Dragon, which also looked a little too busy with all those buttons and knobs.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Any pics with Rock Stars ( Steely Dan gaucho have) proudly showing of their Nakamichi's?
     
  15. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    A work of beauty.
     
  16. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    What for me matters more than specs, is how has that deck held up with age and hours on it. The best cassette deck I ever owned of them all, was my late, lamented Technics RS 676, that deck was built like a tank, and sounded better for me than any other. And this was on CR02 tape or good Type 1. And I own an Onkyo machine, and it's pretty good.
     
  17. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Revox tape decks are supposed to be good, but look a bit clinical.
     
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  18. Higlander

    Higlander Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Florida

    Years ago heard THAT one!
    It was the closest to perfection I had ever heard.
     
  19. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    A beautiful deck indeed and if you like to record the auto calibration is the ticket. But since I don't do much recording anymore and listen to prerecorded cassettes I like my Dragon because of the NAAC. I certainly wouldn't turn down a CR-7A if someone has one to give away.
     
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  20. RDriftwood

    RDriftwood Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwestern US
    [​IMG]

    My Tascam 122 MK II with detachable hard wired remote. I've had it for ~25 or 30 years - recently serviced and ready for the next ~25 or 30 years. Don't have a Nakamichi to compare it to but I like it a lot. Packed with features and I've used them all. Best feature is pitch control for correcting the speed of cassettes recorded on lesser machines. Also, it has XLR ins and outs in addition to the RCAs. Great deck for transferring music on cassettes to another medium/format.
     
  21. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    That's a beauty!
     
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  22. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    ReVox decks weren't built to be pretty. They were built to be reliable, sound good, and be easily maintained. They're built to be businesslike, as they're scaled down Studers.
     
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  23. Fifth-Chord

    Fifth-Chord Member

    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    [​IMG]
    I had the honor to sell my (wife's) uncle's Nakamichi 680 ZX this year. I listened to it for a few weeks before I had to regretfully sell it. I've never been so impressed with the way a cassette has sounded! The 3 heads with adjustments, the automatic sensor that will tighten up loosely wound tape (no need for a pencil lol)...it was a beautiful machine and this would get my vote as the best.
     
  24. costerdock

    costerdock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Prescott, AZ, USA
    Is that from American Psycho ?
     
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  25. Doug Sclar

    Doug Sclar Forum Legend

    Location:
    The OC
    Yes, I still have one of these. Made great cassettes and was easy to set up from the front panel. That said, I'm not sure it was considered a consumer deck.
     
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