Do you still listen to cassettes?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Vincent3, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    I was really quite impressed how good the MR-1 sounds on my system. Keeping it was a temptation, but I have no cassettes to play, so there is no good use case for me keeping a cassette deck. I think it found a good home. :)
  2. AudioAddict

    AudioAddict Forum Resident

    Thanks, Josquin.
    Have been interested in how well pre-recorded cassettes would last. Many of mine are from the 60s-70s and haven't been used for 40+ years.
    Surprisingly, they sound very good. Again, the advantage to this medium is the analog tape sound. And it comes through with acoustic instruments bright and full. It is a different kind of analog sound than vinyl with the potential of being even better if the mastering is great -- and the deck as well.
    With a good deck, am noticing much less crosstalk and the pitch stability is exceptional with the MR-1. Pianos sound convincing the same way they do on VPI turntables -- rock solid and you can sink into the performance and concentrate on the content and the particular instrument.
    Tapeheads people always talk about people coming into their listening rooms and saying "That's a cassette? Sounds better than a CD."
    But only with a great player.
    Cronverc, rcsrich and George Cooke like this.
  3. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    You ended up with something very special. I knew that when I let it go. MR-1s are almost always abused through commercial use at studios and radio stations. This one came from a private home system and was babied.

    I am saving for a rather expensive (used) PSU for my Naim phonostage, so getting rid of a cassette deck I don't need puts me that much closer. Once I acquire that I will have what is essentially a $13k phonostage, so I'll be in heaven with it. That will be my analog nirvana.
  4. AudioAddict

    AudioAddict Forum Resident

    You'll have to tell us about the sonic qualities of your phono stage when you get it completed. In the studio world we obsess over microphone preamps and I have lit upon ones built by a Nashville fellow, Grant Carpenter. His Gordon preamps tell you all sorts of new things about your mics.
    Grant is one of those rare engineers to talk with who goes on and on -- you can't stop him. And as the time passes, you become more interested and enjoy the experience. "Make it longer," as he tells you all sorts of details you need to know...
  5. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    I have a Naim SuperLine phonostage. It's for LOMC cartridges only and has no PSU. Right now I power it from my Naim preamp, which provides a dedicated 24V rail from its own SuperCap PSU. The upgrade I want to do is get a second SuperCap as a dedicated PSU for the SuperLine. It then provides separate 24v low noise rails to each circuit path in the SuperLine. It is considered an upgrade that puts the SuperLine into a whole different realm of performance, turning a $4K+ phonostage into a nearly $13k phonostage. Vinyl is where I invest my money and energy, but I also have some 4000 LPs.
  6. AudioAddict

    AudioAddict Forum Resident

    So I am guessing the audible improvement is in added transparency and detail? How low is your cartridge? Have found that a Denon 103R at .25 mv is a tough pull for the Slee Accession MC which does 62db gain -- think that 68 would be better. Slee also offers an upgraded power supply and I passed although now I wonder if it is worthwhile.
    Assembled some 4000 records this last year, mostly because I bought a collection of 3500 records from a dealer who had purchased an unusual collection from the estate of a college professor. This collector was an unusual -- he loved to buy the latest classical releases but half the time didn't listen to them and often never opened the seal.
    Often dreamed about doing this and in the dream every record would be one I found perfect for my tastes.
    But the reality... that I will end up with about 400-500 keepers. Have got some 15 U-Haul boxes of operas that I do not listen to on vinyl. Would love to get them out of the Phoenix place (LOL). Is that Goodwill I hear calling?
  7. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    I have a Dynavector XV-1s. It's .3mv output and the SuperLine has 64db gain @ 1khz. The gain is fine and rather an exact match to my digital front end, so I don't adjust volume as I switch.

    Other than some classic rock, my 4k collection is about evenly divided between jazz and classical. That's my bailiwick.

    In general, Naim is all about the power supplies. They figured it out a long time ago, and the improvement is always one of greater transparency (i.e. more air) and improved resolution of details, among other things. When I auditioned the one for our digital streamer my wife was so impressed she contributed $1k of her own mad money towards the cost.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020
  8. Scroller

    Scroller Forum Resident

    The thrift stores around me recently reopened and I just found this Kenwood deck last week which they were practically giving away. Seems to be way more solid than my plastic 90's Sony and it looked to be in decent shape, so I plugged it in over in the corner and it seemed to be working fine, all lights, VU meters, etc. I've given it many hours of use so far, testing out many of my old tapes to see which ones are salvageable and which ones are trash bound! We'll see how it holds up...

    rcsrich, inperson, SSoundLtd and 5 others like this.
  9. lv70smusic

    lv70smusic Senior Member

    San Francisco, CA
    As update. My Denon DRM-710 arrived a couple of weeks ago. I was immediately disappointed that the speed was so off that even though the deck "works" as promised by the seller I definitely didn't feel like it worked "perfectly" which is what his ad claimed. I really didn't want to incur the expense and hassle of returning it, though, and his ad did state "no returns" (though I figured eBay might come down on my side since he used the word "perfectly" in the ad and I don't think you can call something perfect that's running at the wrong speed). I figured out how to adjust the speed based on advice on Tapeheads and it sounds decent now. I played a tape at the same time as a digital version of a song and kept adjusting the Denon until there was very little drift over a song lasting four minutes.

    Some of my old tapes, recorded when I was a teenager and had very poor equipment, sound horrible. Some of my tapes sound better than I expected, though. The big plus, though, is that I have stuff on tape that I never got on cd and that I no longer have on vinyl (or, in some cases, maybe never owned myself). It's been fun hearing stuff I remember from 30+ years ago.
    rcsrich and Scroller like this.
  10. AudioAddict

    AudioAddict Forum Resident

    Denon has abandoned support for its cassette decks. Have a M24HX and it still works fairly well but needs new belts badly. Had to order the belts from Germany and then found they are impossible to replace without special knowledge of completely disassembling the transport mechanism. This information has never been explained on the Internet and is unavailable on Tapeheads.
    But they're great sounding when they operate close to original condition. Not close to Nakamichi quality but about as good as Tascam 122s. Tascam and Nakamichi still have parts available and you can easily get heads and internal parts for Tascams.
    Good luck. Your experience shows the uncertainty of online purchasing. Have just had a superb experience myself and you can never tell: "Pay your Money and Take Your Chances..."
    Scroller likes this.
  11. spherical

    spherical Forum Resident

    San Jose, CA, USA
    Hello, I am interested in these blank cassettes your friend has. Also, I'm looking for a car cassette stereo player, of very good quality. Please let me know if those cassettes are still available. Thanks.
  12. AudioAddict

    AudioAddict Forum Resident

    No, Josquin sold them right away. Good Luck.
  13. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    I sold them already.

    I have a handful of tapes I recorded on. I may out those up later.
  14. mattdm11

    mattdm11 Forum Resident

    Cleveland, OH

    I would never own any except if the music was only released on cassette, of which I have 3....and I took those to an A/V place, and they converted them to digital.
    Bluesman Mark likes this.
  15. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Idaho, USA
    I don't listen to them often anymore but I have some recording on cassette that I don't have on another medium so when I want to hear that artist, I play the cassette.
  16. gitters

    gitters Forum Resident

    I listen to cassettes on a daily basis. Probably more than any other format.
  17. CDV

    CDV Well-Known Member

    Never had a record player, was raised with a boombox. Switched to CDs in mid-1990s. Then switched to solid-state DAP in early 2000s (no, not iPod, it was not solid-state back then). Was cassette-free for a quarter of a century. Haven't thrown away any of my cassettes. Bought a new (for me, it is from 1980s) deck a couple of years ago and bought some tapes. I guess I am getting old and nostalgic.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
    johnsiddique likes this.
  18. Technocentral

    Technocentral Forum Resident

    Dublin, Ireland
    **** no!
    Bluesman Mark likes this.
  19. Thorny Bob

    Thorny Bob Active Member

    By the ocean

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