Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Ilusndweller, Apr 7, 2021.
Apparently I have been out of the loop.
Tascam 202mkVII Dual cassette deck at Crutchfield
On account of the rather poor sonic performance, it's not been that well received by TapeHeads generally. But it's interesting to see, nonetheless.
Are you going to buy one?
Dolby B noise reduction is what brought Compact Cassettes into the Hi-Fi arena. Dolby no longer sells Dolby B noise reduction circuitry, so I wonder what sort of noise reduction is within the Tascam and how does a Dolby B tape sound from the Tascam?
Dolby C or go home.
Never used Dolby (B & C) on my decks, hated it.
I never used Dolby C because my car tape decks only supported Dolby B, which sounded fine to me.
If the azimuth is not set properlyfor the play/record head, Dolby B will always sound terrible. Once you figure out how to adjust the head, Dolby B is MORE than usable. Nakamichi's are so good because the top models AUTOMATICALLY adjust the head for best playback.
I don't think I've owned a deck that the azimuth was aligned properly when I received it. They all need adjustment.
Just bought that one a few months ago to replace a much older Tascam. The deck works well.
The old cassettes I recorded with Dolby B sound fine in the new Tascam. You might have to adjust tone controls such as reducing treble. Although some of the "tapes" are sounding weathered from play and age.
Boy, do I feel foolish for buying a vintage tape deck and restoring it. I could have saved time and money with one of these, right?
Do these really sound that bad? How much better is my DR-2?
Stopped all use of Dolby years before I quit cassettes for good.
TASCAM and TEAC use National Semiconductor's Dynamic Noise Reduction (DNR) as a playback-only substitute for Dolby B NR. It is demonstrated in this video:
iirc from a techmoan youtube video, there's only one manufacturer of tape mechanisms/heads in the world now . . . .and their heads are terrible. So based on that I would not be surprised if this is actually really bad despite being a tascam.
Good enough for survelliance, dictation, and church sermons at best. Too high wow/flutter numbers for music. And less durable and lower performance than a 1971 Advent 201 or a 1970 Fisher RC-80.
DNR is not very good NR. Not encode/decode. Worked acceptably for AM radio use.
Dolby S or go home. Dolby C was seldom ever implemented correctly, due to cassette deck manufacturers getting sloppy on Quality Control, and releasing machines which were not really Dolby C in terms of electrical and mechanical performance and stability. Dolby S, Dolby Laboratories demanded machines meet standard and perform properly.
it seems like they are nowhere near the sound quality of the early 102. The head was a bit different from the newer ones.
Whether you like Dolby or not, buying a deck without it limits your options of what you can play back on it. Severely.
Well blow me over. I never actually had the good fortune to hear Dolby S when I still had cassettes, but Dolby C astounded my teenage mind at the time!
I used Dolby B for cassettes. As I never owned a Dolby C machine which had Dolby C work correctly. And the Dolby C test tapes were hard to get.
I browse ebay occasionally for Pioneer CTFs - as I really miss my old one - but I just cannot justify getting one.
I'll stick with:
- Vinyls (haha)
I do miss the old days of recording a cassette for the car or friend - going through the ritual - setting the blue input meters, demagnifying the heads, cleaning the heads (denatured alc) and dropping the needle - on a freshly opened TDK, Maxell tape. That was fun.
Yeah I had bad experiences with Dolby C, so I stuck with Dolby B until metal tape became affordable - then went with NR turned off.
Metal tape with no NR sounded very good, even on lower end decks.
Single-ended noise reduction can work surprisingly well, and has the main advantage that it can be used with any audio source without needing any special encoding that may sound unpleasant when played without the matching decoding. DNR can achieve up to 10 dB of noise reduction at higher frequencies, the same as Dolby B NR. It's based on Philips' Dynamic Noise Limiter, which was their preferred solution for their invention of the Compact Cassette, but Mr. Dolby had better marketing and favorable licensing terms -- at least until his company decided to stop licensing their noise reduction systems in 2014.
And for every person who really liked the way Dolby NR worked and used it religiously, there always seems to be two more people who hated the way it "muffled the sound" and never used it, even on decks that did offer it. So I wouldn't be surprised if some people who are outraged that it's no longer available didn't practice what they preach -- just like the automotive enthusiasts who are upset that very few cars are available with a manual transmission anymore, even though the last time they actually bought a new car with a stick-shift was over 20 years ago...
In my tests I measured the actual wow & flutter to be around 0.10% WRMS, the same as many decks from the '80s and '90s. And as for "less durable", many vintage decks are a nightmare to fix due to the complexity of their mechanism and old belts turning to sticky goo. The Tanashin mechanism has far fewer parts to go wrong, and the belts are incredibly easy to replace.
yeah those guys! that's who techmoan was talking about.
Separate names with a comma.