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I had no idea you could buy a new cassette deck.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Ilusndweller, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. 12" 45rpm

    12" 45rpm Forum Resident

    New York City
    This deck is actually a good deal compared to buying off ebay and spending $$$ to get it properly serviced. This deck will already be serviced from the factory and will come with a warranty ..

    People don't understand how complex cassette decks are and require a lot of servicing to sound good.
  2. Tim 2


    Alberta Canada
  3. vwestlife

    vwestlife Forum Resident

    New Jersey, USA
    ...except that Tanashin hasn't manufactured any new cassette deck mechanisms since 2009, so anything made since then has been from clones of their designs, of greatly varying quality -- just like all the turntables made since the '90s that have been lookalikes/knockoffs of the Technics SL-1200.
    Archguy likes this.
  4. elvisizer

    elvisizer Forum Resident

    San Jose
    yes exactly- TM's point was that there's no source for good new mechanisms, they're all based on the Tanashin one and they're all either terrible or at best meh.

    edit: whoops, misread the part about TT's, my mistake
  5. Big T

    Big T Forum Resident

    I've got the TASCAM 202 Mk VII in my studio for the last couple of years. It sounds very good.

    The electronics and the resulting output sound quality is very enjoyable, and not "cheap sounding" at all. Listening to it as I write this response. The wow and flutter aren't great, but don't bother me so much. The noise reduction works "okay" on Dolby recorded tapes.

    For me, it important to have a deck to play back the few dozen tapes I kept around. For that this does everything you could ask. The remote is nice to use also.

    One complaint I do have is the output voltage is kinda low at 0.5V, and wish it were 1V instead.

    Big T
    bluesky, Archguy and vwestlife like this.
  6. McLover

    McLover Senior Member

    Athens, Tennessee
    I had a GM vehicle or three with Non-Defeatable DNR. Hated non defeatable DNR. Had to upgrade factory radios on one GM car (not much room to mount another radio on that one). The other two I upgraded head units and speakers on. The second and third GM vehicle wound up with Compact Disc players in dash which I installed. The third GM vehicle later on got MiniDisc In Dash installed. Tanashin mechanism for me, is TOO HIGH wow/flutter to be acceptable to listen to. Note, my Advent 201, my Technics RS 676, nor my Technics RS-M 205 were any more difficult to change belts on. And they were very nice sounding machines (I still own the latter Technics and use it regularly).
    Bruno Primas likes this.
  7. NorthSidePark

    NorthSidePark Well-Known Member

    My old one (Technics) from the 80's still works. They were built well.
    Bruno Primas likes this.
  8. nosticker

    nosticker Forum Guy

    Ringwood, NJ
    Finally, someone has named that brand what it ought to be. :)

    Tim 2 likes this.
  9. vwestlife

    vwestlife Forum Resident

    New Jersey, USA
    No one is forcing you to buy one. If you prefer to keep using your 30+ year old vintage decks, go right ahead! But we should be glad that someone is still manufacturing new cassette decks with at least halfway decent quality and features. And if there's enough interest, they could upgrade it with better motors, larger flywheels, and thicker belts, without needing to change the mechanism itself. Sort of like how GM took their Buick pushrod V6 engine design from 1962 and kept upgrading it through the '90s and 2000s with modern features like fuel injection, electronic ignition, and even a supercharger.
    Archguy likes this.
  10. Bruno Primas

    Bruno Primas Forum Resident

    I've had a few of the Technics. I currently have a RS-M240X. (The 'X' is for DBX.)

    Is it just me, or do the Technics decks have belts that DON'T turn to goo? I've owned four different ones, all different models of Technics, and all of the belts were intact.
  11. CDV

    CDV Forum Resident

    I would not mind if this deck was branded QFX, NAXA, BRIA or Riptunes and was sold for $100 or less. But it comes from a [previously] well-respected brand, with low-grade specs, at a professional price. This is sad.
    • Frequency response: 30 Hz - 13 kHz with Type I tape with 4 dB fall-off. I guess, with the industry-standard ±3 dB the deck would show 12 kHz at best.
    • Wow and Flutter: 0.25% (WRMS). Yes, @vwestlife, you measured 0.1%, which is much better, still it is way higher than any low-end 40-year old deck, and the mere fact that Tascam quotes 0.25% means that this is what they expect from this mechanism. I have a walkman that shows 0.2% WRMS, and listening to classical music is borderline tolerable. At 0.25% it will become unlistenable.
    • Dynamic noise reduction for playback only - welcome to the world of Soviet 1980s cassette tech (the Soviets have never licensed Dolby, first trying to make a compatible system, then resorting to noise reduction on playback).
    Here are the specs from a Sony midi system, HCD-CP1, sold in the early 2000s for about $250, comprising radio tuner, CD player, amplifier, cassette section with full-logic control, autoreverse and Dolby, remote control, and two shelf-sized speakers:
    • Frequency response: 50 Hz - 13 kHz with Type I tape ( ±3 dB)
    • Wow & flutter: ±0.15% W. Peak (IEC), 0.1% W.RMS (NAB), ±0.2% W. Peak (DIN)
    My all plastic cassette-corder that I bought on eBay for $30, shows 0.08% WRMS. My 40-year old Panasonic/Technics deck, spec'd for 0.05% WRMS, shows 0.07% WRMS with a non-professional testing tape, so considering 0.02%-0.03% residual w&f, it is pretty much on the money.

    I am not against the Tascam deck per se, I just feel that seeing that no one else makes cassette decks anymore, they figured they can make a quick buck, using power of their brand to set the price as if it were a professional-grade product.

    Frankly I would not buy it, if it were branded BRIA. And I will not going to buy it as a Tascam because the price does not match the specs. The best option would be to sell it under a reasonably well-known yet not too high-end brand like Kenwood ;)

    If I wanted to spend $600 on a cassette deck, I would buy a low-end 1980s deck for $50 and would spend $500 to have knowledgeable technician service and repair it.
    nosliw and jusbe like this.
  12. BruceS

    BruceS El Sirviente del Gato

    Reading, MA US
    Interesting. My brother, he of the long-ago audio engineering degree, felt/feels the same way, although I'll have to inquire whether that applies to the Pioneer CT-07D I gave him.
    bever70 likes this.
  13. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Portland, OR, USA
    He's looking at boomboxes etc in the review I saw. The expertise is not there to back up the reviews, sometimes causing groans; he basically buys one of everything on eBay to review and spam up the Internet with keywords for every obscure model one might search.

    That mechanism uses mechanical buttons that push the play head down, so if it is a tape deck with fly-by-wire motorized controls (like the Tascam), it's not going to use that.

    However, Dolby S, Dolby HX Pro, Metal, 3 head with tape bias and level calibration, direct-drive closed loop dual capstan, program track search, electronic time counter - you'll have to go back to the '90s.
    vwestlife and nosliw like this.
  14. vlds8

    vlds8 Forum Resident

    Have you used the USB out function? What are the specs of the built-in A/D?
  15. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    I preferred a little hiss on my tapes (most of the time I used 'chrome' tapes, Maxell XLII(S)) over the 'artificial' Dolby sound.
    Mr. Bewlay likes this.
  16. Hardcore

    Hardcore Quartz Controlled

    I beg to differ, buying a vintage Technics deck off eBay was one of the best purchases I’ve made. It didn’t cost me a lot and it would eat this Tascam for breakfast.
  17. jusbe

    jusbe Modern Melomaniac

    Auckland, NZ.
    It's also better for the planet if we fix all those vintage decks that have been discarded - and in the process we can revive decks with far better tranports and infinitely better heads instead of tossing them into the sea or yet another landfill.

    In addition we give work to very experienced technicians and keep them going, as well as helping them to sustain their knowledge and this encouraging them to pass this on to others.
  18. jusbe

    jusbe Modern Melomaniac

    Auckland, NZ.
    Why? Thank your lucky stars.

    Not only would your Nakamichi eat this 'Tascam' for breakfast, it likely wouldn't even bother to get out of bed for the lack of challenge.

    Nice to see the Tascam' but its sonics are seriously pedestrian.
  19. luckybaer

    luckybaer Thinks The Devil actually beat Johnny

    I was sort of facetious earlier, but you are spot on.

    Based on the features and specs, and the info gleaned from other posts about what is being manufactured today (head assemblies) I am confident that the DR-2 is the better piece of gear. I hope it serves me well for years.

    I started making a few new copies of CDs and recording them to cassettes. I do love the sound I get from the CD5003 + DR-2 combo. Hot-mastered CDs recorded to (Type I) cassettes are easier on my ears.

    Like others have mentioned, it is nice there are new decks in production. Not sure there will be a “cassette revival” that drives improved gear, but you never can tell.
    jusbe likes this.
  20. Hardcore

    Hardcore Quartz Controlled

    I’m sure there’s space in the market for someone to make a quality mechanism and heads. Then all the manufacturers need to do is build the box around it.
  21. rcsrich

    rcsrich Forum Resident

    Once you've heard your tapes on a really good deck, I'm just not sure how you'd want to listen to them on something with poor specs. When my JVC croaks, I'll either get it fixed, get another vintage deck, or ditch my tapes all together.

    I've already transferred everything to digital that I didn't already have on another format.
    jusbe, nosliw, BruceS and 1 other person like this.
  22. Front Row

    Front Row Finding pleasure when annoying those with OCD.

    Chicago IL
    No I haven't used the USB, just played my old mix tapes. I think you will have to access the Tascam site for information on the second question. Crutchfield might have information as well.
  23. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy "catch me if you can..."

    Northwest, USA
    There are a lots of nice used recorders especially in reverb.com.
    jusbe likes this.
  24. rcsrich

    rcsrich Forum Resident

    Reading through my answer and not happy how snooty it sounds...if a deck sounds good to you and you’re happy with the price, the rest doesn’t matter so much. We should probably be happy that anyone is producing a half-decent deck at this point. It’ll be interesting to see if others jump in...the cassette resurgence is gaining momentum.
    vwestlife and jusbe like this.
  25. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy "catch me if you can..."

    Northwest, USA
    Once you volume it up past 8:30 you wont hear it any more. I just select the tape type on my recorder, adjust the bias, volume balance, rock away. Like what @rcsrich said its all about a personal preference. I have several mid-hi-end nakamichi decks that I acquired along the way.. I found myself playing the vintage pioneer more. Because the settings of my system is voiced to that deck now and the other thing is I have 2 of the same playback deck and they are both fully restored. So I have no fear of playing it on a random 7 hours a day which works out in the pandemic work from home..[​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021

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