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Looking back at it Cassettes were a great way of listening to music

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Houseplants, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. majorlance

    majorlance Forum Resident

    Location:
    PATCO Speedline
    In the early days of CDs, I used to enjoy dubbing them to blank cassettes. Warmed up the sound quite nicely. Heck, I'd still listen to some of those tapes if I had a working player.
    Was never a fan of pre-recorded cassettes, though — yeesh. :doh:
     
  2. Harp Of Glass

    Harp Of Glass Forum Resident

    Location:
    TN
    Just cleaned my NAD 616 this morning!
     
  3. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Amsterdam
    O yes, I remember that very clearly. A pencil worked better than a biro in my experience. Another problem was that in the 70s I used to buy cheap blank cassettes (for lack of money). They would get stuck in the cassette player all the time and if you were to re-record them, you could still hear the old music underneath LOL!
     
  4. JosepZ

    JosepZ Digital knight of the analog masters

    Location:
    Barcelona, Spain
    I never got a discman. I wanted my LPs and CDs to remain at home with my hi-fi system. My tapes were good enough for my portable listening needs. And MiniDiscs were never popular or cheap around here.
    When MP3s and OGGs came around, I gladly joined that party. For archival purposes I use FLAC, but for listening on the go LAME-encoded MP3 sound great. I even tamper with EQ, compression and harmonics to make them sound as good to my ears as possible.
     
    Jamsterdammer likes this.
  5. MaybeI'mMrsVandebilt

    MaybeI'mMrsVandebilt Just Spinning On My Axis

    Location:
    London
    Yes, that's it - pencil worked best. I remember cursing when the only pencil I had to hand was a smooth round one, instead of the...whatever shape you call the ones with edges. :laugh: I think that's why I would reach for the bic biro. And YES - you just revived a memory - hearing that previous music underneath. The joys of tape!

    Also, it took time to curate your compilation. Especially if you were recording from the radio, some Top 40 radio programme or some such. I think that was part of the allure, that it took time, effort, patience. I can create a playlist in a minute now. No effort at all. Funny how things change.
     
    Jamsterdammer and JosepZ like this.
  6. Wow, and I though my high school art teacher who I had a major crush on was cool but if she gave me a mix tape of that... I would have asked her to marry me.
     
    sekaer and fysyf like this.
  7. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Amsterdam
    I had plenty of songs recorded from the radio, many of them cut off abruptly because the DJ would start talking, or a commercial would start or whatever... And yes,, you needed the biro or pencil with the edges. In the early nineties I made a set of 6 mix tapes on C90s that friends liked so much I had to make dozens of copies. But by that time I had a double cassette deck that could copy tapes at twice the speed. Those were great gifts and highly appreciated by all who got them.
     
    AGimS and MaybeI'mMrsVandebilt like this.
  8. fysyf

    fysyf Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Nice, France
    Absolutely. I particularly remember trying to find the track that could best fit the few last remaining minutes of a side. Just to fill the more stuff I could. Too long, it was cut; too short, well some space was wasted. So much fun !
     
    Buddybud and JosepZ like this.
  9. Label released album tapes sucked but making mixed cassette tapes was very fun, use to have so many buzzed phone conversations with friends that were dude... I have song a and then b but what next. Or whoa dude, you went from from band a to band c in three moves... you are my hero.

    CDR's, MP3's and Spotify playlist shares don't come close.
     
  10. JosepZ

    JosepZ Digital knight of the analog masters

    Location:
    Barcelona, Spain
    I only remember hearing music underneath a re-recorded tape once. I got a blank type IV metal tape from somewhere. It turned out my beloved Kenwood tape deck from 1980 could only record on types I & II (ferro and chrome). I recorded some album using the chrome settings and the result sounded extremely trebly and lacked low end. I tried recording something else over it and I could, but in the gaps between songs I could clearly hear traces of the previous recording.
     
    MaybeI'mMrsVandebilt likes this.
  11. 905

    905 Senior Member

    Location:
    St. Louis
    I was a kid in the 80s, and cassettes were my main way to listen to music until the early or mid 90s.
    I was happy with them. Plus, I liked how they smelled.
     
  12. Doghouse Riley

    Doghouse Riley Forum Resident

    Location:
    North West England
    AS I remember there's bits of the case you can remove to stop them being taped over. If you then change your mind you could put a bit of insulation tape over the little hole.
     
  13. JosepZ

    JosepZ Digital knight of the analog masters

    Location:
    Barcelona, Spain
    That's why I loved my Kenwood tape deck which allowed me to manually fade out songs when the tape was getting to its end.
     
    fysyf likes this.
  14. MaybeI'mMrsVandebilt

    MaybeI'mMrsVandebilt Just Spinning On My Axis

    Location:
    London
    Ha! Yes, that's what I remember, too. These ghostly sounds between songs. Was quite eerie. I used to use the C90s - did they go up to 140 or something? Or is that my middle aged memory...I thought that by the end of the cassette's time you could get quite a lot of tape...
     
  15. JosepZ

    JosepZ Digital knight of the analog masters

    Location:
    Barcelona, Spain
    I did that dozens of times.
     
    Grant, 905, Doghouse Riley and 2 others like this.
  16. AntLantic

    AntLantic Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I don't feel like there's a blanket statement to cassettes. Some sounded some fantastic, some no good. Some were low bias junk, some nice CRO2 with excellent heavy housing. You have to find the right azimuth, I have four decks and test in each, forward and reverse, before I decide the best fit (there's always a winner). I'd take many good condition cassettes over worn vinyl, poorly mastered CDs, online streaming. Back when mastering was simple. But yeah, I agree with most of the complaints here too...you pop random tape into random deck and it just might sound no good.
     
  17. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    That's good to know, I've been thinking of getting a Marantz CD player, but whatever I buy has to play everything. I haven't had this Technics, from around 1987 for very long myself, but it's the best sounding CD player I've heard.
     
  18. JosepZ

    JosepZ Digital knight of the analog masters

    Location:
    Barcelona, Spain
    I remember seeing at least one 120 tape, but it was quite old. 90 tapes were the standard for long recordings.
     
  19. Doghouse Riley

    Doghouse Riley Forum Resident

    Location:
    North West England
    The sound of previous recordings can be down to the tape being used previously to record stuff on a different machine where the recording head is slightly higher or lower than yours.
     
    MaybeI'mMrsVandebilt likes this.
  20. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    A lot of people trot out the same clichés with cassettes, winding the tape in with pencils, tapes getting chewed up by decks, bad sound quality etc. Of course these things happened, but very rarely with a good tape on a good deck with clean heads and the azymuth set correctly.
     
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  21. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    120 minutes is the longest I knew of. In the late 80s albums were often around 48 minutes, deliberately just too long for one side of a 90 minute tape. TDK brought out 100 minute cassettes. Their AR ones were superb.
     
    Jamsterdammer likes this.
  22. Paul Gase

    Paul Gase Everything is cheaper than it looks.

    Location:
    California
    Oh yes. One of the great challenges was filling the tape without going over. Sometimes we'd tape something from the TV or pick out a snippet of a Residents song. What fun and always a surprise at the end of each side!
     
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  23. markreed

    markreed Forum Resident

    Location:
    Imber
    They absolutely weren't, at all.
     
  24. Lanark

    Lanark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bath, England
    So a friend of mine was really into cassettes back in the day, had 600 or so. He was addicted to the 'bargain bin' at his local record store and would pick up 2 or 3 albums every week never paying more than 99p, I think a lot were 49p.
    These were all really bad artists you've never heard of, I would look at them and think 'how did this band ever get signed?'
    My friend seemed convinced that one day, one of these bargain bin bands would make it big and then he would have a rare collectable. He kept a spreadsheet of all the cassettes so he could easily lookup what he had. I was dubious of this strategy to gain riches.

    Anyway, a few years later his house was burgled and all the cassettes taken, but he still had the spreadsheet printed out on paper.
    The insurance people were unable to source used or new replacements for ANY of this music, so they offered to settle for £10 per cassette.
     
  25. JeffHunt

    JeffHunt Stray Cat Strutting

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    I own exactly 3 tapes: two Stray Cats and one Brian Setzer solo. They were dirt cheap, so I figured, "why not?"
     
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