The greatest consumer cassette tape deck ever produced?*

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

  1. Cowboy Kim

    Cowboy Kim Forum Resident Thread Starter

    A simple query, I'm curious to know what you guys think the greatest tape deck ever produced for mass market consumers is?
    With money being no object, what is the highest quality cassette player, the most lavish and best sounding one to ever grace our mortal ears?

    I've heard that the Nakamichi Dragon deck is the holy grail of tape decks, and looking at the specs, seems like it could get damn near close to CD quality by the numbers. If only there was a deck like that with Dolby S, then it would be the definitive tape deck (and would cost you your kidney too).
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2017
  2. Roland Stone

    Roland Stone Offending Member

    Likewise, I remember the Nakamichi Dragon being the ultimate in cassette decks.
  3. Arnold_Layne

    Arnold_Layne Forum Resident

    Waldorf, MD USA
    Even a low end Nakamichi deck sounded better than other brands TOTL decks.
  4. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    I had a Nakamichi 680ZX back in the day and it was an awesome tape deck. I sold it after CDs came out and no longer needed it to buy a potbellied pig :laugh:.
    LeeS, kyouki, Comet01 and 13 others like this.
  5. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Lodi, New Jersey
    Some people feel a different Nakamichi sounds even better. I think it's the ZX-9.

    There was a Tandberg which has an excellent reputation (I can't remember the model), as does the Aiwa XK-S9000 (which had Dolby S).
    jusbe, caracallac, fuse999 and 3 others like this.
  6. rbbert

    rbbert Forum Resident

    Reno, NV, USA
    Technics 1500/1506, many still in use today updated and/or refurbished, thanks to the open reel revival.
  7. forthlin

    forthlin Member Chris & Vickie Cyber Support Team

    Never owned a Nakamichi, best I ever had was a Pioneer CTF 1250. It was a thing of beauty. I've read that the drawback to a Nak deck is that tapes made on the Nak and played back on a different machine were sometimes sub-par. Have no idea of it's true--perhaps something related to bias or azimuth?
  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Moderators, PLEASE fix this bogus thread title. Wasted my time clicking on this, thinking it was about tape decks. It's about cassette decks.

    :) THIS is a tape deck:
    ruby and the raven.jpg
  9. Gregory Earl

    Gregory Earl Senior Member

    That's a fact IMO. I had a buddy that had one. Seemed to be a super nice piece. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to take it home and play with it in my system and compare it to my Onkyo TA-2070 which I thought was a hell of a cassette deck.
    arcamsono likes this.
  10. Gregory Earl

    Gregory Earl Senior Member

    Funny Steve. But it would have been funnier if you had referred to the latter as cassette player recorders.:D
    I always did want a tape deck as your picture shows.
  11. Jasonb

    Jasonb Forum Resident

    Tandberg TD-20A!!
    Ghostworld likes this.
  12. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    I never owned a Nakamichi, but always wanted one. My Teac A550 was the best I ever owned.
  13. Guitarded

    Guitarded Forum Resident

    Only if the Nak is not running right. Or, the playback deck is way out of alignment.

    I have a Dragon. It is simply amazing how good a recording you can make with the thing.

    Those 1250s are nice decks, as well.
  14. T'mershi Duween

    T'mershi Duween Forum Resident

    For the more discerning "consumer"... :)

    LeeS, Jules HKG, wwright and 25 others like this.
  15. 2trackmind

    2trackmind Forum Resident

    For consumer cassette decks, nothing really beats a Nakamichi deck. I've heard many "high end" cassette decks in my time and I was always able to hear the pitch changes in them. Nakamichi decks don't seem to suffer too badly in that department.

    Not a consumer deck, but I would love to hear this deck:

    wwright, Scratcha, sean3089 and 15 others like this.
  16. Gregory Earl

    Gregory Earl Senior Member

    Why is that bigger is better thing so important? I mean with us audiophile folks.....women included (very classless and subtle gender joke).

    I mean you know what I mean? Right?
    Chris Gerhard likes this.
  17. rbbert

    rbbert Forum Resident

    Reno, NV, USA
    See what I mean?!!
  18. enfield

    enfield Forum Resident

    Essex UK
    Criteria: The best 'Cassette' deck ever produced for the public..Not reel-to-reel or non-consumer decks.
  19. Vinyl Addict

    Vinyl Addict Forum Resident

    I'd love a Dragon cassette deck, along with a Dragon turntable please.
    Alan2 and Guitarded like this.
  20. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Forum Resident

    Lakeland, FL
    They were awesome, but unreliable as can be imagined. Actually they were worse than that.

    And it was a consumer deck. If I recall correctly, they were $1500-2000.
  21. Jimi Floyd

    Jimi Floyd Forum Resident

    Pisa, Italy
    There is wide consensus about the Nakamichi 1000 ZXL being the best ever produced

    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017
    LeeS, Jules HKG, doity and 34 others like this.
  22. MrRom92

    MrRom92 Forum Supermodel

    Long Island, NY
    Even my bottom of the line Nak outdoes some of the nicest cassette recorders I've heard in my entire lifeā€¦ that said, it's still cassette. You really need something a little closer to Steve's post :D
    Scratcha and forthlin like this.
  23. drh

    drh Talking Machine


    SoCalUser, MonkeyMan, scobb and 24 others like this.
  24. Guitarded

    Guitarded Forum Resident


    There was one FS last summer about an hour from here...wasn't running and dude wanted ALL the money for it.

    But, Damn what a dream rig!
    Vinyl Addict likes this.
  25. Dubmart

    Dubmart Senior Member

    Bristol, England
    If we are talking with Dolby S then I really rate my Sony TCK-6AES, it's a very fine deck even if you're not using Dolby S and I much prefer it to my low end Nakamichis, admittedly Dragons and CR-7s are in a different league, but if I needed a cassette deck to record with the Sony would be top of my list for a fraction of Nak money.

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