The greatest consumer cassette tape deck ever produced?*

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

  1. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    I thought there were other decks besides the Naks that had auto-azimuth, but searching online I'm not seeing any. You'd have thought the other high-end manufacturers would have jumped all over that tech, especially Sony which always seemed to be into bells and whistles, or h/k which made pretty sophisticated decks. B&O as well, and possibly Teac.
     
  2. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Analog Recording to the Next Level

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    After waking up this morning and still mourning for my baby, I began to realize about my own mortality. If I die today, all the things I have including my system, my car collection and even my bank account will be in the glory of the next guy. So I say to myself "No more cheap this time.." I have listened and re-recorded this Ultravox albums a handful of times with playback of god knows how many... Its time for me to re-record this and crack my best sounding TDK of all time (circa 1982). [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2021
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  3. Om

    Om Everybody knows this is Nowhere

    Location:
    Boston, USA
    Playback azimuth adjustment on the fly is extremely useful when playing a wide array of tapes that were recorded on other machines. It's useful because you always have a starting point to turn back to without needing an oscilloscope. Of course all three head decks still have screw adjustment but it's not so simple. I too am surprised other manufactures did not come up with their own versions. Nak at least could have licensed the technology to Sony or others. It's interesting it never happened.

    Cassette head azimuth: some facts

    "If you, like me, have lots of cheap pre-recorded cassettes made by EMI, HMV, Tips, and what-not, their azimuths are all over the place, and your perfectly tuned ZX-9 will be as out of alignment with them as any cheap deck will be. The only answer to this is to align the playback head's alignment with each cassette's alignment without using any recording or any test signal. In other words, your deck must have the ability to align itself with each imperfect, flawed, cheap tape you play back on it, automatically, without recording any test signal or bringing the record head into the picture. This technology exists only in one deck in the world and that is the Nakamichi Dragon."

    There are a few other decks that have manual instead of auto playback azimuth adjustment knobs which are really useful as the NAAC sometimes had a hard time locking onto some tapes that are not metal or type II, but those are only on Naks as well. This is a complete list.

    Manual Playback:
    TANDBERG TCD 911
    NAKAMICHI Cassette deck 1
    NAKAMICHI DR-1
    NAKAMICHI CR-7A
    NAKAMICHI TD 100 (car radio)
    NAKAMICHI TD 500 (car radio)
    NAKAMICHI TD 700 (car radio)
    NAKAMICHI TD 1000 (car radio)
    SOUNDSTREAM TC 308 (car radio)

    Auto Playback:

    NAKAMICHI Dragon
    NAKAMICHI TD 1200 (car radio)
    MARANTZ SD930

    Manual Record:

    TANDBERG TCD 330
    TANDBERG TCD 340
    TANDBERG TCD 440A
    Sony TC177SD (later model)
    NAKAMICHI CR-7A
    NAKAMICHI ZX-7
    NAKAMICHI ZX-9

    Auto REC:

    NAKAMICHI 670ZX
    NAKAMICHI 680ZX
    NAKAMICHI 681ZX
    NAKAMICHI 682ZX
    NAKAMICHI 700ZXE
    NAKAMICHI 700ZXL
    NAKAMICHI 1000ZXL
    NAKAMICHI Dragon
    MARANTZ SD930
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2021
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  4. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Analog Recording to the Next Level

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    what transport did they use on the cassette deck I?
     
  5. Om

    Om Everybody knows this is Nowhere

    Location:
    Boston, USA
    Same used on DR-1, DR-2, and CR-3. However Nak removed the playback az adjustment feature on the DR-2 and Cassette deck 2. So your options if you want that feature are limited.

    List is going to be updated soon with a few more models. Tandberg 911 had it as well. Tandberg 910 had the ability to both Rec/Play but you could only access azimuth with a screw.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2021
  6. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA
    The CR7A has auto azimuth on record.

    M~
     
  7. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Nice!!!
     
  8. jusbe

    jusbe Modern Melomaniac

    Location:
    Auckland, NZ.
    Does it? I thought it was playback only.

    It would be highly unusual for a deck to have azimuth adjustment on both record and playback. It would be a nightmare tracking any azimuth on a deck with no fixed standard on one or the other function.
     
  9. Om

    Om Everybody knows this is Nowhere

    Location:
    Boston, USA
    Oh yes I knew someone was going to notice that. :) The CR7A is a unique deck. It does not have have auto rec head adjustment. The CR7A unlike the 680 series as well as the ZXE/ZXL decks is a fixed rec head azimuth which cannot be adjusted manually by knob and does not change automatically. However I thought it would be fair to include since there is a recording calibration which is unique and not found on other decks.

    "In order to extract maximum performance from every tape, the deck incorporates an Auto Calibration System which automatically performs the following three vital functions: adjustment of playback head azimuth, separate level calibration for left and right channel, and bias current adjustment for each channel. It is highly recommended to perform auto calibration before every recording, to insure optimum results."

    So using a fixed point on the REC head which is adjusted by screw, the playback head is aligned to the REC head so that it will play back the tape you just recorded properly. You have to have a properly aligned REC head before it can work. It still saves time of having to properly align both heads and is useful for recording. It's set based on recording a tone on one head & checking with the read head, so it's a setup step before recording.

    The Dragon for example is unique in that it automatically adjusts playback for a tape being played which is completely different, so it's not fair to call the CR7A an auto playback deck either. To be fair the Dragon shouldn't be included in auto REC. The auto 680 series automatically aligns the record head to the playback head. The ZX-7 and ZX-9 as well as the Tandbergs listed have actual manual knob adjustment for the rec head but not playback head, so perhaps the CR7A shouldn't be included alongside them either. It is a strange bird indeed in a category by itself.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2021
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  10. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Analog Recording to the Next Level

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    You guys forgot about Rotel. They have killer permalloy heads....
     
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  11. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Analog Recording to the Next Level

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    How much for willy herman to take a peek at a CR-7A?
     
  12. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Analog Recording to the Next Level

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    SanKyo..:doh: Come man Sanyo make electric fans...
     
  13. brucej4

    brucej4 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Mateo, CA, USA
    Actually, my last consumer-grade receiver in the late Seventies was a not-bad Sanyo.
     
  14. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Analog Recording to the Next Level

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    Here s another late 70's electric fan company. LoL.... Actually a close friend of mine all the way from the 80's that use to work for Hitachi for very long time just gave me this recently. He said this use to be one of their TOTL. I haven't worked on it yet but the schedule is coming....
    I remember I bought a television from him at that time,, and it was ahead of its time.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    I have a 1986 Sanyo 10 band graphic equalizer. There is no K in their name. Very funny.
     
  16. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Analog Recording to the Next Level

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    I know the VHS is good because that's what we use for recording what I was in the band. No wonder we didn't make it...:biglaugh:
    No VHS for me..... Just reel and cassettes..:tiphat:
     
  17. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Analog Recording to the Next Level

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    How was it?...
     
  18. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario

    O.k. that's it. Where are you? I am coming down to place my boot firmly up your back side. :biglaugh: I know you can't submit VHS / BETA HI-FI tapes as a band demo. But you didn't really give the format a try.
     
  19. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    It worked great until I stopped using it in 2000. But it still works.
     
  20. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Who told you Sanyo was bad?
     
  21. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Analog Recording to the Next Level

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    I sold the player / recorder... I have a box full of tapes here and I couldn't even pick it up....
     
  22. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Analog Recording to the Next Level

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    I didn't say it was bad...:shrug:
     
  23. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Oops! I misread your post. Sorry.
     
  24. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Your sold it!? Why?!?!
     
  25. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Analog Recording to the Next Level

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    is it a 3 head?
     

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