Are cassettes really making a comeback?

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  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,944
    My little Nak BX-125 served me well. Still have it, but needs belts and a good dusting and cleaning.
    w5hmac866gay.jpg

    There's a BX-125 in silver down in the basement. It works properly but it's a pretty bare-bones machine. I kept it because I found it (at the ol' Harvard town dump) in its original packaging, which is nice.

    A somewhat shabbier BX-100 passed through, too (same provenance -- of course :) ). I have a photo handy of the BX-100, so I'll share it here.

    14409014405_e1f8007580_b.jpgNakBX100running by Mark Hardy, on Flickr


    16527696880_9a55b73dc6_b.jpgcassettedeck2 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

    This was a pretty nice, late(r) Nakamichi 2-head deck. Same provenance as above -- this one I gave to one of the local hifi gurus who had a good use for it (as opposed to havin' it sit on a shelf here). He had a bunch of cassette tapes from his early 1980s "New Wave" band that he wanted to retrieve -- for a reunion with his old bandmates :)

    (I think there was a three-head variant of this deck, as well)



  • westmassguywestmassguy Posts: 6,430
    The 125 was pretty bare bones, but did everything I needed it to do. I used the TDK SAs, and had great results.
    Home Theater/2 Channel:
    Front: SDA-2ATL forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/143984/my-2as-finally-finished-almost/p1
    Center: Custom Built forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/150760/my-center-channel-project/p1
    Surrounds & Rears: Custom Built forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/151647/my-surround-project/p1
    Sonicaps, Mills, RDO-194s-198s, Dynamat, Hurricane Nuts, Blackhole5
    Pioneer Elite VSX-72TXV, Carver PM-600, SVS PB2-Plus Subwoofer
    Cables: Speaker: Furez 10/2 with GLS Locking Banana Plugs
    Interconnect: Furez 10/2 with SpeakONs
    ICs: Custom Furez by Douglas Connections
    Den:
    Bose 901 Series II Continentals Restored, Re-Built Equalizer with Elna Silmic IIs, Sonicaps, and Silver Mica Caps
    Carver CT-3 Pre, Carver C-500

    dhsspeakerservice.com/
    Exclusive Distributor of Gimpod's Custom SDA Circuit Boards

    "And keep her under 70, would you, huh? Betty likes a slow ride"
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,944
    edited February 2018
    ocjcdikly2y0.png

    found a (bad) photo of the aforementioned other cheap Nak here. It's not a BX-125, is it? :p I can't read the model number -- I'll have to drag my r-ump downstairs & look to see what it is :p

    EDIT: it's a BX-1. As bare-bones as a Nakamichi ever got.

  • aprazer402aprazer402 Posts: 1,453
    smglbrth wrote: »
    Coming back? I don't think so in all reality so far as mainstream is concerned. Nostalgia comes into play here. My first real nice deck, and last, was an Onkyo Integra TA-2600. A very good machine especially with metal tapes. Many times I thought I should have kept it, just because...

    Here's my Onkyo TA-2600, gets used a couple of times a year, I've been happy with it over the years. I also like my TEAC V-909RX (w/dbx), JVC KD-V6, and Sony TC-RX606ES (w/Dolby S) decks.
    qm4q88p8v5xa.jpg
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,944
    Onkyo made (or at least sold, i.e., they may have been made by others) a slew of nice-quality decks.

    Probably worth noting that, especially in the early days of hifi cassette decks, a lot of companies' decks were Nakamichi OEM -- a lot of those were Nakamichi 500s :) That's not a bad thing.

  • verbverb Posts: 7,640
    edited February 2018
    Wow - Cassette decks in recent production, since discontinued but readily available.
    9tothrphr4oa.png
    https://www.lifewire.com/sony-tc-ke500s-audio-cassette-deck-1846226
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • verbverb Posts: 7,640
    Another one. Still in production. Has USB capability.
    f6rnzco0dg8b.png
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • gudnoyezgudnoyez Posts: 6,998
    edited February 2018
    3vk41i4fs3lg.jpg

    Just like Vinyl, I have never abandoned cassettes have a ton of em, plus still have 3 decks in working condition.
    Home Theater
    Parasound Halo A 31 OnkyoTX-NR838 Sony XBR55X850B 55" 4K RtiA9 Fronts CsiA6 Center RtiA3 Rears FxiA6 Side Surrounds Dual Psw 111's Oppo 105D Signal Ultra Speaker Cables & IC's Signal Magic Power Cable Technics SL Q300 Panamax MR4300 Audioquest Chocolate HDMI Cables Audioquest Forest USB Cable

    2 Channel
    Adcom 555II Vincent SA-T1 Marantz SA 15S2 Denon DR-M11 Clearaudio Bluemotion SDA 2.3tl's (Z) edition MIT Terminator II Speaker Cables & IC's Adcom 545II Adcom Gtp-450 Marantz CD5004 Technics M245X SDA 2B's, SDA CRS+

    Stuff for the Head
    JD LABS C5 Headphone Amplifier, Sennheiser HD 598, Polk Audio Buckle, Polk Audio Hinge, Velodyne vPulse, Bose IE2, Sennheiser CX 200 Street II, Sennheiser MX 365

    Shower & Off the beaten path Rigs
    Polk Audio Boom Swimmer, Polk Audio Urchin B)
  • verbverb Posts: 7,640
    Way cool. I've been validated! Seen your pic of the deck on another thread!
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • nvkunyl74bgc.jpg

    All in good humor. I still have a three cassette decks (and a bunch of cassettes), but prices for some of these decks seem to have gone through the roof. Here's my list.
    • Nakamichi DR-1
    • Sony TC-K890ES
    • JVC TD-V711
    Beautiful pieces of machinery from a time gone by. More nostalgia for me than anything else.

    Speakers
    Energy RC-70 Mains, Energy RC-LRC Center, Energy RC-R (x4) Rear Channels, Energy RC-R (x2) Front Effects
    Polk 5jr+
    Polk SDA 2B
    Polk SDS 3.1TL

    Equipment
    Panamax 5510 Re-generator Power Conditioner
    Yamaha RX-V3800 Receiver
    Digital Sources: Sony CDP-X339ES CD Player, HHB CDR830 BurnIt Professional CD Recorder, Sony PS3, Oppo DV-983H DVD Player
    Analog Sources: Sony TC-K890ES Cassette, Nakamichi DR-1 Cassette, Technics SL-7 Turntable
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,944
    Even Philips had a sense of humo(u)r about their creation, in honor of its 50th anniversary a few years back:

    14667522568_0a5ecf8a37_b.jpgcasettebirthday_v2-lrg by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
  • Viking64Viking64 Posts: 4,229
    C-60??? Good luck fitting 2 whole albums on that!!!
  • verbverb Posts: 7,640
    This guy is too cheap to resist. Pioneer CT-W550R with Dolby B/C and HXPro. 15 bucks! OBO haha! :smile:
    0qqv06rr5abq.png
    https://detroit.craigslist.org/mcb/ele/d/pioneer-stereo-equipment/6716664765.html
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,429
    That’s killer.
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - PS Audio SGC - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,944
    verb wrote: »
    This guy is too cheap to resist. Pioneer CT-W550R with Dolby B/C and HXPro. 15 bucks! OBO haha! :smile:
    0qqv06rr5abq.png
    https://detroit.craigslist.org/mcb/ele/d/pioneer-stereo-equipment/6716664765.html

    I have a (slightly newer, I think) Radio Shack "Optimus" branded morph of a similar Pioneer dual well, dual auto-reverse deck (dump find). It is well behaved, dependable and makes a good enough cassette tape. When I actually use cassettes (usually to tape something off the radio -- how's that for retro?), this is the deck I use for it.

    25909398532_213d21b297_h.jpgOptimus Pioneer cassette deck by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
  • verbverb Posts: 7,640
    Professor Hardy endorsement! I’m on it! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,429
    I would like to find a Sony ES cassette deck that wasn’t $200+ like most seem to be going for.
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - PS Audio SGC - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61
  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 5,599
    What is the shelf life for blank cassettes?
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,944
    afterburnt wrote: »
    What is the shelf life for blank cassettes?

    For good brands, at least (TDK, Maxell, e.g.) -- indefinite (decades).

    Some back-coated reel to reel tapes have suffered over the decades (the so-called "sticky shed syndrome") and early reel tapes made with acetate medium (which turns brittle with the release of acetic acid over time) haven't aged well... but most cassette tape formulations have been immune to such bugaboos (at least IMO and IME).
  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 5,599
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    afterburnt wrote: »
    What is the shelf life for blank cassettes?

    For good brands, at least (TDK, Maxell, e.g.) -- indefinite (decades).

    Some back-coated reel to reel tapes have suffered over the decades (the so-called "sticky shed syndrome") and early reel tapes made with acetate medium (which turns brittle with the release of acetic acid over time) haven't aged well... but most cassette tape formulations have been immune to such bugaboos (at least IMO and IME).

    I don't rember the brand but I have a sealed package of them if anyone wants them.
  • verbverb Posts: 7,640
    Wow - Nice karma burnt! I'll take em, if you'll forgive me about the snide comments about your naturally colored red toenails! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,429
    Lol!
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - PS Audio SGC - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61
  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 5,599
    verb wrote: »
    Wow - Nice karma burnt! I'll take em, if you'll forgive me about the snide comments about your naturally colored red toenails! :smile:

    I will never forgive you but you can have em anyway. PM your addy
  • afterburnt wrote: »
    verb wrote: »
    Wow - Nice karma burnt! I'll take em, if you'll forgive me about the snide comments about your naturally colored red toenails! :smile:

    I will never forgive you but you can have em anyway. PM your addy

    Nice gesture, I see that you're getting ahead of your New Year's resolutions.
  • verbverb Posts: 7,640
    verb wrote: »
    This guy is too cheap to resist. Pioneer CT-W550R with Dolby B/C and HXPro. 15 bucks! OBO haha! :smile:
    0qqv06rr5abq.png
    https://detroit.craigslist.org/mcb/ele/d/pioneer-stereo-equipment/6716664765.html

    So this baby is mine! He drove a hard bargain, but stood firm on 15 bucks :smile: I pick it up on Saturday! Woohoo! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,944
    Hope it works!
    If so, well worth 15 smackers.
    Don't forget to clean & demagnetize the heads (indeed, the whole tape path) before passing sonic judgment. :)
  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 5,599
    3bbuuudb9lwt.jpg
    This is them 8 of em
  • verbverb Posts: 7,640
    afterburnt wrote: »
    3bbuuudb9lwt.jpg
    This is them 8 of em

    Jackpot! Thanks so much! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 5,599
    I found them when I was looking for something that I needed. Didn't find it now I don't remember what I was looking for.

    Anyway make me a nice Barry Manilow mix tape and I may forgive you
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,944
    Nice! The TDK Ds are good standard bias tapes.

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