There were some but the Japanese were notorious for not supporting their products in this field and parts may be impossible to find. Tandberg and Revox offered very high quality decks, I will have to check my old mags for others.
Teac VX series, Harman Kardon, Denon, Technics PRO series.
Look for the better model Luxman, Pioneer, Akai or Aiwa
. They can be had dirt cheap, but as pointed out above maintenance/repairs can be a problem.
Hey, I've got a teac w850R that is collecting dust. It was about $825 new. Top of the line for teac. Comes with remote and box. The best things about it are dual decks and everything sounds good from it unlike naks that make other recordings sound like crap.
I hadn't planned on selling it but would be happy to sell, trade or ??? This could be an amazing deal for you if you've got a trade of some sort?
I'm open for suggestions,
YEARS ago, I USED to own a Pioneer
CT-A9X in black.
It was a very good 3-head deck, and it had
VERY SOFT TOUCH CONTROLS.
They pop up on flee bay every now and then.
I bought mine from Digital TV in Burbank, IL.
I was the sole owner for over a LONG time.
I bought it as a floor model, had the box
and manual. Bought it in 1989, sold it on
flee bay back in 1999. Great sound, BUT
I switched to the Pioneer Digital Processing
cassette deck W616DR. Although it`s NOT a
3-head tape deck, it has digital processing, and it
get`s rid of tape hiss 99%, that was the selling point
for me to get this model. You MIGHT want to look into
this model. It alows you to listen to cassettes
WITHOUT all the tape HISS. However, the tapes sound
like a CD, so I don`t know IF THAT`S what you`re
looking for, just thought i`d let you know of
Back in the late eighties/early nineties I had a Teac V-800X that was quite good. During that time a local high-end shop had a Nakamichi rep come in with a promotional offer to perform a free tune-up and test on any deck as a means to compare to the Naks. After running tests on my Teac he seemed genuinely surprised at the Teac's performance. It was a surprise to me also as it measured better than its specs.
Unfortunately the Teac died. Maybe from lack of exercise.
Tandberg and Revox are already mentioned, as are Teac's. If you don't mind spending some serious money, the Teac Z-series are awesome. Also the better Technic's decks are quite capable, as is the Yamaha KX-1200.
Best for it's money I ever had was an Aiwa AD-F800: sturdy, easy to use and very good-sounding. Ultimately I prefered my Nak ZX-9, but for the price paid the Aiwa was unbeatable.
I still have a Yamaha K1000, but don't use it very much. It has 3 heads, 2 motor direct drives and was one of the few decks that has DBX. It still sounds great.
The NAD 6300 should be in the mix, an excellent machine.
Believe it or not Sanyo made a serious deck back in the day, the 5370. You can buy them dirt cheap, IF you can find one. I still use it to make tapes for my car, it's a great sounding machine.
I second the NAD 6300. I have 2, both broken.
Sony decks with the Dolby S
Revox hands down...AND there are some peeps here that not only sell them but can fix them also. ckinpa sold me a revox b-215 4 years ago and its been fantastic. I have had NAKS and others, but the b215 is the most neutral I have ever heard. Cheers.
I gave up tapes long ago. Mistake. Back then, after several decks, an Aiwa AD-F770 won my heart. Aiwa is not a name associated with high-end; maybe they made a big push into the then-burgeoning cassette tape market. A friend was very high-end and had the Nak Dragon, and we compared. We recorded the same LPs (on his Goldmund Studio TT) through Audio Research pre + power, into Soundlab electrostatics. Good gear. The Nak sounded better — but the Aiwa was more accurate. Using the Aiwa’s monitor switch to compare source to just-recorded-tape, in real time, we could not tell the difference: tape and source sounded identical. It was remarkable. Doing the same on the Nak, the tape sounded better than the source. We scratched our heads — this was impossible — and we concluded the Nak was ’improving’ on the source (enhancing it), sounding a bit ’richer’. We both quite enjoyed it, but if accuracy is an important criteria, and sounding identical to the source is a true achievement, then we had to admit the F770 was better ('nicer' sound notwithstanding).
[A drawback to the Aiwa emerged years later — the transport was so complicated, belts and other rubber bits were almost impossible to replace. I don’t know the Dragon fared in this department.]
Had a Nak back in the 80s. With metal tape, peaks set for +7 dB (if I'm remembering correctly) it made fabulous sounding tapes. And the feel of all the controls was fabulous too.
I've had more decks than I can list here including 5 different Naks, Tandberg, Denon, Sony, Kyocera, NAD, Pioneer, etc. the big Naks that I've own include a 700 mkII and a ZX7. The deck that is actually a sleeper and whose low end betters the Naks is the Sony TCK 71. It is an extremely good sounding deck and is one of my favorite decks of all time. You will just have to align the heads to each tape the old school way, with a screw driver. That is not difficult and well worth it. Buy one now and thank me later!