Cassette deck enthusiasts......

Looking for 3 head deck from 79-81 era with vu meters that is easy to service and find parts for...belts,etc...any brands come to mind for low cost service and above average performance?
Nakamichi BX-300. 3 heads. Super reliable. Excellent sounding Dirt cheap at this point.
Mingles; I don't think the BX-300 has VU meters.
Maybe take a look into Akai and Tascam (TEAC's pro line) in addition to Nakamichi. Both produced top grade tape machines.
I suggest also a Nakamichi 670zx.
Vu meters, excellent sound and building quality, three heads, built-in 400hz oscillator for tape calibration, azimuth adjustable, manuals easy to find on the web.
I bought it on 1981 and it needed three services in these years, the last on 2009 about a dead pinch roller. A nice deck, you can also find a remote unit and you'll have a very very good sounding unit!
Great thread! I'm in the market for something similar.
I can vouch for the Technics M95 cassette deck having owned one for thirty years. It's built to last as mine has.
Nakamichi rules in cassette decks.

I found out the expensive way by buying the best Sony made and then listening to a friends Nak that was cheaper. The Nak destroyed it and this was in my pre-audiophile days.

I ended up with a ZX7. I will never sell it and the suggestion for a 670 is great advice.

Have Fun!
Take a look at It may help with your research.
Look for the 682 with dolby B & C. The 680, 681, ZX7, 1000, and nearly all the Nakamichi Decks sound very very good. The 680 had a 1/2 speed selection. The 582 or the 500 series that had all the adjustments was a great deck which led to the 670 and 680 series of decks. The 580 sereis reign supreme for years until then. We use to use that with DBX or Dolby C or S and it reduced the noise tremendously. Also, I would make tapes for my car and I would change the setting for metal tape from 70us to 120us. That would give me an extension or boost on the top end. Used with Dolby it was an alternative to an equalizer. My cassette days have been behind me for over 24 years and I hope I remember correctly. Good Luck!
No VU, but the NAD 6300 was a giant killer
Two (or three) options with very good performance but less hype than the Naks (which were good once you got above the 400 series) were any of the three-head versions of Aiwa and Pioneer and Pioneer Elite.
I have a 680zx and is a great deck. If you carefully calibrate and bias the deck for half speed, the quality of the sound in half speed is quite stunning.
I owned the Nak. Dragon. With the Super Metal Master it was a superior unit.
When the Super Metal Master tapes run out of production, it wasn't the same anymore and I sold it.
Loved the LX-5 three head deck way back then in the early 80 's. Gave 20+ years of service! Nak ruled! (back then).
Teac A 300 was a good one IMO. Three head w/ vu meters. It made very good tapes from my vinyl and was no slouch for palyback either. I had that one back in the day. Don't know about parts etc, but I still have it in the closet.