cassette deck enthusitast pt 2....sleeper 2 header

Although 3 head machines get all attention....what sleeper 2 headers from glory days of 77-84 can give a 3 head a run for its money? Prefer the simplicity of decks in the 79-81 with vu meters,etc...before the auto-reverse, auto-rewind, auto-bias days that followed...also...mpx filter and fine bias control would be ideal...had a NAD 6155 back in the day...great deck...NAK 480? Any sony products?
Technics RS-M88, was a wonderful deck in it's day. I had an 88 and a 95 around 1980 and made tapes with an LP12. I ended up selling the 95 and kept the 88. The 95 was a little better but not enough to keep it over the 88 and a fist full of cash for a young soldier.
The Nak 480 is definitely a sleeper. I still have mine after all these years.
I second Clio09's point. I have a Nak, ZX-9, a Dragon and a 480. The 480 does challenge the ZX-9 & the Dragon.
Parts availability of old Nak 480s/680s/700s etc. is bleak, and their electronics were pretty noisy. Later BX-1s and BX100s were better, but there's that silly rubber idler for the wind/rewind hubs that always goes bad.

But the Nakamichi CR-1A/CR-2A is are great two-head decks, and made after they switched to gear-drive for the wind/rewind hubs, so very reliable. Even better are the Onkyo TA-2600 and TA-2800 . . . they're three-head models, but use a "sandwich" type P/R head. The mechanicals are actually identical to the late two-head Nakamichi like the CR-1A, and electronics are very good.

The mid-1980s B&O decks are actually quite good as well, (i.e. Beocord 5000 in a drawer, or the Beocord 2000 top-loader), with simple, reliable mechanisms and excellent electronics (after all, HX-Pro was their circuit, which they licensed to Dolby). They can be had for a song, and will usually come back to life with just a capstan belt, a good cleaning, and a DIN-RCA adapter. Operation is a little "different" (i.e. record monitoring has to be done through your preamp, not through the deck).
The Nak 600 was probably the best 2-head player made. Bought ine in 1977 and it still meets spec., although I don't use it much, lately, as a recording system, that is. Use it regurlary as playback of superb (then) CBC radio offerings.

Salut, Bob P.