Is the Cassette Recorder Dead?

Need a tip from Audiogon Members. Your opinions on Cassette Recorder vs CD recorder. Looking to add one to the system. Has cassette outlived its usefullness? Are the CD recorders the future? Replies greatly appreciated.
I have both and still occasionally make tapes for my walkman, and for my trucks cassette player. But, the CD recorder is the way to go because of the versatility and sound quality of CDs. And CD players are (rapidly?) replacing both portable and vehicle casette players. Also, I think CDs will last almost indefinitely if taken care of properly. This is all IMO. Cheers. Craig.
I make a lot of temporary cassette tapes for listening in my car and other places, to familiarize myself with music I need to learn for a group I sing with. The low cost and the fact cassetts are easy to use over and over again makes them still the way to go for me. Also considering what a lot of folks are still willing to pay for used high end cassette decks makes me believe there are still lots of fans out there.
Vinyl records and VHS have been around for years after their reported death. I suspect when you see cassettes stop being made it will be another 5-10 years till they are not relevent anymore. Cassettes are so widespread they will still be used by many 10 years from now. CD recorders can produce thin, lean sound unless you get into the higher end.
I use our little mini system with a dub deck to listen to my wife's collection of some 300+ tapes. I do not patch it through the main system as the sound quality of the deck "and the tapes" are not that good. They sound "better" on the little system through Polk RT15 speakers. They also sound fine when played on the stock stereos in our old, older and oldest Honda's. I cannot think of a good reason to buy a better main deck to make dubs for use in the cars (due to their lowfi sound quality). And in the main system I would just as soon play a CD. I need to make dubs of her tapes as many are from the 70's and early 80's and they are going down hill very quickly. So, we really just need a deck to enjoy this old music library (mostly R&B and Disco) and to dub the old tapes onto new stock. Their are some very high quality cassette decks that come "close" to the sound of vinyl, but what is the purpose if you are dubbing from CD? If I wanted better sound in the cars I would just install a modern CD player (all in one unit with amps) and new speakers at a very reasonable cost. Since we don't mind lowfi in the cars the little dub deck and the old tapes are fine. I recently ran across a Tandberg 3014 deck at the local pawn shop and went through this thought process. The deck was a steal at $950.00, but I found that I really did not need it. I would be better off spending the money on CD players for the cars. Also when buying used tapes you will find that many of them have been trashed from being played on cheap portable machines.
I'll bet that 75% of all audiophiles use some type of cassette system, car or portable. The sad thing is that the cassette recorder is totally invisable to all high end mags. Due to the demise of Audio and Stereo Review the only place to find reviews is in Consumers Report. I recently invested in a Mini CD recorder and portable player but frankly the analog cassette reproduces vinyl better. I just hope the manufacturers don't completely abandon these machines.
This is very much a Ralph Nader sort of thing. Those that have been in the high end 20 years or more lets band together to stop the never ending landfill fonder of formats and japanese machines that led no where. Except to corporate deception of new technology with lower tolerance parts presumed to be of higher musical value. Please check out the rear ends (glutes of mass consumers to get a sense of what I am expressing). Remember the song "In the year 2525 I will not need my eyes ....."
HiFi Choice Magazine still reviews cassette decks I believe, although model numbers are sometimes different between UK and USA. Web site is I agree that new formats are risky if they do not catch on. Cassette is a safe bet.
One comment about switching from cassette to CD in the car: Be aware that car CD players WILL damage your CDs by scratching them up (especially from being jarred by bumps when the unit is off and the car is moving. (The optical pickup bangs into the CD) And from droping them in the car, and mis-handling them. I have a separate set that I use only in the car and consider disposable. So please be aware of that problem with CD in a car. I bought the LAST Stereophile recommended cassette machine, a JVC 711 cassette player. And use it sparingly, and maybe it will last 30 years. (just to create tapes for my Walkman.) I would be searching for an Aiwa 990 or another JVC 711 as a low price replacement. For the more affluent, The top Nak's are the choice items. Othe used cassette machines may also have a decent sound, but these are the units I know of. And to answer the original question: Is the cassette dead? Not yet. 8-Track is DEAD, EL cassette is DEAD, Beta is very near DEATH, Phillips DCC is DEAD, Mini Disc is in the hospital, struggling, LaserDisc has been in a severe accident and the jury is out, but it looks very bad. The thing that saves the cassette is the CAR.. and Walkman. Both formats have CD available but they have not come to dominate the market yet.
Tape decks are still good for taping off the radio or tuner. I tape lots of FM Music and AM talk shows to my cassette deck. There are lots of great cassette decks. The Sony es models, Nakamichi tape decks, which you will see always on Ebay, Teac Tape decks.
Well no one has talked about the economics and how they have changed. You can purchase CD-Rs for about $0.30 each. Try buying a cassette tape blank for that. These are only good on computer type CD players but can be played back on most audio system CD players. I just purchased a Harmon Kardon CD2 recorder that can record off of radio and all the other functions (ie it has a D to A converter) that I used to use a cassette for. It can record using the CDRWs which are the re recordable media. Much more expensive media but you only need one or two. The CDRs for this recorder cost more then the media for computers...about $1.25-$1.50 each but are still competitive with blank cassettes.
Thanks for the input Elizabeth. I have never used a car CD player and the fact that they muck up the CD's is really good to know. We will stick with the old car stereos and cassttes. I live in LA and drive with the sunroof (on my car) down year round except when it is raining and a high quality auto stereo seems like a waste anyway. I can always listen the "hot" stereos in the "hot" cars that pass me by (you know the ones I'm talking about - the ones where you can hear the bass a 1/4 mile down the road. Too bad that "those" car stereos never seem to be playing Mancini. LOL.
Well after some thought and reading the responses,I have decided on the Sony Mini Disc.Model JE440 MDLP. The features are beyond belief. This is what the cassette deck should have been. Have had the unit for a couple of months now and it continues to amaze me with its sonics and total flexibility.My thanks to all the respondents to this thread.
Is the cassette recorder dead? NOt yet. Although most manufacturers have basically abandoned it, except in cheap settings (dual dub decks, boom boxes). WOuld I go out and buy a new cassette deck? No way. I have a Nakamichi LX5, bought in the early 80's. It still makes very nice tapes which I use in the car. Don't want to scratch up my discs or have to handle them in the car environment. Tapes do tend to wear out easily with heat when left in the car, but it's easy to dub another one. Don't find myself doing that much recording these days, but like to make compilations from time to time.

The walkman keeps it alive as the portable CD players don't work strapped to a belt. I have better luck with cassettes on airplanes as the batteries last longer. I enjoy cassette players but finding a good one for a decent price is a chore. I am still looking for a working JVC DD-7. Mine was stolen--but the DD series made by JVC were great decks.
I disagree about what was said re car cd players. I have been listening to cds for more than ten years in a toyota and a porsche and have not experience badly scratched ones. I am afraid handling is the culprit. A friend had hers scratched using one of the case logic type storage pockets. I have not been able to find a portable cd player that I can use when running (anyone experienced the Sony G system?) so I still use my tape deck but not in the car where I used to have mangled tapes a problem nonexistent with the magic silver discs.
If you own the equipment use it till it drops. But don't spend a penny on repairs! The cassette is dead, dead, dead, dead! The reason LP's aren't dead is because they sound better than CD's and there is alot of stuff not available on other formatts. The same can not be said for cassettes. Therefore, I repeat, "Dead, dead, dead!"
Oddly enough the cassette is still better than all these horrible sounding digital devices like MD, DCC, MP3, etc. I own one of kenwoods top of the line MD's and the flexibility is nice, but its bad digital-thin and anemic sounding. A good high quality cassette deck probably isn't a bad idea. They have made some advances in the analog arena that don't get much note these days: aside from Dolby S, pioneer's cassette decks digitally recalibrate the signal, there are more accurate mechanical/tape drives, better head material, and better tape formulations. Not to mention, regardless of the digital used, MP3 etc., you've got to worry about poor A/D convertors so that don't even get the maximum amount of info onto the inferior formats. Ya cassette is dead, but if depending on recording needs it may still be a good choice.
Ezmeralda I really got a shock recently when we tested Cassette Tapes made from LPs with CDs. The cassettes were clearly superior. Even with all the anomolies of cassettes, sonically there superior to CDs.
Most of the older car CD players and many existing players will cause "scuffing" of the CDs if you drive over a bad bump. My early Sony player did this alot. Now I have an Alpine model that doesn't seem to have this problem.
To steal a quote from Frank Zappa about jazz! I think the cassette recorder will come back if the RIAA is successful in getting its way. They do not want the new digital format to be consumer recordable. Chances are it won't be. So no SACD-R's or DAD-R's. We could still make CD-R's, I suppose but how long before CD's are no longer compatible in new players?

To be honest, I'm archiving old homemade cassette tapes onto CD-R's - with great sonic success, I should add. In many instances, my product sounds better than its corresponding commercial CD release!
Well, it maybe better than those items. However, it is not better than DAT or CDR. CDR is the replacement for cassette and does provide better performance as well as convenience.
Everyone owns a CD player and the next logical step in consumerism is to buy a CDR for all the obvious reason, as driven by the manufactures, archiving and sound! The king (cassette) is dead! Long live the king (CDR)!
I have an older pick-up that has the metal dash made for shaft style decks. I could cut a big hole in it & install a CD, but I prefer the original look, which limits your choices to radio only, 8-track or cassette. There are a lot of older vehicles still on the road & this is but one reason there is still a market for cassettes. I still make my own tapes & there are plenty of blank tapes for sale just about anywhere you look.
Everything has a fringe or collectable market. And, I suppose if you are looking at fringe and collectable then absolutely nothing is dead. Therefore, excluding this variable, I predict that within 5 years, (+ or -) 2 years, you will be discussing cassettes much like people discuss 8 tracks.

Now, reel to reel.... that's maybe a differant story!
Yes and no! Yes because cassete is less practic than CD, and more expensive. You can buy virgin CDR, cheaper than cassete. You can acess to any track of a CD in one or two seconds... But cassette recorder is yet alive, it sounds better. I make my own records whit a cassete recorder AKAI GX 95, and the result is impressive. It sounds better than CD. You must try...
for $250 at frys and surely other places, a 3head sony with dolby b,c and S are available.
when they break into your car and take the stuff in it, they get 75 cent cassettes, not $16 CDs.
now, dolby s is THE most quiet noise reduction going and came out way too late to save the cassette format BUT--it makes cassette a formidible storage medium with metal tape (if you can find it}.
for the car, tdk d-series tapes are pefectly fine. use the dolby b setting on your cassette player as S and B are comaptible. with no dolby as you find in some car players, you can turn down the treble and it still sounds pretty good.
the S reduces noise clear accross the audible freq band, not just the top half like B+C.
just my 29 cents worth (inflation).
Dolby came out late? Dolby was used in the mid 70's, certainly not too late. The problem was with misaligned heads, causing people to not use or misuse Dolby.