Nakamichi's claim to fame was in tape decks; and some great ones at that. The Dragon still commands a defty price in the resell market. I do however think the good name is currently being used to sell a lot of mass market stuff that is no better or worse than anything at Best Buy or Circuit City.
I agree with Sugarbrie
Nak made excellent tape decks in the 70's and 80's.
When I was in sales Nak demanded that we carry their full line (amps, recievers). These were obviously subpar and many dealers enamored with their tape decks reluctantly dropped the line only to have Nak show up at low ball priced circuit city type chains. An unfortunate move.
I'm a little more upbeat in my view than Sugarbrie, but Nak has certainly gone very significantly downhill. In their good years, even the cheaper tapedecks were surprisingly well built for their price points, while 3 or 4 of the better Naks are legitimate candidates for legend status. While they never were at the same level as the tape decks, Nak also put out a reasonable power amp and tuner for a bit--not reference stuff, but entirely respectable. By contrast, I had occasion to buy their "better" cassette deck (circa $1000 MSRP, about $300 or $400 on closeout)recently, when the model was discontinued, and thought the build quality was about par with entry level high-end lines, about the equivalent of what the lower middle of Nak's product line used to be.
I'm really fond of their tape decks.... That's what Nak built their reputation on, IMHO. I have an Nakamichi MR-2 Professional tape deck. It has fantastic build quality and good sound. I use it to pay recordings of my live music performances from high school and college. I have quite a collection of these ameteur tapes. With the right interconnect (for me, it's Straightwire Encore II), the Nak brings them alive.
Nakamichi is your basic no-frills, but quality Japanese audio company. Their car audio stuff (cd receivers, cassette receivers) are low and features, but high on quality. Expensive too. But you get what you pay for...
Well, I have a somewhat varying opinion--except on the tape decks--they were top notch. I still have a CR-7. I also have one of their recievers (an RE-2) for my office system. I have also owned in the past one of their CD players (although it was a very early one). Their electonics are not "state of the art", but I think they are a good value. This is not high end stuff--but I think it's good quality at a fair price. As to their Space Saver Series--I think it is over priced--but look who they are competing with--Bose! It sounds a lot better than that and still costs less. It does appear their marketing strategy has diverged. They used to do just tape decks--excellently. Now they do a bunch of things, meeting market demands in areas they can produce a "me too" product at a cost advantage. Lastly, the car decks--this is not a me too product--they sound great, much better than just about anything (save the Levinson). The early ones broke quite a bit, but I currently have one in an earlier model Lexus and it is really a fantastic car system.
Their tape decks, up until the death of Etsuro Nakamichi, were first-rate. Shortly after the introduction of the Dragon, however, they began to slip in terms of sound and build quality. The other products were never up to the level of their decks, and unfortunately things got worse when they tried to compete at the lower price points. Better value can be had elsewhere for the same or lower price.
to make it short..naka is really high low-end stuff :p
for sound reproduction quality ..
but seriously..what about their newest home CD players ?
the MB serie ..
do they rival for sound with high-end stuff ?
or should i just wait and get a really good high end player?
How much do you want to spend for a CD player? One of the best bangs for your buck for a low cost brand new player is the $400 Cambridge Audio D500SE.
I had a new high end ES Line Sony Cassette Deck when I decided to get a DR-10 Nak Deck when they were going cheap. Wow, this is such a Night and Day contrast I could hardly believe it. It seemed, by comparison, I was listening to music with cotton im my ears when listening to the Sony. Sure you had tons of convenience features but why have a deck if it does not first deliver first rate sound as it first priority. I can honestly say that I prefer the sound of my Nak DR10 to recordings made from my more expensive Pioneer Elite CD Recorder. Lets get back to getting off our butts to flip a record or cassette or adjust volume so we don't have to sacrifice sound quality and dump the efforts of formerly great companies like Nakamichi.
I have a lot of experince with the Nak stuff. Had receiver, tape decks, and even the early MusicBank CD Player. I can tell you that the tape decks are incredible, best or near the best (with Revox and Tandberg). I still have an RX-505 and it makes more musical copies than a CR-R. The other stuff is all lofi junk. The CD players have lose belts and the drawers fail after a few years. The recievers sound lousy and lack power. The only acceptable non-tape product was the threshold-licensed STASIS power amps, which were overpiced at the time but which can be had for a normal pice now.
Don't forget the TX-1000 turntable - a legend!
The TX-1000 was amazing! Makes me wonder why you sold yours!
If you ever miss it, you do have that wonderful EMT to help ease the pain.. Along with several others.. =)