Huge comeback??? I must have missed that memo :)
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I just bought a really really nice Harmon Kardon CD391 cassette deck for a song. Once I cleaned the heads and capstains and reconditioned the pinch rollers and demaged it, I played:
Donald Fagan-"The Nightfly"
Amazing Rhythm Aces-"Too Stuffed To Jump"
Sounds GREAT! Love that analog sound!
my best pal and owner of a great hi if shop makes me awesome tapes.
That's awesome Donjr! (Viva La Mixtape).
We have an independent record shop here in Potland that not only have a series of their own AMAZING cassette tape compilations but also a home made mixtape trading spot. Bring one, take one. Great way to find and enjoy new music
My most recent equipment purchase was a Nakamichi BX-300 deck, mainly to have something decent to play the 50-odd cassettes I made off-air in the Jazz Alive series during the late 1970s and 1980s. I have been flat-out amazed at the sonic quality of these things via the Nak deck.
Then I picked up some commercial cassette tapes, knowing how throughly they were dismissed at the time, and found some of them t as good as the better-sounding LPs and CDs. Couple of examples: "Oracle" by Michael Hedges, "Times Like These" by a Gary Burton group with Michael Brecker and John Scofield.
Back in the 70's and 80's, you would make cassette versions of your LPs to listen to as you had to preserve your LPs for special listening occasions. US LP production quality had become very mediocre. Extremely warped records with noisy surfaces were just so prevalent. It is not like pre-recorded cassettes were much better quality wise ... cheap, glued poorly made products with the noisiest type of tape available. When you purchased blank cassettes, you would seek out the chrome tape cassettes held together with screws that could handle Type II bias.
With all this though, cassettes were a good thing ... it made being an audiophile more of a real hobby, as opposed to listening in the digital age where it is just a pastime. I don't miss cassettes at all, but I do miss the hours I spent making mix tapes for my walkman, thinking about what songs flowed well together. Every weekend was a deep dive into the music. Trashed the tape deck about 15 years ago. Can't be bothered putting together a mix playlist for my iPod.
When I got back into vinyl, I was surprised how few pops and clicks got through to the speakers with a good turntable,arm and phono amp. Having given away my 1000 or so cassettes to Good Will, because I could not handle tape hiss and the wobble in sound, Are these areas which drove me crazy handled better today, or just tolerated better by others?
I did keep my Yamaha CK 720 deck. So if there is a resurgence I will sell it, so someone else can enjoy.
Wow, Rar1, I think we musta been twin sons separated at birth! I used to make some *killer* tapes using the hi-end gear (Tandberg, B&O, Revox, etc.) in the shop I worked for.
If you used a top-quality deck like the B&O 9000 and the very best tapes - TDK, Maxell, or Denon metal - and employed Dolby B HxPro to encode, the resultant sound quality was astonishing. I probably made 200 - 300 tapes back in the day and sure wish I could find them now - many good memories to be found in that 1/4 inch tape....
PS: And I, too, cannot be bothered to make up playlists nowadays, don't know why that is...
I spent may an hour lovingly copying entire albums and making mixed tapes (yesterdays version of a playlist). I gave them as gifts but mostly I made them to be listened to in the car. They're in boxes in the garage. Time to donate them but I wonder if anyone would care enough to listen. The only reason why I still have them is for the sentimental value they hold.
I have over 300 cassettes and someone wants to give me a bunch more. Recently picked up a Harman Kardon TX392 and an Aiwa ADF660 both 3 head decks and I think as good sounding as my old NAK BX125. I still have about 6 or 8 nice blank tapes so I guess I'll do some recording...
So in my cassette decks tonight are:
Side A: Chick Corea / Friends
Side B: Freddie Hubbard / Sky Dive
Side A: Greg Allman / Laid Back
Side B: Genesis / Trick of the Tale
90 minute cassettes, 1 album per side, gotta love it :)
Cassettes had their day and the ones you made yourself were better than the pre-recorded ones. I have a friend who that's all he listens to. I gave him all of mine and he is very happy. I myself would rather burn a cd from my cd library, whatever songs I want, takes a few minutes. When I want analog I play an LP, still have a a few hundred and buy some used occasionally. I have zero interest in paying 30-50 bucks for new vinyl, much of which is digital based.
See Brian, we are not alone!
Great to hear Mofi, and agreed Willy is THE man, and the price he charges for the work he performs is an absolute bargain imho.
My ZX7 that he refurbished is unbelievable.
I also picked up an old 500 Dual Tracer that I need to ask him if he can do anything with, it plays just fine but does not record, not that is a huge worry as can use the ZX7 for all recording duites.
Still working through my pile of Metal Fuji tapes I purchased a while back.
For the dedicated tapeheads, this might be of interest...
Just for the few dedicated souls who still actually play pre-recorded cassette tapes, you may find this usefull if any of your tapes have "the squeal"!
A couple days ago I played two back to back that developed the squeal part way through that just got unbearable before tapes end.
Now this I always thought was due to the transport getting sticky but it now seems it is actually the tape itself that is sticking due to lack of lubricant. Who even knew that audio tape was lubricated??
And apparently the worse offenders are the XDR range of tapes that are claimed to all have been faulty direct from the factory.
Watch the youtube video, its got a bit too much blather in it for my liking BUT when he gets to the solution it is quite simple and I can attest to the fact that it WORKS!
I am working my through "The Beatles-The Collection" that I recorded from the MOFI box set back in the early 80's. I used the metal shell TDK MA-R90 (5 total tapes).
I opened my first high-end store at about that time and was a MOFI dealer. I actually gave (2) Beatles box sets away as Grand Opening prizes. Very low serial numbers, like below 100, IIRC.
Sorry! Update on Cassette Store Day:
I've attended the past several. Most of the titles are pretty obscure and/or something I would never listen to, but I found a few.
Not sure what the future of CSD will be?