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Thinking about adding a cassette deck to my set-up

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by malagacoolers, Aug 7, 2020.

  1. doctor fuse

    doctor fuse Forum Resident

    Get one as close to 20-20kHz as you can find.

    My Hardon Karman TD262 comes pretty close, and it is difficult to tell the difference between a vinyl L.P. and a taped copy (the cassette copy has a slight bit more hiss and compressed sound).
  2. malagacoolers

    malagacoolers Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    San Diego, CA
    I picked up a JVC TD-W354BK. Frequency response is listed at 20khz.
    rcsrich, doctor fuse and DRM like this.
  3. Doghouse Riley

    Doghouse Riley Forum Resident

    North West England
    I've had this Sharp 442-H since 1972. Still works perfectly, but I have changed the belts.

    I've a load of cassettes somewhere, but there's just a dozen or so accessible, that I play occasionally.
    It's really, like my jukeboxes and jukebox wall boxes, just a "nostalgia thing."

  4. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

  5. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

  6. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

  7. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

  8. radioalien

    radioalien Well-Known Member

    Out of my whole collection, the best sounding one is that Indiana Jones Last Crusade soundtrack, maybe it was because it was from the late eighties 1989? Maybe Warner Bros just had good tapes? Also has HX pro symbol on it
  9. radioalien

    radioalien Well-Known Member

  10. radioalien

    radioalien Well-Known Member

    Has anyone made copies of their vinyl on tape? How did it turn out?
  11. radioalien

    radioalien Well-Known Member

    I'm looking to see if yours has a volume control for the headphone out. Yamaha decided not to include one on mine, maybe for cost cutting?
  12. caracallac

    caracallac Forum Resident

    The Sony, Pioneer, Denon and Technics desks from the early ‘80’s to the early ‘90’s are always worth a look and don’t cost the earth. For around $500 you should be able to find a Nakamichi DR-2 which is about the best available for the money. But watch out for decks that have been stored for years or worked into the ground. Access to a good service engineer is a must.
    nosliw likes this.
  13. AudioAddict

    AudioAddict Forum Resident

    Or you can service them yourselves. Tapeheads.net has an entire forum section on cassette decks and the pundits there stress different ways of setting azimuth -- one of the more important service improvements.
    The volume technique is the easiest and simply requires you to adjust the azimuth screw for maximum loudness while both channels are played in mono (the latter is critical).
    A more accurate method is to use an oscilloscope and test tape (that must have been created "edge to edge"). Then you simply put the two channels into an x/y pattern and adjust them for an upwards right pattern -- that signifies the two channels are in ideal phase alignment.
    Unfortunately, good test tapes are rather expensive and not always easy to get. Mine came from Poland and this fellow is no longer active. You cannot make a test tape on your deck; think about it -- this is illogical.
    BUT oscilloscopes are available easily online, can be gotten for 1-2 hundred, and are a gas to use and play with.
    Have recently adjusted the azimuths on all 3 of my cassette decks and the improvement is great. It's like getting a newer, better deck.
    garrincha and DRM like this.
  14. The Pinhead

    The Pinhead SUDACA ROÑOSO

    I used to. They sounded close, with appreciable reduction in the dynamic range. Keep in mind I'm talking about average tape decks, not Nak Dragons.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
    radioalien likes this.
  15. Cherrycherry

    Cherrycherry Forum Resident

    If you are in San Diego, contact these guys and see if they will recommend something local.
    They are a service company, can probaly make a good recommendation for local finds.
    San Diego Sound and Music Repair

    I went to a local place in my town(that a record store owner referred me to) and tried one or two decent two and three head cassette players and picked one of them. They offered 30 day money back, one year to trade up.(the price i paid applied towards a newer model)
  16. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™

    Greater Vancouver
    Perhaps one of the best Nakimichi 3 headed cassette decks I've heard for not much $$'s for a refurbished unit. The BX-300.
    The BX-300 incorporates a wealth of original Nakamichi technology such as the Discrete Three Head system, a Direct Drive Asymmetrical, Diffused Resonance Dual Capstan Transport etc.

    The deck is designed to deliver outstanding performance in every basic aspect, while providing a reasonable choice of useful features.

    Type: 3-head, single compact cassette deck
    Track System: 4-track, 2-channel stereo
    Tape Speed: 4.8 cm/s
    Heads: 1 x record, 1 x playback, 1 x erase
    Motor: 1 x reel, 1 x capstan, 1 x mechanism
    Tape Type: type I, CrO2, Metal
    Noise Reduction: B, C
    Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz (Metal tape)
    Signal to Noise Ratio: 70dB (dolby C)
    Wow and Flutter: 0.027%
    Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.9%
    Input: 50mV (line)
    Output: 1V (line)
    Dimensions: 430 x 100 x 250mm
    Weight: 5.6kg
    Accessories: optional remote control
    Year: 1984
    Classic Car Guy likes this.
  17. doctor fuse

    doctor fuse Forum Resident

    When I got the Hardon Karman [:agree:] I immedately made vinyl copies to test it out. They sound quite close to the originals. Maybe a slight bit more hiss, and a bit more compressed sounding. I think I could tell the difference in a blind test, but I'm not totally confident.
    Classic Car Guy and radioalien like this.
  18. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    Speaking of oscilloscopes, I bought a couple of used analog Tektronix Vector Waveform monitors recently. After viewing this:
    Classic Car Guy and AudioAddict like this.
  19. DEG

    DEG Music is good

    Lawrenceville Ga.
    I sold my decks and all of my tapes. I had nice stuff, but just didn't use them. I kind of miss them, though...prefer to get a Pioneer CD Recorder...
  20. AudioAddict

    AudioAddict Forum Resident

    The BX-300 has the same transport and unbalanced circuits as the MR-1 -- the difference is that the MR-1 has another, completely separate, set of balanced circuits. In unbalanced mode they are virtually identical. FINE MACHINES. Buy one when you get a chance -- you will never regret the decision.
    Dave likes this.
  21. hitmanhart408

    hitmanhart408 Forum Resident

    Miami, FL
    I'd say checkout Goodwill. You might have to make several visits before you find a deck to your liking but they always have old equipment. Just make sure to try it out in store. I bought an 80s-90s Sony deck without testing it and when you press play it doesn't go. I'm sure it's an easy fix (maybe the belt) but I don't know jack about fixing these things and I don't want to go through the trouble. Thankfully it was dirt cheap so I don't really care.
  22. malagacoolers

    malagacoolers Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    San Diego, CA
    How to connect?

    Cassette player just arrived but I can't get any audio out of my receiver. It's a new receiver, a Denon x3400h to be exact. My only red and white RCA options are for ”Video In.” Complete newb here and not sure what to do.
  23. jeffmackwood

    jeffmackwood Forum Resident

    Read the Denon's owner's manual. Assuming you posted the correct model, there's plenty of analog audio inputs judging from the pic of the rear panel that I'm looking at.

    Bruno Primas and radioalien like this.
  24. malagacoolers

    malagacoolers Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    San Diego, CA
    I figured it out. Had to assign it as an analog input on the set up screen.
  25. Kevin j

    Kevin j The 5th 99

    Seattle Area
    thrift stores for the win. 3000 bucks? nah, how about 30 bucks (at the most).

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