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Author Topic: Cassette deck recommendation  (Read 6891 times)

mastertone

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Cassette deck recommendation
« on: December 07, 2007, 09:46:40 am »

Got a big one coming up, jazz recordings on cassette, complete catalog, i dont feel that my marantz deck is up for it, any recommendations?

Nakamichi?
Nad?


thanks / Jonas
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Jonas Ekstrom
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Allen Corneau

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Re: Cassette deck recommendation
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2007, 10:20:58 am »

A well-maintained Nakamichi MR-1 or TASCAM 122 should do the trick. Pair it up with a nice A/D converter and some good noise reduction software and I think you'll be all set.

Good luck.
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: Cassette deck recommendation
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2007, 10:33:31 am »

Allen Corneau wrote on Fri, 07 December 2007 09:20

A well-maintained Nakamichi MR-1 or TASCAM 122 should do the trick.


Another vote for the Nakamichi MR-1.

Just had the motors replaced in ours.

XLR balanced outputs makes it easy.

Multiple heads, pitch control, tweakable azimuth, wired remote.

Bought new in 1990 for about a grand.

Audiofile specs.

Sits quietly in our rack, waiting for that rare cassette transfer.

JT
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Viitalahde

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Re: Cassette deck recommendation
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2007, 10:43:46 am »

Funny, I've also had the itch of buying The Final Cassette Deck. Nakamichis look cool.

Does Studer have any good ones?




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Jaakko Viitalähde
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jdg

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Re: Cassette deck recommendation
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2007, 12:12:44 pm »

i have a Nakamichi MR-2b which is great.
also, Nakamichi translates to "middle of the road"
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john mcCaig
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carlsaff

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Re: Cassette deck recommendation
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2007, 12:16:22 pm »

Nakamichi here, too -- 582Z. I got it from fellow boarder Mark Donahue at SoundMirror in Boston. Perfect for those rare cassette jobs. (They happen more than I ever would've suspected, but still... pretty rare...)

djwaudio

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Re: Cassette deck recommendation
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2007, 12:45:08 pm »

 One more vote for Nakamichi. I have an unbalanced unit that I prefer to the Tascam. I just plug the Nak into the Ibis EQ (converts unbalanced to pro very nicely) and it's simply gorgeous. I'm always amazed at the sonic potential for cassette.

I have been told they have a "curve" that makes them sound good, as if that's a bad thing!
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TotalSonic

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Re: Cassette deck recommendation
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2007, 01:38:01 pm »

The Nakamichi MR1 or Dragon definitely is a great option.  Got to say for a cheaper and more readily alternative the newer Denon decks with balanced outputs (such as the one on my DN-T625) sound great.

Best regards,
Steve Berson

Hank Alrich

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Re: Cassette deck recommendation
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2007, 02:01:15 pm »

TotalSonic wrote on Fri, 07 December 2007 10:38

The Nakamichi MR1 or Dragon definitely is a great option.  Got to say for a cheaper and more readily alternative the newer Denon decks with balanced outputs (such as the one on my DN-T625) sound great.

Best regards,
Steve Berson


Some Naks, including the Dragon, have the easily adjustable/auto adjustable azimuth for playback head. Getting playback aligned to match whatever the original recorder imposed can be rewarding.

JGreenslade

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Re: Cassette deck recommendation
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2007, 02:43:47 pm »

Finding a Nak - and finding a decent Nak you can use - are two separate issues.

Naks are a bit like classic cars. You might find one for $5,000, spend $20,000 restoring it, but it'll only be worth $12,00 after the work. Unless the project is important, understand that negative equity is part of decent cassette deck ownership.

I don't think there's much middle-ground here. You either buy one that works and put aside several times what you paid for it to get one of the handful of quality cassette deck Techs to get it into factory 'spec, or you find one that's been serviced / has paperwork and go through it with fine tooth-comb.

The number alludes me at the moment, but I once had a Revox / Studer deck that sounded sensational - slightly better than my Denon. Denons are best value - they're superb for the money. I once did an A/B with a friend and he couldn't tell reliably whether we were listening off the play head or preview.

The 1000ZXL Ltd Edition is king of Naks, but rare as hen's teeth and very expensive (an unbelievable piece of kit - mind blowing).

I'll agree that cassette won't flap your trousers like 499 1/2" on a decent A80, nor will it have the S/N ratio, but in terms of mid and top clarity, you'll find a well-serviced Nak or Revox will put up a serious fight.

I have nothing against cassette decks. I think they get maligned because people don't appreciate the maintenance requirements.

Be warned that spending a little extra on a Nak or Revox *could* equate to a lot less in servicing needs. Servicing costs on a good cassette deck can be frightening - I've been there.

Justin
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JSam

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Re: Cassette deck recommendation
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2007, 02:48:27 pm »

I love Nakamichi Dragons.  As noted above, auto azimuth correction is the best feature.  It's stellar machine outside of that, too.  The down side is it's hard to find one in good enough condition.  Moreover, the only qualified lab I know to service them has a wait queue of nearly a year.  The whole unbalanced out thing doesn't bother me too much as depending on the size of the job, it's not too hard to reconfigure the A/D; otherwise I'm happy with an Aphex converter.

I've heard good things about the Nak CR-7.  But never used one.

Tascam stopped manufacturing the 122 a couple years ago.  The Tascam 112 is the best model in production as far as I know.  It's not a bad machine, but it's not the cream either.
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Kees de Visser

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Re: Cassette deck recommendation
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2007, 03:04:22 pm »

AFAIK MC's don't carry reference tones for (playback) calibration.
What would be the best procedure to optimise the playback quality ?
- playback speed (the recorder might have been off)
- azimuth (how do you align without ref.tones. Search for lowest L-R output)?
- how do you find the best high EQ setting (by ear?)
- hopefully the tapes were properly labeled re. 90/120 us and NR type

I still love MC's (have a Nak 582) but haven't forgotten the days when they were used as an approval ref for artists. Lots of compatibility problems, with speed as an important one for perfect pitch listeners.

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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: Cassette deck recommendation
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2007, 03:32:03 pm »

Great place to find USED cassette decks including NAKs http://www.playitagainsam.com/ it is in Lakewood, Ohio but they ship all over the world. You want to talk to Bernie, the owner if you phone them and you can mention my name if needed.

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Allen Corneau

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Re: Cassette deck recommendation
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2007, 04:05:47 pm »

Since the topic of finding a good Nakamichi has come up....

I've got an MR-1 that's been sitting around that I'd be happy to sell. It had the gearbox upgrade some time ago, but it hasn't been seen much use since.

Send a P.M. if interested.
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OTR-jkl

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Re: Cassette deck recommendation
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2007, 05:09:52 pm »

carlsaff wrote on Fri, 07 December 2007 11:16

582Z

That's a car, isn't it...?
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J Lowes · OTR Mastering
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