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Beechwoods
29-06-2009, 19:25
I've thoroughly enjoyed the recommendations on the Cassette's Not Dead (http://theartofsound.net/forum/showthread.php?t=2737) thread... but it's left me wondering if my ZX-7 is 'up there' or not...

My personal criteria for any deck is going to be based upon it's playback capabilities. The one thing that the ZX-7 I currently own doesn't have is playback azimuth control. This has bothered me for a while because I don't like to fiddle with the azimuth on a machine once it's properly set up; otherwise you end up fiddling with it til kingdom come :)

In my opinion, playback azimuth control is the keys to the kingdom as far as tape playback is concerned. Get the transport, heads, electronics sorted and the result will still be poor if the original recording was made or duplicated on a machine that did not have the same alignment as the playback deck.

Am I placing too much emphasis on the adjustable-azimuth aspect?

How does the ZX-7 compare with the Nak CR-7 (which does have pb azimuth control). Am I likely to experience a revelation if I were to upgrade to a CR-7, Dragon or Tandberg 3014/911?

Are there any other decks I should be considering - bearing in mind my objective is to have the best machine for playback - so two heads working in perfect harmony is just as good as three!

I'd be interested in your views :)

DSJR
29-06-2009, 20:02
I'm not going to cr@p on this one, but I liked the ZX7 a lot (can't remember what the main difference between the 7 and 9 was now).

I'm going to stick me neck out and state that the best Naks from the 682ZX onwards were all very similar for the most part. The varying azimuth only working on good tapes (pre-recorded ones that needed adjusting often beat these auto machines I found). The only machine that seemed to change for the better during its life was the Dragon, as the last ones had improved meter response and a slightly clearer sound in line with circuit developments IIRC.

The big Naks to watch were the 700ZXE/ZXL which could suffer switch problems and the 1000's which weren't always the most reliable. Once your generation of machines came along, the internals had been modernised and refined and they rarely gave trouble.

If you see a good CR7 at a reasonable price, give it a go whilst keeping the ZX7, but personally, I wouldn't go out of my way to "must have" a CR7 at any cost.....

niklasthedolphin
29-06-2009, 20:05
I've thoroughly enjoyed the recommendations on the Cassette's Not Dead (http://theartofsound.net/forum/showthread.php?t=2737) thread... but it's left me wondering if my ZX-7 is 'up there' or not...

My personal criteria for any deck is going to be based upon it's playback capabilities. The one thing that the ZX-7 I currently own doesn't have is playback azimuth control. This has bothered me for a while because I don't like to fiddle with the azimuth on a machine once it's properly set up; otherwise you end up fiddling with it til kingdom come :)

In my opinion, playback azimuth control is the keys to the kingdom as far as tape playback is concerned. Get the transport, heads, electronics sorted and the result will still be poor if the original recording was made or duplicated on a machine that did not have the same alignment as the playback deck.

Am I placing too much emphasis on the adjustable-azimuth aspect?

How does the ZX-7 compare with the Nak CR-7 (which does have pb azimuth control). Am I likely to experience a revelation if I were to upgrade to a CR-7, Dragon or Tandberg 3014/911?

Are there any other decks I should be considering - bearing in mind my objective is to have the best machine for playback - so two heads working in perfect harmony is just as good as three!

I'd be interested in your views :)


You could try to purchase one of the very few TCD 911.
It comes with playback Azimuth.
Maybe you will get a revelation, maybe not.
You won't get any better playback, though.

However, your ZX-7 is already up there in the elite.

I had some Nakamichi decks (ZX-9; CR7; Dragon) and considered them in the very top end with Revox and very close to Tandberg.

The ZX-9 is IMHO/E the best of the bunch.

What is about PB azimuth that makes you so keen on it?
Best results will come from tapes recorded and PB'ed on same deck.
With the one exception of TCD 910/911 which were build as a pair with paired electronics.

Let me know if you find a TCD 911.
:smoking::goodluck:


"dolph"


P.S.: TCD 911 is produced in ~40psc.

Beechwoods
29-06-2009, 20:20
What is about PB azimuth that makes you so keen on it?
Best results will come from tapes recorded and PB'ed on same deck.
With the one exception of TCD 910/911 which were build as a pair with paired electronics.

I play back a lot of tapes recorded on other machines, so I can't rely on the recording azimuth being correct in the first place. That's the main reason I have this penchant for variable playback azimuth!


Let me know if you find a TCD 911.
:smoking::goodluck:
P.S.: TCD 911 is produced in ~40psc.

:lol: Good Luck indeed. I'd read that the 911 was very limited production - the 3014 was based on the same basic design wasn't it? But in greater quantities - at least they were sold publicly?

Thanks for your comments Dolph!

symon
29-06-2009, 21:05
Why don't you bring your Nak round to mine and do our own mini bake-off with my ReVox. The ReVox B215 is supposed to have auto azimuth alignment, but I'm not really sure if it is true (nothing to compare against). The ReVox has a different mechanism to the Naks - direct drive versus belt driven - so it will be interesting to put the two together.
I would offer to come to yours, but the ReVox weighs a tonne and I really don't want to try and get it to you on the bus!

Beechwoods
29-06-2009, 21:21
Why don't you bring your Nak round to mine

I will! Have you got your plumbed in yet? It would definitely be an interesting comparison to do!

symon
29-06-2009, 21:30
No, it's not plumbed in to my Quads. But that's through laziness, not through any worries about difficulty of setting it up. It can be done at a moment's notice (I think).

Beechwoods
29-06-2009, 21:36
I have read some excellent reports of the B215 - Dragon territory :eyebrows: though I didn't think it had playback azimuth control... we will put it through it's paces we will!

symon
29-06-2009, 21:48
Well, it is supposed to have. I don't understand how it can. You can tell it what type of cassette it is playing and I think that is where it does it's tricksy magic. Perhaps we can work that out when we play with them. I've never heard a Nak, so it will be fun to hear both properly at the same time - and at a louder volume than you might be used to!;)

Alex Nikitin
29-06-2009, 21:53
I have read some excellent reports of the B215 - Dragon territory :eyebrows: though I didn't think it had playback azimuth control... we will put it through it's paces we will!

Revox B215 doesn't have azimuth control beyond usual screws on the head. The mechanics there is very good - one of very few "total" direct drive mechs (even the Dragon has only an idler drive to the reel tables), however the electronics is not up to the same standard, IMHO.

Alex

Beechwoods
29-06-2009, 21:59
I don't understand how it can

:eyebrows: it's magic ;) The Nakamichi Dragon had a split right channel gap, and it would monitor the two signals coming from the same (right) channel looking for phase differences. The playback head would then be adjusted to result in 0 phase misalignment. This relies on poor azimuth resulting in phase error in a mono signal. It only did this at the start of the tape or at the start of a new segment...

I don't know if there were other systems that performed auto-azimuth control in a different way.

It is highly likely, Peter, that your Revox does auto-bias correction, which doesn't require the mechanical repositioning of the head.

Damn fine machine you've got there though. You really should use it (a lot!!).

symon
29-06-2009, 22:05
Yes, I know. I'm thinking about lending it to someone who has to do a lot of cassette transfers. I'm on the verge of saying yes, but I might give the machine a proper go through proper speakers first.

Dave Cawley
15-07-2009, 09:37
Due to a change in circumstances my CR-7 is for sale!

Click here (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250465190869) to see it.

Regards

:bag:

Dave

Yiangos
16-07-2009, 07:36
My first casstte deck,was a Sony tc-something.It was the first casstte deck with solenoid controls and at the time was utterly expensive.it turned out was a piece of crap and sold it.My next 3 cassette decks (which i still have but don't work anymore) is a Teac z-7000,a nakamichi 680 and a Yamaha 1100.The Nakamichi had a natural sound but no treble,the Teac was better but had overheating problems and the Yammy was by far the best,to my ears at least.

Chris
16-07-2009, 09:16
I still have my Toshiba Aurex PCX-60AD somewhere. I remember it being touted on Hi-Fi Answers as the next best thing to a Nak so long as you adjusted the Azimuth and Dolby using tapes. Apparently the service manual was mistaken and their techoes in UK had modified the values needed. All I remember is that people always used to compliment me on the quality of my recordings but at the same time complained about the low level - maybe the analogue type vu-meters were too sensitive and that made me lower the recording level.
Happy days.

Beechwoods
24-07-2009, 21:46
Due to a change in circumstances my CR-7 is for sale!

Click here (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250465190869) to see it.

I'll be watching this keenly tomorrow lunchtime... I suspect it will end well out of my price-range. It's already pretty much passed the extent of my pockets... and deservedly so :eyebrows: :lol:

Dave Cawley
25-07-2009, 06:59
I hope to get 600, but the biding profile suggests that 400 may be the limit!

Regards

Dave

Beechwoods
25-07-2009, 07:05
I'm not so sure... http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230358096169 :)

Dave Cawley
25-07-2009, 07:14
118 watchers !!

also check out http://twitter.com/DaveCawley you can subscribe in seconds and watch with joy also http://twitter.com/David_J_Price

Regards

Dave

Beechwoods
25-07-2009, 07:36
Nothing happening here... http://twitter.com/_Beechwoods :lol:

twelvebears
25-07-2009, 07:57
Dave your machine is mint, so my money is on it reaching 800+

And even though Nick and Alex already know that cassette deck fever has well and truly grabbed hold of me, I'll have to stay away.... :(

Heady with excitement from bagging a very clean DR-2 for under 90, I'm now trawling for other bits of cassette history.

Fully accept that some will be a case of form over function, but I know I'm likely to stick with using a only one of maybe two, so happy is the others just look great and can maybe be coaxed into use with some TLC.

Got this for a song (even better if it actually works):

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230360205816

May not look much but it's a proper 3 head, dual capstan deck from 1980 so for 26 I'll be interesting to see what it's like.

Alex has kindly been tutoring me in the Way Of The Revox and preventing me from spending a mint on a poor choice. If fact, I think I'll steer clear for now.

However the shiny pics on the Vintage Knob have got me all excited about the late 70s/early 80s Pioneer CT-F series monsters. I'm sure it will mean a world of pain and disappointment, and they're probably rubbish, but one would at least LOOK great.....

Dave Cawley
25-07-2009, 08:06
Hi Nick

Well one thing we should do, like you and I have, is to "follow" our friends. This is a couple of mouse clicks, but when you log on to your home page you get all (the very short) messages!

I love it, just need more followers

http://twitter.com/DaveCawley

As you know, I have a brand new TCK81 bought by me and hardly used................

3 head, quartz lock, direct drive, and only 9.99 http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230344139959&viewitem=&salenotsupported yes I bought it!


Regards

Dave

Beechwoods
25-07-2009, 08:17
Cheers Dave - another fine purchase there. How do you do it?!

I've started a Members on Twitter thread which should get more visibility than this one - but I see you've just spotted it!

Gotta run... tweet you later ;)

Dave Cawley
25-07-2009, 08:27
[I]Like new, boxed, perfect, 3 head, quartz lock, direct drive, and only 9.99

Well, no one could be bothered to look it up, the seller included! But it is like new and has everything you could want for 9.99! http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&_rdc=1&ru=http%3A%2F%2Fshop.ebay.co.uk%3A80%2F%3F_from%3D R40%26_trksid%3Dm38%26_nkw%3D230344139959%26_fvi%3 D1&item=230344139959&viewitem=&salenotsupported

Look here http://www.vintagecassette.com/Technics/RS-B755

Also look here http://cgi.ebay.com/Technics-RS-B755-Professional--3-Heads-Cassette-Deck_W0QQitemZ280367382310QQcmdZViewItemQQimsxZ200 90706?IMSfp=TL090706135007r28522

http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/image.php?image=1006479&is_user=0

But I'm done now, I have too many, the next one is yours!

Regards

Dave

Alex Nikitin
25-07-2009, 11:03
Dave your machine is mint, so my money is on it reaching 800+

It is only 400 at the moment with 15 min left...


Got this for a song (even better if it actually works):

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230360205816

May not look much but it's a proper 3 head, dual capstan deck from 1980 so for 26 I'll be interesting to see what it's like.

It is a very nice deck, one step down from TC-K81 (which both Dave and I own) - uses the same famous Sendust-Ferrite "Independent Suspension" heads.


Cheers

Alex

twelvebears
25-07-2009, 14:11
Dave, can't believe you only got 400!

I had been fiddling with my eBay settings and last time I looked it was showing the price in USD.....

Just as well actually, if I'd see the actually price I'd have been tempted myself and I really shouldn't!

Yep I'm very pleased with the Sony, and it looks to be in great condition, so fingers crossed. Defo learn that some dedicated eBay browsing with the Vintage Cassette page open is a way to land the odd classic bargain!

Spectral Morn
25-07-2009, 17:53
410.....


Someone bagged themselves a bargain...... If I was in a job....oh Yes, she would have been mine....oh Yes indeed !

E-Bays a bit odd at the minute, stuff that should be cheap isn't and vice a versa....go figure.



Regards D S D L

Alex Nikitin
31-07-2009, 11:37
The deck on the photo arrived to my doorstep this morning and was in its time one of the most expensive cassette decks ever ($2900 MSRP) and certainly one of the most impressive. I would not call it one of the best as the sound quality of the Revox B215S is not up to its looks. However I plan to change that ;) .

Alex

Beechwoods
31-07-2009, 12:06
That does look gorgeous Alex. I'd not heard of the 215S before. It'll be interesting to see how your project pans out. I've got a Studer A710 arriving today or tomorrow. I'm looking forward to giving it a good listen...

Spectral Morn
31-07-2009, 13:39
The deck on the photo arrived to my doorstep this morning and was in its time one of the most expensive cassette decks ever ($2900 MSRP) and certainly one of the most impressive. I would not call it one of the best as the sound quality of the Revox B215S is not up to its looks. However I plan to change that ;) .

Alex


Hi Alex


I had one of those on loan along with the matching tuner (which I bought) I compared it at the time 20 years ago to my Nak CR5e and to my ears the Nak was more open and detailed the Revox was too warm (If I remember right, it was only going to cost me about 250 + 50 with the remote. I couldn,t afford it and the tuner at the same time). Its possible it wasn't 100% though (I know a lot more about these things now) I did have the opportunity to buy the remote which worked the Tuner. I didn't, instead I programmed the codes into a learning remote which sadly I dropped a few years ago :doh:

It was a nice machine though, and I do think about it from time to time and wonder how it would fair now. I know who bought it, but I doubt if he still has it. I like the look of it.



Regards D S D L

twelvebears
31-07-2009, 14:47
Hi Alex.

Looks fantastic, but on your 'out of ten' scale, how does it rate against your Aiwa XK-S7000?

Oh and for the other folks here, I can vouch that the XK-S7000 is the best deck I've heard so far and comfortably beat my DR-2, even after Alex had tuned it!

Alex Nikitin
31-07-2009, 15:14
Hi Alex.

Looks fantastic, but on your 'out of ten' scale, how does it rate against your Aiwa XK-S7000?

Playback on B215-S is not as good as on your Nak DR2, what else do I need to say? Without a serious modification this deck is just a nice looking toy, like so many other "top of the range" decks out there - Teac V-8030S for instance, or Technics RS-B965.

BTW, did you try the XK-S7000 yet? One more hidden treasure in there is an internal multibit DAC which can put to shame many expensive CD players, especially if the output filter opamp is replaced for something decent ;) .

Alex

Beechwoods
31-07-2009, 15:35
I knew I should have put a cheeky bid in on that Aiwa ;)

twelvebears
31-07-2009, 15:55
Playback on B215-S is not as good as on your Nak DR2, what else do I need to say? Without a serious modification this deck is just a nice looking toy, like so many other "top of the range" decks out there - Teac V-8030S for instance, or Technics RS-B965.

BTW, did you try the XK-S7000 yet? One more hidden treasure in there is an internal multibit DAC which can put to shame many expensive CD players, especially if the output filter opamp is replaced for something decent ;) .

Alex

Hi Alex.

Nothing really, that says it all, especially as I know where my Nak sits relative to the XK-S7000, really can't thank you enough for that little revelation.

Actually I'm thinking of dubbing you 'Dr Deck' from now on.... ;)

I've not tried it yet, but I will do at some point this weekend. I've ordered the service parts you suggested by the way.

So is swapping the opamp easy?

twelvebears
31-07-2009, 15:58
I knew I should have put a cheeky bid in on that Aiwa ;)

Well it would have had to have been more than a cheeky one, because after Alex's demo on Monday, I wasn't going to let it go without a fight.

I might have GOT it for 74, but that sure wasn't as high as I was prepared to go. :eyebrows:

Beechwoods
31-07-2009, 16:05
:D

Spectral Morn
31-07-2009, 16:09
I saw that Aiwa, but having sold them years ago and seeing the returns at the time and all the B, C, D, E grade stock.... I wasn't brave enough. Anyway R to R is my thing now.................mostly;):)

Regards D S D L

twelvebears
31-07-2009, 16:20
I saw that Aiwa, but having sold them years ago and seeing the returns at the time and all the B, C, D, E grade stock.... I wasn't brave enough. Anyway R to R is my thing now.................mostly;):)

Regards D S D L

Interesting you say that because Alex was very complementary about the quality of the internals and from the evidence, I'd say he's seen the inside of more types of different decks that anyone I could possibly think of....

I know what you mean though. I worked in Sevenoaks Hi-Fi as a Saturday job (trade discount, toys to play with and I actually loved getting to properly match customers up with kit that really worked for them rather than the company) for several years in the late 80s/early 90s and it was amazing how you'd get loads of particular bits of kit back for certain periods. But then you'd meet someone who had the same thing for years and swore it was as tough as old boots....

Makes you wonder if manufacturers go through bad patches?

Alex Nikitin
31-07-2009, 16:40
But then you'd meet someone who had the same thing for years and swore it was as tough as old boots....

What I would say about Aiwa XK-S7000 is that it would take a lot of abuse and still be serviceable after that. And given a proper service it would perform almost as good as new, unless the head is completely worn out. The mechanics on that Aiwa is one of the best made for a tape deck. The same/similar mechanism was used in Aiwa XK-007, XK-009, XK-S9000 and on some of Aiwa's lesser 3 head closed loop dual capstan decks. Weak bits on all Aiwa decks are belts and idlers, however these are easily replaced and available.

Alex

Spectral Morn
31-07-2009, 16:42
Interesting you say that because Alex was very complementary about the quality of the internals and from the evidence, I'd say he's seen the inside of more types of different decks that anyone I could possibly think of....

I know what you mean though. I worked in Sevenoaks Hi-Fi as a Saturday job (trade discount, toys to play with and I actually loved getting to properly match customers up with kit that really worked for them rather than the company) for several years in the late 80s/early 90s and it was amazing how you'd get loads of particular bits of kit back for certain periods. But then you'd meet someone who had the same thing for years and swore it was as tough as old boots....

Makes you wonder if manufacturers go through bad patches?

It was Aiwa cassette decks in general not the one you won (I have no experience of it/them). However the rest in the late 80's to mid 90's were mostly unreliable. Akai was IMHO/E better at the same time. I can't remember us getting any of those back faulty, but Aiwa run for the hills. The amount of B grade and lower graded decks available was truly scary. They all got good write ups and the 007 and 009 were great but for similar doe the Akai GX machines or Naks is where I steered customers and myself. Nothing worse than having well regarded crap to sell.....and suffering the "You said it was good looks" when it went wrong. I didn't work that way personally (other staff didn't care). I wish you the best with your Aiwa for 74 you have scored yourself a bargain. My past experience of Aiwa put me off.



Regards D S D L

Alex Nikitin
31-07-2009, 16:56
IMy past experience of Aiwa put me off.


My experience with cheaper Aiwa decks is quite similar to yours and I would not touch them. However the top of the range machines are something quite special if set up properly. I suspect that whoever designed them was not completely deaf (as apparently was the case with many other Japanese brands) ;) .

Alex

Spectral Morn
31-07-2009, 17:03
My experience with cheaper Aiwa decks is quite similar to yours and I would not touch them. However the top of the range machines are something quite special if set up properly. I suspect that whoever designed them was not completely deaf (as apparently was the case with many other Japanese brands) ;) .

Alex

I agree the 007 and 009 were very good, but they went faulty too. The cheaper Aiwas were crap IMHO/E. At the time the two worst brands we dealt with were Aiwa and Philips later to be followed by Micromega stage series cdp oh boy they redefined the word faultyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.


Regards D S D L

Beechwoods
03-08-2009, 22:12
I took receipt of a Studer A710 today - plugged it in and :stalks: :stalks: it sounds amazing! Tried a couple of pre-rec tapes and they sound great, but a DAT> Maxell XL-II of a band I used to help out with in the early 90's sounds just fantastic. And build-quality? It weighs a ton! And the transport is quiet as anything... I need to do a head to head vs my ZX-7. Hopefully I'll get the chance on the weekend to crank it all up a bit.

I'll also try and get some updated pictures for my Gallery post... :)

symon
03-08-2009, 22:14
Nice. Glad it worked out and sounds great. Looking forward to some pics.

jandl100
06-08-2009, 06:18
Advice required.
Moved to a separate thread. :)

TheMooN
10-08-2009, 09:27
I took receipt of a Studer A710 today - plugged it in and :stalks: :stalks: it sounds amazing! Tried a couple of pre-rec tapes and they sound great, but a DAT> Maxell XL-II of a band I used to help out with in the early 90's sounds just fantastic. And build-quality? It weighs a ton! And the transport is quiet as anything... I need to do a head to head vs my ZX-7. Hopefully I'll get the chance on the weekend to crank it all up a bit.

I'll also try and get some updated pictures for my Gallery post... :)

Did you manage to find time for your proposed shootout Nick ?

Jason P
11-08-2009, 21:20
Apropos nothing, save for the mention of Aiwa - I had an Aiwa walkman. It had a 3-band EQ on the front, and fed with TDK SAs or Thats chrome tape, with a pair of Sennheiser headphones, it sounded bloody wonderful!! I was amazed at the quality of the playback considering it cost all of 50.

Must dig out my Pro Walkman (WMD6) and see if it still works. Must also test the Denon DRM 44HX I got the other day... nice looking deck, but dunno much else about it.

Jason

Beechwoods
11-08-2009, 21:42
Must dig out my Pro Walkman (WMD6) and see if it still works. Must also test the Denon DRM 44HX I got the other day... nice looking deck, but dunno much else about it.

Ooh do do that. The WMD6 was a nice machine, albeit the batteries meant it could be a bit flaky on speed stability... give it a mains feed and it could better a lot of standalone decks.


Did you manage to find time for your proposed shootout Nick ?

I did. At least a bit of time. I need to do some more listening and to a greater variety of tapes. My initial impression is that the Nak is more analytical and the Studer slightly warmer - a tad less at the top but a richer bottom-end. If I were doing a blind test I'd say the A710 sounded more pleasing, due to that fuller low-end but I think the Nak is probably more faithful to the signal on the tape. I've not tried recording on it yet. I am extremely pleased I got it, and think it compliments the Nak more than detracts or betters...

Following Alex's example I purchased an extremely cheap Technics RS-M85 which may need some work to bring up to full performance. It's only a two-head deck, but I'm interested in playback more than record, so another interesting time ahead!

Beechwoods
14-08-2009, 19:19
I've had a chance to spend some time with my new acquisition now and that early assessment is still about right. Given the absolutely rock-solid transport, and speed stability of the Studer, I'm pretty sure its working within spec. My only other finding is that the Studer 'does' hiss in a slightly different way to the Nak - more broadband. I know that if it were my only deck I would be very pleased, but the Nak does have the edge, albeit slight. Pound per sound though I think the Studer is an extremely good purchase. I paid 220 for my Studer, and I consider that great value.

Alex Nikitin
14-08-2009, 22:22
I've had a chance to spend some time with my new acquisition now and that early assessment is still about right. Given the absolutely rock-solid transport, and speed stability of the Studer, I'm pretty sure its working within spec. My only other finding is that the Studer 'does' hiss in a slightly different way to the Nak - more broadband. I know that if it were my only deck I would be very pleased, but the Nak does have the edge, albeit slight. Pound per sound though I think the Studer is an extremely good purchase. I paid 220 for my Studer, and I consider that great value.

Hi Nick,

I thought that I would answer here and not on the Tapeheads forum as it is a bit off-topic there.

The most important feature in a deck playback performance for me is a raw resolution - how much of the ambience of a recording is resolved. On a good recording it could show itself as a proper projection of space, including depth and hight. On a lesser deck the sonic picture is flatter, less natural, sounds more as a recording. Instruments are less "real".

My top (sonically) deck at the moment - Aiwa XK-S7000 is very good in this respect. Out of all my collection so far only a recently acquired Nakamichi Cassette Deck 1 (quite surprisingly) comes close to the 7000 and Technics RS-M88 and RS-M85 are not far behind. If I would make a scale from 1 to 10 in playback quality terms and take the Aiwa XK-S7000 performance for 10, some of my decks I've listened to recently will be marked by me as follows:
Nak CD1 would make 9,
Technics RS-M88/85 about 8.5 ,
followed by Sony TC-K75 with 8,
Aiwa AD-WX999, Sony TC-K81, TC-K555, TC-K555ESII, Denon DR-M44HX, Nak BX-300 and CD1.5, Hitachi D-909, Akai CS-M02 will share 6 to 7 and modified Revox B215 will make it to the same mark.
Unmodified it is roughly on 5, together with Aiwa AD-F910, Akai GX-6, Sony TC-K677ES.

That is strictly my personal and subjective opinion ;) . I can add that all decks were serviced and aligned before listening and while some difference in the sound quality could be attributed to variances in a tonal balance as a result of different playback responses, the quality I am looking for is not directly affected by this and usually clear despite these variations.

Cheers

Alex

StanleyB
14-08-2009, 22:43
I was lucky enough to work for a comapny that sold a nice range of equipment, including some great cassette decks. Anyone remebers Lasky's.
My top decks, bought with my staff discounts were:
Aiwa AD=6900MKII
Hitachi D-5500M
Pioneer CT-90R

The Pioneer was particularly impressive and I always rated it above the Nakamichi Dragon.

Beechwoods
14-08-2009, 22:54
I thought that I would answer here and not on the Tapeheads forum as it is a bit off-topic there.

One of these days I will get to hear a fully taken-care of XK-S7000 :) Thanks for your response, and bringing it here too. I need to take some time with my Techie M85. I'm not getting what I believe it can do out of it. While it works OK, it's veiled vs my other decks, And more specifically the speed is a bit fluttery. I'd imagine this is where sorting the flywheel comes in, and replacing the caps :)

It's difficult to compare decks - the decks I've experienced so far are different to those you have and I suspect that the Revox B215 and Studer A710 don't necessarily compare. Just as the Nak ZX-7 and Cassette Deck 1 may not... until we manage to get a bunch of decent deck in the same room it'll remain a matter for subjectivity and personal experience :doh: it won't stop us seeking audio nirvana though will it? :)

Cheers!

Alex Nikitin
14-08-2009, 23:29
One of these days I will get to hear a fully taken-care of XK-S7000 :) Thanks for your response, and bringing it here too. I need to take some time with my Techie M85. I'm not getting what I believe it can do out of it. While it works OK, it's veiled vs my other decks, And more specifically the speed is a bit fluttery. I'd imagine this is where sorting the flywheel comes in, and replacing the caps :)

It's difficult to compare decks - the decks I've experienced so far are different to those you have and I suspect that the Revox B215 and Studer A710 don't necessarily compare. Just as the Nak ZX-7 and Cassette Deck 1 may not... until we manage to get a bunch of decent deck in the same room it'll remain a matter for subjectivity and personal experience :doh: it won't stop us seeking audio nirvana though will it? :)

Cheers!

Nick,

It looks like your RS-M85 has got a trouble with the mech. On my 85/88 the W&F is very low - probably in the area of 0.07% DIN. It is very likely that an idler tyre causing it, or the DD motor itself. I had to clean the tyre and roughen it with a bit of sandpaper to get it to work properly on my units. It is not that difficult to get to - just remove the screen behind the tape compartment (4 small screws) and there it is. It is possible to remove the idler without much further disassembling. Also my Technics RS-M88/85 decks took some time to run in - probably they weren't powered for quite a while. You also need to clean all the signal switches, especially the record switch inside with a contact cleaner spray. That is probably a minimum requirement ;) .

Cheers

Alex

David Price
14-08-2009, 23:53
I have to say that this is all a bit academic, as we can't rewind to 1979 (or whenever) and buy new factory-fresh perfectly set up examples, tragically!

A Nak CR-7 is still a very good bet, simply because Bowers & Wilkins in the UK have lots of parts to rebuild them with, and all the perishable rubber bits upon which the deck's performance depends. They also have all the set-up manuals etc. so they can get them very close to 'new' again. They're about the only people who can offer this service in the UK for cassette decks, when you take into account a large supply of New Old Stock factory replacement parts.

I've found the CR-7 (B&W rebuilt at a cost of 250) to be one of the very best decks around. A couple of Sony direct drives had better transports but worse heads. The CR-7's only issue is the rather dry sounding record/replay electronics. Methinks Alex or Dave could give one of those a very nice work over with Black Gates, et al. Would love to hear one fettled like this one day...

Dave Cawley
15-08-2009, 07:06
I sold my CR7, just didn't like it, but it wasn't a good one anyway, been around the block... . But how about a Revox B-215, new and different sendust head and a completely new set of electronics on new PCB's. Simply the very ultimate? P.O.A..

Regards

Dave

Spectral Morn
15-08-2009, 07:25
I sold my CR7, just didn't like it, but it wasn't a good one anyway, been around the block... . But how about a Revox B-215, new and different sendust head and a completely new set of electronics on new PCB's. Simply the very ultimate? P.O.A..

Regards

Dave

I think I spotted your Cr7 on E-bay a week or so ago. Same model etc American spec. Seller did not show the back of it (no visible serial number). Asking WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY more than he got it from you...assuming it is the same one.


Regards D S D L

Beechwoods
15-08-2009, 07:37
Neil - I think it was a different one - it had a remote, I don't remember Dave mentioning a remote :scratch:

Spectral Morn
15-08-2009, 17:16
Neil - I think it was a different one - it had a remote, I don't remember Dave mentioning a remote :scratch:

You could be right.


Regards D S D L

Alex Nikitin
19-08-2009, 00:51
Today I found few minutes to record a couple of fragments from a good quality pre-recorded cassette played back on my Revox B215-S, first in its original configuration (http://www.ant-audio.co.uk/Tape_Recording/RevoxB215S/Original_B215S.zip) (4000 series chips installed) and second in a modified state (http://www.ant-audio.co.uk/Tape_Recording/RevoxB215S/Modified_B215S.zip) (74HC series chips installed). Each file is a WAV 96 kHz 24 bit, 1 min 17 sec long - zipped and 42 Mb in size. No other changes were made to the deck. For a reference the third file (http://www.ant-audio.co.uk/Tape_Recording/RevoxB215S/Nak_Cassette_Deck_1.zip) is of the same fragment played on Nakamichi Cassette Deck 1. I had to increase the volume on the last file by 3 dB in CoolEdit 2000 so the volume would match files from the Revox. No other processing was done on recorded files.

Alex

TheMooN
19-08-2009, 10:07
Looks most Interesting Alex ~ Now if I could only find out which chuffin codex is missing I might be able to hear something :doh:

Alex Nikitin
19-08-2009, 10:19
Looks most Interesting Alex ~ Now if I could only find out which chuffin codex is missing I might be able to hear something :doh:

The files are plain WAVs and should not require a codec. However your soundcard needs to be capable of 96 kHz 24 bit to play these files. Edited out - Audacity playback quality is not good enough...

Cheers

Alex

TheMooN
19-08-2009, 10:33
Ahhh !!! That will be my Philips Acoustic Edge wheezing away at 48KHz then Thanks for the heads up re Audacity Alex :)

Alex Nikitin
19-08-2009, 10:49
Ahhh !!! That will be my Philips Acoustic Edge wheezing away at 48KHz then Thanks for the heads up re Audacity Alex :)

I will edit my comment above about Audacity. I've downloaded it, tried to play back my files with it and the quality of the sound is not good. When I am listening through my CoolEdit 2000 the sound quality is much better. I may need to investigate it further (as I do own commercial CoolEdit I've never tried the Audacity before). On Audacity the quality is poor and I can not readily hear the difference between files :doh: . Sorry. On my machine Windows Media Player also refuses to play 96 kHz 24 bit... .

Alex

Alex Nikitin
20-08-2009, 18:37
A bit more about the Audacity - the playback of 24-bit files is limited to 16 bits only. And in 16 bits you can not hear the difference between decks!

:doh:

Alex

Beechwoods
20-08-2009, 18:44
If you have a Mac then Cog is a great music player. Just make sure your Audio Midi settings are set to the right word length and bit rate, or it'll resample without you realising. And I should say that I don't know about more recent Macs, but by 1st Gen Dual G5's soundcard won't go above 24/48 so this little lot's being copied to CF card for playback on my Tascam HD-P2 :doh:

DSJR
20-08-2009, 18:46
A bit more about the Audacity - the playback of 24-bit files is limited to 16 bits only. And in 16 bits you can not hear the difference between decks!

:doh:

Alex

We're only talking about differences in the noise floor aren't we? I mean, 96db is at least 30db better than any cassette decks can manage...

Must be something else..

Beechwoods
20-08-2009, 20:18
You can hear it in the wire brushes, the air around the instruments, and the acoustic bass in particular. There's definitely more depth and openness around the modified machine. And you're right that it's pretty imperceptible when resampled.

The Nak does sound limp by comparison, and more low-level 'fizzy' noise in the background. My ZX-7 is more like your Revox in terms of noise.

Lovely recordings. With sound like that you just want to keep listening! Nice choice of music too :)

Alex Nikitin
20-08-2009, 20:41
We're only talking about differences in the noise floor aren't we? I mean, 96db is at least 30db better than any cassette decks can manage...

Must be something else..

That is a common misconception, and my files show very clearly that 16 bit is just not at all enough for even a medium quality cassette recording. It has nothing to do with the noise level and everything - with the ambience and resolution. More than 16 bits means more precision on all levels, not just a lower noise ;) . Same goes for 44.1 kHz sample rate - 88.2 or 96 kHz is much better.

Alex

Alex Nikitin
25-08-2009, 00:29
Here are two more files with the same bit of jazz (42 Mb each, 96 kHz 24 bit):

First (http://www.ant-audio.co.uk/Tape_Recording/Sony/TCK677ES/TCK677ES_Original.zip) - playback on unmodified Sony TC-K677ES

Second (http://www.ant-audio.co.uk/Tape_Recording/Sony/TCK677ES/TCK677ES_Modified.zip) - the same deck after I've took out the infamous 4066 CMOS switch and replaced it with an alternative of much better quality.

I now suspect an industry-wide conspiracy to reduce the quality of cassette decks in 1990-s. Almost every deck from that time was equipped with 4066 in the signal path and sounded just like a crappy CD-player. That looks to me as a deliberate act of sabotage :steam: . Anyway, now I know how to treat this CMOS syndrome...

:smoking:

Alex

Tolstoi
27-08-2009, 05:07
Hi,
a friend of mine has a big Sony machine I believe it's from the late eighties with those wooden side panels. Can't remember the model name. Quite heavy machine. After years of analogue abstinence I heard that tape deck and my jaw really dropped down immediately. What a great sound.

Cheers

Joerg

Alex Nikitin
01-10-2009, 17:15
I am slowly combining the list of top cassette decks and other equipment, affected by the "4066" disease. Here is a list so far:

4066 chips (or equivalents) are found in the signal path of (the list by all means is not complete):

Nakamichi - Dragon :doh: , 680, 680ZX, 700ZXL, 1000ZXL, Revox B215, A710, A721, Hitachi DE99, Akai GX-65/75/95 mkII, Technics RS-B965, Tascam 122mkII/mkIII, 112mkII, Teac V6030S/8030S, Aiwa AD-F910 (XK-5000), AD-S950, XK-007/009, lots of otherwise good Sony decks - TC-K677ES, TC-K670ES, TC-K870ES etc. etc. Many very respected preamps and receivers are also affected - from Quad to Nakamichi .

Here (http://www.ant-audio.co.uk/4066/ANT4066_preliminary_datasheet_1a.pdf) is a preliminary data on my replacement for 4066 chip and its versions - ANT4066 .

Alex

Barry
01-10-2009, 17:43
I am slowly combining the list of top cassette decks and other equipment, affected by the "4066" disease. Here is a list so far:

4066 chips (or equivalents) are found in the signal path of (the list by all means is not complete):
.....

Many very respected preamps and receivers are also affected - from Quad to Nakamichi .

Here (http://www.ant-audio.co.uk/4066/ANT4066_preliminary_datasheet_1a.pdf) is a preliminary data on my replacement for 4066 chip and its versions - ANT4066 .

Alex

Alex,

What is the problem with 4066 chips?

Thanks

StanleyB
01-10-2009, 18:26
Alex,

What is the problem with 4066 chips?

Thanks
ON resistance and leakage. There are a couple of pin for pin substitutes that have a better performance, but they also cost a lot more.

Themis
01-10-2009, 19:01
My Naka LX-3 is not on the list... fortunately. ;)

Alex Nikitin
01-10-2009, 20:14
Alex,

What is the problem with 4066 chips?

Thanks

Hi Barry,

Non-linearity of the resistance (resulting in high distortion and extended distortion spectrum), and non-linearity of the capacitance also affects the signal in high-impedance/high frequency areas. Look at the data on ANT4066 (http://www.ant-audio.co.uk/4066/ANT4066_preliminary_datasheet_1a.pdf) and you'll see how non-linear the resistance of the original 4066 switch is. In audio applications leakages are not usually that important.

In my experience removing 4066 from the signal path clears the sound a lot. In any case, it is easy to try and compare the result.

Cheers

Alex

Alex Nikitin
01-10-2009, 20:18
My Naka LX-3 is not on the list... fortunately. ;)

Yes, LX-3 is a nice exception with purely mechanical switching. Just keep these switches clean with a drop of a contact cleaning spray ;) .

Alex

pure sound
01-10-2009, 20:33
Alex. Did you ever come across the ASC cassette decks from Germany? I remember seeing them at shows over there & admiring the operation of the 'industrial grade' papst mechanism they used. In those days when I used cassette, they rather than the Nakamichi's were my holy grail.

http://www.vintagecassette.com/ASC/AS_3001

Alex Nikitin
01-10-2009, 20:48
Alex. Did you ever come across the ASC cassette decks from Germany? I remember seeing them at shows over there & admiring the operation of the 'industrial grade' papst mechanism they used. In those days when I used cassette, they rather than the Nakamichi's were my holy grail.

http://www.vintagecassette.com/ASC/AS_3001

Looks like a nice deck. Unfortunately I've never seen one - may be one day I will :) .

Alex

pure sound
01-10-2009, 20:52
I just looked on german ebay. They appear to hold their value pretty well!

http://cgi.ebay.de/ASC-AS-3001-Referenz-Tapedeck-Studio-Version-Near-MINT_W0QQitemZ180412718457QQcmdZViewItemQQptZKasse tten_MD_Decks?hash=item2a016f9d79&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh107/pure_sound/asc3001.jpg

You can see the cast alloy chassis of the Papst mechanism at the front left. Its all very substantially built, I think mainly for studio use. Output transformers back right!

DSJR
01-10-2009, 20:54
I was going to say, are there any LX-3's and 5's still running? Good machines if they still are, but watch playback eq as it dips where others rise...

StanleyB
02-10-2009, 07:52
In audio applications leakages are not usually that important.
:scratch:. ...:)..

Alex Nikitin
02-10-2009, 08:03
:scratch:. ...:)..

DC leakage in 4066 (and ANT4066) could be on the level of few nA. It is not usually a problem in audio with load resistances from 10 to 1000K, at line level voltages of few hundreds of mV.

Alex

Alex Nikitin
02-10-2009, 14:17
One more "statement" deck is added to the list of affected by "4066 disease" - EUMIG FL-1000uP. (http://www.vintagecassette.com/Eumig/FL-1000uP/docs)

Alex

Alex Nikitin
20-10-2009, 13:50
Some time ago I did a full service and modification on Dave's Technics RS-B965 deck. In its original form it did sound quite horrible, even in a monitor mode - the signal was mutilated even before it was recorded. The playback was not much better. I had to remove 6 muting transistors from the line inputs of this deck and replace all 5 (five!) 4066 chips with ANT4066. The result is very good - excellent, in fact. The deck is now can easily compete with the very best, both in recording and in playback modes. It has a very good mechanics (closed loop dual capstans, quartz controlled direct drive), plenty of features, including dbx NR, discrete PB and REC amps etc. etc. And all this was completely wasted because of a few ICs and transistors! I also tried MM74HC4066 chips as a replacement for 4066, and these are better but not as good as ANT4066. You can listen to the results, if you wish: I've uploaded 3 files of RS-B965 playing back the same tape but using different chips for switching:

Original MN4066B (http://rapidshare.com/files/294016050/RSB965_MN4066B.zip),

Fairchild MM74HC4066N (http://rapidshare.com/files/294016910/RSB965_MM74HC4066N.zip)

ANT4066A (http://rapidshare.com/files/294017828/RSB965_ANT4066A.zip)

All files are zipped WAV 96 kHz 24 bit, about 42 Mb each.

Alex

Rare Bird
20-10-2009, 14:49
Anyone meantioned this Nak beater:

http://www.real-audio.ru/measurements/shop/sold/deck/tcd-3004.jpg

anthonyTD
20-10-2009, 16:53
One more "statement" deck is added to the list of affected by "4066 disease" - EUMIG FL-1000uP. (http://www.vintagecassette.com/Eumig/FL-1000uP/docs)

Alex
hi alex,
i have one of these machines, it came to me for repair about ten years ago, unfortunetly there was damage to one of the long and quite complicated ALPS switches, so it never got repaired and the customer never wanted it back.
it still plays tapes fine, just cant record, shame as its a real master piece of engineering.
regards,anthony,TD...

Beechwoods
20-10-2009, 18:46
Anthony, if you ever get to thinking of moving that machine on, let me know. I'd be seriously interested in it as a playback-only deck :)

anthonyTD
20-10-2009, 19:22
Anthony, if you ever get to thinking of moving that machine on, let me know. I'd be seriously interested in it as a playback-only deck :)
hi nick,
no worries,;) i also have a neal tape deck which was also a good one in its day!
A...

Beechwoods
20-10-2009, 19:24
I remember you mentioning that Neal deck when we were at Scalford. Neal (or NEAL) - North East Audio Limited - were an offshoot of Ferrograph IIRC. Which model was it that you've got? They made some nice looking decks, IMO. They also made decks for the police - as a kid I remember becoming aware of Neal tape recorders off 'Juliet Bravo'!

anthonyTD
20-10-2009, 19:52
I remember you mentioning that Neal deck when we were at Scalford. Neal (or NEAL) - North East Audio Limited - were an offshoot of Ferrograph IIRC. Which model was it that you've got? They made some nice looking decks, IMO. They also made decks for the police - as a kid I remember becoming aware of Neal tape recorders off 'Juliet Bravo'!
hi nick,
yes neal tape decks were often recognised in police interview rooms, ie, the bill, etc!:eyebrows:
i cant remember the model as its down a mates house at the mo,but i seem to remember telling you it was your's if you wanted it!:confused:
A...

Beechwoods
20-10-2009, 20:32
You did! I didn't want to appear greedy, 'cos we'd only just met, but on reflection... :eyebrows: :lol: I've had a bit of a reorganisation and have a bit of spare shelf space that could just accommodate another nice deck ;) Obviously there's no rush, especially if your mate is getting good use out of it, but it would be cool to sort something out, seeing as your offer still stands! Thanks Anthony :)

anthonyTD
21-10-2009, 18:09
You did! I didn't want to appear greedy, 'cos we'd only just met, but on reflection... :eyebrows: :lol: I've had a bit of a reorganisation and have a bit of spare shelf space that could just accommodate another nice deck ;) Obviously there's no rush, especially if your mate is getting good use out of it, but it would be cool to sort something out, seeing as your offer still stands! Thanks Anthony :)
hi nick,
of course, i am not the kind to go back on my word!;)
the next time i visit my mate i will pick it up and keep it for you untill either we meet up again, or whatever.
regards,anthony,TD...

Beechwoods
21-10-2009, 18:53
Thanks Anthony!

Alex Nikitin
15-12-2009, 13:14
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/music-news/6803099/Audio-cassettes-make-comeback.html

:)

Alex

anthonyTD
15-12-2009, 13:22
interesting!:)

Kris
15-12-2009, 14:34
My worry with these new pre-recorded cassettes is the quality. I suppose none of the 1:1 real time cassette duplicating facilities exist anymore. I saw a picture of one once. Racks upon racks of Naks, all with wired remote start. Amazing.

snapper
15-12-2009, 15:21
Loved this quote:


Ian Brown, from Island Records, said "Many of our customers are over 85 and a lot won't even have upgraded to CDs, let alone mp3s




:laugh:

Marco
15-12-2009, 15:52
Haha... Quite bloody right!

If I reach 85, I doubt I'll have "upgraded" to MP3s either, or whatever other inferior pish is invented by the 'audio technology marketing machine' by then... :mental: :eyebrows:

Long live the cassette tape!!

Although, these days buy original blank NOS tapes on Ebay, as modern examples are crap in comparison. If anyone has done the comparison, the difference in sound quality is night and day!

Obviously, tape formulation materials and methods aren't what they use to be when cassettes were in their heyday... One can draw the same parallels with valves, and even a lot of hi-fi equipment. Is there a message here, I wonder? ;)

My current favourite for the CR-7 is TDK SA60 and SA90, 1987 vintage :)

Marco.

Rare Bird
15-12-2009, 16:15
If you machine can survive both sides of a D120 without winding it up it's ok :lol:

Kris
15-12-2009, 16:28
Long live the cassette tape!!

Although, these days buy original blank NOS tapes on Ebay, as modern examples are crap in comparison. If anyone has done the comparison, the difference in sound quality is night and day!

Obviously, tape formulation materials and methods aren't what they use to be when cassettes were in their heyday... One can draw the same parallels with valves, and even a lot of hi-fi equipment. Is there a message here, I wonder? ;)

My current favourite for the CR-7 is TDK SA60 and SA90, 1987 vintage :)

Marco.

Long live any tape!


!! Although, these days buy original blank NOS tapes on Ebay, as modern examples are crap in comparison. If anyone has done the comparison, the difference in sound quality is night and day!

What even the BASF and Quantegy?

http://www.stanleysonline.co.uk/category-53.htm

Marco
15-12-2009, 16:29
OMG, 120 min tapes - whoever invented them should've been shot! :doh: :eyebrows:

I like to try and get away with C-60s, if I can manage to squeeze an album onto one.

Marco.

Rare Bird
15-12-2009, 16:39
You see this Tandberg Cassette deck, i bought that nearly 28 years ago second hand, i gave it my mate about 10 years ago, he listerns to it on a regular basis with the aid of your truly, never ever broke down & to boot sound better than his CD player..

Sorry for the poor pic his camera is really rubbish :lol:

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a222/LIVING-SIN/TCD3002.jpg

The first cassette deck Tandberg ever made if i remember.

Marco
15-12-2009, 16:42
What even the BASF and Quantegy?

http://www.stanleysonline.co.uk/category-53.htm


Interesting link, Kris :)

I've never tried Quantegy. But looking at the brands I've tried on that site, I'm pretty sure that the NOS 1987 TDK SA90s I use (I bought loads on Ebay and stockpiled them) would outperform them. Much depends of course on how a cassette deck's heads are factory set (i.e. which brand of tape the deck has been 'voiced' with), as manual bias adjustment afterwards can only achieve so much.

I also use mid-80s NOS BASF Chromdioxid Maxima IIs and Maxell UD XL-IIs, which are also fantastic, along with some original NOS Nakamichi branded tapes.

From approx 1983-1987 is when I feel that the quality of blank cassette tape was at its ultimate best. Some of the late 70s stuff was also good, but things went downhill bigtime, IMO, after the late 1980s.

Marco.

Rare Bird
15-12-2009, 16:44
Quantegy?



Kris i find those Quantegy open rel tape tapes are not as good as the original Ampex versions..456 was great all round tape..

DSJR
15-12-2009, 16:50
Until the air moisture got the the adhesives IIRC

Kris
15-12-2009, 16:57
Until the air moisture got the the adhesives IIRC

I had a couple of tapes that needed baking. I stuck them in the airing cupboard for a week or two. Played ok after that, not too much shedding. ( I hand wound them slowly before playing).

Themis
15-12-2009, 17:04
But looking at the brands I've tried on that site, I'm pretty sure that the NOS 1987 TDK SA90s I use (I bought loads on Ebay and stockpiled them) would outperform them.
When I was in Greece, we made tests between 1975 and 1983 :
All tapes existing were tested, and best tapes (S/N, THD, IMD, FR) were TDK AD (1st), TDK SA and Technics RT-XA ex-aequo (2nd).
Interestingly enough, TDK AD was best without Dolby.

Don't have the printed issue(s) anymore, but I can try to find them, if you're interested.

Marco
15-12-2009, 17:22
That would be interesting, Dimitri. I'm curious too of which vintages of tapes you considered the best amongst the examples from '75 to '83 :)

I agree that in general TDK were always the most consistent, but I also have a soft spot for some BASF and Scotch.

Marco.

Alex Nikitin
15-12-2009, 17:31
That would be interesting, Dimitri. I'm curious too of which vintages of tapes you considered the best amongst the examples from '75 to '83 :)

I agree that in general TDK were always the most consistent, but I also have a soft spot for some BASF and Scotch.

Marco.

Marco,

have a look here. (http://www.analogaudio.narod.ru/mag/review.htm#tapes)

Cheers

Alex

Rare Bird
15-12-2009, 17:33
Marco
The below are the ones i prefered with this design label

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a222/LIVING-SIN/SA2.jpg

These MA-R diecast jobbies here at the bottom were the best constructed tapes eva, totally silent in winding..If i remember i used to pay near on a fiver each for them from Moorgate Acoustic back then

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a222/LIVING-SIN/MAR.jpg

Themis
15-12-2009, 17:33
BASF Chrome and Ferrochrome were always too noisy imho (very poor S/N) and not robust enough for everyday use. Let alone the normal tapes like LH or other "ferro super"...

Scotch (3M) were better, but far from the TDKs. The best Scotch was the Superferric model. They were not very robust either.

Marco
15-12-2009, 17:51
BASF Chrome and Ferrochrome were always too noisy imho (very poor S/N) and not robust enough for everyday use.


Possibly, but I liked them (still like them) because they give recordings a nice 'tone', which is quite important to me :)

I find them more than robust enough for my usage.

Marco.

Themis
15-12-2009, 17:59
Possibly, but I liked them (still like them) because they give recordings a nice 'tone', which is quite important to me :)

I find them more than robust enough for my usage.

Marco.
Well, all tapes are "robust enough" if you're VERY careful... :eyebrows:

But, only a few tapes could stay in a car at summertime without problems. I was young and careless, my cassettes had to be like my girlfriend : not fussy. :lol:

Yes, BASF have a nice "distinguish" tonality, especially without Dolby.
I understand you may like it. ;)

Marco
15-12-2009, 18:16
But, only a few tapes could stay in a car at summertime without problems. I was young and careless, my cassettes had to be like my girlfriend : not fussy. :lol:


The latter bit I can relate to, given the suspension-testing 'extracurricular activities' which sometimes took place inside cars I've owned ;)

However, in terms of your summertime comment, no. I was in Scotland and you were in Greece - the climate was, erm, 'slightly different'! :eyebrows:


Yes, BASF have a nice "distinguish" tonality, especially without Dolby.
I understand you may like it.

They have a richness of tone, which I like, but at the same time sound open and detailed. Some TDKs could sound quite 'toppy' in comparison, especially when they brought out the AD-X and SA-X - I didn't like those much at all.

Marco.

Alex Nikitin
15-12-2009, 19:23
I like BASF too, just now I've received 40 BASF Chrome Maxima II, used but in a good condition from Germany (http://www.tapeheads.net/showpost.php?p=70651&postcount=1), at about 1-20 each. It would be interesting to compare 4 different years (I've asked for 10 of each year) of production... . Older ones did shed a bit of a white talc-like powder on a first run, but after that they OK.

Alex

Marco
15-12-2009, 19:44
Nice one, Alex. I use CR-S II 90s and they're excellent :)

Marco.

Marco
15-12-2009, 20:03
Andre,


Marco
The below are the ones i prefered with this design label

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a222/LIVING-SIN/SA2.jpg


That looks like an early 80s one - not sure, though...


These MA-R diecast jobbies here at the bottom were the best constructed tapes eva, totally silent in winding..If i remember i used to pay near on a fiver each for them from Moorgate Acoustic back then

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a222/LIVING-SIN/MAR.jpg

The MA-Rs were quite superb. TDK were the only company I know to properly address the issue of resonance in cassette casing - not only did that mean they wound silently, but it also improved sound quality, too! :)

Marco.

Rare Bird
15-12-2009, 21:42
Teac Made a tape that looked like tiny reel to reel spools, that was quiet but didnt sound great..

http://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/1/3/9/1/7/4/webimg/55635561_tp.jpg

Alex_UK
15-12-2009, 22:29
Teac Made a tape that looked like tiny reel to reel spools, that was quiet but didnt sound great..

http://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/1/3/9/1/7/4/webimg/55635561_tp.jpg

Here's Andre's pic, embedded, to save everyone else the hassle of downloading it:

http://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/1/3/9/1/7/4/webimg/55635561_tp.jpg

Alex Nikitin
17-12-2009, 01:45
Is this the most expensive cassette deck ever (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280439658417)?

(It is not, obviously, but the seller did apparently believe the misprint in the online text of an old review!)

:lolsign:

Alex

Beechwoods
17-12-2009, 06:13
Somewhat overpriced, I'll agree, but they do look gorgeous though! Sony were onto something in the late 70's. That TC229 would go nicely next to my EL7 :lol:

http://homepage.mac.com/beechwoods/Tapeheads/elcaset/elcaset04_s.jpg

Alex Nikitin
17-12-2009, 07:24
Somewhat overpriced, I'll agree, but they do look gorgeous though! Sony were onto something in the late 70's. That TC229 would go nicely next to my EL7 :lol: [/IMG]

Did you read the description? The seller thinks that this deck used to sell for a price of a flat in Chelsea in 1978 - 27500. Now, that surely would make it the most expensive cassette deck ever!

:lolsign:

Alex

The Grand Wazoo
17-12-2009, 08:01
Wow!
That would be 110,307 today.

Hehehe!

Alex Nikitin
17-12-2009, 08:59
Wow!
That would be 110,307 today.

Hehehe!

He's changed the listing :) . And the BIN price is much more realistic now. However I kept the screen shot ;) .

Alex

Beechwoods
17-12-2009, 14:04
:lol: I missed the RRP in the original listing! That's what happens when magazines auto-scan and OCR their old issues without proof-reading them afterwards!

That guy must have thought he'd hit the motherlode with that deck! Shame it's not in better shape. Cosmetically it looks in good condition.

Alex Nikitin
19-12-2009, 04:34
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article6960700.ece

:)

Alex

The Grand Wazoo
14-05-2012, 00:04
From The Grave

StanleyB
14-05-2012, 06:38
I think this corpse should have been left buried. There were very few decks that could be classed as the best, and all of them have been discussed in the thread ;).

The Grand Wazoo
14-05-2012, 06:56
We've a lot of new members now, with different experiences and opinions . Others may be grateful for having it brought to their attention. As I point out every week San, if you've any suggestions I'd like to hear them. I don't exactly get deluged with pm's on this subject though, sadly so you're left with my choice!

SquireC
14-05-2012, 14:31
I've had a Nak Cr7 and I much prefer, and still have, a TEAC 8030S.