Cassette Tape Sunday

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Che Gelida Manina is playing on the Denon DRM-800 presently. Sounds lovely. The Denon must have the quietest cassette mechanism I have ever heard. I may even do some taping today. Must be the better part of 100 cassettes kicking around, just waiting to be used.
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
Che Gelida Manina is playing on the Denon DRM-800 presently. Sounds lovely. The Denon must have the quietest cassette mechanism I have ever heard. I may even do some taping today. Must be the better part of 100 cassettes kicking around, just waiting to be used.
100 blank or 100 prerecorded?
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Doug up an old tape that I haven't heard in the better part of 20 years. I had a chance to meet Donald Mills of the Mills brothers around 1995, and bought the tape that he and his son were selling on their concert tour.

I've forgotten how well, cassettes, done well, can sound.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I'm listening to one of the finest cassettes ever made, the ceramic bodied Sony Metal Master, as it plays an iffy recording of the Immigrant Song. Just seems wrong somehow....
 

MikeO

Active Member
I'm listening to one of the finest cassettes ever made, the ceramic bodied Sony Metal Master, as it plays an iffy recording of the Immigrant Song. Just seems wrong somehow....
Hey, I think I made that tape. Have to admit my recording skills are not really up to standard anymore. Hope to remedy that after recently getting back into cassettes myself on my quest to place some limits on modern addictive technologies. I am working my way through the few tapes I made a few years back.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Hey, I think I made that tape. Have to admit my recording skills are not really up to standard anymore. Hope to remedy that after recently getting back into cassettes myself on my quest to place some limits on modern addictive technologies. I am working my way through the few tapes I made a few years back.
LOL.Did you?
It's not you. It's the machine you made it on, I'm guessing. Dirty, magnetized heads, perhaps? Just a little rolled off sounding. A little flat too. Plus, you didn't use any noise reduction, and I was running it with Dolby B on. That sure made a difference. :)
With the Dolby off, it isn't bad sounding at all.
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
Half and half? I've haven't counted in a while. And the 100 number is likely conservative.
I recently picked up (along with a bunch of other stuff) a Bendix cassette machine recently that plays multiple cassettes loaded into cartridges.

Kind of an interesting piece.

I'll post some pics. :)
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
LOL.Did you?
It's not you. It's the machine you made it on, I'm guessing. Dirty, magnetized heads, perhaps? Just a little rolled off sounding. A little flat too. Plus, you didn't use any noise reduction, and I was running it with Dolby B on. That sure made a difference. :)
With the Dolby off, it isn't bad sounding at all.
I never really liked how Dolby B sounded to be quite honest. Tweak until you were blue in the face and it was never really satisfying. Dolby C was better and I also had pretty good luck with DBX.
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
FWIW, my experience/opinion is the reverse. The Dolby "C" decks I've owned all sounded dead when tapes were encoded using "C". "B" was better -- but none, unfortunately, is better still (other than the hiss, of course).

Just my ears' worth.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I have this tendency to pick up cast off cassettes. There are a lot of them in the basement. A lot.

Oh, this might be of interest on this topic -- or not.
http://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/180346/are-cassettes-really-making-a-comeback
Interesting read. I'm not sure about the comeback, but I do know how amazing a good sounding cassette can be. My old Nak 681zx, which cost the better part of $2k back in 81-82, sounded simply astonishing after a major overhaul by one of the handful of serious Nak experts in the US of A. I'd make recordings with my absolute best quality vinyl, from a serious turntable/cartridge/phono combo, and couldn't tell the difference.

Sadly, you do have to get into the rarefied air of the cassette world. This is not what the average cassette experience was like, and if your deck didn't have 3 heads/motors, self biasing, etc. Don't even bother to try. But if you did pay the big bucks for one, you ended up with a true high end source.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
FWIW, my experience/opinion is the reverse. The Dolby "C" decks I've owned all sounded dead when tapes were encoded using "C". "B" was better -- but none, unfortunately, is better still (other than the hiss, of course).

Just my ears' worth.
Then there was something off with your deck. On any properly set up and aligned deck, with the right tape, and the bias set properly, Dolby C should sound pretty well invisible (yes, I get what I did there). Sadly, most decks especially running today, are not aligned properly, nor are they biased properly for the tape being used. Get that stuff wrong, and Dolby C can sound dreadful.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
Then there was something off with your deck. On any properly set up and aligned deck, with the right tape, and the bias set properly, Dolby C should sound pretty well invisible (yes, I get what I did there). Sadly, most decks especially running today, are not aligned properly, nor are they biased properly for the tape being used. Get that stuff wrong, and Dolby C can sound dreadful.
Agreed. C was more work to get right, but when you did it hard to tell it had been invoked, just the hiss was gone. It took a good deck set up well, though.
 

rewind67

Junior Member
My Technics back in the day had dbx. I loved what it did for taping LPs.

I also recall that on non-dbx I liked recording a little into the red. Maybe it added what I’ve since learned to call “tape compression”. Or maybe, if I played them back now, I’d just be appalled at what I thought sounded ok in 1983...

I can’t remember when I last listened to a cassette. I still have that dbx Technics, and boxes of old tapes. Maybe it’s time to dust them off.
 

Catcher10

Senior Member
I still have all my cassette tapes, pre-recorded and ones I made, probably 200 or so. Last deck I had was a great deck for making tapes.
Akai GX F31 Dolby B/C loved it!! One day I will get back in.......

 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
My Technics back in the day had dbx. I loved what it did for taping LPs.

I also recall that on non-dbx I liked recording a little into the red. Maybe it added what I’ve since learned to call “tape compression”. Or maybe, if I played them back now, I’d just be appalled at what I thought sounded ok in 1983...

I can’t remember when I last listened to a cassette. I still have that dbx Technics, and boxes of old tapes. Maybe it’s time to dust them off.
I well set up DBX machine will still sound great. However, it needs to be working well and aligned properly. Most folks have no clue how good cassette can sound, on a really good machine.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I still have all my cassette tapes, pre-recorded and ones I made, probably 200 or so. Last deck I had was a great deck for making tapes.
Akai GX F31 Dolby B/C loved it!! One day I will get back in.......

Very nice deck! I bet it sounded great. Akai made some nice tape gear.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I'm down to one machine these days, a Teac C-3RX. http://www.hifi-classic.net/review/teac-c-3rx-260.html It really is a rather nice deck, basically a Tascam with the addition of the DBX. My ex threw out all of my hundreds of cassettes years ago including many recordings of my own performances. Not many tapes survived the process, sadly.
That's heartbreaking. Especially the loss of your own performances. But a small price to pay, I suppose, to get out of that horrible situation.
 
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