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Any dual decks worth considering?

Discussion in 'Tape' started by Taketheflame, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. Taketheflame

    Taketheflame AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    120
    Hey all,

    So - while I recently picked up a nice single deck (and already have my eyes on a few other models :p ), I've still been curious - are there any dual cassette decks that are worth owning?

    The general wisdom I've beem given is that single decks are the way to go for optimum sound/build quality, but here's the caveat - I wouldn't be using a dual deck for playback - it would be used for making copies of my own music. I'd be producing in small enough quantities that it might not be a bad idea to do such versus using duplication service (I'm still doing my homework on the matter!).

    I see a dual deck as more practical for such use, for being able to make 2 copies at once, as well as the ability to speed up the process with double-speed (and more consistency between copies by using the same machine), but I'm curious how much of a punishment in sound quality this creates versus a pro duplication line? (Where AFAIK, the recording on a production line can be sped up as much as 8x speed or more for making copies very quickly, at the expense of sound quality).

    Just kind of curious about this. The DIY aspect is very appealing to me, but I realize it might be best to just use a service too - just curious if any dual decks out there were good for such a use.

    Thanks!
     

     

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  2. Hajidub

    Hajidub Chihuahua/Pug = Chug Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,436
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I've never owned a dual well deck, but I wasn't aware you could record on both at the same time from another source. Unless you get a commercial duplicator (which still isn't optimal sound) I think the convenience of dubbing quantities is limited. If you're into making copies I'd personally stick with a quality 3-head deck, but even that isn't going to sound as good on another deck due to azimuth and head alignment.
     
  3. Taketheflame

    Taketheflame AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    120
    Yeah, the issue of how tapes can sound on one deck was something I was a bit concerned with - was kind of hoping that maybe there was something out there that is pretty good with making copies that aren't "lost in translation" too much on other decks, so to say. I could be wrong about dual decks being able to record 2 tapes at once from one source as well (I was under the impression that some can, and some can't).

    Truth be told, I was kind of eyeballing some two-head, single deck Nakamichi models (The 480 and 480z) yesterday while picking up other gear, but heard some of the earlier models can be pretty bad about recordings sounding great on the Nak, and not so much on other decks - have you heard this as well, or can confirm??
     
  4. MRL_Audio

    MRL_Audio AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,842
    Location:
    St. Chuck, MO
    ^^^ what he (Hajidub) said.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
    Hajidub likes this.
  5. Hajidub

    Hajidub Chihuahua/Pug = Chug Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,436
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    That's pretty much the standard on all decks of quality (not as good on other decks). Not sure what your budget is, but if you subscribe on here (helps the fee's of running the site) you'll have access to BarterTown (where members sell quality stuff). There's a Nakamichi BX-300 on there for sale at a great price (totally refurbished), I got the other one he was offering. It sounds better than any NAK I've ever owned. BarterT will also have tons of quality records, equipment, and parts for sale with no-worry member selling and shipping.
     
  6. Taketheflame

    Taketheflame AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    120
    Hmm. I just might have to get in on Bartertown :). I'm not looking to pull the trigger on anything tomorrow (as I've picked up quite a few goodies recently), but just kinda doing my research on gear for now.
     

     

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  7. bshorey

    bshorey Super Member

    Messages:
    3,822
    Location:
    Gilroy, CA, USA
    I would say no, there are no dual transport decks of any real quality out there. But then I'm sure somebody would point one out to me.

    However, if you've already got a good single transport deck, and you're going to buy another deck anyhow, why not just find another high quality single transport deck, and then do your tape copying between the two?

    bs
     
    KentTeffeteller likes this.
  8. danj

    danj modern primitive

    Messages:
    5,180
    Location:
    Somewhere in Oregon
    IMHO, few dual-well decks rise above mediocre. The best I've seen is a Yamaha and a Pioneer, both top-tier models which offered "good" performance. Most of the rest, however, are pretty bad, and even the better ones aren't up to the standard of even their mid-line single-well decks. You would be better off with two singles, both calibrated and aligned. That setup would have it all over any dual-well machines I've ever seen - except for the convenience factor, which the double well machines own.
     
    KentTeffeteller likes this.
  9. Dazaa

    Dazaa Super Member

    Messages:
    1,198
    Location:
    London England
    Since you want to make multiple copies of the same tape justt buy a commercial tape duplicator and you'll thank yourself for it later. I had one and it was a breeze to use and the copies sounded fine.
     
  10. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Athens, TN
    Fine, if you want to buy a proper system. Which most in cassette duplicators are not. Most in cassette duplicators are voice grade, 12,000 hertz response at best which use cassette masters. Church sermon grade. Proper music grade cassette systems cost very high amounts of money, and used pancakes of tape stock, cassette loaders, and open reel masters on 1/2" or 1" tape, or digital bins. And take major skill sets to operate and maintain.
     
  11. Dazaa

    Dazaa Super Member

    Messages:
    1,198
    Location:
    London England
    Yes but lets be real, nobody is expecting audiophile quality from a cassette. The copies I made on my duplicator sounded fine and did the job for a very low cost.
     

     

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  12. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

    Messages:
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    I'm not talking about audiophile quality. I'm talking standard, mass duplicated, average pre-recorded cassette of 1983 quality from the record labels. What you and I and everybody bought in that era to some degree. The Sony in cassette duplicators, the Graff, the Telex and their ilk which are in cassette are not up to that level of quality. Church sermon and maybe undemanding music. Those machines were designed for low bias Type 0 tape, and not for commercial grade results.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
  13. hdrobien

    hdrobien Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    519
    Location:
    France
    Sony made many dual well decks worth considering. Look especially for Sony TC-WR820/870/890.

    Buil with 2 separate transports based on the TCM-200 used in most of their ES line top notch decks (without direct drive of course). 3 motors per transport....

    Their latest model, the TC-WR835ES, even featured the Dolby S.
     
    gtv2000 likes this.
  14. kmulkey

    kmulkey AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,336
    Location:
    Gilberts, IL
    Very hard to find...but I've owned both the Pioneer Elite CT-07D and -05D and both sounded great. Not on the level of a serviced Nak or other top deck but head and shoulders above any dual deck I've ever heard.
     
    phantomrebel likes this.
  15. phantomrebel

    phantomrebel Serial Tapist Subscriber

    I was going to give the same recommendation. This is the only deck I've kept after selling off my Dragon and others. It sounds great, has useful features and functions, and is newer. The decks I sold were at the end of their lifespan, requiring too much maintenance. Pioneer hit a home run with these IMHO.
     
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