Cassette tape decks, what is the fascination?

Discussion in 'Tape' started by z-adamson, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. z-adamson

    z-adamson AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have been a CD listener for most of my music listening days.

    I came about a tape deck by accident and am contemplating wether or not to expand into the world of cassette tapes with my new acquisition....an hk cd301.

    I noticed that lots of guys are really into cassette tapes and tape decks.

    So, my question is, what is it about cassette tapes that makes you like them and prefer them over CDs, records and everything else out there?

    PS: I am in no way suggesting that cassette tapes and decks are not something worth being fascinated with, I simply want to understand the draw to them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017

     

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  2. cubby01

    cubby01 aka Buck

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    Media sound enjoyment

    Lp > r2r > cassette > cd > 8-track

    Just one opinion
     
  3. KevinJS

    KevinJS Addicted Member

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    I never had much use for cassette tape first time around. I had a Technics 605, mainly because it matched the rest of my system, but it didn't get a lot of use. I was more into vinyl, and later CD.

    I have one now simply because I acquired a load of cassettes as part of a music collection I bought, so I found a Nakamichi to play them on.

    I prefer R2R because the big reels look great.
     
  4. z-adamson

    z-adamson AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    To get to the root, why is cassette better than CD in your opinion?
     
  5. dontmindme

    dontmindme Creature

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    R2R>lp>cd>cassette>8 track

    Another opinion....:)
     
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  6. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8642 Subscriber

    I much prefer listening to shellac on AM radio ... <G>
    (Ever have an attack of nostalgia?)

     
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  7. Max77

    Max77 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I don't prefer tapes over CDs or vinyl, it's just a fun format and with a good deck and tapes can sound much better than people remember. I like to make mix tapes, or build a tape of several albums/7"s so I can listen without having to get up and change records.
     
  8. 62vauxhall

    62vauxhall AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    There is so much analog material, never digitized, and one will never get to hear it without the appropriate device. I have a penchant for analog recordings and a fascination with the mechanical hardware. It's convenient but I find digital playback gear lacks "involvement" and makes me feel just so-so about the format.

    In addition to CD players (and perhaps 1,000 CD's) I own cassette decks, 8 track decks, reel to reel decks, turntables and recently entered the Elcaset realm.

    I don't have many pre-recorded cassette tapes but did record hundreds of mixed tapes for car use so can play them whenever the mood strikes.

    I will however, make mixed analog recordings that incorporate CD source material if it's appropriate.

    For me, one objective about this hobby is being able to play all popular past formats of recorded music. You never know what you're going to find out there.
     
  9. Yamaki

    Yamaki Not For Hire Subscriber

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    It's kind of a retro thing for some of us, part of the progression through music media formats many of us took.

    Mine was:

    AM mono mini radio > 8 track > LP > R2R > Cassette > CD > Digital

    I wouldn't say I prefer cassette over other media, especially my digital collection which is my primary source, but some of my mix tapes with singles recorded off local FM back in the day are a lot of fun to listen to.
     
  10. jcamero

    jcamero If you get confused just listen to the music play Subscriber

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    Nostalgia. Back in the day, I'd spend hours recording "mix" tapes for home and car. Even though I have a closeted deck, and a box of unopened blanks, The format is just a good memory of my past. The odds of ever returning to the format are slim.
     
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  11. Poinzy

    Poinzy Super Member

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    I sure don't understand it. When I was a kid, the really cool guys made reel-to-reel decks the center of their liviingroom sound systems, for good reason. Cassette decks were basically for recording stuff to play in your car. The only brand of cassette deck that anybody really cared about was Nakamichi. Naturally, magical thinking has since taken over regarding the appeal of cassette decks, as with a lot of other things audio-related.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
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  12. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    No idea why anyone would willingly go back to cassettes other than nostalgia.

    I do have some here, and even one low-rent dual well cassette deck hooked up for occasional stat recording from the radio, but otherwise, for tape reel to reel is the medium of choice (or VHS Stereo HiFi audio, which is pretty good, too -- and has the advantage of cheap recording media).
     
  13. gslikker

    gslikker Super Member

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    I still have my Yamaha K1000 having built-in dbx circuit and many metal tapes. It still worked, last year, after almost 20 years of not using it.

    Maybe I will....let's do that next year, maybe, if I get into a nostalgic mood.
     
  14. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel Addicted Member

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    I agree with this post.

    I have better cassette decks today than I ever dreamed of back in the pre-CD era.

    I literally never use them. They're here because they match other gear that I have, and just in case I want to listen to a cassette that I don't have the content in any other format. This almost never happens.

    I would say that LP, R2R, and Redbook are all superior formats. Of those three, I only listen to LP and Redbook as I can't find any good prerecorded R2R media. So I'm not sure why I actually have a R2R machine other than it's cool.
     
  15. vwestlife

    vwestlife Well-Known Member

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    One advantage is that cassettes are dirt cheap -- 25 to 50 cents each at most thrift stores. It's the most affordable way to collect music, especially albums from the '90s which are virtually impossible to find on vinyl.

    And cassette decks are cheap too -- a good working one with Dolby NR and support for chrome and metal tapes should cost you no more than $10 to $20 at your local thrift store or via your local Craigslist/Kijiji/etc. ads.
     
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  16. Hajidub

    Hajidub Chihuahua/Pug = Chug Subscriber

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    I've been able to find everything I couldn't on vinyl on tape at a thrift. usually for less than 75 cents. In fact my Nak sounds better than any vinyl played on a refurbed Dual 1015 with a new Denon stylus. Knowing I get that fidelity out of a cassette is worth it. To me finding a sealed cassette that I like is rarer than finding a sealed vinyl. Sometimes its not about finding the vinyl or CD, it's about discovering the music.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
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  17. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel Addicted Member

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    Must be regional. I'd use my decks more if I could find any new music on tape
     
  18. vwestlife

    vwestlife Well-Known Member

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  19. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel Addicted Member

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    If I'm going to pay that much for an album, I'll buy the CD or download. I was referring to more new-to-me, and my local thrifts have CDs and to a lesser extent LPs but maybe a handful of cassettes, all crap, and I can count on one hand all the 1/4" tapes I've seen, none of which were remotely interesting.
     
  20. slow_jazz

    slow_jazz Lunatic Member

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    Still have my Pioneer CTF-9191.

    Play it once a week or so to keep it working.

    I do agree I've gotten some good deals on thrift store cassettes..

    Haven't made a mix tape in years now.
     
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