Do you still use a cassette deck?

Do you still use a cassette deck?
All the time
7% (24 votes)
Sometimes
23% (82 votes)
Rarely
29% (103 votes)
Don't even have one, but do have some tapes
16% (59 votes)
Don't have one and don't have any tapes
25% (91 votes)
Total votes: 359

In his <A HREF="http://blog.stereophile.com/stephenmejias/">blog</A>, Stephen Mejias reports on the resurgence in cassette-only releases and is now looking for a good deck. Do you still use a cassette deck?

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COMMENTS
craig's picture

A Sony model I bought in 1980 for $400. It is still going strong and has never failed to provide a good, listenable sound, but I have had problems with the cassette tapes themselves going bad. I have some great music locked up on tapes I can't play any more, because they are hopelessly jammed.

m's picture

The new Lexus has a cassette player, so I am breaking out my old mix tapes.

DB in Fairbanks's picture

I have a 1980 Sansui SC-3330 deck that mostly sits on the shelf—not in my system—in case I ever need it. Many of my prerecorded cassettes (and some homemade ones) are in poor condition, with flaking oxide and print-through. I've copied some compilation cassettes and those with unusual music to CD and then to my music server. I'll probably get rid of the deck and most of the cassettes pretty soon!

Ken R's picture

I don't use cassette, but I still use reel-to-reel.

Jimbo's picture

A Teac V 1010, very good sound.

Don Bilger's picture

I have relatively few cassettes in my music collection, so my cassette decks don't see much use any more.

Roger Clarke's picture

I use a Nakamichi DR-3. Love the sound of analog tape.

Dman's picture

Hard to find type II or V tape that isn't outrageously priced on ePay, er I mean eBay. I have a few tapes, but the last time I seriously used my deck (a Nakamichi LX-3), it was for archiving material to CD-R.

Grant's picture

I still use cassette to dub my LPs to tape, for playback in my car & portable players. And for home playback when I'm too busy to set-up & flip over LPs. Most people haven't heard how good a cassette can really sound.

Leon's picture

I have a lot of cassette decks and quite a lot of high-class cassettes recorded and new (NOS). I must admit that good cassette deck sounds absolutely marvelous. I have three Nakamichi and one Pioneer high-grade cassette decks.

Steelhead's picture

I have a cherished Nak ZX-7 that still works great. I throw it in the system and listen to old tapes I recorded decades ago on the Thorens. I use a reel-to-reel for primary listening, but enjoy cassettes. I hope to get it set up on a permanent basis in the future and use it more often. I actually want to compare it more closely to my CD/SACD.

j.e.n.'s picture

I took my Marantz three-head tape deck out of my system about two years ago. I still have my first cassette deck, an Advent 201 deck, stored in the original box it came in. I also have my second deck, a Yamaha deck, stored in its original carton. I no longer use any of them! I took my last turntable out of my system about five years ago. My primary music source is now a Reimyo CD deck and Reimyo digital processor. My second music source is a NAD FM tuner.

George Hook's picture

I have many tapes, some of them rare, that demand listening from time to time. I have a Sony double deck that I picked up for five bucks or so at a resale shop.

Carlos V's picture

Cassettes may not be the latest and greatest, but there's a lot of memories in those little tapes. When was the last time you spent 90+ minutes of your life building, in real time, the perfect compilation/playlist?

sdecker's picture

I have many hundreds (thousands?) of hours of tapes going back to the '70s that are mostly mix tapes from varieties of sources, LPs, CDs, live shows, FM broadcasts, and my own live recordings. I had always used the best decks and tape of the time, but given the age and some of the sources, some tapes sound mediocre at best. Most of these were made prior to the ease of burning CDs, but I still am recording a variety of stuff that doesn't lend itself to my CD recorder—and also to enjoy my 30+ years of handcrafted cassettes. The problem now is finding good blank cassettes, harder than good NOS vacuum tubes! Just like everyone dumping their vinyl at the advent of the CD, I'm sourcing some tapes from friends dumping their cassette collection for downloads! Unlike vinyl, tapes are erasable.

Epigmenio Alvarez's picture

I have a Sony KA3ES flagship. Last try to be perfect with Dolby-S. Delicious.

Raj's picture

Sony dual-deck with auto reverse , but to be brutally honest, the ubiquitous iPod with dock and remote has taken over, due to ease of use.

jim's picture

Have a deck, never use it.

Tim's picture

Sold my Nakamichi RX-202 about 1½ years ago after several years of non-use. I haven't seen a tape in years either—thankfully!

Kamal's picture

I have built up a sizable collection of cassettes containing some of my favorite music, hence I do have to use my deck from time to time. I still get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

Musicom's picture

Have five Nakamichis, one Harman/Kardon, and one Sony. The Naks, at times are confused for CD. The H/K sounds better than the much newer Sony.

Ron Ramsey's picture

I still have some tapes I recorded in 1971 on an Advent 201. Sound good to this day. Either that, or the tapes are deteriorating at exactly the same rate as my high-frequency hearing. Many of my tapes have recordings that are irreplaceable. Live broadcasts and out-of-print LPs. So of course, I must have a cassette deck from here to eternity.

John Costello's picture

I have a Technics RS-TR555 dual-well deck and it's sad that I don't do anything with it anymore. I should see what I can get on eBay, I suppose.

spunkyrock's picture

...and your point is? I can't remember the last time I used cassettes. A JVC DD-9 and some tape are in storage. Point of reference—I am still waiting to see if these Compact Disc thingies are going to catch on. LPs!

Torry Crellin's picture

Nak (home and car) all the way!

Bandit's picture

I've got a NAK BX-100 around somewhere. Seem to remember the capstan is making noise, never bothered to fix it...

Bruce Bender's picture

Left a very nice Akai deck and tape collection behind during divorce five years back. Used tape a lot before that, but can't say I miss it. Cassette was never a substitute for reel-to-reel anyway, despite Dolby and DBX—and the oxide decomposed on my reel-to-reel tapes many many years ago. PS: Good reel-to-reel was always better than vinyl.

Shivam's picture

I have lots of tapes and some very good recordings on them and now I am trying to sell them off.

ulah's picture

From the IT prospective, you have the possible worst format for music storage. Is someone actually that crazy? The tape drive can become dirty and contaminate the rest of your tapes before you realize what is happening. OK you’re a bright person and clean the deck after every usage. Tape cleaners (the type that don’t require the application of a fluid (generally alcohol based)) are abrasive and cause premature tape head damage. As this is a retired medium (the manufacturing sector no longer actively supports or makes the items in question) and you have to depend on someone else’s third-cousin Vinnie as your source. Just ask someone in IT about the 8mm tape issues from the early '90s. A major media manufacturer closed its 8mm media production line and began to repackage (rebrand) 8mm tapes. There was one very big problem. “BRAND A”’s mid-range server tape drive used a tape drive manufacturers heads that were incompatible with “Brand B” tapes. Make sure you know your product before you rely too heavily on it. 4mm which are closer to cassette tapes are even more unreliable. 3. How many audiophiles (that sounds like a disease) have had a tape sacrifice it’s self to the audio daemons for no foreseeable reason? Tapes can unpredictably fail in the most infuriating time span (at any time) for unknown reasons. Heat, humidity, what the media is made of can all be contributing factors. Several offsite data storage companies make very good profits in maintaining storage at specific temperature and humidity levels. I have a cheap dual cassette tape drive for cassettes that my wife pickes up at Charity Thrift Stores in the Kansas City area. These tapes are then transferred to my PC for storage, for the very reason that I don’t trust the media. My media storage hard drive is mirrored to both an on-site drive, but also once every couple of weeks to a drive that is then stored off site. I have 5,000 + LP’s and a brother-in-law who is fighting cancer. He is a 3 tour, twice decorated, 30 year retired Vietnam era USAF PJ who is currently fighting cancer. (Undergoing chemo therapy) I pick LP’s from my collection (I will never be able to listen to all of them) or purchased from local charity thrift stores that fit his musical tastes and record them to DVD, setting the LP’s in a box marked as being his property (no copy right violations) and send them to Thailand. After the brother-in-law gets the DVD’s and is able to recover all the music files, the files are deleted from my computer. Sadly my brother-in-law is getting far greater care in Thailand that he ever would get from the VA in the US. For this reason alone I am, very serious about proper storage. No one really knows what the life span of the LP is. It gives me the willies when I consider how much Private Industry and Government data is stored in some temperature and humidity controlled vault. For the reasons stated above any group that has gone exclusively to Cassette Tapes as a distribution format is not really interested in anything other than notoriety.

Rotor Shade's picture

Yes, I like the sonics, but play after play quickly leads to sonic quality loss!

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