Author Topic: What to look for in a cassette deck ?  (Read 159 times)

Offline Zuidersma

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • AVForums Member
  • **
  • Posts: 81
  • Total likes: 0
  • Die Katze kam zurück, für die schöne Musik.
What to look for in a cassette deck ?
« on: January 13, 2019, 09:58:07 AM »
Is there a clear advantage to a 3 head cassette deck over a 2 head one ?

I have a budget off about R600 for a cassette deck in good working order.

What brands to look for ? NAD, Technics, Pioneer ?

Offline Dubya Jay Dee

Re: What to look for in a cassette deck ?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2019, 12:15:39 PM »
My vote would be for 3 heads dual capstan deck..

Interesting discussion here:

Separate recording and playback heads are optimized better for their roles - dual capstan ensures better tape stability in a well implemented deck.

Offline Steerpike

Re: What to look for in a cassette deck ?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2019, 08:13:07 PM »
Dual capstans are theoretically better; but the common situation is that most of the better machines are now 30 years old or more, and need work. A dual capstan system requires more maintenance and has more to go wrong. In the R600 zone, a fully refurbished machine is not likely.

Technics beyond 1990 I would not want - they started using cheap stamped-metal OEM mechanisms, and they are not of the same quality as the Technics machines of the 1980s.

Sony and Teac (=Tascam) had some well made models.

Front panel bias trim, or full auto-alignment, are a very worthwhile feature.
Dolby HX or HX-Pro (not the same thing) are also a nice bonus if you make recordings (they don't operate in playback).

Anything with two cassette mechanisms (double deck) will always be inferior.
And auto reverse is always inferior to single-direction rec/play.
Avoid such machines if best sound quality is your primary goal.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 08:15:22 PM by Steerpike »

Offline JonnyP

  • Gearslut Pro
  • Trade Count: (+39)
  • AVForums Grandmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,689
  • Total likes: 89
  • To the centre of the city in the night
Re: What to look for in a cassette deck ?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2019, 06:49:13 PM »
The Dragon was auto reverse
Are you waiting for loneliness to paralyse? Are you waiting for sister midnight to anaesthetise?