"pro" cassette decks

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"pro" cassette decks

Post by telepathy » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:32 pm

just wondering about your experience with these ... I'm being asked sometimes lately to mix to cassette as the final destination medium, even after the mix hits the 2-track machine. I've also been tasked with "restoring" a few old cassette demos for a friend of mine - nothing too serious, just cleaning them up a little & digitizing.

I've been looking specifically at the old Tascam models, the 112, the 122, and the newer 202 mkII, mkIII, and the current mkV. what's your opinion on these models?

I need a solid record/play deck with easily adjustible azimuth and preferably some form of Dolby or dbx NR, or at least a patch point to insert such hardware. XLR ins & outs are less of an issue since I'm running an entirely unbalanced setup (Neotek console). any advice would be appreciated. thanks!
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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:39 am

I have a 122mkII in the rack. I've never used it for mix down but it gets used for slap back on most mixes I do. For cassette it's pretty great sounding. Three heads, fully adjustable for bias etc, balanced and unbalanced ins and outs. If I had requests to mix to cassette I wouldn't hesitate to use it.
What-ever you end up with be sure you check that the belts are still ok and that the motor is still running at full strength. I had mine serviced and brought back to speck but when I first got it it would make lots of squealing noises (bad belts) and playback would get slow and wobbly towards the end of each side of the cassette (weak motor or motor in need of lubrication).

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Post by cgarges » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:10 pm

I've never heard a Tascam machine that sounded anywhere near as cool as a Nakamichi deck. Even the consumer models. The Denon cassette decks also sounded great, but were extremely unreliable.

Chris Garges
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Jim Williams
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Post by Jim Williams » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:50 am

I've rebuilt old Nakamichi 700's and newer tascams like 112's. The best results I ever got out of that medium was those old KABA duplicater decks. Those had no dolby chips in the audio path, just dual opamps. Put good ones in and it's clear.

The problem I had with my 112 was the dolby chips, they squash the audio quality running through them, whether they are used or not.
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Post by KoffeeKommando » Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:30 am

I had a Denon 3 head dual motor deck. Was awesome. Cost $150 (used) back in 1995.
It's still going till to this day...my buddy has it.

They do look cheap inside if you open them up.
But the sound quality was great. Very nice metering too.
Last edited by KoffeeKommando on Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by minorkeylee » Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:53 pm

Second the Denon. I just bought a couple recently. They work like a champ, and have a really cool auto biasing feature. We've been hitting the cassette off the DAW lately. It's definitely fun. I've been pillaging all the thrift shops for blank tapes and commercial tapes. The selection is GREAT.

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