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  #1  
Old 2009-10-20, 01:46 AM
chinajoe chinajoe is offline
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looking for a tape deck

need a good deck to convert tapes. wouldnt want to spend too much (100-250) any suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 2009-10-20, 09:26 AM
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Re: looking for a tape deck

Nakamichi is most folks first choice, others would be Marantz/Tascam/Denon/etc...despite the brand, the basic key elements yer lookin for would be a 3-head deck w/ adjustable azimuth

dunno about now, but a place that used to have good used gear was http://www.prodigitalinc.com/ -- you should be able to find a good conditioned Nak for $250 or under
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  #3  
Old 2009-10-20, 06:09 PM
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Re: looking for a tape deck

Just about any deck will allow you to adjust the azimuth. The benefit of the Nakamichi, in addition to quality, is that it actually has a knob to adjust azimuth.

otherwise you have to take the door off & use a mini-screwdriver to turn a screw.
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  #4  
Old 2009-10-20, 08:16 PM
dude87 dude87 is offline
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Re: looking for a tape deck

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Originally Posted by AAR.oner View Post
Nakamichi is most folks first choice, others would be Marantz/Tascam/Denon/etc...despite the brand, the basic key elements yer lookin for would be a 3-head deck w/ adjustable azimuth

dunno about now, but a place that used to have good used gear was http://www.prodigitalinc.com/ -- you should be able to find a good conditioned Nak for $250 or under
Actually, three heads are only an advantage for recording - a three head deck allows you to monitor the recording in real time because there is a separate playback and record head. If the goal is to simply play tapes for conversion I'd spend more money on a better quality two-head Nak in good condition. Learn to adjust azimuth, and make sure your input sound card is good quality.

Also, unless the cassettes are masters or very rare it's often easier to search out a CD that someone has already made from a lower-generation cassette. This is particularly true of bands that are widely traded (such as the Dead).
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Old 2009-10-20, 11:40 PM
chinajoe chinajoe is offline
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Re: looking for a tape deck

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Originally Posted by dude87 View Post
Actually, three heads are only an advantage for recording - a three head deck allows you to monitor the recording in real time because there is a separate playback and record head. If the goal is to simply play tapes for conversion I'd spend more money on a better quality two-head Nak in good condition. Learn to adjust azimuth, and make sure your input sound card is good quality.

Also, unless the cassettes are masters or very rare it's often easier to search out a CD that someone has already made from a lower-generation cassette. This is particularly true of bands that are widely traded (such as the Dead).
thanks for the suggestions. i'd rather pay a few bucks more that have to take off the door and play with screws.


a good chunk of these tapes do appear to be uncirculated.
plus, ive stumbled across a good amount of radio interviews
and live shows taped off the radio circa 79-81. (from the same source)

on a side note, the original taper of the concerts is deceased.
the story goes that he was a little careless in keeping his masters.
dude moved around quite a bit and many of the tapes were left
in the hands of exgirlfriends, friends, mother's garage, etc...
the concerts are either 1st or 2nd gen tapes. willing to accept that they are first due to the relationship b/w the taper and the tape source. (bandmates)

the radio stuff are masters from chicago radio
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  #6  
Old 2009-10-21, 04:04 AM
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Re: looking for a tape deck

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Originally Posted by dude87 View Post
Actually, three heads are only an advantage for recording - a three head deck allows you to monitor the recording in real time because there is a separate playback and record head. If the goal is to simply play tapes for conversion I'd spend more money on a better quality two-head Nak in good condition. Learn to adjust azimuth, and make sure your input sound card is good quality.
in a two-head deck one is the eraser head, the other has to do double duty (play/record). so having a head completely dedicated to playback gives some advantage. also when it comes to high-end consumer decks the ones with three heads are generally manufactured to a higher level of quality overall. Pitch control is another useful feature that's pretty much exclusive to nice quality cassette decks. what used to be a high end consumer deck that would sell for around $400 in 1991 goes on eBay these days for $20 or less. not as good as a Nak, but worlds better than whatever piece of boombox junk from the 80s you might find in yer mom's basement.

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Also, unless the cassettes are masters or very rare it's often easier to search out a CD that someone has already made from a lower-generation cassette. This is particularly true of bands that are widely traded (such as the Dead).
seek the best way, not the easiest way

but yeah point taken, its proper to get a hold of a sample of what circulates and compare it to the tapes you are going to transfer, if your new transfer is a downgrade it is not worth doing. search around for guys with big collections of xxx band that you have a lowgen/master of and they will be excited to help you out when you tell them you might have a nice upgrade for them
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  #7  
Old 2009-10-21, 03:36 PM
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Re: looking for a tape deck

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Originally Posted by rspencer View Post
J The benefit of the Nakamichi, in addition to quality, is that it actually has a knob to adjust azimuth.

.
Not all NAK's have this.
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Old 2009-10-21, 04:07 PM
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Re: looking for a tape deck

But AFAIK, it's the only brand that does. Haven't heard of another, anyway.
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  #9  
Old 2009-10-21, 09:53 PM
dude87 dude87 is offline
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Re: looking for a tape deck

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Originally Posted by rspencer View Post
But AFAIK, it's the only brand that does. Haven't heard of another, anyway.
I have vague memories that some Tandberg cassette decks had this as well, although Tandberg decks were pretty rare.

My advice is to go with the best Nak you can afford.
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