I need to replace my cassette deck - any ideas?

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My cassette deck has been causing me problems recently - it's a TEAC, but nothing expensive, and it's not really built as well as an average Tascam 4-track. Something's  wrong with the door which I haven't been able to fix, and it looks like the plastic moulding of the erase head has now cracked at one of the mounting screws. I have loads of old albums I still listen to but which I haven't got round to replacing with CDs, plus a load of old stuff I've recorded myself (like first ever gig in 1982 when I blew the speaker in my 5W practice amp!), so I do need to replace it before it chews up something valuable.

Obviously I know of Nakamichi, but are the ones you can pick up for £100-200 worth getting? The Technics and Yamaha ones appear to have a decent build quality, at least from looking at photos on ebay. I don't think I'd risk another TEAC, when I opened mine up the build quality was poor, despite the Tascam connection.

I've seen a few really nice looking old ones, with piano-key controls and backlit VU meters, but that 70s/90s brushed aluminium look would look out of place in a rack with all-black units unfortunately.

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  • randellarandella Frets: 1739
    I'll bet @Phil_aka_Pip will have an angle on this.
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8439
    randella said:
    I'll bet @Phil_aka_Pip will have an angle on this.
    probably :)

    I wouldn't worry about the cosmetics, the main thing is functionality. Your TEAC is how old? And has lasted how long? Another TEAC that hasn't had as much use might be a good idea, or one of the same model that broke for a different reason so you can swop the parts.

    I have an old Nakamichi but the LH record channel is flaky, and it squeaks when the cassette spools are turning. My main problem with old cassette machines is that they get to the point where they play a few bars, then stop, as if the cassette has reached the end of its tape. I have a top of the range TEAC that does it, even though (a) it is direct drive - no belts to wear out and (b) it has been cleaned. I also have a Denon that does the same thing. The Sony that I bought from @chillidoggy works fine, apart from one episode where it refused to let go of the cassette once it had reached the end.

    I know - and can understand the reasons for - the arguments that people put about saying cassettes are crap, but they're nice cheap convenient crap and if you've got stuff recorded on them it's NBG telling me that other media are so much better, the signal is on cassette it isn't on a CD or elsewhere!
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • i replaced my cassette player, real pain in the arse, next time il stop the car first.
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  • SnapSnap Frets: 2174
    Strangely, cassette is having a bit of a resurgence, but I htink it might peter our once people realise that whilst it might be a bit trendy, they aren't really that good.

    I had an Aiwa deck I think, but binned it recently, got on my nerves.
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  • SassafrasSassafras Frets: 12371
    What is a 'cassette deck'?
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  • thermionicthermionic Frets: 4556
    It’s a TEAC V-615, and I honestly can’t say how old it is - all I know is Richer Sounds were still selling a handful of different decks when I bought it! It’s not had anything like heavy use, but all those cheaply moulded plastic levers and springs don’t last too long.

    Sounds like it will be a bit of a lottery one way or another, and I should probably archive anything I want to keep when I can.
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  • usedtobeusedtobe Frets: 2375
    Thought about getting a gramophone? =)
     so if you fancy a reissue of a guitar they never made in a colour they never used then it probably isn't too overpriced.

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  • exocetexocet Frets: 500
    I think that the Nakamichi decks @£200 are worth considering providing that you can “try before you buy”. They were so well made, my dad has still got one that must be 30 years old plus.
    Sony 3 head / Dual Capstan decks from the same era were very good as well...the heyday of Japanese Electromechanical engineering.
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  • ClashmanClashman Frets: 130
    Get a Nak but don't bother with BX-100 OR 150E which I have unless they have upgraded
    transport sytems,the Naks really do sound good.
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  • I’ve got a Tascam CD A500 for sale if it’s of interest
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8439
    Zoolooter said:
    That's the same as the one I've got. Mine would be good if it worked.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 15351
    Companies are starting to release new cassette decks .. if you have the cash get an all in one .. cassette, CD and USB unit ..

    https://www.richersounds.com/cd-player-cassette-deck.html

    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8439
    Fretwired said:
    Companies are starting to release new cassette decks .. if you have the cash get an all in one .. cassette, CD and USB unit ..

    https://www.richersounds.com/cd-player-cassette-deck.html

    That looks quite interesting. I assume the o/p plugs are shared between CD and cassette depending on what you are playing back at the time. I guess you can't play back a CD and record from an external source at the same time.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • thermionicthermionic Frets: 4556
    Well, after a few weeks of trawling ebay, I’ve ended up with a 3-head TEAC V-1050. Apparently this machine, as well the similar (and earlier I think) V-3000 has basically the same transport as rack mount Tascam decks that were often seen in studios before cd burning became cheap and accessible. First impressions are that it sounds considerably better than my old one. Now I just have to make sure I archive all my irreplaceable cassettes before this one dies!
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  • Jimbro66Jimbro66 Frets: 624
    exocet said:
    I think that the Nakamichi decks @£200 are worth considering providing that you can “try before you buy”. They were so well made, my dad has still got one that must be 30 years old.

    I've got a Nakamichi Cassette Deck 2 that I bought new in 1992. It had a lot of use in the first fifteen years or so and occasional use since. It still works perfectly and sounds great. The weakness is the tapes not the player. Worth keeping because, like the OP, I've loads of stuff on cassette that's no longer available in any other form and a lot of old recordings of gigs and rehearsals.

    By comparison my partner's Sony combined cassette/CD/radio sounds pretty awful when playing cassettes.

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  • thermionicthermionic Frets: 4556
    edited March 7
    Just listening now to a master of stuff me and friend did on 4-tracks. The finished songs were burnt to cd years ago, but at the end there was a demo of some idea I had which we never properly finished. Let me tell you, it sounds AMAZING. This is why I still need a cassette deck!
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  • chillidoggychillidoggy Frets: 12082
    Fretwired said:
    Companies are starting to release new cassette decks .. if you have the cash get an all in one .. cassette, CD and USB unit ..

    https://www.richersounds.com/cd-player-cassette-deck.html


    Whaat? Is this the start of another hipster-led resurgence just like vinyl?


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  • boogiemanboogieman Frets: 4849
    I’m clearing stuff from my mums place at the moment and found an old reel to reel deck. Inside the lid there’s a tape of my first band, from when I was at school in the 70s. I’m presuming it’s just a bunch of us fart-arsing about but I’m really intrigued. Looks like I need to get the deck overhauled or buy one that’s guaranteed to work. No way I’m going to risk plugging in a 1960s tape deck that hasn’t been used for nearly 50 years..... actually what’s the worse that can happen? @ICBM , is it likely to just not work or is it going to go bang? I think it has valves in? It definitely has one that does a magic eye recording level.

    I’m pretty sure the drive belts are going to be knackered though. Maybe not worth the aggro. 

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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8439
    @boogieman the machine itself could be an interesting restoration project
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • RockerRocker Frets: 2573
    edited March 11
    A Nak or a Yamaha are the machines to look for without spending serious money. Nagra is in the serious money category.
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

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  • BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 425
    I've got a Kenwood KX-W6040 twin cassette deck, has all the bells and whistles and I've seen them go for less than a fiver on fleabay.
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  • hobbiohobbio Frets: 3280
    edited March 11
    Go check out TechMoan on youtube, he demos loads of stuff like this.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/Techmoan



    electric proddy probe machine

    My trading feedback thread

     

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  • 57Deluxe57Deluxe Frets: 5406
    put a wanted up on Freecycle and see what comes up
    <Vintage BOSS Upgrades>
    __________________________________
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