What was the last cassette tape you bought?

Bad news, the Revox deck arrived faulty. Seller agreed to take it back and giving me a full refund, he even paid for the return shipping.

Good news, found a Dutch company who will completely restore and modify my Sony deck with new and better electrical parts for a even better sound. They offer two years warranty on parts and labor so it's a no brainer.

Sorry to hear about the Revox Drikus. Getting the Sony properly sorted sounds like a good plan, although I’ve always found that Nakamichis have been my favoured decks for getting the best from pre-recorded cassettes. Maybe Something to do with their replay response and lifting the pressure pad? Otherwise the NAD 6300 is a good choice. IIRC it shares heads with the Revox and has a useful play trim function to help dull sounding pre-recorded tapes. This feature is shared with cheaper Yamaha decks, and for an inexpensive deck the KX-580SE is s great choice. 

Anyway, I hope the Sony rebuild goes well. Fun thread.

I seem to be getting nowhere getting a deck. Send the Sony deck to the Dutch company yesterday, was offered today but no one was home so they delivered it to a parcel pick-up point nearby. Now he refuses to get the parcel from the shop even after I offered to pay for his transport costs! Looked up his so called company and it turns out nothing but an ordinary terraced house in a small street... Contacted the courier service, parcel has to be returned asap.

Got my eye on a 1993 Nakamichi DR-1 now. Serviced in December 2017 and in mint condition. Comes in the original packaging. Is this deck any good?

I'm not so much of a fan of the DR-1.  Despite the useful playback azimuth control, for some reason the examples I have heard sounded a bit hard and lacking something of the old Nak magic.  However, the preceding Cassette Deck 1 sounded much better, and the 1.5 is also nice and worth getting too.  A BX-300 is an excellent deck, just so long as it hasn't been worn out - many are, so be careful.

The Dragon is perhaps the ultimate deck for playing back pre-recorded cassettes thanks to its NAAC auto azimuth system combined with the classic asymmetric resonance diffused dual capstan transport.  If the condition is good and the price is right within your budget, that would be my pick for your purposes.

Drikus

I would go for a BX 300 E and get it serviced by B&W down in Worthing.Its got a lovely reel to reel sound about it.I have a CR 7 E and a BX 300 and the CR 7 E is very clean sounding but lacks the soul of the BX 300.Sorry not very good at discribing sound quality but it's all the Nak you will need and you could save alot of cash over a Dragon

Cheers Ian

 

Coincidentally, in the main system I have a ZX-9 as my main deck and a BX-300E as secondary deck.

Do take extra care though when looking for a BX-300.  It has always been a very highly regarded deck, and a popular one too, so usually plenty around.  However, it was also popular in somewhat less salubrious circles, so plenty have had a hard life and good though the heads are, they do wear with use. However, find a good one, privately owned from new, preferably recently serviced, and you may well have something of a bargain in that, although it's one of the first Sankyo era Naks,  you effectively get all the Nak "goodies" - 3 heads, dual capstans, pressure pad lifter, direct drive etc.. - and even a few extras such as the pitch control. Performance is superb, better than 99.9% of other cassette decks.  And of you're wondering, yes, that remaining 0.1% includes the ZX-9, which is simply phenomenal for a cassette deck, and sounds more like a good R2R.  Interestingly, the BX-300E was called the ZX-5 in its home country.   and performance-wise I reckon it's fully deserving to be part of the ZX range.

Richard Dane posted:

I'm not so much of a fan of the DR-1.  Despite the useful playback azimuth control, for some reason the examples I have heard sounded a bit hard and lacking something of the old Nak magic.  However, the preceding Cassette Deck 1 sounded much better, and the 1.5 is also nice and worth getting too.  A BX-300 is an excellent deck, just so long as it hasn't been worn out - many are, so be careful.

The Dragon is perhaps the ultimate deck for playing back pre-recorded cassettes thanks to its NAAC auto azimuth system combined with the classic asymmetric resonance diffused dual capstan transport.  If the condition is good and the price is right within your budget, that would be my pick for your purposes.

No DR-1 then, thanks for the info.

The Dragon will be used solely with pre-recorded cassettes so that's the ultimate machine for me. The condition seems good but the pic are too dark to have a good look so I asked the seller for some additional pics. Price is just within my budget but he accept offers so there's room to haggle.

Tabby cat posted:

Drikus

I would go for a BX 300 E and get it serviced by B&W down in Worthing.Its got a lovely reel to reel sound about it.I have a CR 7 E and a BX 300 and the CR 7 E is very clean sounding but lacks the soul of the BX 300.Sorry not very good at discribing sound quality but it's all the Nak you will need and you could save alot of cash over a Dragon

Cheers Ian

 

But I want a Dragon .

Tabby cat posted:

Just done an image search and here is the BX 300 E.It packs so much into a smaller Nak......Dirkus if you want to really lash out with the cash.....a ZX9 is the one.....but if you don't the BX 300 E is the biz in my opinion

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ab/18/55/ab185538b24642202cd38a0f88825354.jpg

The seller also got two ZX-9's for sale but the Dragon is the best for playback of pre-recorded cassettes I'm told so that will be my first choice.

Richard Dane posted:

Coincidentally, in the main system I have a ZX-9 as my main deck and a BX-300E as secondary deck.

Do take extra care though when looking for a BX-300.  It has always been a very highly regarded deck, and a popular one too, so usually plenty around.  However, it was also popular in somewhat less salubrious circles, so plenty have had a hard life and good though the heads are, they do wear with use. However, find a good one, privately owned from new, preferably recently serviced, and you may well have something of a bargain in that, although it's one of the first Sankyo era Naks,  you effectively get all the Nak "goodies" - 3 heads, dual capstans, pressure pad lifter, direct drive etc.. - and even a few extras such as the pitch control. Performance is superb, better than 99.9% of other cassette decks.  And of you're wondering, yes, that remaining 0.1% includes the ZX-9, which is simply phenomenal for a cassette deck, and sounds more like a good R2R.  Interestingly, the BX-300E was called the ZX-5 in its home country.   and performance-wise I reckon it's fully deserving to be part of the ZX range.

Why did you prefer a ZX-9 over a Dragon?

Drikus posted:

The Dragon will be used solely with pre-recorded cassettes so that's the ultimate machine for me. The condition seems good but the pic are too dark to have a good look so I asked the seller for some additional pics. Price is just within my budget but he accept offers so there's room to haggle.

Hi Drikus

I have a 1989 Dragon, bought it in 2002 (it was serviced by B&W in 2014), it sounds lovely and really does get the best out of pre-recorded cassettes of all kinds. I think that the CR7 was a better recorder, and more reliable as it was a simpler machine.

But if you're solely using it for playback, I'd go for a Dragon - plenty around but be prepared to put some extra cash aside for a service by B&W, Willy Herman etc. And it's a real head-turner...

Here's mine (no, it's not for sale):

Nakamichi Dragon #3

Nakamichi Dragon #2

Yellow in Black

Kevin-W posted:
Drikus posted:

The Dragon will be used solely with pre-recorded cassettes so that's the ultimate machine for me. The condition seems good but the pic are too dark to have a good look so I asked the seller for some additional pics. Price is just within my budget but he accept offers so there's room to haggle.

Hi Drikus

I have a 1989 Dragon, bought it in 2002 (it was serviced by B&W in 2014), it sounds lovely and really does get the best out of pre-recorded cassettes of all kinds. I think that the CR7 was a better recorder, and more reliable as it was a simpler machine.

But if you're solely using it for playback, I'd go for a Dragon - plenty around but be prepared to put some extra cash aside for a service by B&W, Willy Herman etc. And it's a real head-turner...

Here's mine (no, it's not for sale):

Very nice Kev but sacrilege to put anything on top of it!

The Dragon is recently serviced. Here's what been done on it; 

Cleaned old lubricant from capstans, hubs, idler, cam mechanism, head block, pinch roller.
Reconditioned pinch rollers.
Relubed all as needed.
Replaced spooling idler tire, capstan belt, cam belt, counter belt.
Realigned tape path guides and head depth and zenith.
Adjusted transport stop, cue and play points.
Reset head height and azimuth.
Adjusted electronics for correct play and record levels.
Adjusted test tone levels.
Verified that it meets the original specifications.

Tabby cat posted:

Richard,

This is one Nak that fell off my radar but came across on the net.The MR2 -  I think they must be pretty rare even when a current model.It Looks slightly pro looking.

Do you know much about it in Nak history ?

Cheers Ian   

 

Ian

I think the MR2 was primarily a belt drive pro machine, used in studios. It only had two heads and was made in their declining years (I think production ceased in '94). Someone once told me it was a pro version of the BX100.

Looks nice, but I've been told there are better Naks out there (including the MR1).

Drikus posted:
Richard Dane posted:

Coincidentally, in the main system I have a ZX-9 as my main deck and a BX-300E as secondary deck.

Do take extra care though when looking for a BX-300.  It has always been a very highly regarded deck, and a popular one too, so usually plenty around.  However, it was also popular in somewhat less salubrious circles, so plenty have had a hard life and good though the heads are, they do wear with use. However, find a good one, privately owned from new, preferably recently serviced, and you may well have something of a bargain in that, although it's one of the first Sankyo era Naks,  you effectively get all the Nak "goodies" - 3 heads, dual capstans, pressure pad lifter, direct drive etc.. - and even a few extras such as the pitch control. Performance is superb, better than 99.9% of other cassette decks.  And of you're wondering, yes, that remaining 0.1% includes the ZX-9, which is simply phenomenal for a cassette deck, and sounds more like a good R2R.  Interestingly, the BX-300E was called the ZX-5 in its home country.   and performance-wise I reckon it's fully deserving to be part of the ZX range.

Why did you prefer a ZX-9 over a Dragon?

I guess it just goes back to my youth.  The ZX-9 was special - the deck that Nakamichi built for themselves, to make their own recordings.  I heard one playing a Nakamichi recorded cassette and it was amazing - so unlike cassette decks I'd heard up until then. The record head azimuth optimisation on the ZX-9 makes it a formidable recorder, and combined with the bias and sensitivity level adjustment system for each channel, it absolutely ensures it gets the best from any tape you care to load. The only possible niggle is the lack of external EQ adjustment (it's internal), but with more modern (1982 onwards) tapes, that's something with limited usefulness as EQ became much more consistent.

Truth to tell, if a really good Dragon had come up at the right time then i might well have gone that way instead - auto-reverse playback and NAAC apart, they are very similar.  However, I'm not alone in suspecting that the split head and extra circuitry of the NAAC system may make a difference, maybe not always for the better.  But as a tool for getting the best possible replay from a wide range of differently sourced cassettes, it's probably king.  I think the Dragon is pretty cool.  I wouldn't say no.

Ian, AFAIK the MR-1 and MR-2 were versions of the BX-300 and BX-125 that came with rack mounts and 1/4 inch input/output jacks and (MR-1) balanced XLR in/outs, and the ability to patch in an external NR unit.  They were designed for studio use. The MR2 actually offered a few extras over the BX-125, with an additional output (handy for daisy chaining duplication), pitch adjustment and also variable bias, which is nice, whereas the MR-1 bizarrely lost the external variable bias facility, so appears to be a bit of a backward step from the BX-300.  I guess you would set it up internally for whatever tape you would use and that was that until such time as you changed tape.  The only problem with that is that tape manufacturers tweaked and changed their formulations all the time.  You could have two identical looking tapes but each would have different bias and level requirements.

If you're tempted then bear in mind that as they're pro units you need to be careful and check them very closely for use and abuse. 

Frankly, unless you're in need of balanced in/outs I'd stick with the BX-300E...

Tabby cat posted:

Drikus

I would go for a BX 300 E and get it serviced by B&W down in Worthing.Its got a lovely reel to reel sound about it.I have a CR 7 E and a BX 300 and the CR 7 E is very clean sounding but lacks the soul of the BX 300.Sorry not very good at discribing sound quality but it's all the Nak you will need and you could save alot of cash over a Dragon

Cheers Ian

 

Ian, just found a recently serviced BX-300 for £253. Is that the normal price they going for these days? Seems like a bargain!

Very good price if its been serviced.I think you would be easily be paying over a grand for a Dragon.If you can justify a Dragon I would go for it.....save the money for a holiday or more music then go for the BX 300 E.

It's great on this forum we have an enclave of Cassette users.Most audiophile people I know sneer a bit if you mention the Cassette medium to them but each to their own I suppose.

Richard

Thanks for your comments about the MR2.Have no intention of getting one.I have a CR2 E in the cupboard so no need......The Aiwa F770 - 990  I am tempted with if I see a good example on the bay.Great comments about your ZX 9 when you where younger.

Cheers mate

Panabrite - Cortex Meridian (unplayed)

My first and last contribution, in that I accidentally bought this from Bandcamp a couple of years ago, and my current deck (a Technics RS-B705) is hors de combat as I have run out of inputs on my pre-amp.

D8F6CCCA-4D23-462B-BE75-2673104953E6

My pinnacle of cassette replay was a mid 70s Sony TC-177SD - a top loader with phenomenal performance. At Laskys we relied on cassettes for instant demos (through our trusty comparators) so I recorded a selection of stuff off my Thorens TT onto the Sony that pre-recorded at the time couldn’t compete with - salesman of the month was a cakewalk 😋

Sadly, it, along with my Naim 12/120 (or it might have been a 110), got stolen by my next door neighbour’s son and I used the insurance to briefly defect to Meridian. Cough.

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Tabby cat posted:

Very good price if its been serviced.I think you would be easily be paying over a grand for a Dragon.If you can justify a Dragon I would go for it.....save the money for a holiday or more music then go for the BX 300 E.

It's great on this forum we have an enclave of Cassette users.Most audiophile people I know sneer a bit if you mention the Cassette medium to them but each to their own I suppose.

It's a BX-300, not a BX-300E. What's the difference between these two?

A grand? Good luck finding a Dragon in mint condition and serviced for that price. You'll be looking more in the region of £1700+.

I just made an offer on a ZX-9. Price was not to high because of a few minimal scratches. By the look of it easy to hide with a magic marker. Scratches aren't visible from the front as you can see in the pic below. Was serviced last month. This is the deck;

Thats a great deal on the ZX9.Well pleased for you,it will always trump the Dragon CR 7 E and 1000 ZXL on sound quality though and is one of the best Naks out there.As for the BX 300 and BX 300 E . I have no idea.

Here is my Tandberg 3014 A. Considered on par with the top Naks back in the day.An absolute beast of a deck.Sadly not rewinding and one of the VU's needs a new bulb.Not repairable and no parts available but still plays ok when I use it which is about twice a year.

http://www.myaudioshop.com/media/cache/slider/uploads/users/1506423056567620/1579329795469032/59c64576e5aa7.jpeg 

To be honest Kev not that bothered to much effort and  money in getting it done and have 3 Naks all working well so .....

Out of interest do you stream ?

Personally I am a bit miffed by it.Have built up 3000 vinyl albums and 1000  tapes etc since my youth and love the  feel of vinyl artwork etc.Just makes me laugh that people who stream can get it all where we built up our library's with product.Just find it totally soulless.

Wishing you a good evening

Cheers Ian    

Hi Ian

No, I don't stream, it looks like too much of a faff, and besides, I like looking at racks full of LPs and big piles of CDs and cassettes. I despise Spotify because it pays artists so poorly (unless you're Ed Sheeran, of course).

Wishing you a fine, music-filled evening too.

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