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Cassette stuff and tape tests archive

yewneek

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Jan 5, 2020
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A few years back I was really into repairing and using cassettes. A bit of a tape tech if you will. Also, I would source old hifi, refurbish it and flip it for a little income. It was a distraction, and just about all of the tape stuff, tapes, walkmans, separates, all gone. I have one Walkman left I need to get working, WM-DD33 that was previously tuned up, but that's it.

There's a great forum/site called tapeheads.net I would frequent, it's pretty sef-explanatory. Interesting for archaic reasons, but it's pretty much exhausted on where it can go.

Anyway, in the scheme of things I got hold of a pretty decent 3-head tape deck, a Nakamichi BX300, and got it singing. It wasn't in bad shape when I got it, but belts and calibration followed soon after. I educated myself with some RTA software, re-educated myself on scienftific rigour in testing from university days, learned how to align, what Lissajous diagrams were, etc etc. I also got into old CD players by Philips, but that's another voyage to follow this week.

So, I got quite good, numbers were following the published specifications from back in the day, and I ventured into a portable Walkman too, the WM-D6C. Got a boxed copy of that in an auction, good condition lightly used by one amateur owner. It was also brought back up to spec relatively easily.

Long and the short, I had a collection of Walkmans, players, and generic Walkmans, and two good recording decks and some calibration stuff that was working, not all the super posh alignment gear, but it was pretty good, and repeatable results.

I had a load of tapes, found, donated, soured from owners, you know how you find old stuff locally if you look. I did. And I did. They've all gone now, save for some off metal tapes if in the attic.

I got down to running tape tests, White noise, sweep tones, comparisons of players, Walkmans, reocrdings, etc.

Attached are the results I generated on that journey. If anyone's interested, Frequency Response graphs mostly, I can supply the FLAC audio files separately on request, but it's an archive of maybe 100MB, so too big really for a post attachment.

Comments or critique welcome, but I'm back on the path of testing stuff again...more re-education coming...

GB
 

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Extreme_Boky

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Jun 9, 2020
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Thanks for sharing. That brings memories. I used to modify the tape decks...that was a long time ago. Every now and then I fire them up to show them to my kids' friends... who never saw let alone heard a tape.
 

Joe Smith

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I still enjoy using the format, have a library of about 300 good prerecorded cassettes, about the same of self-taped. Not growing that, but enjoy using. Most of my setups still have a cassette deck involved, space permitting, and I rotate them in so the machines get periodic use. Surprisingly good sound quality with decent tape and a properly-working machine.

I have a BX-100 and BX-125 in my fleet, I love this era of Nak and they have been very reliable. The BX-300 is a very nice machine indeed. A lot of the benefit of the tippety top Naks without much of the cost and hassle (I love to look at Dragons and 1000s, but no real desire to own and maintain one).

I grew up with LPs and cassettes, and physical media is always going to be a part of how I enjoy music. I would hate to not be able to stream, but I do enjoy what I've collected over 50+ years.
 
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yewneek

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I sold the tape decks and bought a motorbike with the proceeds....not all of the purchase but a very good chunk. The BX300 was a joy to use, so easy as a baseline once it was properly dialled in. The WM-D6C was also fun to use but impractical to carry and use daily. The DD33 was my go-to but a wire became loose, and needs refixing. When that's done...I'll likely flip it too!
From my results...the MAXG90 is amazing. and the DD33 second to none on FR. Beating the D6C, but it's archaic, a curio. Some guys pay good coin and I'm happy to oblige!
 
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