• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

How About Creating a Modern Cassette Player?

Streaming for music is one of the most annoying processes ever. It may be convenient for films or YouTube clips, but not for serious music listening, at least not for us stubborn old-fashioned media buffs. I want to have physical objects in my hand, I want the ability to choose the type of media as well as the year of release, version, mastering etc. I want to index, compile, transfer, copy and edit as I see fit, not just be presented with an "industry standard" general version created by a business person. And don't even get me started on internet outages and what they cause to streaming. If Fosi can create a modern cassette player, good. Choice will not hurt. Something along the lines of a Nakamichi ZX series will do nicely :)
At Nakamichi ZX prices?
 
Streaming for music is one of the most annoying processes ever. It may be convenient for films or YouTube clips, but not for serious music listening, at least not for us stubborn old-fashioned media buffs. I want to have physical objects in my hand, I want the ability to choose the type of media as well as the year of release, version, mastering etc. I want to index, compile, transfer, copy and edit as I see fit, not just be presented with an "industry standard" general version created by a business person. And don't even get me started on internet outages and what they cause to streaming. If Fosi can create a modern cassette player, good. Choice will not hurt. Something along the lines of a Nakamichi ZX series will do nicely :)
This will not happen. That era of cassette production is over with! I enjoy still using all of my physical formats, and buy things occasionally, but sure would not give up streaming. I've discovered so much new music, and all for the cost of one new vinyl album per month.

As to cassettes, if you enjoy using, best solution I have found is to have a series of good working decks and rotate them periodically so they get some periodic use.
 
Hopefully cheaper, given modern advanced manufacturing.
Probably more expensive, considering both inflation and smaller runs of the product.
What's really needed is something simple, inexpensive and designed for transfer to digital media. A playback only device would make sense - design something to transfer tapes before they fall apart. Dolby B only. Dual capstan would sound better, but the limiting factor will be the tapes themselves. As pointed out elsewhere, there was a lot of expense in the r & d for cassette decks, the kind of thing corporate monoliths could afford in the 20th century, but not little companies in the 21st century.
 
Probably more expensive, considering both inflation and smaller runs of the product.
What's really needed is something simple, inexpensive and designed for transfer to digital media. A playback only device would make sense - design something to transfer tapes before they fall apart. Dolby B only. Dual capstan would sound better, but the limiting factor will be the tapes themselves. As pointed out elsewhere, there was a lot of expense in the r & d for cassette decks, the kind of thing corporate monoliths could afford in the 20th century, but not little companies in the 21st century.

Well, at least we're not completely out of options. As remnants of the monoliths, Marantz and Tascam still make cassette decks, not the same build quality as their earlier models but they do work and are still in production. And there is, of course, the used market. Maybe Fosi can obtain/license transport mechanisms and do the electronics themselves?
 
Well, at least we're not completely out of options. As remnants of the monoliths, Marantz and Tascam still make cassette decks, not the same build quality as their earlier models but they do work and are still in production. And there is, of course, the used market. Maybe Fosi can obtain/license transport mechanisms and do the electronics themselves?
Tascam made some excellent workhorse cassette decks, radio stations liked them. Yamaha, or so I was told, had the transports of Nak decks and their own electronics. This was good, as a Dolby B cassette recorded on a Nak would not play back correctly on any other brand of deck.
 
Hello audiophiles!

We're contemplating venturing into cassette players and would love your input. With many vintage Walkmans becoming hard to repair, niche bands releasing music on tapes, and a steady demand for cassette players, we see an opportunity. However, current models often don't live up to expectations, so we're eager to offer you an alternative.

As you know, cassette player technology from 20 years ago has largely been lost, making production challenging due to scarce core components. We're in the initial stages of defining this product and would greatly value your insights to co-create something special.

After some research, we've developed three concepts and we're curious to know which resonates with you:

1. A focus on playback and sound quality, minimizing other features. We'd concentrate on the mechanical structure and high-quality magnetic heads. Our aim is affordability and a sleek design, creating a dedicated music player without an overload of features.

2. Besides playback and sound quality, we're considering additional features like AIWA-style EQ custom tuning, various sound enhancements (bass, treble), Bluetooth connectivity, and recording capabilities. It might be slightly bulkier and pricier, but the added functionality would enhance its longevity and playability.

3. Alternatively, we could move away from the traditional Walkman model and create a modern, compact cassette deck. This would incorporate Bluetooth transmission, analog-to-digital conversion, and recording functions. If you have more ideas, we're all ears!

Which direction appeals to you most? What price point would you consider reasonable?

Or, just let us know your ideal vision of a cassette player. We're excited to hear from you!

Ideal vision of a cassette player:
 

Attachments

  • Nakamichi_Dragon.jpg
    Nakamichi_Dragon.jpg
    118.9 KB · Views: 62
Ideal vision of a cassette player:
I "admire" the Dragon...but it was/is way too complex a device for most people's needs. They take a lot of love to work perfectly. I like decks that sound good and don't need a s*** ton of care and feeding...
 
Zero interest in cassettes, please bring back the MiniDisc instead.
MD makes a lot more sense than cassette. At least it can rival CD. However, lack of media is a serious problem.
 
I "admire" the Dragon...but it was/is way too complex a device for most people's needs. They take a lot of love to work perfectly. I like decks that sound good and don't need a s*** ton of care and feeding...

Completely agree, I posted a photo of the Dragon just symbolically, because it is well known and Fosi asked for an "ideal vision"... I do understand that it ain't gonna happen. Plenty of less fussy "workhorse" reliable decks in history from the likes of Teac/Tascam, Sony, Technics and others, if they really want to reverse engineer one and learn.
 
My vote: no.
Today everything is a file, stored where ever you want and need it, if local, mobile or streamable.
Loved to copy vinyl and rip radio to cassette centuries past, but won't want to have to go back to this.
 
I "admire" the Dragon...but it was/is way too complex a device for most people's needs. They take a lot of love to work perfectly. I like decks that sound good and don't need a s*** ton of care and feeding...
Since this is a metric-friendly crowd, I feel compelled to note that this is equivalent to approximately 0.9 s*** tonnes.
:cool:
 
Last edited:
MD makes a lot more sense than cassette. At least it can rival CD. However, lack of media is a serious problem.
As are the ageing of the MD player/recorders, unfortunately. The lack of pre-recorded media doesn't worry me so much, as I generally use MD as a recorder.
 
As are the ageing of the MD player/recorders, unfortunately. The lack of pre-recorded media doesn't worry me so much, as I generally use MD as a recorder.
In the age of streaming, recording makes little sense unless one is recording performances of one's group or of a group for someone else. Otherwise, streaming makes more sense.
 
As are the ageing of the MD player/recorders, unfortunately. The lack of pre-recorded media doesn't worry me so much, as I generally use MD as a recorder.
Not the lack of pre-recorded media. Never was any significant amount of that for MD. The lack of new, blank media is a problem. NOS cassettes of any sort are quite pricey these days, expecially on a a price/performance basis. MD are much better, but also have not been made in years.
 
It needs Bluetooth output to have a chance of success today, but I would not be interested in a cassette player regardless of features. CDs are better in every way.

A portable DAP with a good DAC and small CD player would make much more sense. I don't have any old cassettes and would never even think about buying new ones.

Edited to add: It needs Bluetooth and USB output as well as regular and balanced headphone inputs. Something like all the features of a Hiby R6 Gen 3 with a CD player. I'd buy that.
 
Back
Top Bottom