Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
Decware Audio Forums
09/25/18 at 13:59:34 


   



Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
Where does cassette tape fit in? (Read 1155 times)
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 3468
Where does cassette tape fit in?
01/19/18 at 02:32:53
 
I am presently trying to see how much of the magic of master tapes I can capture on a cassette tape.  I already know it will be enough to justify the effort, but what will the final analysis hold when the two are compared side by side?

Stay tuned.


Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
SonicSeeker
Seasoned Member
****


Listening to the
music not the
equipment

Posts: 384
Re: Where does cassette tape fit in?
Reply #1 - 01/19/18 at 18:25:23
 
I am curious to what you find.
Back to top
 
 

Line Magnetic 219ia
Manley Chinook
Klipsch LaScala
VPI Signature Classic Rosewood

  IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 3468
Re: Where does cassette tape fit in?
Reply #2 - 01/20/18 at 04:33:33
 
Since I had some type II tape, I thought it would be interesting to see what could be done on it since it is fairly inexpensive.  It is a +5dB tape and no more.  It took about 5 tries to get the levels low enough not to saturate the tape on peaks, but when reviewing the final result my thought was "hmm, if you can get type II tape to sound this good..."

So I have ordered some metal type IV tape which is fairly expensive to really expensive.  I believe it is +8dB tape so I will do another identical recording on that when it gets here as see what happens.

The type II didn't have the precision of a 15IPS Reel, but the flavor of tape came through loud and clear and there was no noticeable tape hiss.  The sound quality was very good.

Steve
Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
SonicSeeker
Seasoned Member
****


Listening to the
music not the
equipment

Posts: 384
Re: Where does cassette tape fit in?
Reply #3 - 01/20/18 at 16:10:21
 
That is interesting.
I can still hear the sounds associated with loading and playing cassettes even though I have not had them for years, fond memories.
Back to top
 
 

Line Magnetic 219ia
Manley Chinook
Klipsch LaScala
VPI Signature Classic Rosewood

  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 14606
Re: Where does cassette tape fit in?
Reply #4 - 01/20/18 at 16:14:48
 
Type 4 really was an upgrade, I think that a lot of the 15 ips quality should come through. Interesting experiment. I lived with cassettes for some time. . . there's more sound quality possible there than many might think.
Back to top
 
 

HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th, CSP3-25th;PS Audio:Soloist SE,DMP+DSD,P10, PowerBases,XStream Statemt spk cb,AC-12 power cds;Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3;Oppo UDP-205;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;Aurios;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: Oppo PM-1,Sennheiser HD800
  IP Logged
Syd
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 1478
Re: Where does cassette tape fit in?
Reply #5 - 01/20/18 at 17:05:42
 
I've still got my 3 head Nakamichi in the system and occasionally give it a run out. I used to record new lp's on it to play while the album was on frequent rotation thus guarding against infrequent ticks and suchlike. Not big on metal tapes, type 11 ferrics , TDK's were the stocks then a tape called Thats appeared and became my favourites. ( maybe ferric is metal but then you had the chrome which was  audiophile quality I suppose and I wasn't that far down the road then as far as getting the very best )
The old tape in tape outs have gone now so I really want a Decware switch box to get back in the old groove  :) Makes sense with so many new vinyls being of precarious quality. Maybe good metal tapes as well....
Many Dolbys have come and gone, there is b and c Dolby as well as an MPX filter on my LX-5. You have to play back with the same setting you recorded on. That's the theory. In practice you record flat and if there's a hiss on playback you try the filters. I record flat and play back flat as the hiss is so minimal. I remember that my reel to reel had tape hiss.
Great analogue from the Nak, Warmish and good at reverb
The MPX button has me raising one eyebrow. I should take these aids more seriously.
Back to top
 
 

Decware: Rachaels x 2 bridged, C. SP2+, ZP3, ZMC1, DSC i/c`s, DHC-1 pw/cbl`s Michell Orbe + SME V + M.Benz LP s , Nakamichi LX5, Lowther acoustas DX2`s, WE 16g sp/cbl`s, Isotek mains sub
  IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 3468
Re: Where does cassette tape fit in?
Reply #6 - 02/17/18 at 19:37:17
 

I got the metal cassette tape recently and made another identical recording of a master tape and compared the two.  While the regular tape was good I couldn't say it was any better than an LP.  The metal tape is noticeably better making it as good or better than the LP.  Problem is that blank metal cassette tapes cost more than reel to reel tape, plus you need someone to make copies onto cassette for you.  

For this reason it just makes more sense to purchase a reel to reel machine.  

Steve
Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 3468
Re: Where does cassette tape fit in?
Reply #7 - 09/22/18 at 03:17:02
 

Rather than start a new topic, I thought I would just update this conversation with a recent observation...

I have a nice sounding Nakamichi Cassette Deck and I took a FUJI metal cassette tape and recorded some test tracks from master tapes and then gave it a listen.

My first take away from the playback was that the sound of tape was there in spades.  It was big, dimensional, deep, high density music.  The imaging and believability were great, it had something special.  I very much enjoyed it.  For me, when I can make the front end of my listening room melt into a 3D soundscape with tangible weight and impeccable tone and timbre I'm there.  The cassette tape in its highest quality does it in spades, no problem.  And it is that very thing that draws me to any format.  It's numero uno.  Secondly, if you can get numero uno right, is dynamics and everything else.

So what I am saying is that while 320 Nano-weber-meters or higher 15 IPS 1/4 inch tapes are great, you can get the fundamentals of tape from even a high grade cassette machine.  Some 30 years ago I used to have a Sony ES CD player that was pristinely detailed and imaged well.  I would copy the CD's to metal cassette tapes and play the tapes back and it would just embarrass the original CD... getting something out of nothing, or was it there all along and the tape just decodes it?

Behind the whole analog vs. digital dogmas are the fundamentals -- which are magnetic coupling vs. no magnetic coupling. The cartridge or the tape head are magnetically coupled to the source.  That's one degree of separation but with ten degrees of control...and of course the unmistakeable sound difference between the two...  This is the reason why I have the balanced output of my DAC magnetically coupled through a transformer which is then magnetically coupled through a second transformer feeding a balanced preamp to restore lost energy and jack things up a bit to feed a final transformer that feeds the amplifier.  This makes digital sound analog like, but without the inherent noise of tape or records.  It's a win win situation.

Still, for anyone truly into their stereo, tape is a unique experience (a mechanical one) with a unique sound well worth having some enjoyment out of.  Again, you can buy a good cassette deck (and spare belts) or a small reel-to-reel machine for under 500 bucks, collet a few 7.5 IPS 2 track or 4 track tapes (depending on the tape machine you get) and then go on eBay and get vintage tapes and amaze yourself with the results... it's a lot of fun.

The down side of tape is that with all mechanical experiences come challenges.  A brand new in the box cassette deck from 1979 awaits it's first tape... you excitedly (and stupidly) get one of your best $30 cassette tapes and pop it in the machine... you press play,  you wait... no sound but wait, you can hear something happening... you press stop and try to eject the tape... no go.  Tape machine ate the tape.  No way to get the tape out without cutting it apart.  Machine gets opened up to remove tape and belts have turned into black ink.  400 paper towels later and a pint of alcohol later you put fresh belts on it, clean the heads, demagnetize it and you're good to go.

You see, this is why our children have no appreciation for things.  Even music, you had to work for -- back in the day. Hell, in order to drive a car you had to know how to drive.  Now we have self-steering cars so you can masterbate on the highway while you text your facebook fans and listen to MP3's.

So you see, tape is more than just about tape. It's about preserving patients, hard work and quality to effect an appreciation for the result -- a joy and a quality factor that is not obtainable without those prerequisites.





Steve
Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
Jeff of Arabica
Seasoned Member
****


Name the greatest of
all inventors...
Accident.

Posts: 640
Re: Where does cassette tape fit in?
Reply #8 - 09/22/18 at 04:19:37
 
Steve Deckert wrote on 09/22/18 at 03:17:02:

Now we have self-steering cars so you can masterbate on the highway while you text your facebook fans and listen to MP3's.


Grin  By far the funniest damn thing I have heard/read all month.  My stomach is hurting!  
Back to top
 
 

ZMA//Zen Ultra//Rachel//Super Zen//Taboo MKIII//PS Audio DirectStream DAC + Memory Player + P10//Muse Phono Stage//London Decca Reference//Dynavector DV-507 MKII//Zen Head//SonoruS Reel-to-Reel w/ tube playback pre-amp//Omega SAHOs//DM946//Oppo UDP-205
  IP Logged
Archie
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 1041
Re: Where does cassette tape fit in?
Reply #9 - 09/22/18 at 18:21:43
 
I know that every generation seems to criticise the next for skills lost but times are getting ridiculous!  I had a conversation with my plumber yesterday.  It seems that some new boilers require a router connection to function.  They automatically send status information so that a repairman can show up at your door without you even knowing you have a problem.  Sounds good?  When asked for the location of the house water shut off, most homeowners point to the gas meter!   Tongue
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Pages: 1
Send Topic Print