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Who knows about old Nakamichi cassette decks?? Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 29th August 2006
  #31
Gear Head
 
dcisive's Avatar
 

Geez.....I currently have a CR-4A Nakamichi which is a direct drive "silent mechanism" discreet 3 head machine that I'll be has less than 100 hours use. I doesnt' even have a finger print on it let alone a scratch. The capstans are clean and were maintained from day one. I got this one back when I was selling high end audio back in the mid 80's, and got into my first recording studio. Back then it was a Tascam board with a Tascam 80-8 1/2" tape with some pretty nice outboard stuff. I was one of the first adopters of the guitar-synth interfaces back then it seemed. I liked the orchestral backgrounds to my stuff and that was the only way to get it. Wasted a lot of $$ finding the right sound. For me back then the Roland D550 module was the cats meow. I loaded up on the Aphex Dominator, Compellor and Aural Exciter stuff along with some nice Reverbs (Yamaha and Lexicon). Plunked down my Visa for a AKG 414B-ULS and Neuman TLM 130 as well along with some others. Got WAYYY in debt and alas when I moved to another State ended up having to sell it all off for pennys on the dollar to keep eating as I had lost a job given when I moved. A long drought followed until finally jumping back on the wagon with a Korg D3200 (studio in a box) last fall. Man things sure have changed since the analog days. Can't say I'm sorry as it takes up a LOT less space and frankly sounds wonderful. With the editing capabilites it can be empowering. Now what to do with that like new and rather unused Nakamichi?
Old 29th August 2006
  #32
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dimme3's Avatar
 

I can buy a
- NAKAMICHI 1000 Tri Tracer
- NAKAMICHI 1000 MKII
- NAKAMICHI 700 MKII


What would be the best buy ? I'm gonna use it for tape saturation effects.

Old 31st August 2006
  #33
Lives for gear
 

$.02

IMHO... your not gonna get the real thing out of a cassette running at what? 1.25"/sec.... lets remember that those old 2" machines as well as the 1" & 1/2" mix down decks ran at 30 ips in most cases....
Old 31st August 2006
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dementedchord View Post
IMHO... your not gonna get the real thing out of a cassette running at what? 1.25"/sec.... lets remember that those old 2" machines as well as the 1" & 1/2" mix down decks ran at 30 ips in most cases....
Hi

I beg to differ... while most other cassette decks were spec'd for frequency response at a low level, the Nakamichi's were flat 20 to 20KHz (with the right tape) at the 0VU level.

Pardon my reposting this June post...

Hi

I don't believe that old wive's (or old tech's) tale!

As I posted earlier, I had a lot to do with CBS Records where they pressed vinyl and wound cassette tapes.

The 1/8" tape was recorded onto a giant "pancake" fitted to a modified Studer recorder

The tape was then loaded into a packing machine that wound it into the cassettes, stuck the labels, and did just about everything else so that the finished cassette tapes, in boxes, popped out the other end at a hell of a rate.

They had several quality control rooms where samples of cassettes were monitored on Nakamichi cassette tape recorders. What a horrible job for someone that liked music!

Anyway, I was chums with the chief engineer there and he always spoke highly of the machines and they weren't custom modified.

So I think this "unique" aspect would apply more to lesser tape recorders that might have azimuth or other spec out of sorts.

The Nakamichi's were depended on to be consistent.

I supplied those guys with a custom Neve monitoring console, by the way, that had those 2087 stereo 1081's in it.

I wonder if it's still there?


PS They run at 1.875" per second.

Old 31st August 2006
  #35
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$.02

hey geoff thnx for clearing up the IPS thing for me but i'm still not sure he's gonna get the tape saturation that he's asking about...
Old 5th September 2006
  #36
Here for the gear
 

i worked at a nakamichi dealer and had a 1000ZXL among others. really amazing deck... would do the azimuth and bias adjustment for every tape you put in there. i vaguely remember the nakamichi people telling us the reason for the 'incompatibility' of nak-made tapes was something to do with an idea that they were the only company that made their own tape heads.... just throwing it out there...
Old 17th October 2009
  #37
So, which audio cassette should a naks slut use today ?

Quote:
Many of the consumer cassette machines made today or in the last 15 years are aligned with TDK SA tape in Type II (Chrome) situation but for Maxell tapes in a Type I (Ferric) situation, however there is a slight problem there since the actual high quality Maxell tape formulation most manufacturers specify went out of production in early 2003, this is in contrast to the professional analogue recorders that are usually lined up for Emtec tapes, also note that some Fuji and a couple of other Japanese chrome tapes need pretty extreme BIAS adjustments that may not be available on older recorders (but are fine on even low-budget modern recorders), this is especially the case with Nakamichi recorders, on the other hand Emtec cassette tapes were always designed with compatibility in mind, which is probably why most professional machines are aligned for them. Sadly the manufacture of FerroChrome tape has been stopped by all manufactures, a damn shame since that was a very clever tape formulation and sounded better than either ferric or chrome to my ears.
I'm going for TDK Type II... am I wrong ??
Old 18th October 2009
  #38
Here for the gear
 

My Nak RX202 (the 2 head one that flips the tape out for auto reverse) recently stopped working. Anyone know a good place to send it in for repair? Not even sure its worth it, but it was my first piece of "high end" gear I bought new 1990 so I have some sentimintality with it.
Old 18th October 2009
  #39
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I still have one and it's great, but if you take a tape made on one to another deck they sound weird.

Great if you're using it to record onto then back into your system.

I bought one as a mixdown deck (still have it) back in the day and it was as much/more then the r2r two tracks I was looking at (consumer).

I ended up using my NAD 614 for a mixdown deck - another great deck. The NAD was the only deck I could record harmonica on and be able to listen to it.

great deal
Old 18th October 2009
  #40
Gear Maniac
 
farhadkd's Avatar
 

Wow

This thread brings back great memories of a misspent past

Is the deck in question an old 1000, 1000 Mk.II, or a 1000 ZXL?

The 1000ZXL, from the early 80's were the pinnacle of Nakamichi's recording achievement, so much so that it sounded as good as source using its built in auto azimuth, bias, and recording level calibration. Top of the line build and electronics. I believe that they were worth considerably more than 1400USD mentioned here somewhere.

The Dragon, much touted as the ultimate Nakamichi by most, had a unique feature that no other deck in the world had at that time, not even other Nakamichi's -Automatic PLAYBACK head azimuth alignment, which is the reason that it found favour in so many places as a playback/QC machine. The Dragon could track the azimuth and head alignment of the deck used to originally record the tape, and reproduce it to "match" playback

Regardless of which, these were all marvelous machines and the pinnacle of tape technology for their time.

For truly stupendous results, use TDK MA, MA-X, MA-XG reference cassettes IEC Type IV Metal. The MA-XG were darned expensive, even in the mid-eighties , they were about 14 USD a tape!!! These cassettes used a diecast magnesium shell!! Talk about high tech in the eighties!!!

The tapes that quickly found favour among audiophiles were the Maxell XLII and XLII-S (IEC Type II - Chrome) which evolved from their very successful UD-XLI and UD-XLII line of tapes. The UDII IEC Type II were a "budget tape" that evolved from a need for more cost effective tape for non high end needs.

I doubt any of these would still be available today, I would guess that a good bet would be TDK SA IEC Type II Chrome, which produced good results, but had performance issues with its shell.

Cheers,

Farhad
Old 18th October 2009
  #41
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noah330's Avatar
You can still find the Maxell XL-II tapes. This was always my tape of choice, actually I liked the slightly more expensive XL-IIS, which had a heavier backing.
Old 4th September 2011
  #42
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musicalavtech's Avatar
 

Sorry not for sale. It only took me 5 years to respond.heh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff_T View Post
Hi

I'll give you $150 for it!

Old 4th September 2011
  #43
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taturana's Avatar
The nakamichi was a really cool cassete deck... at the time in professional studio i also remember a very nice akai professional deck i had and also tandberg and studer cassete decks i used at local studios... quite impressive machines also....
Old 4th September 2011
  #44
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In the 1970s, the nak was tops. As fars as I know, nothing else could claim a 20k top end. Got mine when I got my B&O 4002, replacing the Rabco straight tracker. No other cassette sounded as good to me. Tanberg was getting great reviews, but I don't remember it sounding as good. I had a rack of Akais for real-time cassette duping (along with three high speed multideck dupers) and several three head Akais in the studio.

There were a number of short lived cassette modifications, double speed models, 1/4" models... all in all, the S/N is still limited and the format is rough on the tape. I started getting custom loaded tapes with slips in the shells, which helped out some.
Old 4th September 2011
  #45
Gear Maniac
 

Picked up a ZX-7 earlier this year that had been freshly serviced. What a jewel!
I also managed to find a couple of large unopened boxes of Maxell Metal tapes. Good score.
Old 4th September 2011
  #46
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It's one of the coolest looking pieces of gear ever. I had one ages ago.

While it set new standards for cassettes at the time, the later Dragon trounced it... and by a wide margin. (The Dragon was the only one I knew of that had a little paddle it inserted between the tape and the pressure pad to keep the pressure pad off the tape.)

Keep it for its looks - it's better than a lava lamp.

WW
Old 5th September 2011
  #47
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cdog's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by krusty View Post
Picked up a ZX-7 earlier this year that had been freshly serviced. What a jewel!
I also managed to find a couple of large unopened boxes of Maxell Metal tapes. Good score.
Thats a sick score on the tapes. If you ever want a real trip, check out the price NIB Metal Tapes go for on ebay.
Old 5th September 2011
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinc View Post
LOL !!!

This is a riot.

I bought one of those decks back in the late 80`s and I believe I payed $150 back than.

The studio I bought it from was planning on going all digital around the time of the evil ADAT`s.

They had a big Mackie console and I remembered being jealous of it but now that I think back the console I owned at the time + the 8 track reel to reel combined with the cassette deck probably blew their sound away.
True enough I have to agree.

Even the Dragon, while being a fantastic playback machine as far as cassette goes, is still just a cassette deck. And there's nothing "magic" about cassette. Never was, never will be. Kinda silly really.
Old 5th September 2011
  #49
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
Even the Dragon, while being a fantastic playback machine as far as cassette goes, is still just a cassette deck. And there's nothing "magic" about cassette. Never was, never will be. Kinda silly really.
True, it was just another way of delivering music to the consumer, in a format that could be used in a car. Most of my music from the late 70s, 80s, and early 90s is on cassette. I thought they had degraded over time, as the last deck I had didn't sound very good. On the ZX-7, it's all sounding just fine. I'm rediscovering music I haven't listened to in years.
Old 5th September 2011
  #50
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by orange View Post
for all you guys after a deck, Tim at studiosystems has a load of old nakamichi decks for sale....

http://www.studiosystems.co.uk/forsale_various.php

si
The link's an Error 404...further investigation doesn't show any sign of Nakamichi decks on the 'For Sale' section...
Old 5th September 2011
  #51
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaotic View Post
So I picked up a Nakamichi 1000 tape deck from a thrift shop a while back. I looked on Ebay and have seen them go for $250-$700 depending on their condition. This one is in near perfect condition and I got it for $25. Its beautiful, 3 heads, mic inputs, it weighs a ton, has all sorts of cool looking electronics inside. It even has an adjustable built in limiter. They went for $1400 in the 70s!!

I just planned on throwing it on Ebay and tryin to make a couple of $$. but now Im wondering if I should keep it. Maybe I could bounce some tracks to it from ProTools and get some of that "magical" tape sound.

anyone have any thoughts on this??

I used to have a BX100 and I used to run signal through it just to sweeten up the mix...

Bill
Old 6th September 2011
  #52
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
Well sure, considering that post is over 5 years old I'm not surprised.
Oops...

As much as I'm tempted by Nakamichi hunting on eBay, I think I'm eventually going for a Tascam 202 Mk.4.
Old 8th September 2011
  #53
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skyshooter's Avatar
Cool find! I had for years a Nakimichi CR7A deck, was the greatest sounding and most accurate cassette recorder ever!
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