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Thread: A Tale Of Two Tape Decks

  1. #1
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    A Tale Of Two Tape Decks

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    Late last winter I happened onto an immaculate SONY TC-670 cassette deck at our local second hand store. I paid all of $6.50 for the SONY! Since then I've kept my eyes open for other quality pieces and this weekend I secured a Technics RSM 258R. A little research showed that the deck sold for $400 in 1981 when it was first introduced. Seems precious few other Technics cassette decks from any era sold for more. So it must have been very highly regarded in its time. After a good cleaning and servicing I discovered that the Technics is in perfect working order.

    I decided to compare the SONY with the Technics which are separated by a decade in age. For the test I loaded a fresh cassette of Maxell UDXLII and recorded Bruce Hornsby's CD Hot House first onto the Technics then flipped the tape and recorded it onto the SONY. At first blush the newer SONY seems to have edge as the sound seems more detailed and sharper. However first impressions are not always lasting. I soon learned that whatever the Technics may lack in detail it more than makes up for in warmth and "analogness". There is a smoothness to the sound of the Technics that makes the jazzy Hot House flow with buttery richness. The sound isn't as in your face as it is with the SONY but its as there just the same.

    I'm glad I decided to buy this old Technics machine. It was a bargain at $12 and is turning out to be something of a sleeper. It just might become my favorite cassette deck.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails technics-ms-258r-008-jpg  

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    Heh It's interesting that you should mention this 'cause that's basically what I've found.......

    I had several decks over time and, usually, higher end decks made until about early 80's have a beefier sound than any modern machine. What's more is that while everyone raves over Nakamichi, there's sleeper decks which compare or beat Naks but cost way less...

    Got two JVC decks here, real sleepers, one mid and the other high end (all early 80's). Paid less than 100 (local) for both and not only are they extremely well built but also sound better than a cassette deck should. The source / tape is so close for CD / DVD and Vinyl that it's shocking.

    You're right, may not have super duper frequency response (and paper specs), as some modern machines but my JVC sounds more faithful and "ballsy", more analogue, than any other deck. There's a sense of power and richness lacking in newer decks. Those old units are awesome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjacek View Post
    Heh It's interesting that you should mention this 'cause that's basically what I've found.......

    I had several decks over time and, usually, higher end decks made until about early 80's have a beefier sound than any modern machine. What's more is that while everyone raves over Nakamichi, there's sleeper decks which compare or beat Naks but cost way less...

    Got two JVC decks here, real sleepers, one mid and the other high end (all early 80's). Paid less than 100 (local) for both and not only are they extremely well built but also sound better than a cassette deck should. The source / tape is so close for CD / DVD and Vinyl that it's shocking.

    You're right, may not have super duper frequency response (and paper specs), as some modern machines but my JVC sounds more faithful and "ballsy", more analogue, than any other deck. There's a sense of power and richness lacking in newer decks. Those old units are awesome.
    MY SONY TC K670 is a wonderful machine but it was made in the CD era and even has an input strictly for taking a CD player. This could be why the SONY is somewhat sharper in character as they anticipated CD's getting recorded and added a presence boost.

    Yet both decks are great. I'm still wondering what it must've been like in 1981 shelling out $400 for a cassette deck like the Technics RSM 258R. I paid $475 for my TEAC A-2300SD in 1979 but its huge, heavy and reel to reel. In those days I didn't even own a cassette deck I was strictly reel to reel. Yet obviously people did spend serious money on cassette decks and I'm learning that some were outstanding in sound quality. It's something of a pity that people seem less concerned about sound quality these days. I've found that nearly all modern listening devices sound the same. But was a time when real differences were common even if it was subtle.

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    Nice thread. For the money you spent you can't beat it.

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    I love that old stuff. Here's my current list of "stuff". I recently sold about 10 old Teac reel to reels, including a 3340, to a repair guy who needs spare parts for older stuff. All those old cassette decks are great, but they do all sound different.


    1. Marantz ? 2250B ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Receiver W/wood cover

    2. Marantz - 2220B ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Receiver

    3. Marantz - 2238B ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Receiver

    4. Marantz - 2220B ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Receiver

    5. Marantz - 2238 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Receiver

    6. Marantz - 2230 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Receiver

    7. Marantz - 2238B------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Receiver

    8. Marantz ? 2252B -----------------------------------------------------------------------------Receiver

    9. Marantz ? 2252B - ----------------------------------------------------------------------------Receiver

    10. Marantz - 2252 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Receiver

    11. Marantz ? 2252B ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Receiver

    12. Marantz - 2252 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Receiver

    13. Marantz - 2240 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Receiver

    14. Marantz - 2285 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Receiver

    15. Marantz - 2215 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Receiver - Champagne

    16. Marantz ? 2252B ? ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Receiver W/wood cover

    17. Marantz ? 2220B ? -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Receiver W/wood cover

    18. Marantz ? 2270B ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Receiver

    19. Kenwood ? KR-7600 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Receiver

    20. Kenwood ? KR-7200 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Receiver

    21. Sansui ? 2000 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Receiver

    22. Pioneer ? SX-990 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Receiver

    23. JVC ? R-S77 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Receiver

    24. Sony ? ST-6065 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Receiver

    25. Pioneer ? SX-950 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Receiver


    26. AKAI ? AA-1050 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Receiver

    27. CONCEPT ? 2.5 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Receiver

    28. SANSUI ? AU-505 --------------------------------------------------------(AMP ONLY)

    29. KENWOOD ? MODEL ELEVEN III ----------------------------------------------------- Receiver

    30. SHERWOOD ? S-8900 ? Receiver -------------------------------------------------------- Receiver

    31. PIONEER ? SA-7500 II (PART OF SET) ------------------------------------------------ Receiver

    32. AKAI ? GXC-709D ??????????????????.CASSETTE DECK

    33. LUXMAN ? K-118 ??????????????????.CASSETTE DECK

    34. AKAI ? GXC-709D ??????????????????.CASSETTE DECK

    35. AKAI ? GXC-730D ????????????????CASSETTE DECK (AUTO REVERSE)

    36. AKAI ? GX-M50 ???????????????????CASSETTE DECK

    37. KENWOOD ? KX-1030 ????????????????CASSETTE DECK

    38. SONY ? TC-K3 ???????????????????.CASSETTE DECK

    39. MARANTZ ? SD530 ???????????????.CASSETTE DECK (AUTO REVERSE)

    40. YAMAHA ? K-300 ?????????????????..CASSETTE DECK

    41. TEAC ? A-107 ???????????????????..CASSETTE DECK

    42. KENWOOD ? KX-1030 ???????????????...CASSETTE DECK

    43. AKAI ? GX-M50 ??????????????????..CASSETTE DECK

    44. TEAC ? CX-400 ???????????????????CASSETTE DECK

    45. MARANTZ ? 1810 ??????????????????CASSETTE DECK (WORN ? MINE?)

    46. AKAI ? GXC-709D ?????????????????..CASSETTE DECK

    47. AKAI ? GXC-570D ?????????????????..CASSETTE DECK ? (BIG, HEAVY)

    48. AKAI ? GXC-570D ?????????????????..CASSETTE DECK ? (BIG, HEAVY)

    49. TEAC ? CX-650R ???CASSETTE - DECK REVERSE W/ROTATING HEAD WOODEN CABINET


    50. SONY ? TC-K3 ???????????????????.CASSETTE DECK

    51. ADC ? SOUNDSHAPER TWO ?????????????.EQUALIZER ? 12 BAND

    52. KENWOOD ? KT-5500 ????????????????.TUNER

    53. ADC ? SOUNDSHAPER ONE TEN-IC ?????EQUALIZER ? 10 BAND ONE KNOB MISSING

    54. PARASOUND ? EQ200 ????????????????EQUALIZER 10 BAND (BAD SHAPE)

    55. REALISTIC ? 5 BAND EQUALIZER ???????????5 BAND EQUALIZER

    56. PHASE LINEAR ? MODEL 400 ?????????????.POWER AMP

    57. PHASE LINEAR ? MODEL 4000 ?????????????PRE-AMPLIFIER

    58. AKAI ? 1722W ????????????????????..REEL TO REEL TAPE DECK

    59. TEAC ? A2300SD ???????????????????.REEL TO REEL TAPE DECK

    60. TEAC ? A-2520 ????????????????????.REEL TO REEL TAPE DECK

    61. TEAC ? A5300 ????????????????????..REEL TO REEL TAPE DECK

    62. TEAC ? A-3340S ????????????????..REEL TO REEL TAPE DECK - 4 TRACK

    63. PIONEER ? H-R99 ??????????????..8 TRACK CASSETTE RECORDER/PLAYER

    64. AKAI ? CR-80D ???????????????..8 TRACK CASSETTE RECORDER/PLAYER

    65. AKAI ? CR-81D ???????????????..8 TRACK CASSETTE RECORDER/PLAYER

    66. PIONEER ? TX-720 ??????????????????????.TUNER

    67. JVC ? T-X22 ?????????????????????????.TUNER

    68. JVC ? 4RD-1401 ????????????????????REEL TO REEL 4 CHANNEL

    69. AKAI ? GX-280D ???????????????????..REEL TO REEL TAPE DECK

    70. AKAI - GX-4000D ???????????????????REEL TO REEL TAPE DECK

    71. AKAI - GX-4000D ??????????????.REEL TO REEL TAPE DECK (A BIT SHABBY)

    72. PIONEER ? 8 TRACK CASSETTE PLAYER ?????????????? PLAYER ONLY

    73. HARMON KARDON ? 330B ????????????????RECEIVER (NEEDS FEET)

    74. PIONEER ? TX-6500 II ???????????????????????TUNER


    75. FISHER ? CA-270 ??????????..AMPLIFIER ONLY (INTIGRATED, BLACK PLASTIC)

    76. AKAI ? GXC-39 ??????????????????.CASSETTE DECK - TABLETOP

    77. PANASONIC ..???????????????????CASSETTE DECK - TABLETOP

    78. TECHNICS ? RS-D180W ??????CASSETTE DECK (DOUBLE BAY ? BLACK PLASTIC)

    79. JVC ? TD-W220 ??????CASSETTE DECK (DOUBLE BAY ? BLACK PLASTIC - DIRTY)

    80. VECTOR RESEARCH ? VCX-300 ??????????????????.CASSETTE DECK

    81. PIONEER ? CT-F500 ?????..CASSETTE DECK NEW BUT NEEDS BELT OR ROLLER OR ?

    82. PIONEER ? SR-303 ????????????????????????REVERB UNIT

    83. PIONEER ? SG-60 ?????????????????????EQUALIZER - 12 BAND

    84. PIONEER ? SR-202 ???????????????????????? REVERB UNIT

  6. #6
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    vintage electronics

    Nice score!

    Now, is the time to start grabbin' these beautiful pieces of history.
    I've come across vintage decks and amps alot lately.

    Seems as if alot of people have been cleanin' out their closets lately.

    I live in a decent neighborhood, and there are some people with money,...
    and it seems when these people get somethin' new,...they get rid of their old...because, almost everything I've found was in a newer home stereo type box. There hasn't been a week where I haven't seen at least one piece of audio technology sittin' out on the curb for the trashmen to take it away.

    I've accumulated some nice pieces, since I've moved to the area 2 years ago.

    So far, I've retrieved a Beautiful TEAC 360S 2 track in flawless condition,
    a Tandberg TCD-320 2 track, a Technics SU-8044 amplifier, A Sony TC-WR521 cassette deck, a set of Pioneer high end stereo speakers, a set of KLH home stereo speakers, a set of Dynalab 2.8 home stereo speakers, and a few more pieces that I have in the basement, yet to be cleaned up.

    I could be considered a hoarder, or trash picker...but I don't care.
    I love the sound that these older pieces produce.
    As long as the people around here are gonna keep shovelin' their old electronics out to the curb for the trashmen,...I'm gonna keep grabbin' 'em!


    "The bottom line is your ears...if it sounds good the way you are doing it then don't let me, or anybody tell you you are doing it "wrong". - sweetbeats

  7. #7
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    Its hard to resist some of what's out there now. In my case I always loved the quality audio pieces of the 70's, 80's and 90's. But the late 70's early 80's were a great time for analog equipment. But I couldn't afford a lot of what I wanted then. The great thing is now when you find something and it's in good shape it sounds just as good as ever and 9 times out of 10 better than anything offered today. I think music and the enjoyment of music was more important then as opposed to now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corvette View Post
    29. KENWOOD Ė MODEL ELEVEN III ----------------------------------------------------- Receiver
    That thing is bigger than my first apartment...

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    Quote Originally Posted by LDS View Post
    That thing is bigger than my first apartment...
    I hear ya! I just sold a non-working Marantz that isnít on that list because I thought I might want to keep it, but I sold it just to get it the hell out because I could barely lift the fucker. Must have weighed 90 pounds.

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    Tht list was an intense walk down memory lane. In my decade or so of repairing consumer/pro audio I worked on many examples of just about every item on your list. I can still smell the Scott's Liquid Gold from polishing the wood cabinets after I repaired a lot of those units. LOL!!!

    The input selector switches on those Model Elevens were a nightmare to replace.

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