Good cassette player?

I FINALLY found a box of tapes that I lost about 10 years ago. Tons of late night college radio I recorded in the early 90s.

I have no idea whats going on with cassette players. Can anyone recommend one which has a decent noise floor and good output for sampling? (XLR? Toslink?) Time to digitize these and post online :)

thanks in advance!





I just gave away a Nakamichi LX-5. I think most folks abandoned them decades ago. I would think AudioGon or eBay will get you a old high end machine for almost nothing. I would just use single ended interconnects… it is not high fi by todays standards. 

A Nak bx100 can be had for cheap money on ebay, just make sure it is working. I’d send mine off to you, but it is in a state of disrepair...belts etc...all apart. Also have an Aiwa 770 and 660, both mint, I use them frequently. You haven’t heard cassettes until you’ve heard them on these machines....simply wonderful. When taping from an LP to a quality type II chrome cassette, you can almost not tell the difference between the two. Just taped a few songs from my Morgana King record, A taste of Honey. Unreal sound quality. Beats the pre-recorded cassette of the same album hands down, not even close. 

Actually, with the infancy resurgence (there are musicians releasing content on cassette, if you can believe it), a fully functional restored deck can fetch a fair amount of money. And actually the higher end ones sound pretty decent, depending how the recording was made. 
If just doing payback you’ll want to know what tape formulation and what if any noise reduction was applied to have the capability to set bias, EQ, and NR to appropriate/matching settings. 
If you are going to record, you will want a 3-head deck to monitor what is being recorded real time.

Try to find the same model deck you recorded them on (in good operating condition) and use single ended IC's as already mentioned.

Otherwise just send them to a transfer service (T/F to CD and/or a memory stick).



I remember much better treble extension in AIWA deck equipped with HX-Pro (bias servo), but it was only for recording.

some nice refurbished Nakamichi sometimes available at decent might want to make sure the tapes are still good before you spend money...sometimes they decay badly, physically and sonically...

Save your money. Most likely these cassettes are not usable anymore. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, sorry. 



Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,


As long as the tapes were good quality, TDK, Maxell, etc. they should play fine. If they were cheap Radio Shack or other cheap ones, all bets are off. I was always a Nak fan, and would agree that getting a used Nak would be a good idea, (since you can be sure they have been well taken care of). But you should digitalize them as soon as possible by recording direct to a PC. Lots of adapters on Amazon and other sites you can buy.

I'm listening to a tape (Sony Super Metal Master)made 2 decades ago, Bill Evans Waltz for Debby, on my Tandberg 3014A. It still amazes me how good a lowly cassette tape can sound. I'm a Tandberg enthusiast so I'm a bit biased, but the imaging and soundstaging of Tandberg is superior to other decks I've owned in the past.

My less expensive Nakamichi decks (250/350/550/600) did not always sound right with tapes recorded on other decks (Aiwa, Akai to name a few).

The exception was my 700ZXE, but it retailed for around $2.5K in the early 80's.

This is why I suggested trying the deck that they were recorded on, though a T/F service would probably make more sense (unless the OP is going to get back into cassette tape on a regular basis).



Thanks eveyone

I'm looking into a Nakamichi.. I've restored some music gear from that era and pretty familiar with the internals.. I recapped some yamaha gear with Audio Note and other stuff. The boards are really easy to work on. I think I should try that with a Nakamichi and see what they can really do :) 

Seems I want one with their discreet heads, but simple internals. Simple audio path. Some have tons of aged cable harnesses and whatnot...too many "features". Hm

Seems I want one with their discreet heads, but simple internals.

The ones with three heads have a way of the record head failing. The head is rare and expensive (+$300). So if you are looking at such a machine, make sure it records on both channels prior to purchase! 

None of them I've seen have 'simple' internals, whatever that means.