Top 10 vintage cassette decks

Howdy folks!

Would like to add an excellent vintage cassette deck to my setup. Luxman PD444  and Victor TT-101 make up my vintage vinyl setup. It would be cool to include a badass old timer cassette deck don't ya think. Also researching 70's, 80's R2R's. There's another thread on that one. Anyway, I appreciate your knowledge and experience with a killer top ten vintage cassette deck. Bam!


Regarding cosmetics, 9/10 is what’s needed. A collector piece but not necessarily in price. My Luxman cost me minty fresh with two boards $1900. My Victor TT-101 drive cost $1500, redone by JP for $1750, original plinth with new Teak veneer $500 including 6 boards, $3750 for Victor which is legendary TT. I put my cassette budget at $3500 for my cosmetic requirements BUT 

Looks like I'll wait on the cassette and put the funds toward an R2R instead. Great info in this thread nonetheless. 

I like the Nakamichi decks- they are built quite nicely...


the three-head models are prone to failure of the 3rd (record) head. The head is very difficult to find and expensive when you do. You may pay as much for that head as you do for the entire machine. IMO its not worth it.

If this warning is insufficient let's put it this way: Check the machine before the purchase is final; beware of 'one channel out in record'. These days that likely means a bad record head.

I will chime in and say ANY three head Nakamichi will likely outperform other decks out there... I have restored many and currently run a CR3A in my main system. It is an outstanding performer.

For overall good looks, it is hard to beat a Pioneer CT-F1250 or Akai GX-8.