WHat did Audiophiles hear during Tape deck era?

How did Audiophile listened to audiophile quality during tape cassett era?

Remember once cassette was the only way to get your music in your car.

One big reason for its existence was to play your favourite LPs on the move.

At one time companies such as Alpine and Blaupunkt offered seriously decent (and expensive) tape only units. If you wanted you could go even go active with some Rockford Fosgate amps and subs!

To think how times have changed.
Nowadays they’re not even putting CD players in most cars!

Who wants to faff about with streaming or Bluetooth whilst driving?
At a reminder from a fellow member I dragged out an old tape of Marc Cohn that I must have recorded mid 90,s.
It is on TDK SA tape.
Even after all this time it still sounds spectacular, hard to imagine the record would sound much better in my system.

Exactly my point cd318.
I never had a cheap tape deck that would chew up tapes in any of my cars. If it did it would be yanked out and tossed out the window!
Maybe I was a spoiled brat but when I went to all the trouble to make a great sounding recording then I darn well wanted to hear a great sounding playback of said recording even in the car.
Yes I had amps and subs in a lot of my cars too.......
My cassette voyage started with a Technics RS 673 which I received as a gift for my high school degree - it still runs flawlessly, sendust heads, direct drive. It was a "high end" 2 head deck, the sound is still vivid and extremely stable. Actually, the deck that replaced it has over the years more problems with W & F. This is an Alpine AL 300, Alps attack on the Nakamichi throne, a three head deck with test tone generator, level and bias adjustment, linearly reaching 20k. 20k was a status symbol for the top cassette decks, but was reached with tuned resonances in the electronics...
It sounded superb, it took extremely careful listening with good headphones to detect differences between recorded and replayed music. Tapes used were Maxell & Hitachi EX and XL-II, XL-IIs, some TDKs and many Sonys.
My many recorded tapes (with LPs) still transport the quality of my good LP front ends quite spectularly given the limited physics of the medium. Including the colourful sound of my brothers Garrard "tangential" with a Decca London export...
A surprisingly transparent medium provided the source and the recording deck were of excellent quality.
These days I listen cassettes on a Sony Wd-6 pro portable deck - it's sonically stll extremely satisfying , and the direct drive mechanism (W&F) hasn't suffered a trace over all these years!

I know what you mean. I have a Sony WM D3. I have discovered a way to make cassettes sound better by damping they case. It’s called the Mystery Tweak. But I don’t reveal what it is because then it wouldn’t be a mystery any more. It’s very hush hush 🤫 And speaking of cassettes I just spent my entire stimulus check on cassettes. Was that wrong?
Those Sony WM players are crazy prices right now.
$250 up for the D3 and $600 to $1500 for the D6?