Cassette deck, because...I don't know why.

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
I had a TEAC cassette to CD conversion machine, but I sold it when I was finished (or so I thought) converting my cassettes to CD almost three years ago.

So the other day I suddenly started thinking, "Shit, how am I going to play cassettes now?" Never mind that I have no reason to play cassettes, I thought it anyway. So I bought a cassette deck.

I mention this here for no reason.

All this after telling Carol I wasn't going to "buy any frivolous shit" this year.

Oh, did you know it's really hard to find good quality blank cassette tapes now? No one manufactures high bias tape anymore. If you're of a certain age you can remember when blank cassettes were as common and cheap as Uber driver murder sprees. No more.

Not that I need any. But you know, in case I ever do.
 
I worked at the Tower Video on Sunset in 89. Tower Records was across the street. I remember one weekend they removed almost all the vinyl and replaced it with cassettes. They wanted it rushed, due to the Hanoi Rocks in-store that Saturday night.
I think most of my purchases could be considered "frivolous."
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
I hate cassettes. I threw so many out because they stretched or disentigrated.

I am flying to LA tonight to smack you up side the lips.

Please pick me up at LAX in a rickshaw with a carafe of M&Ms (green ones removed).

Thank you.

Full disclosure, I still have a cassette player.
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
Please pick me up at LAX in a rickshaw with a carafe of M&Ms (green ones removed).
You could have just said, "pick me up as usual."

Yeah, the commercial cassettes were usually made on really shitty tape which I suppose explains your stretch marks. I didn't run into any stretching issues with any of my old tapes, the ones I recorded, and they go back to 1978. I think I only have one old commercial tape, that red Bad Brains ROIR cassette. I'll try listening to that for old times sake when the machine gets here.
I worked at the Tower Video on Sunset in 89.
You probably rang me up once or twice. Tower owned that whole block, it seemed. I used to go to the Tower classical store that was also across from the main store and gaze longingly at the Deutsche Grammophon complete Mozart set, wondering what was the best way to fit that big box under my ratty Levis jacket and casually stroll out the door.
a brick of 5 90-minute XL-II goes for a minimum of $28...
Yeah, I was never a Maxell fan. You can still get blank high bias cassettes from specialty joints.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
In the late 80s, early 90s I had quite a few (30+?) cassettes from the Blue Note label. They were pretty reissues. They all eventually started flaking black snowflakes. Except for a Clifford Brown outtakes tape that I still play on a cassette player I have at work.
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
Ouch. All magnetic tape will oxidize and flake eventually, but good tape will last a long time. 50, 60, 70 years (or more if it's stored in a climate controlled vault somewhere).
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
Ha. I've been trying to remember why I always used TDK, but I really can't. My guess is I had a Maxell fail on me so I turned my back on them. But I'm pretty sure it had nothing to do with sound. The oldest tape I have is from Radio Shack, so that should dispel any audiophile concerns.
 
Yeah, Axl was actually a "shift manager" and worked there for a couple of years, but was gone by the time I arrived. He apparently used to hole up with Slash in the office and (allegedly)redacted (allegedly)redacted, and(allegedly)carrot sticks and paint thinner. You know, allegedly.
 

Johannes

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
He talks about it here, that's where I have it from.



Sorry, don't want to hijack the thread but it clicked when you mentioned Tower Video.
 

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
Over 1000 posts
I still have hundreds of cassette tapes in a closet which is my vault. Is there any future for those or should I toss them all out? I guess I too should try to buy a cassette tape player and play a few good ones. I guess that will lead me to get the duffel bag full of old photos and I'll cry all day sitting on the floor. :emo:
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
Is there any future for those or should I toss them all out?
If there's stuff on the tapes that you don't have on records or isn't available anywhere else, sure there's a future for them.

The problem with buying an old cassette deck though is you kind of have to buy one that someone has recently serviced or cleaned. If you put a good tape into a broken or dirty player you can chew it up, then it's no good to anyone. I've done that. It's a horrible feeling when you hear that crinkling sound, and it's no fun trying to dig the tape out and salvage it.

But if you're considering just throwing the tapes out I suppose you could take your chances on an inexpensive one that you find somewhere locally. Funny though, they're getting harder to find for really low prices now since cassettes are apparently a thing again. Five years ago people were giving old tape decks away. Now there's a market again. You never know which way the wind will blow.
 

Short Bus

Over 1000 posts
I still have a cassette player in my truck. I love going to 2nd hand places and garage sales that are giving the tapes away. That end of\beginning of tape
up
o
o
o
o
b
would make a great ring tone!
 

Faramir

Over 100 posts
Who is the manufacturer? What decade is it from? Is it a twin deck? Does it have dampened action when you press eject?

People like machines. We like buttons and levers and twiddling knobs. The digital age is too hands off, and thus in my opinion inferior to the analog age.
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
harman/kardon (guts may have been made by Nakamichi). It's from 1983-88. It has everything you could want a cassette deck to have, along with half a dozen things you will never need or use (which is a sure sign of quality, right?). Plenty of buttons to push and knobs to twiddle. Many pretty lights.

Harman Kardon CD491 cassette.preview.jpg
 

Faramir

Over 100 posts
That is very pleasing to the eye. Did a quick google and it seems to be a very well thought of deck. If I wasn't poor I'd end up buying far too much vintage hifi equipment. The look of the old stuff is an art form in itself.
 

Andreas

Over 100 posts
I still have hundreds of cassette tapes in a closet which is my vault. Is there any future for those or should I toss them all out? I guess I too should try to buy a cassette tape player and play a few good ones. I guess that will lead me to get the duffel bag full of old photos and I'll cry all day sitting on the floor. :emo:
So why don't you leave out the cassettes and get the duffel bag straightaway? :aerb:

I found a Pioneer cassette deck in the attic the other day. I have no idea when I last made use of it, must be a decade ago. If you (=any of you) would live nearby I'd just hand it over to you, since I'm pretty sure I'll never need that thing again.
 

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
Over 1000 posts
I don't know if I want to go there anymore...
I'm in a been there done that phase. :wb:
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
Funny thing - a couple weeks ago I heard a song I liked and thought I'd go over to Amazon and buy the CD, only there wasn't a CD to buy on Amazon. Or anywhere. Turns out this kid's debut EP was released only on cassette. To which I said, "Wait - I've got a cassette deck!" Ha. It was like kismet, yo.

Another funny thing - I looked up this deck and it sold for $1099 in 1982. The handy official Bukowski.net inflation calculator tells me that's $2700 in today's greenbacks. So my question, obviously, is, who the hell spent that kind of money on a cassette deck?!

Anyway, that is all. Carry on.
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
I have no idea what you're talking about.

Besides, 180 gram vinyl is for suckers!

And this is definitely not a couple of four foot high stacks of CDs sitting in a closet.

cds.jpg
 
Top