A death in the family (hardware)

DCarmi

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Sad to report that my Cambridge Audio CT-50 cassette deck has shuffled off its mortal spool. It has been with me since 1990 and admittedly has had limited use in its dotage. I did say that when it finally expired, I'd get rid of my tape collection, so it's the end of an era for me.

Sadly the younger generations will not know the joy and dedication of making a mix tape (play lists just are not the same). Working out which track they can fit onto the end of a tape to avoid a 3 minute 12 second runoff. Realising you've recorded something a too high a level and having to start again. Digging out a pencil to rewind a spaghetti like mess or splicing a mangled tape.
 

DCarmi

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Pretty much. The door has sheared and is just floating. Before it cracked (after a rewind), I noticed that the play button was just fast forwarding.

Given, I've used it probably twice in 2 years, it is time to let it go. I gather that because the designed it so that the power switch does not actually disconnect mains, most CT50s transformers short out. Mine did not, though.
 
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Symples

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Sad to report that my Cambridge Audio CT-50 cassette deck has shuffled off its mortal spool. It has been with me since 1990 and admittedly has had limited use in its dotage. I did say that when it finally expired, I'd get rid of my tape collection, so it's the end of an era for me.

Sadly the younger generations will not know the joy and dedication of making a mix tape (play lists just are not the same). Working out which track they can fit onto the end of a tape to avoid a 3 minute 12 second runoff. Realising you've recorded something a too high a level and having to start again. Digging out a pencil to rewind a spaghetti like mess or splicing a mangled tape.
no no no NOOOOOOOOOO

I threw out around 200 of my old tape recordings from the radio and friends' borrowed LPs.

To this day I have regretted doing so. Recordings from 1982 (I have a few tapes) and they bring back so much memories.

DON'T DO IT :)
 

doifeellucky

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I grew up recording the top 40 each week on my Grans old reel to reel, so am very familiar with the amount of effort involved, deciding what to keep and sacrifice each week.

A very generous friend at school gave me copies of his substantial 12” Depeche Mode collection, which significantly transformed my taste in music.

Having also experienced the joys of many chewed tapes in my car over the years I have fond memories.

That being said once mp3 and recordable CD came along I haven’t touched an SA90 since. All went in the bin. No regrets. I still have access to all those 12” via streaming.
 

doifeellucky

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I could bet money that most of my 12" singles would not be on any steaming service.
And (almost) bet my life on a few of them being nowhere at all other than with me😆
I appreciate many artists don’t appear on streaming services, and there are many very limited editions out there. Rather bizarrely the only specific thing that comes to mind right now that I’ve never found is the Kelly’s Heroes soundtrack, which my parents have on vinyl, oh and a cover of Slave to Love by Roisin Murphy.
 
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Gray

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Still got all my tapes.
Starting with Laskys from 1972, you name the brand and type - from ferric through chrome and ferrichrome to metal.

...and decks from JVC, Akai, Sony, Pioneer Aiwa and NAD plus 2 or 3 reel to reel decks 🙄

Should really archive some special recordings to digital - but life's too short.
 
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doifeellucky

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I think my last one was a Yamaha KX-250, The reel to reel was a Grundig from the 60’s or 70’s, looking at the pictures, a tk something or other. I had one like you see in vintage interrogation scenes, and a sharp ghetto blaster that served me well for a few years.

I do agree that some of the essence of a music ‘journey’ has been lost because it’s almost too accessible these days. Having a very limited selection made you appreciate albums far more. You had to make time for it.
 
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DCarmi

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Plenty of excellent decks still available secondhand. Don’t do it. You’ll regret it. I did the same thing about 10 years ago. Can’t believe I just binned all my tapes.
The vast majority of my tapes are albums either recorded or pre-recorded. Most are still available via streaming.

I'll make a list of the ones I really want and either I'll keep them or replace them. Many I have already got other copies of because I planned ahead.

There are a few of tapes I've mixed or been given and I'll keep those.
 

SteveH72

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The vast majority of my tapes are albums either recorded or pre-recorded. Most are still available via streaming.

I'll make a list of the ones I really want and either I'll keep them or replace them. Many I have already got other copies of because I planned ahead.

There are a few of tapes I've mixed or been given and I'll keep those.
I replaced the pre-recorded albums no problem. I binned some cassette singles, some of which had rare B-side material which I haven’t found since. It was also the homemade mix tapes I missed most of all and, more importantly, the ones that were made for me.
 

JDL

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Sad to report that my Cambridge Audio CT-50 cassette deck has shuffled off its mortal spool. It has been with me since 1990 and admittedly has had limited use in its dotage. I did say that when it finally expired, I'd get rid of my tape collection, so it's the end of an era for me.

Sadly the younger generations will not know the joy and dedication of making a mix tape (play lists just are not the same). Working out which track they can fit onto the end of a tape to avoid a 3 minute 12 second runoff. Realising you've recorded something a too high a level and having to start again. Digging out a pencil to rewind a spaghetti like mess or splicing a mangled tape.
I'm interested to know something. The only cassettes I ever heard, were somewhat lacking in sound quality, but I only ever heard cassettes played on the cheap players of the eighties.
If one was to have a good quality cassette player as part of a good quality hi fi separates system, is the sound quality good? Can it ever approach the sound quality of LPs or CDs?
 

DCarmi

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If quality tape was used then the sound can be good. Whether as good as e.g. CD is debatable. However, most pre-recorded cassettes are on basic Type 1 tape (ferric oxide) with Dolby B, so I'd have to say not really.

Recorded cassettes can never better the original source, so again no.
 
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Gray

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If one was to have a good quality cassette player as part of a good quality hi fi separates system, is the sound quality good? Can it ever approach the sound quality of LPs or CDs?
Something from Nakamichi or the better 3-head Pioneers (for example) were capable of very high performance.
When correctly set up (their are many variables with levels, head azimuth, recording bias etc.) the best could easily capture and match vinyl quality (well enough to hide the difference for many of us ).

Don't forget that much of the music you listen to even now has come via tape.

Cassette's limitation was its vastly slower speed and reduced tape width - when compared with any pro reel recorders.
 
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JDL

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Something from Nakamichi or the better 3-head Pioneers (for example) were capable of very high performance.
When correctly set up (their are many variables with levels, head azimuth, recording bias etc.) the best could easily capture and match vinyl quality (well enough to hide the difference for many of us ).

Don't forget that much of the music you listen to even now has come via tape.

Cassette's limitation was its vastly slower speed and reduced tape width - when compared with any pro reel recorders.
Of course, I'd never thought about it but because of your telling me that, the penny's dropped, as regards recorded music. I've never heard a decent quality cassette player in action. Actually, I didn't even know they exist. Ha ha. I'll do some research. Thank you very much.
 
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Gray

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Of course, I'd never thought about it but because of your telling me that, the penny's dropped, as regards recorded music. I've never heard a decent quality cassette player in action. Actually, I didn't even know they exist. Ha ha. I'll do some research. Thank you very much.
Have a look at the Nakamichi Dragon - all those adjustments could get the best out of cassette tape.
I only got as high as a Pioneer CTF-850 (still got it). Their CTF-1250 was the better model.
 
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JDL

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I got as far as a Sony Professional Walkman WM-D6C and stopped there. It was brilliant and portable.
I read, your comments about cassettes, thanks guys. This all got me to thinking and then researching the history of recording techniques. The reason is that since having a CD player that I like the sound of, and secondhand and new CDs being so dirt cheap, I can get a collection together of music. But I am very particular about what I like. Rachmaninoff is a composer I like. And there are recordings of him playing his own music as the piano soloist. But, recorded in the 1940s I think the sound quality even with remastering just isn't quite satisfactory for my taste. The Violins in the orchestra remind me of those old 30s movies. What this all boils down to, for me is that until the widespread advent of decent quality tape recording in the mid 1950s the sound quality isn't good enough to get a proper life-like sound from a piano, an orchestra and other soloists. So now I know, not to go for recordings that are much earlier than around 1955 if I want a hi-fi sound.
 

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