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Suitable cassette player for Arcam Alpha series?

RobMac

Member
Jul 17, 2020
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Hi folks, my first post here. For many years (20?) I've been using an Arcam Alpha 9 amp with an Alpha 8SE CD player, with Tannoy Mercury MX3 floor-standing speakers. Ten years or so ago I added a Pro:Ject Debut turntable

I now need to get a suitable cassette player for the system, and also possibly a pre amp.

Please let me know what you think I should get.

Cheers,

Rob
 

RobMac

Member
Jul 17, 2020
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Sorry, I meant power amp. The Arcam Alpha 9P Power Amp is the obvious choice, and I see there is one on eBay I'll make a bid for.

Second-hand cassette player: up to £200.
 

Al ears

Moderator
Sorry, I meant power amp. The Arcam Alpha 9P Power Amp is the obvious choice, and I see there is one on eBay I'll make a bid for.

Second-hand cassette player: up to £200.
Got you. Why do you feel you need a power amp? Is the output of the integrated amp you have not enough? It should be with those speakers.
You have to be careful with cassette players. The have been made for some years and the old ones need to have various rubber belts replaced. The type of record / playback head can also be a point to watch.
Try to find one that has been recently serviced, the maker is pretty irrelevant if you stick to one of the major manufacturers like Sony, stear clear of Nakamichi as although excellent in the day they tend to be overpriced because of the name.
You don't necessarily have to match the player to your current set-up, they all do pretty much the same, you just have to get one in reasonably good condition.
 

RobMac

Member
Jul 17, 2020
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I just remember the day in the hifi shop when I bought the amp/cd/speakers and had blown my budget without having enough to get the power amp. The assistant let me hear the difference, and it was very impressive with the pa, and I decided I would buy it later. Well, with one thing and another I just never got around to it...until now. So I've always had in my mind that the pa would make a difference.

As regards the cassette player, if £200 is too low for a new-build, what would I need to stretch to to get something new of a level with the rest of what I have?

I appreciate your comments, which are helping me formulate what I really am looking for.
 

Al ears

Moderator
I just remember the day in the hifi shop when I bought the amp/cd/speakers and had blown my budget without having enough to get the power amp. The assistant let me hear the difference, and it was very impressive with the pa, and I decided I would buy it later. Well, with one thing and another I just never got around to it...until now. So I've always had in my mind that the pa would make a difference.

As regards the cassette player, if £200 is too low for a new-build, what would I need to stretch to to get something new of a level with the rest of what I have?

I appreciate your comments, which are helping me formulate what I really am looking for.
Have you actually tried to find a new cassette player??
 

RobMac

Member
Jul 17, 2020
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Al ears

Moderator
Well, this one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/TEAC-W-1200-Twin-Cassette-Black/dp/B07CTX4QVZ/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Cassette+Deck+with+USB+Connection&qid=1595018155&s=electronics&sr=1-2

I don't require twin cassettes, but USB output to my iMac might well be useful.

What triggered this was finding 50 or so cassettes of my own playing (I'm a musician) from way back (I'm now 60) which I would like to hear on a decent player, and I suppose having them digitised might also be useful.
I see, and admire your endeavours. I notice it's almost twice your stated budget.
I had no idea decent players were made anymore. If you want quality go second-hand.
Note there are some decent ones around, I have recently put my Sony Professional Walkman on eBay because they are still fetching really good money.
 
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abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
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New players no longer have Dolby noise reduction as Dolby stopped issuing licences some years ago, so 2nd hand will be the only way to go if the tapes you have were recorded with Dolby.
As mentioned above, any brand name models that were built in the later stages of the cassette era are pretty much the same quality. (If you can afford a Nakamichi then go for it, as even their earlier models put the later models from other manufactures to shame)

Bill
 

RobMac

Member
Jul 17, 2020
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Cheers, Bill. Good points, but I must say as regards the Teac W-1200 the publicity blurb has the following: "Legacy cassettes originally recorded with Dolby B NR play clearly, allowing a complete and correct understanding of vintage recordings." Now, I'm not sure exactly what they mean by "play clearly", but it is clearly something they think they have addressed.

From the online manual: "Noise Reduction Switch: Using this during playback of tapes recorded with Dolby B noise reduction will reduce hiss . This cannot be used when recording to achieve a noise reduction effect like Dolby B ." So, they have something similar for playback.

But I get your point. I'll look for a Nakamichi, and might forgo a power amp for the time being (echoing what I said 20 years ago!).
 

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