1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Which high quality tape deck to archive old tapes?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Stuart Wright, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
    AVForums Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2000
    Messages:
    13,727
    Products Owned:
    6
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Ratings:
    +9,402
    Hi folks,
    I have some very old and very valuable (to me) cassette tapes. REcordings of me as a kid and our band etc.
    I would like to archive these so I will always have them.
    Probably to very high bitrate MP3, with some noise reduction processing.
    I don't have a tape deck and I would rather buy a tape deck and record them myself.
    Can anyone please recommend the best cost effective solution?
    Thanks.
     
  2. alexs2

    alexs2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Messages:
    13,895
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,674
    You're looking to buy a good quality cassette deck,if I'm reading this right....if so,then Nakamichi made the best decks probably of all time,and of those,the best were the Dragon(still pretty expensive now)and the TT700 and TT1000.

    The lower priced Nak's are still excellent,and can be had at reasonable prices,but you need to look at any/all of the 3-head models,if it's quality you're after.


    There's a Nak DR10 and a Dragon currently on Fleabay and The Emporium (www.emporiumhifi.com ) also usually have some around.

    Some of the Teacs and Pioneers were also pretty good,but if you bought a Nak,you can always sell it again,and the Dragon has held it's value superbly well.
     
  3. SKA.face

    SKA.face
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Second the NAK,even a S/H BX125,absolutely superb sounding,I think about £50 odd S/H.
     
  4. BUGANNA

    BUGANNA
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    dont understand the question ?

    u mean the most cost effective tape deck ?

    or means to record into digital format ?
     
  5. LV426

    LV426
    Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2000
    Messages:
    12,752
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Somewhere in South Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +4,906
    One thing, from experience, I'd ensure you get (in whatever you buy) is a dual-capstan arrangement, whereby the tape is held in tension across the heads (pulled by one capstan after the heads as per normal, but ever so slightly retarded by another, just before the heads). This makes for much more reliable tape-to-head contact and hence more reliable replay.

    For processing, then I've had a lot of good results from a program called "Soundforge" - I have v 4.5 with a noise reduction plug in. Very effective for capture, cleaning, and saving.

    If you are more bothered about better quality and less about how much physical (or logical) space it will all take up, why not stay with uncompressed wav - perhaps even as audio CD format? Even high bitrate mp3 is lossy (although probably inaudibly so).
     
  6. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
    AVForums Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2000
    Messages:
    13,727
    Products Owned:
    6
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Ratings:
    +9,402
    I bought a Nakamichi tape deck and I'll be feeding the line out into my sound card to convert to digital.
    There is hours and hours of material and MP3 sounds as good as the originals to me, so I may go for that.
    Thanks for the processing advice, Nigel - I'll look at Soundforge.
     
  7. BUGANNA

    BUGANNA
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I still dont see why u would want to make them MP3s ?

    Why get a Nakamichi, and then go for a low quality digital format conversion ?
     
  8. LV426

    LV426
    Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2000
    Messages:
    12,752
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Somewhere in South Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +4,906
    I wouldn't describe mp3 (especially higher bitrate) as low quality. Reduced quality, perhaps, but certainly not low. It's a very efficient means of storage and for the most part, does little or no perceptible damage.
     
  9. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
    AVForums Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2000
    Messages:
    13,727
    Products Owned:
    6
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Ratings:
    +9,402
    I thought I had explained that. There is a lot of material I want to archive and I can't tell the difference between CDs and the MP3s I burn. MP3 is not low quality - it's excellent. I can get 15+ albums on my car CD player.
    My entire music collection is MP3 - my CDs collect dust in a cupboard.
    I want a good tape deck so I can extract the maximum amount of information I can from these 30 year old tapes.
     
  10. Mylo

    Mylo
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
    Messages:
    5,541
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Ratings:
    +372
    In other words Stuart wants a nice safe method to back up his tapes.

    It's a lot safer to play a backup disk than risking a degrading audio cassette every time he wants to recapture his youth.
     
  11. BUGANNA

    BUGANNA
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    totally understand, why u would want to get the best audio quality from these old tapes

    am I right in thinking then, that you are recording onto CD, and only then converting into MP3 for car use , etc ?

    I would be quite shocked, to hear that the founder of this AV site, thinks that there is no audible difference between MP3 and WAV format ?!!!

    but thats me, Im funny like that

    ;)
     
  12. severnsource

    severnsource
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    322
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +9
    But the founder of the site is quite right that there may well be no audible difference between WAV and MP3 files.

    MP3 is not a fixed format, so if you use a good encoder and a high data rate it can produce files that are audibly indistinguishable from uncompressed files.

    If you create low bitrate files with a poor encoder then you will get poor results, but MP3 does not have to be like that.

    Bill
     
  13. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
    AVForums Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2000
    Messages:
    13,727
    Products Owned:
    6
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Ratings:
    +9,402
    Read my signature. It explains why I can't tell the difference. But you still shouldn't be a snob about MP3.
    I encode using at least 192 and the more important items, I will probably convert to WAV. I'll record direct to my hard drive and keep as MP3 and/or WAV. I will probably keep very little on CD as it's too fragile and inconvenient.
     
  14. BUGANNA

    BUGANNA
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    hi Stu

    well, make sure u backup whatever format u choose, onto cd...........and then keep them safe somewhere

    pref. make more than 1 set !

    as no matter how fragile a cd is, its a million times safer than a HD failure / virus wipeout / etc

    Im thinking that as a ROCK DRUMMER - 'your ears' cant tell the diff between MP3 and WAV

    to me, on my hi fi, or basic car stereo, I can tell straight away , if mp3 is played, regardless of high bitrare used, as the sound loses its depth immediately

    whatever u do, It would be a sin NOT to record + backup onto WAV format 1st !

    IMH ;) O !
     
  15. BUGANNA

    BUGANNA
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I realise now, that there is no difference to HIM....

    play the 2 formats on any decent system, and you can easily and immediately tell the difference

    those that cant, either have systems of a certain low quality, that simply dont reproduce high fidelity in the 1st place.....

    as there is no debate over Mp3 being as good as CD, thats just a technical impossibility......
     
  16. LV426

    LV426
    Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2000
    Messages:
    12,752
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Somewhere in South Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +4,906
    Indeed. The debate is whether or not the (admitted) difference is material. Given a half-decent bitrate, and a good encoder, it isn't.
     
  17. BUGANNA

    BUGANNA
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    interesting logic........

    but one could also say, that given a decent hi fi, the difference is not immaterial

    all depends which angle your coming from I guess

    I doubt there will be many owners of high end loudspeakers who will agree that there is no audible difference.......

    and there probably will be just as many people with very low end speakers, who will argue the opposite

    as Stu , said, quite rightly ' HE' cant hear the difference

    thats fine

    I think people should realise this , just because they cant, doesnt mean there isnt, or that others wont notice either

    ;) :nono:
     
  18. MarkE19

    MarkE19
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    17,107
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Rainham Essex
    Ratings:
    +2,380
    Stuart, don't know if you've seen This thread, but it might make life a little easier.

    Mark.
     
  19. Beobloke

    Beobloke
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,312
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Out in the Sticks!
    Ratings:
    +65
    Um..........with respect, not quite true.

    I have no argument that the best decks are made by Nakamichi, although Yamaha have turned out a couple of decent ones over the years, but their best deck in purely sound quality terms was the CR7E, not the Dragon - a fact quoted by Nakamichi themselves!
     
  20. steve1056

    steve1056
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Messages:
    374
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Reading
    Ratings:
    +5
    I have a Nakamichi CR-4E that I might be willing to sell. Superb tape deck -- i just don't use it anymore.
     
  21. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,133
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,277
    Another Dragon Fan (owner), the BX300 I think is a good value three header that performs better than it's price would indicate. The CR7 is the best but it still isn't a Dragon, something about this piece of kit inspires...
     
  22. Beobloke

    Beobloke
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,312
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Out in the Sticks!
    Ratings:
    +65
    Actually, my favourites are the RX202/505 types.

    Absolutely nothing to do with sound quality, and everything to do with the way the auto-reverse works by physically flipping the tape!! :smashin:
     
  23. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
    AVForums Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2000
    Messages:
    13,727
    Products Owned:
    6
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Ratings:
    +9,402
    I'm hoping we'll be doing a power buy on those tape decks, but there is no stock available for a while.
     
  24. alexs2

    alexs2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Messages:
    13,895
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,674
    Fair enough comment...I should have been more clear and said that with respect to build quality.

    The Dragon I've certainly heard,along with the 700 and 1000 and was duly impressed with yrs ago.
     

Share This Page

Loading...