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Home ยป Exploring the good ol' Cassette Tape technology connections

Exploring the good ol' Cassette Tape technology connections

If you remember the cassette as sounding awful, I have news for you. They actually sound just fine. The Compact Cassette has a unique history in the world of sound, which we explore along with their attributes in this Tech Explorations video.

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Rubix Cube by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (

Old Bossa by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (
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Exploring the good ol' Cassette Tape

Exploring the good ol' Cassette Tape

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Exploring the good ol' Cassette Tape
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28 thoughts on “Exploring the good ol' Cassette Tape technology connections”

  1. Back in the '80s I used to use BASF CR-E II tapes and my dad's Aiwa tape deck from 1979 had an automatic CrO2 selector, but I preferred to playback CrO2 tapes on normal setting for much clearer high end and with the Dolby noise reduction switched off. On CrO2 tapes I'd override the automatic CrO2 sensor with a folded-up bit of paper or card wedged into the inside edge of the slot as a bit of sellotape wasn't strong enough for that. What a rebel! I really liked to live on the edge. I can't remember which pre-recorded CrO2 tape had it, but the instructions on the inlay card specifically recommended to set the tape selection at normal as opposed to chrome – might've been a Suzanne Vega tape.

  2. Question…. so, does the roller/capstan control the speed? I always thought that the reel pulled it through and often thought that this would then change the speed at which the tape went past the head as the more tape on the reel, the wider it becomes and hence pulling more tape through.

  3. Well, I loved them as an kid.
    And never had the feeling they sound bad. Couldn't even see why everyone thought CD was superior. Back then I thought there only real upside was that they don't had to be turned around-while simultaneously being far more easily being damaged, just by little scratches.
    Nowadays I know it of course better, but still… Really think the frailness of them is such an weakness that it made all there pros far less significant, to the point that I'm still asking myself why they ever replaced Cassettes for music and audiobooks. (Obviously not for games and data storing-CD works with his much higher capacity, far better for that)
    Well, they're getting slowly replaced themselves anyway. And this time by something that is indeed superior! So at this point cassettes would have been replaced by those stuff anyway.
    Funny thing is, in a way history repeats with the CD as well-with the stuff the CD was indeed superior to the Cassette!
    Datastorage. Particularly games.
    That's the one usage of the CD we should keep instead of the new methods.
    But, I fear, like music Cassettes were mostly replaced by CD's, so will Game Disc's be replaced by wireless download and whatnot. And this time we won't even have much to say in the matter. I'll bet the PS7 or something at the latest won't even have an variant that can read Discs! Not because we, the customers want it-because theCompanies want it. And they will enforce it, step by step, till we have no other choice left.
    I mean, it already started! There's already an variant of the PS5 without an disc reader, and ye can bet it's not just cheaper because it lacks that component! That's on Purpose!
    And furthermore, many Games nowadays aren't even playable anymore without an big Download-even when they are on an Disc!!!
    And as soon as sony stops suporting the PS5 or even the PS4… Well, let's say it like this, say goodbye to playing the games ye haven't still installed on that Device, ever again!

  4. OMG! That is the cassette deck that I got for Christmas in 1981, (my freshman year in high school). I got a different component every year for Christmas, throughout high school. By the time I graduated, I had what I thought was a bomb-ass Technics stereo. Now, there was a little issue I didn't discover until a year or two later when I got my first Walkman.
    My Technics tape deck ran just a smidge slow. This meant that the albums I recorded on it sounded perfectly normal being played back on the same tape deck. I got the Walkman and actually purchased a cassette tape to listen on my way home. The next day I popped in one of my home-recorded cassette tapes and everything played just a smidge faster than I had ever heard. My older sister had scads of albums, so my cassette library was made up of stuff I'd recorded from her collection. After some experimentation, I figured out that the songs played slower on my Technics tape deck than on my Walkman. It was a strange little glitch that I just sort of accepted. I think I'd pursue a solution, if I found a piece of machinery behaving that way now.
    And that awesome level display really took me back. I'd fall a sleep most nights with those bars being the only light in my room.
    Thank you for triggering a memory from my teen years. Good stuff.

  5. Awesome video thank you included things I never knew before.

    One omission though were the brake off tabs on the top of the cassette.
    Unbroken for repeat recordings and broken for regular music tapes brought from a music store for example.


  7. Cassettes have gotten a bad rep because people played them through lousy decks and boom boxes. But through a finely engineer ed deck like a Sony or Nack, they beat LP 's or CDs in my opinion.

  8. Rotating heads are awful. They wear out or break down and are very difficult to repair. Or they just get loose and flop about. DONT BUY AUTO REVERSE! It will break down, eventually. To change sides use your hands. That type of machine will run for ever and ever.

  9. Well, I bought a technics m218 after seeing this video. Mine has the auto tape select instead of manual, but still the m218. Would have preferred manual but that's a small complaint. I wanted a good sounding deck without going broke and this video convinced me that what I have been reading about technics being good decks was correct. Most people are just pointing their cameras at the deck and uploading to youtube instead of properly recording the audio to digital like here.

  10. The Most Expensive cassette tape i purchased when i was a Teen was 20 dollars it was a Tape completely made of metal. It was an amazing product. I miss tapes, i loved recording my Rap Music on the Radio before the internet was invented.

  11. I never knew about the notches. That's pretty cool (and, yes, when I was 12, I didn't know what the "metal" button was for either.)

  12. Nakamichi used the mechanicall tape rotation in their RX series decks, but I believe the Dragon series of decks used separate, discrete heads, to avoid the mechanical complications of rotating the tape. I still have a Nak RX-505, and if nothing else, it looks really cool when it flips the tape around!

  13. In the late 1970's my friend bought a high-end Pioneer cassette deck that had separate record and playback heads, allowing the user to monitor the quality of a recording as it was being recorded. It also had a switch to allow for monitoring the input signal being recorded, or to switch back to monitoring the just-recorded tape. We tested several normal, silver oxide, and metal tapes and flipped back-and-forth between input and taped signals to compare them. We were surprised to learn that for his setup, the best tape was Scotch Dynarange ferric-oxide tape without Dolby, as we could not hear any difference at all. He stopped spending the extra money on metal tape.

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