Cassette lovers; why?

Alex SE

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#41
Hey @Makymak, some guy is selling AZ7 i Sweden, asking for 500€.
Seems that I was wrong about that deck :) Here is a sellers description:
A top of the line , high end audiophile Technics RS-AZ7 , made in Japan in 1996 . The Technics RS-AZ7 cassette deck is one of the best sounding & recording cassette decks ever made. It has an exceptional ability to record any type of tape in the most optimal conditions possible, thanks to its advanced ATC system and the amorphous Z heads used by Technics. The main features are 3 heads , off-tape monitoring , tape type selection and capable of handling normal, chrome and metal tapes and very beautiful digital peak reading level meters. The cassette well is motorized and the head and tape are lit up in green . This cassette deck is for people who want to enjoy the analog sound in the fullest and add a rare item in their collection.

Really?
I would rather say:
AZ7 is last of 3-head cassette deck made by Technics. Good looking and with some nice features it's still a cheap, low build quality and soundwise a middle class deck.
 
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Bob Boyer

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#43

vince666

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#45
500€, not a chance... At this price I would preferred to buy a third 965 (the other 2 costed 200€ each). Or maybe an SL-1200. Not an AZ7...
since you just own, know and love the modified 965, it will be near impossible to find another model you can like the same.
For what I know, the RS-AZ7 is a total waste of money in comparison. ;)
 

ButchJames

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#46
What do I like about cassettes and R2R in general?

I like that we are somewhat in touch with both mechanical and electrical/electronic engineering - a digital device is just a rectangular block that very few understand what's happening internally. There's a process of learning associated with analogue devices, and in contrast with digital, we are reduced to being a button pressing monkey.

Keeping both worlds is fundermental - digital for mastering, copying, processing, listening and analogue for mastering, listening, and the experience of a real world device that has aspects of science behind it that we can all related to. How many people understand digital engineering Math, Convolution, Digital Filtering? etc

Digital devices remind me of Star Trek, where everyone presses the devices, but none of them could knock a nail in a piece of wood. Yeah, it's looks 'cool', but with that - we as humans are losing control (a dependancy on a third party device) and regressing intellectually.
 

MarkWComer

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#48
There's a process of learning associated with analogue devices, and in contrast with digital, we are reduced to being a button pressing monkey.
Right! No emotional contact, no human satisfaction, and sterile.
A box with countdown numbers just isn’t satisfying…
 

Makymak

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#49
Not only ! Analog sources sound a little better in the mid range ( IMHO of course ).
Ciao
Marco
Technically, if talking about red book format (16/44.1) this isn't wrong. As frequency rises, the fidelity drops. Above 14-15khz (maybe even lower) the analog reconstruction of the waveform starts to deviate from the original and is up to the DAC's algorithm (and some kind of statistics) how this waveform will be reproduced. The thing gets more complicated if we consider that music isn't just a single frequency waveform. So, some information is lost. If this matters or not is up to one's hearing and taste.

Furthermore, the tight limits of the cassette add an amount of 2nd harmonic to the sound, which in contrast to the 3rd harmonic is somehow pleasant to the ears. It's this warmth sound of the cassette.
 

marcok

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#51
Technically, if talking about red book format (16/44.1) this isn't wrong. As frequency rises, the fidelity drops. Above 14-15khz (maybe even lower) the analog reconstruction of the waveform starts to deviate from the original and is up to the DAC's algorithm (and some kind of statistics) how this waveform will be reproduced. The thing gets more complicated if we consider that music isn't just a single frequency waveform. So, some information is lost. If this matters or not is up to one's hearing and taste.

Furthermore, the tight limits of the cassette add an amount of 2nd harmonic to the sound, which in contrast to the 3rd harmonic is somehow pleasant to the ears. It's this warmth sound of the cassette.
That's right , but I would add the phase shift of low pass filter , the lack of noise and probably a sort of imprinting ,
because we learned to listen to the music with vinyl records ( before 1982 ).
See also Bob Carver's Digital time lens .
Anyway , fortunately amps and speakers are analog .
Ciao
Marco
 

vince666

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#52
Technically, if talking about red book format (16/44.1) this isn't wrong. As frequency rises, the fidelity drops. Above 14-15khz (maybe even lower) the analog reconstruction of the waveform starts to deviate from the original
depending on the DAC, waveform gets distorted just at mid-hi freq, then much before than 14-15khz.

A while ago, i was testing the output of a notebook PC on the oscilloscope and a sinewave played on the PC started distorting as low as 3 to 4khz.
This easily explains the unnatural hardness of that digital device.
This without mentioning aliasing which started appearing while raising the sinewave freq in the treble range where, on the oscilloscope, you could see the waveform becoming 2 or more slightly phased waveforms.

So, digital is very far from being perfect, especially when you get close to its limits on both frequency and levels.

Of course, a really good DAC working at high resolution moves all these problems well above the hearable range.
But the CD samplerate/resolution will indeed show problems influencing the sound well within the hearable range.
 

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#53
I don’t think a PC DAC is the right tool for making a decision from.

I’d at least want to see ten or so different mid grade CD players, and ten or so nice DACs and compare that data.

Early stand alone DACs sounded pretty decent. My old D2A sounds good enough to still be sought after 30 years later. The Counterpoint DAC is still trading at nearly two grand.
 

vince666

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#54
I don’t think a PC DAC is the right tool for making a decision from.

I’d at least want to see ten or so different mid grade CD players, and ten or so nice DACs and compare that data.

Early stand alone DACs sounded pretty decent. My old D2A sounds good enough to still be sought after 30 years later. The Counterpoint DAC is still trading at nearly two grand.
Sure, but how many people out there listen through cheap digital devices while thinking it's "good enough"?

Of course, for a decent sounding soundcard, you don't need to spend 2 grand but to simply go with one of the many external ones suitable for semi professional music production from the well respected brands.
If you don't need 4 or more in/out channels, you can stay within the $200 price point.

I. e. last year I bought a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd gen and I like it.
 
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#57
Another little haul. 10x Sony Metal XR C100 '89 era, €100.
Look and feel brand new. Not written on. No scratches or fingerprints. All stickers present/complete. Just 3 have been recorded to - sounds like some Dutch school lesson or something.
The best way to get into TypeIV recording is by finding pristine examples like this at 10 bucks apiece which have never been used or used just once as you're not worried about devaluing the damn things from unwrapping them!
50 minutes each side is about perfect too.

From the noises the kids in the background are making on one of the recordings it sounds like the tapes were given to the ADHD OCD kid in the class to unwrap, you know, to keep the little bastard occupied or something.
:D

IMG_20240708_181627(1).jpg
IMG_20240708_182022.jpg
 

vince666

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#58
Focusrite uses great converters.
interestingly enough, when I was buying my Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen last year (now discontinued because they just made the 4th gen) , there were a few "newer" cards in that same price range with furtherly improved converters but, in the end, I must say the Scarlett 2i2 3rd gen sounds just nicely anyway.
I'd say it sounds at least as good if not even better than my (older) Echo Audiofire 4 which was one of the best sounding ones in its price range when it was current ( a dozen years ago or so).
 

Alex SE

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#59

J!m

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#60
That’s awesome.

I believe that Sony test CD is for their ES player calibration. You could align the first four bits with trim pots on those early converters. My D2A uses the same converters but only adjust the first bit (minimum requirement) but I thought a daughter board could easily be made IF you had the test gear to set the remaining bits…
 
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