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WHat did Audiophiles hear during Tape deck era?

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  • WHat did Audiophiles hear during Tape deck era?

    How did Audiophile listened to audiophile quality during tape cassett era?

  • #2
    Uhm...they didn't use cassettes if they wanted quality. Oh you could get them to sound OK for a month maybe, but then they were on their way to seriously losing highs and getting noisy .I used them in the car. What with all the nasty car noises, they were appropriate. I used LPs, and friends had reel-to-reel decks.
    Francis

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    • #3
      Yup, cassettes were hard. Constant fight trying to keep highs w/out "tape hiss". "Chrome" tapes (and their required "bias") helped. I think ADVE\T had a deck that used Dolby NR (noise reduction) - (I'm sure there were others, but IB Advent was one of the earliest). They only moved at 1-7/8ips, plus the "track" was very narrow (to keep the format small - which helped kill many things, inc. Kodak's 110 film cartridges, and today's teeny BT speakers - some things never change).

      Reel-to-reel was a whole different matter (7" reel was "small", maybe went to 10" - or more?). Tape was twice as wide and moved at 3-3/4ips, 7-1/2ips, and even (at least) 15ips. More "space" to lay the high freqs. down. I think Herb Alpert made some of his own "masters" in his garage using R-T-R technology ("The Lonely Bull" - I think he played many/most of the tracks himself - Google: "sound on sound" recording).

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      • #4
        Originally posted by SylviaFritz View Post
        How did Audiophile listened to audiophile quality during tape cassette era?
        Store bought commercial recordings of music were typically rather lousy, they used the cheapest tape and shell and the music transfer to the cassette was done at high speeds. If you wanted high fidelity cassettes you had to do it yourself. First, was necessary a good cassette deck. Second, was to buy and use premium blank cassette tapes. Third, would be to match the sensitivity and bias of the tape to the machine. Then you had to record in real time. My preferred blank tape way back then was BASF Chrome. Basically cassettes weren't worth it and my main source of high fidelity music was still 33LP vinyl records.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by fpitas View Post
          Uhm...they didn't use cassettes if they wanted quality. Oh you could get them to sound OK for a month maybe, but then they were on their way to seriously losing highs and getting noisy .I used them in the car. What with all the nasty car noises, they were appropriate. I used LPs, and friends had reel-to-reel decks.
          Pretty much sums it up.

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          • #6
            RTR or LPs were really pretty good. The cassette and the walkman was the beginning of the end for well recorded music.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Chris Roemer View Post
              Yup, cassettes were hard. Constant fight trying to keep highs w/out "tape hiss". "Chrome" tapes (and their required "bias") helped. I think ADVE\T had a deck that used Dolby NR (noise reduction) - (I'm sure there were others, but IB Advent was one of the earliest). They only moved at 1-7/8ips, plus the "track" was very narrow (to keep the format small - which helped kill many things, inc. Kodak's 110 film cartridges, and today's teeny BT speakers - some things never change).

              Reel-to-reel was a whole different matter (7" reel was "small", maybe went to 10" - or more?). Tape was twice as wide and moved at 3-3/4ips, 7-1/2ips, and even (at least) 15ips. More "space" to lay the high freqs. down. I think Herb Alpert made some of his own "masters" in his garage using R-T-R technology ("The Lonely Bull" - I think he played many/most of the tracks himself - Google: "sound on sound" recording).
              If you both recorded and played back using Dolby C, it was plenty quiet.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dwigle View Post
                RTR or LPs were really pretty good. The cassette and the walkman was the beginning of the end for well recorded music.
                Don't forget 8-Tracks. I try to!
                Francis

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                • #9
                  I will never ever, ever, choose to play a cassette tape again. 2 inch master would be a win the lottery setup, if I could have top pick on the playback gear. Francis, I'm with you on the 8 track....the absolute worst in every way, IMO. I'll keep digital, with my albums here and there. Glenn.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Drummer View Post
                    I will never ever, ever, choose to play a cassette tape again. 2 inch master would be a win the lottery setup, if I could have top pick on the playback gear. Francis, I'm with you on the 8 track....the absolute worst in every way, IMO. I'll keep digital, with my albums here and there. Glenn.
                    Yeah, the all-digital mastered stuff on digital media like FLAC is crystal clear. I like!
                    Francis

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                    • #11
                      Sorry, I didn't think 8 tracks were even to be considered. Who invented that garbage?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dwigle View Post
                        Sorry, I didn't think 8 tracks were even to be considered. Who invented that garbage?
                        Someone got rich, count on it. Sad, isn't it?
                        Francis

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                        • #13
                          I dubbed them myself at aggressive recording levels, used in the car before CD players were common, cheap and skip resistant. The aggressive recording levels helped the noise floor, was likely hitting tape compression but that is a relatively pleasing type of distortion anyway and definitely was preferable against a high noise floor. I always recorded with dolby enabled, but usually played back without because I liked the extra highs, just seemed crisper or something.
                          Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
                          Wogg Music
                          Published projects: PPA100 Bass Guitar Amp, ISO El-Cheapo Sub, Indy 8 2.1 powered sub, MicroSat, SuperNova Minimus

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wogg View Post
                            I dubbed them myself at aggressive recording levels, used in the car before CD players were common, cheap and skip resistant. The aggressive recording levels helped the noise floor, was likely hitting tape compression but that is a relatively pleasing type of distortion anyway and definitely was preferable against a high noise floor. I always recorded with dolby enabled, but usually played back without because I liked the extra highs, just seemed crisper or something.
                            I guess I didn't spend that much time in the car. I stayed home and listened to uncompressed music with a low noise floor. I understand the need to compress recordings designed for car or earbuds, but why should the whole industry suffer. I've never understood why they couldn't record a compressed version on one side of the disc and an uncompressed version on the other.

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                            • #15
                              I guess I'm in the minority, I actually really liked the quality of many cassettes near the end of their reign.

                              Dolby D,C, and HX PRO really sounded acceptable in my opinion. Cds of the day were better during playback.as they didn't add noise of their own, but most relied on an analog tape master, which still had tape hiss to deal with.

                              Its true though, cassettes don't age well, and "audiophile -- they never were.

                              TomZ
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