Corey and Richard, thanks for all this information!
My best escape clause is that the cassettes I am restoring are radio programs, mostly talk with short music breaks, recorded on a veriety of decks over the years (including some Marantz auto-reverse decks with questionable azimuth!) and while they were masters for duplication, I am not interested in precision measurements. I play them with Dolby B off, and do extensive EQ and some noise reduction (Izotope RX7Advanced) with the goal of making them sound as much like the current new programs we produce, as they all get distributed as MP3s anyway. So not worried about precision! We do archive the original transfers for reference.
Some odd nostalgia:
But, back in the day (I started with this company in 1974!) we did have a Nak 550 in the studio, and yes, it did have a different sound from the other decks we used; slightly brighter tapes resulted. I particularly loved the big meters, with their odd dynamic characteristics, MY first major studio experience was with a NAGRA IVS which had the best metering I had seen to that date.
Then there was an Aiwa deck that had meters with double pointers, one for RMS and one for peak reading, which was educational to say the least!
But the workhorse of that 1970s studio was the Tandberg 310,which had meters that were peak reading AFTER the record EQ so you knew what was hitting the tape…
And there was a series of cassette releases of newage music that was recorded with Dolby B but not labeled as such. They sound bright!
> On Jul 25, 2019, at 1:57 PM, Richard L. Hess <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hi, Corey,
> Do you have the details on "The Prague Compromise." Jay McKnight and I know it happened, but what changed? The public EQ specs didn't. It seemed like a bit of a wink wink nudge nudge type of thing.
> Jay and I have written about it two posts on my Blog.
> On 2019-07-25 2:21 a.m., Corey Bailey wrote:
>> Hi Lou & all,
>> For those interested in this thread and especially Nakamichi cassette players:
>> Know that Nakamichi cassette machines were manufactured using a different interpretation of the IEC record/playback specification until the IEC spec issued in 1982. This led to the problem that cassette tapes recorded on other brands would sound somewhat dull when played on a Nak. The exception being the Nakamichi model 550, a portable machine. In 1982, the Nakamichi factory switched to the IEC spec issued in Prague, Czechoslovakia and all Naks produced after that date were compatible with all other brands. Thus, you should check the dates of manufacture for any model of Nakamichi cassette player you plan to use for archival transfers.
>> I'm not bashing Naks here, (I use them too) just stating the facts.
>> Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
>> On 7/24/2019 8:32 PM, Lou Judson wrote:
>>> For me it is mere curiosity! I’ve been given lots of cassette decks over the years, but actually spent about $400 each for my two Naks, worth every enny since I have this big project… Some Naks have the lifter, some don’t. It’s amazingly simple - just ridges attached to the head that push the spring back as the head penetrates the shell to contact the tape! Not even an extra moving part.
>>> Dual capstans is essential when the pad is pushed back, to give accurate tension. I also feel that easily knob-adjustable azimuth is also essential.
>>> Lou Judson
>>> Intuitive Audio
>>>> On Jul 24, 2019, at 8:18 PM, Corey Bailey <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> Tim & Lou:
>>>> Some of the brands that I'm aware of were Sony, JVC & Technics. There were others, I'm sure, and I don't have model numbers. There were a number of dual capstan decks (a feature that I consider most important) that may have incorporated pad lifters. There is no database that I know of that contains this information. Hi Fi Engine is good about listing the specs of equipment that it has in its database. Anyone with more information on this subject should jump in here and perhaps we can get a database started. What I have noticed is that any of these 20+ year old machines command prices that are generally too high for me. I have spent way too much money on decks that wind up dying and the failed part is now obsolete and not able to be found.
>>>> Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
>>>> On 7/24/2019 7:40 PM, Tim Gillett wrote:
>>>>> Hi Corey,
>>>>> You said, " FWIW, Nakamichi
>>>>> decks weren't the only decks that came with dual capstan transports
>>>>> pressure pad lifters. Several brands produced audiophile grade
>>>>> with dual capstan transports and pressure pad lifters that had specs
>>>>> good as most Nakamichi's."