on 3/8/03 1:45 PM, Richard L. Hess at [log in to unmask] wrote:


> I think we had pretty good unanimity on the cassette deck of choice for
> restoration--I'll admit to being the odd outlier on this, but I took the
> route of recommending an out-of-production machine because for my purposes,
> it is superior--but there is an overhead to maintaining them.

Richard -

The Dragon is great, but I actually prefer the Nakamichi CR-7A for its
manual only azimuth adjustment. I think that once you get the playback
azimuth in the optimum position (as indicated by a vectorscope or whatever),
a CEDAR AZ-1 or equivalent can track small deviations better and faster.

I have a Dragon also, but the manual states on p.9 "The NAAC operates with
musical signals above 3kHz recorded on the tape. If a tape with music
containing only little energy in this range is used, the direction indicator
may sometimes flash and the adjustment will require more time..."

This is often the case with oral histories in my experience.

Our Dragon needs service (!), so I really haven't done an actual shootout
with the CR-7A, but I feel very comfortable using the CR-7A/CEDAR combo at
this time.

> I know that many of you cannot take that route and must buy items that are
> new and available from the usual source. There is nothing wrong with the
> Tascam 122 MKIII and it is also, in my opinion, probably the best cassette
> machine available new today. I've designed them into many projects although
> I don't have hands-on experience with them.

For an audio cassette player in current production, take a look at the JBR
Standard Cassette Playback/Transcriber Unit at

This is a special purpose unit and it's a bit pricey - being designed in
part for high end forensic work. With multiple narrow tracks the need for
accurate azimuth correction is reduced. The drawback is lower s/n ratio.
Perhaps after our building program is complete we'll acquire one.

The Tascam is a studio workhorse.

If anyone wishes to resurrect a Nakamichi cassette player, here is Nakamichi
America's recommendation as of 6.4.02:

> The best resource in the country to accomplish renovating a 20 year old
> cassette deck would be Electronic Service Labs in Ct. Contact information
> Electronics Service Labs
> 1807 Berlin Turnpike
> Wethersfield CT 06109
> 860/529-3700
> [log in to unmask]
> This independent service contractor may also be valuable in helping you find
> cassette decks suitable for your purpose.

ESL will custom modify CR-7As to add varispeed. This is important because
cassette decks are notorious for running at different speeds.

Hope this helps.

Later. Parker

Parker Dinkins
MasterDigital Corporation
CD Mastering + Audio Restoration