Best Cassette Decks of All Time 2018 – Top 5 Reviews

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No matter if we are talking about tape recorders or the best cassette decks, we can say that tape machines are ‘back in business’, becoming increasingly popular every day. These are more popular in the experimental electronic ‘niche’ but also new releases are getting back on tape again.

Best Cassette Tape Decks Reviews

The line of business of making cassette decks is pretty poor, however, given the fact that up until the end of 90’s they were massively popular, there are plenty second-hand sets on market being sold for affordable prices.

A lot of brand new cassette players can be found online, but if you are looking for cheaper prices, try to go on marketplaces that include loads of machines you can bid for or get a giveaway.

There are a lot of factors we should consider when buying a second-hand tape deck these days, especially for the fact that the older they are, the bigger are the chances they have small problems. However, it’s normal given their mechanical complexity and the fact that they can date the back the too early 80’s.

Now it’s totally up to the customer if it’s interested in purchasing a brand new device, or if it’s more about having a vintage one with some history.

Either way, when buying a second-hand set we recommend you listen to a cassette deck before purchasing it, just to make sure that everything sounds alright.

By taking a look online we can see that there are a lot of vintage models that are still in use, most of them being made by Japan companies where the standards are higher than we might think, so getting an old device is not a bad idea at all.

Now it’s all about the condition of the product and the price – if it’s worthy than you could go for it, but make sure you do some research in the first because buying a new one might be a better deal than bidding for a used device.

Read the Best Turntable Under 1000 Reviews of 2018

3 Reasons Why You Need a Good Cassette Deck?

  1. Good musicians or people interested in music will always look for a better sound, so obviously, to get the most out of music you will need the proper tools/devices. The experience a good cassette deck will give you cannot worth all the money.
  2. Investing in good devices or products will help you save on the long run, so instead of purchasing cheap/used sets, you might go for the best products on market and definitely it well worth the ‘trouble’.
  3. In case you are interested in dubbing you definitely need to know that a good deck will give you better dubs, so obviously it’s not worthy to get a ‘not that good’ product just because you are saving money.

Top-Rated Cassette Decks Video Reviews

Top 5 Cassette Decks Reviews 2018

Pyle Cassette Deck Review – Top Cassette Deck For The Money

If you are interested in having a great experience in terms of both sound and recording, well obviously this is the hot pick that will ensure that. When it comes to its features you need to know that the noise reduction will suppress high-frequency noise, and at the same time, the CRO2 function gives a superior sound by discharging the best high-end response. Most of the people that use good cassette decks are interested in dubbing as well,

therefore the Pyle Home Digital Tuner Dual Cassette Deck includes high-speed dubbing, so you can make the most of it. By having good dubs you will definitely become more desirable in trading as well.

Features:

  • Dual speed dubbing: The dual cassette deck allows you to choose between normal and high-speed audio dubbing.
  • Control over production: You get full control on an increased production level by using the 3-digit tape counter, CRO2 selector, and auto selector. Get advantage from the auto-stop function for more control over results.
  • Connectivity: Use the digital link interface to connect to PT600A amplifier. RCA line – inputs and outputs are included.
  • Multi-functional display: Dual color multi-purpose fluorescent display included for ease of use. 19” Rack Mount Compatible.
  • Volume control: Dynamic noise reduction and control over both sound and recording with the dual cassette radio.

We have gathered several pros and cons for the Pyle Digital Tuner that will help you decide about what product is suitable for you.

Pros
  • High-end device that will give us a great pleasure in terms of experience will listening to music or recording.
  • Dual cassette deck.
  • The noise reduction suppresses high frequency noise.
Cons
  • Rack mounting kit measures 18 3/8 inches, so it doesn’t fit into a standard 19-inch equipment rack.
  • Some cassettes might not drop smoothly in this unit.

Based on the device features we can definitely think about the benefits of using the Pyle Home Digital Tuner Dual Cassette Deck. Saving money by investing in a product that will last in the long run is the best decision we can make in terms of buying the best deck for cassette or the good one. Now depending on the budget, we can also take a look at other tape decks to see if we can find something better.

There are a lot of brands for new cassette decks so the market is quite big, therefore it’s easy for consumers to take a look online, do some research and find the most suitable product for them. Even if you are a cassette deck amateur or pro, there are plenty machines out there from which you can choose the best one. Take a look below to see other hot picks or good machines.

ION Tape 2 pc USB Cassette Deck Review – Affordable

People interested in turning music into MP3s could always use the device from ION, a revolutionary tape deck that provides a good experience in terms of performance and that is user-friendly. Given the USB connection available we can plug it into our MAC or Windows PC.With the pack we get the USB cable that we need to use to plug the TAPE 2 PC into our computer, and as it follows we just need to install the software and start converting our favorite music.

We then can transfer it to our MP3 player or iPod. If we want, we could also burn it to a CD by recording it.

The software included is EZ Tape Vinyl/Tape Converter so it means that we have a great help in importing the music directly to iTunes. This is a great feature that will help us convert our entire library.

Once we archive our cassettes to the PC, we can connect the Tape 2 PC to our stereo system by using standard RCA cables, so we get a great experience by listening to the cassette in the living room while having a drink.

Features:

  • Transfer music from tapes to digital format quickly.
  • Transfer music from tapes to MP3 format on MAC or Windows PC.
  • Cassette deck with dual dubbing function.
  • Plug and Play USB audio interface.
  • Works with metal and chrome cassettes.
  • Compatible with both MAC and Windows PC.

System requirements:

Microsoft
  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista (32/64-bit)
  • Windows 7 (32/64-bit)
  • Pentium 4CPU (or comparable) or better
Apple
  • OS X 10.4 or better
  • G4 PPC or Intel CPU
Hardware
  • USB 1.1 or 2.0 port
  • Minimum Memory (RAM): 1GB
  • Minimum free hard drive space: 300MB
  • Minimum processor speed: 1GHZ or better

Given the fact that we are all interested to know everything about the product we are about to purchase, below you can find pros and cons for the ION Audio Tape 2 PC.

Pros
  • Transfer music in a quick way.
  • Make the most of the device by using the dual dubbing function.
  • It is compatible with both MAC and Windows PC so it will be easier to convert the entire music library.
Cons
  • You have to flip the cassettes manually when they finish on one side.
  • You cannot turn off the speakers while recording.

We can say that this is one of the best product you can buy if you want to convert music from cassette to MP3. It is powerful, very easy to use and give high-quality results, therefore you will save both time and money by using it.

Tascam CD Cassette Recorder Combo – The BEAST

This is a multi-purpose device and people say that it might be the best cassette decks of all time . CD-A580 plays from the cassette, CD and USB flash media while the recording allows cassettes to be archived either to USB as MP3 files. The product works as a deck, CD player and as mentioned above, USB flash drive recorder/player. These features are combined into one rack-mountable unit, is more user-friendly than other similar devices.

Aside from the fact that it’s compatible with most popular media types, it also gives you access to the dubbing function. You can dub by archiving directly to USB media.

Based on its specs and quality we can definitely say that this is the runner-up on the market, and being easy to use it’s also going to save us time.

Features:

  • Headphone jack with level control
  • Includes a remote based on inflared technology.
  • Level meters on an LCD display.
  • You can dub from both CDs and USB flash drive
  • Playback supported: audio CDs, CD-RW discs and data CDs.
  • Shuffle supported.
  • Manual file division (Tape/Line).
  • + / – 10% pitch control.

Specifications:

By taking a look at the features and specifications for Tascam CD-A580 Cassette/CD/USB MP3 Player Recorder Combo we can definitely say that it’s a great device everyone would enjoy to have in their household, but as any other products, we also need to take a look at the pros and cons.

Pros
  • LCD display with level measures.
  • You can dub from both USB and CDs.
  • Shuffle supported.
  • Great experience.
Cons
  • The bit rate is only 128 bit.
  • No noise reduction for playing tapes that have Dolby B.

Tascam is one of the brands that provide the high-quality new tape decks, and if you are a pro and deck lover this is the hot pick for you, given the fact that it suits all your needs by its complexity. Comparing it to other devices we can see that it offers a lot more.

Pyle PT659DU Dual Stereo Cassette Deck – Dynamic Noise Suppression

With Pyle PT659DU we can definitely digitize our audio cassettes. Being a dual tape deck it will allow us to copy from one cassette to another, or simply copy from the cassette to MP3 by using Audacity.It is a free software we can use to convert the music, but we can always choose to use a USB connection if we are not happy with the software. One of the good features this device includes is copying from one cassette to another at normal or high speed.

The dynamic noise suppression will also reduce hiss and artifacts so the experience will be a great one.

As the other decks for cassette listed above, the Pyle one is compatible with both chrome and metal tapes and we can also hook the deck up to stereo systems with the RCA line-in and line-out connectors. At the same time, we could also use the USB port to connect it to our MAC or Windows PC to convert to MP3.

Features:

  • Copy from one cassette to another at high speed.
  • Compatible with chrome and metal tapes.
  • Connect it to a stereo system and to a Mac or Windows PC at the same time.
  • Dynamic noise suppression to reduce hiss and artifacts.
  • Affordable device.

Specifications:

Based on the features and specifications listed above we can compare the product to other decks to determine if it is worthy and if it’s one of the top-rated cassette decks. It is a mid-range quality product, so compared to low-quality decks we can definitely see that this is a great device we can use in the long run. The experience will be totally different.

Marantz Dual Cassette Deck – Best Vintage Cassette Deck

This one works as a dual-well cassette recorder/player and it features two speeds for dubbing. We can use the USB output to digitize tape by archiving them on our computer. Being a professional dual cassette player and digital recorder we can say that it’s one of the ‘best buy vintage cassette decks’ on market. It runs with two DC servo motors that ensure stability and consistency in terms of speed for an accurate recording and also playback. Most of the people that love good sounds use this device to archive valuable collections to their PC.

Features:

  • Plays and records cassettes.
  • Digitizez cassette tapes to computer.
  • Preserves collections by copying them into the computer via USB connection.
  • Helps people create recordings with warm, vintage sounds.
  • Two RCA line outputs included for speaker connection.

Specifications:

By taking a look at the features and specifications we can definitely see that PMD-300CP is another great device when it comes down to tape decks, and it’s part of our picks as well. Below we have a few pros and cons for this product.

Pros
  • Two DC servo motors included.
  • An easy way to digitize cassettes into the computer.
  • Dual cassette player/recorder.
Cons
  • Need to go through a pre-amp for the turntable to be recorded.
  • No mic jacks.

PMD-300CP is a good-quality tape deck that most consumers consider before purchasing a cassette deck. Based on its performance and tape decks reviews we can tell that this is what drives people into buying the device and start archiving tapes to their collection.

What Are The Good Cassette decks Brands Out There?

When it comes down to the brands worldwide there are several opinions. Most consumers say that TEAC are the best ones on market and they might have a point. Given the fact that they started back in 1953 makes us think that they really know what they are doing. At the same time, the company is from Japan and they value a lot the standards of engineering.

The Tascam CD-A580 is one of their product and as we have mentioned before, that is a device that a lot of people would like to have. It is indeed expensive, but the vibes you get while using it are incomparable with the amount of money spent on the tape deck.

Getting back to the best brands, TEAC started around 60 and something years ago, and until now they did a really great job. They entered into a licensing agreement with IBM back in 1961 to create magnetic tape memory systems and that was a beginning for them of what the company is now.

From users’ point of view, AKAI is the second best company in terms of tape decks, and they got in business back in 1946 by developing musical and audio equipment. Back in ‘2000, the company collapsed, and today the brand is being owned by Akai Sales Pte LTD.

In terms of tape decks, they have pretty good history, and a lot of consumers can vouch that Akai GXC-570D is one of the best decks they’ve ever had. The prices for their products are affordable, the GXC being sold with around $140 on eBay.

FAQs Before Purchasing The Best Tape Deck System

These days there a lot of people wondering if getting a tape deck is a good thing or not, or which deck might be the most suitable for them. Below you can have a few FAQs based on these devices.

Q. Are cassette decks going to disappear?

A. Even though CDs and MP3s have outpaced the tape decks, we cannot say that they are going to disappear, especially for the fact that many people still use cassettes at home, in the car and so on. Most of the music lovers and cassette collectors prefer to have some good quality by using vintage devices. Therefore you don’t have to worry about the fact that tape decks might disappear at some point.

Q. Is there a significant difference between 2-head and 3-head decks?

A. When recording, the tape head works as a small electromagnet which is powered by the audio signal. It induces a magnetic field that basically penetrates the tape and alters the magnetic state of the tape particles. When playback is on, the process gets reversed so you can play the music from the cassette.
The thing is that the 2-head tape deck uses only one head for both playback and recording, while the 3-head cassette deck is a more advanced technology.

For example on the 2-head deck, the first head is used for recording and playback, and the second one for erasing. The results are good in both record and play, but if you go for a 3-head deck you will see that it uses separate heads for play, record and erase so it has a better performance. Given the fact that each head has its own task, the frequency response is a better one than you will find in the 2-head ones.
Another feature the 3-head cassette deck provides is that the way the heads are arranged will allow you to listen to the signal on a tape right after it was recorded, without stopping the recording process.

Q. Why should I choose a dual-well cassette deck if I don’t like dubbing?

A. Even though you’re not into dubbing, having a dual-well tape deck will allow you to also play two tapes, and that means that you won’t have to lift a finger for hours while listening to your cassettes. Both sides of both tapes will be loaded and played in succession, so this will give you even a better experience.

Q. What should I choose between Vinyl and Cassette?

A. Quality wise, we could say that using a good equipment will give us an extraordinary experience, no matter if we play music from a Vinyl or Cassette, but this is only up to you. We cannot say which one is better, because again – both sound awesome while played and recorded on good gear

Conclusion

The cassette decks business was pretty good back in the days, especially in late 80’s – early 90’s, but now it seems like a lot of people are going back to old-school music sets. We might have YouTube and iTunes nowadays, but listening to a cassette will always give us a different experience and better vibes.

Companies are not focused on releasing new products anymore, but the market is full of good quality cassette deck second-hand and new, so if you take your time for some research you will definitely understand what is the best product you can purchase. Investing more in good equipment will satisfy your needs, and this is what everyone is interested in.

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