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  1. #1
    Analog Man Registered Member
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Smile First post to any forum

    I just got my first Nakamichi cassette deck! I may be telling people who dont care, but I just got my first Nakamichi cassette deck! Wow! The sound is sweet. I actually got a pair of them. One is a 480 and the other is a 480z. Why did I suffer with those other decks so long?

  2. #2
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Anywhere but here...
    Hi Chris,

    Welcome to AR.

    A cassette deck huh? We don't see to much of those these days. Can you tell us a little more about the rest of your system?


    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Welcome Chris. I understand about the Nakamichi decks. For years I worked for the CBS tape facility in Terre Haute IN. It was my responsibility to EQ our A/B and quality control listening rooms. We used several Nakamichi cassette decks because they had fully adjustable head assemblies and EQs. Nakamichi made my job easy by providing a great fully adjustable and repairable deck.

    We had a 700, 1000 and several 528Z models. I personally owned an RT202 (flipped the tape) BX-1 and Dragon models. They were the absolute in cassette recording and playback. We also had reel decks we used for QC of recorded multiple unit reels from Scully, Studer, Ampeg and Superscope. Of course all models included both Dolby B and C noise reduction and calibrations for normal, Cro2, and metal tapes.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular daveobieone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    I'd add a welcome to that Chris!
    I love my Nak CR-4A. Been running it for many years (bought it new) and never had a problem with it. Sounds wonderful with a good tape, which is getting harder to find.

    Bfalls...Were you working where the duplication of the tapes was done? I'd love to hear some inside scoop on how that was done.

    Dave O.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Yes, I worked in the "Dupe" (duplication) room for several years. At the time we had 17 systems which included a "Master" (playback) deck and 10 "slaves" (recording) units. When I started in 1976 there were four 8-track lines and thirteen cassette lines. Between 1976 and when the plant moved to Carrolton GA in 1981 the 8-track line gradually went away.

    The masters were a large vertical unit looking similar to a reel-to-reel deck. The cassette units used 1/2" masters, 8-track 1" masters. Instead of the tape going from reel-to-reel, the tape was loaded into a large bin and the ends spliced together with metal tape. The tape would travel from the back of the bin, across the playback heads, then into the front of the bin in a continuous loop. A vacuum block which the tape passed over was adjusted to keep the correct amount of tension. The master would run continuously. When the metal splice passed the heads, it then went over a sensing block which would transmit a tone at the end of the tape program.

    On the "slave" unit was placed a pancake of either 1/8" cassette tape, or 1/4" 8-track tape. I believe the cassette pancakes held 3600ft of tape. It also looked like reel-to-reel unit, with the pancake on the left. The tape was then threaded across the heads and collected by the takeup reel on the right. The pancake could hold as many as 29 cassette tapes recorded one after the other. The tone generated by the master was recorded between each unit. After recording, one reel from each pass was listened to by QC to ensure quality.

    Later in the plant, the pancakes are loaded onto despooling machines. For cassettes we used a unit called a King Winder. It was very automated. Empty cassettes were loaded into a chute which fed the winder. A cassette was pushed into place by a cylinder. A small arm with a vacuum would pull the leader across a splicing block. An assembly would then cut and splice the spool of recorded tape to the cassette's leader. A motor would then wind the spliced tape into the cassette until the tone earlier recorded onto the tape between the programs is sensed. The winding would then stop, the recorded tape spliced to the remaining end of the cassette and the leader wound into the cassette. A cylinder would then push the cassette into a bin. The bin would then travel to the printing section for artwork.

    8-track despooling was much more labor intensive. The tape was manually wound onto a spool which used the tone to cut the tape at the correct position. The hubs were placed in totes which then went to the splicers who manually spliced the ends together, then put the hubs into the cartridges and assembled them. The assembled cartridges then went to an indexing machine which was a large upright unit which had a vertical shaft. Ten cartridges were then loaded into slots with the shaft tensioned against the feed roller of the tape. The tapes were spun (indexed) until all units were at the beginning of the program. The units were then sent to printing for artwork.

    As far as mastering. We received all masters from New York recorded at 15"/sec. These were then re-recorded at 7.5"/sec and processed with Dolby if the customer specified. When I started Dolby-A was just going out and Dolby-B initiated. We used 3M IsoLoop systems for Master recording. All master playback was performed using McIntosh or Crown amps and JBL Studio Monitors. All masters were quality checked after a run and replaced if needed. Let me know if you have specific questions. We had our own cassette case manufacturing facility and a Masterwork system which recorded high-end cassette tapes.

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