- May 30, 2005
- Kansas City
Oh about a hundred years ago there was a transitory time if you bought a car, and it had only a radio in it, a choice needed to be made between 8 track or cassette. To avoid Top 40 & Sports Radio. I had a friend working at Hi Fi Fo Fum stereo store & spent a good bit of time listening to Advent cassette decks & others early on. There was a lot I didn't like about stereo 8 track carts, largely breaking up songs with "CLU-CHUNK". But with out any Dobly tricks the 8 track sounded more extended treble, such as it was, compared to the cassette high end. The higher speed & larger track width paid off in audible results for the 8 track & that's what I chose. Well, just stereo.IMO, some things are 'better left in the past!' Cassettes were fun and offered convenience in 'their day,' but why take a backwards step in both fidelity and diluting your incredible 5.1 surround remix by offering lo fi STEREO cassettes! Your release on hybrid SACD 5.1 and BD~A 5.1 was certainly a bold move for an independent production but hey, it's your $$$$$ ...... if you decide to go the cassette route!
As time wore on 8 tracks vanished for purchase & I got a Pioneer cassette deck for the car. Grand total I made probably made 40 tapes. I would have done more but never did cassette seem to rival other formats in quality.
Before cassette, in my home, I would usually buy an LP play once to "clean the grooves" & then record it on R2R at 7.5 ips. It sounded very good compared to the source to be acceptable. From then on I would play the tape rather than the LP.
Eventually I bought a mid-line cassette home deck with dbx. It still seemed rather dull, even using best tapes, when playing back recorded LP's. And later I found a Quaddie friend (Hello David!) that had a highest end Sony cassette deck & really loved purchasing pre-recorded classical tapes. They still sounded a bit dull & muffles from what I might expect, remarking to myself I no reference to compare to.
One night we took some great quality Sheffield direct to disc LP's & copied to cassette on Ferric II & Chrome. They both sounded a bit different, and noticeably inferior to the source.
So this and other experiences I look back on leads me to conclude that analog cassette in its day was the equivalent of MP3 today: convenient but not great quality.
Addendum: I was totally enamored over the Elcaset! I thought this would be the perfect compromise between R2R & cassette. I never bought into it cuz if I did it would just be me, and that other guy over there, with this stuff sitting in our closet...