Cheapest cassette deck with 3 head and pitch control

Any music gear discussions that don't fit into one of the other forums.

Moderators: Joe., lisa, luketeaford, Kent

Post Reply
User avatar
evs
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1300
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:49 am
Location: Cologne

Cheapest cassette deck with 3 head and pitch control

Post by evs » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:21 pm

Which is the cheapes tape deck with 3head and pitch control?
Yes I want to use it as a tape delay...

I‘m aware of the pmd221 from Marantz, and about the tascam 122mk2 and some Nakamichis, but they are all too expensive for me.

Isn‘t there a machine I don‘t know yet about which has both desired features?
Thanks!

User avatar
ersatzplanet
Synthwerks Design
Posts: 6328
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:18 pm
Location: Seattle WA

Post by ersatzplanet » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:55 pm

If the deck has no 50/60 cycle switch on it, then the capstan meter is a DC motor. This means you can hack vari-speed by finding the trimmer used to set the speed and putting a switch to choose an external pot for speed control. I have done this many times to reel-to-reel decks and I;m sure it will work on a cassette deck to. There has to be an internal trimmer to set the speed at the factory (it will probable be painted in the set position). To do CV control is another thing altogether but with the low current needs of a cassette deck motor, you probably can use a decent power level transistor to control the DC already going to it.

I would imagine finding a multi-head cassette would be the harder thing.
-James

James Husted - Synthwerks, LLC - www.synthwerks.com - info@synthwerks.com - james@synthwerks.com
Synthwerks is a proud member of the Mostly Modular Trade Association (http://www.mostlymodular.com).
Always looking to trade for Doepfer P6 cases

User avatar
hsosdrum
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 659
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 11:02 pm
Location: Southern California, USA

Post by hsosdrum » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:17 pm

I worked at Nakamichi between 1981 and 1993, and the old Nakamichi BX-300 is exactly what you need: A discrete 3-head deck with a front-panel playback pitch control (±6%, or about one semitone either way).

HOWEVER, that model was discontinued around 30 years ago. If you can find one it will probably need a transport overhaul (the original fast-wind mechanism idler replaced with a gear system—the idler wore out every year or so). There are still places in the U.S. that work on Nakamichi decks, however the BX-series idler system was the most-replaced part on any Nakamichi deck ever, and is likely going to be as hard to find as hen's teeth.

cs1729
Common Wiggler
Posts: 167
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:39 pm

Post by cs1729 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:00 pm

i got a superscope which is a marantz. i think if you search superscope you might find something cheap

User avatar
dooj88
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1384
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2017 7:31 pm
Location: VA
Contact:

Re: Cheapest cassette deck with 3 head and pitch control

Post by dooj88 » Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:25 am

i just found a GE Handi-Cassette recorder which has independent sliders for pitch and speed. how does it manage to pitch the playback down and keep the speed the same? onboard processor? the model is APH 3-5184A Handi-Cassette.

anyway, looking forward to using the controls to get into territory the morphagene wasn't quite able to get into

User avatar
oisin
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 634
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:27 am
Location: Berlin

Re: Cheapest cassette deck with 3 head and pitch control

Post by oisin » Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:57 am

the price of any of these machines can be cheap or expensive, depending on what the seller knows. they arent really in demand except to a small scene of weirdos ( ; )). . i picked up a marantz for a very cheap price but had to wait a year or so. just put up an ebay alert or likewise and wait.. good luck (its worth the wait)!

User avatar
bphenix
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 492
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 1:58 pm
Location: atx

Re: Cheapest cassette deck with 3 head and pitch control

Post by bphenix » Sun Mar 15, 2020 2:30 pm

oisin wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:57 am
the price of any of these machines can be cheap or expensive, depending on what the seller knows. they arent really in demand except to a small scene of weirdos ( ; )).
To that end, in the US:
Reverb = higher prices
Ebay = mixed bag, but good deals to be had
Craigslist = mixed but better than Reverb most of the time
Local thrift store = great if you can test

I have a Marantz PMD740 that I bought off eBay from an estate sale. Normally these go for $500-$800. Made an offer at $200 and received an excellent condition, in original packaging, 4 track.

User avatar
wminor
Common Wiggler
Posts: 185
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 3:37 pm
Location: San Francisco, but also Nando's

Re:

Post by wminor » Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:49 pm

hsosdrum wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:17 pm
I worked at Nakamichi between 1981 and 1993, and the old Nakamichi BX-300 is exactly what you need: A discrete 3-head deck with a front-panel playback pitch control (±6%, or about one semitone either way).

HOWEVER, that model was discontinued around 30 years ago. If you can find one it will probably need a transport overhaul (the original fast-wind mechanism idler replaced with a gear system—the idler wore out every year or so). There are still places in the U.S. that work on Nakamichi decks, however the BX-series idler system was the most-replaced part on any Nakamichi deck ever, and is likely going to be as hard to find as hen's teeth.
Sorry to divert the thread a bit - I happen to have a Nakamichi BX-300 which was working great up until a few months ago, at which point the transport (i think) suddenly stopped working. Can you recommend any resources where I can learn more about how to diagnose the problem, figure out a potential fix, etc?

Hope it's not the idler system if they really are that hard to find, but I guess it might be.
sometimes i post stuff on instagram

send me a message if you might like to make some music with a total stranger <3

User avatar
smonkey
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 258
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:39 pm
Location: lost angles (mercury pond)

Re: Cheapest cassette deck with 3 head and pitch control

Post by smonkey » Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:58 pm

if one is vaguely patient the marantz can be had pretty cheap on ebay....just chill and watch for a few months...they price correct to around $100 for the mono ones....

but if that's too expensive....hmm...
"Flingo bungie, whingie FLIP!"

User avatar
3hands
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 631
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:36 pm
Location: Ottawa Ontario

Re:

Post by 3hands » Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:55 pm

hsosdrum wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:17 pm
I worked at Nakamichi between 1981 and 1993, and the old Nakamichi BX-300 is exactly what you need: A discrete 3-head deck with a front-panel playback pitch control (±6%, or about one semitone either way).

HOWEVER, that model was discontinued around 30 years ago. If you can find one it will probably need a transport overhaul (the original fast-wind mechanism idler replaced with a gear system—the idler wore out every year or so). There are still places in the U.S. that work on Nakamichi decks, however the BX-series idler system was the most-replaced part on any Nakamichi deck ever, and is likely going to be as hard to find as hen's teeth.
I am in love with my Nakamichi CD player. I will probably be buried with it. Now back to the thread!
Gum is fun, but not on a cat.

My minds an art gallery.

User avatar
hsosdrum
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 659
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 11:02 pm
Location: Southern California, USA

Re: Re:

Post by hsosdrum » Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:34 pm

wminor wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:49 pm
hsosdrum wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:17 pm
I worked at Nakamichi between 1981 and 1993, and the old Nakamichi BX-300 is exactly what you need: A discrete 3-head deck with a front-panel playback pitch control (±6%, or about one semitone either way).

HOWEVER, that model was discontinued around 30 years ago. If you can find one it will probably need a transport overhaul (the original fast-wind mechanism idler replaced with a gear system—the idler wore out every year or so). There are still places in the U.S. that work on Nakamichi decks, however the BX-series idler system was the most-replaced part on any Nakamichi deck ever, and is likely going to be as hard to find as hen's teeth.
Sorry to divert the thread a bit - I happen to have a Nakamichi BX-300 which was working great up until a few months ago, at which point the transport (i think) suddenly stopped working. Can you recommend any resources where I can learn more about how to diagnose the problem, figure out a potential fix, etc?

Hope it's not the idler system if they really are that hard to find, but I guess it might be.
I can't help with a diagnosis, but like you I suspect the idler. Back in the day Nakamichi would replace the rubber (friction-driven) idler system with a gear-driven system. Expensive, but it permanently fixed the problem. I have no idea if any of these parts are still available — this is 30 – 35 years after the fact.

I would use the Interwebs to find someone who still works on Nak decks and contact them about it. I can't make a specific recommendation because I haven't had any of my Nak gear repaired since the company closed-down.

User avatar
wminor
Common Wiggler
Posts: 185
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 3:37 pm
Location: San Francisco, but also Nando's

Re: Re:

Post by wminor » Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:59 pm

hsosdrum wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:34 pm
wminor wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:49 pm
hsosdrum wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:17 pm
I worked at Nakamichi between 1981 and 1993, and the old Nakamichi BX-300 is exactly what you need: A discrete 3-head deck with a front-panel playback pitch control (±6%, or about one semitone either way).

HOWEVER, that model was discontinued around 30 years ago. If you can find one it will probably need a transport overhaul (the original fast-wind mechanism idler replaced with a gear system—the idler wore out every year or so). There are still places in the U.S. that work on Nakamichi decks, however the BX-series idler system was the most-replaced part on any Nakamichi deck ever, and is likely going to be as hard to find as hen's teeth.
Sorry to divert the thread a bit - I happen to have a Nakamichi BX-300 which was working great up until a few months ago, at which point the transport (i think) suddenly stopped working. Can you recommend any resources where I can learn more about how to diagnose the problem, figure out a potential fix, etc?

Hope it's not the idler system if they really are that hard to find, but I guess it might be.
I can't help with a diagnosis, but like you I suspect the idler. Back in the day Nakamichi would replace the rubber (friction-driven) idler system with a gear-driven system. Expensive, but it permanently fixed the problem. I have no idea if any of these parts are still available — this is 30 – 35 years after the fact.

I would use the Interwebs to find someone who still works on Nak decks and contact them about it. I can't make a specific recommendation because I haven't had any of my Nak gear repaired since the company closed-down.
Okay, will do. Thanks for the info!
sometimes i post stuff on instagram

send me a message if you might like to make some music with a total stranger <3

User avatar
ndkent
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3598
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:59 am

Re: Cheapest cassette deck with 3 head and pitch control

Post by ndkent » Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:02 pm

Basically 3 heads means higher end and varispeed was never a common feature unless you can figure out how to make it happen on a deck without it. So yeah, people selling them checked out know this and won't be cheap. The alternative is a seller not knowing about it which surely can be cheap but the working order is unknown.

Post Reply

Return to “General Gear”