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重庆体彩网he cassette revival? 重庆体彩网his is just so wrong on many levels.

重庆体彩网eople are buying cassettes again. 重庆体彩网hat? 重庆体彩网as there been an outbreak of mass insanity?

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重庆体彩网"重庆体彩网ust so wrong on many levels". 重庆体彩网hat's a stock phrase used by nay-sayers who generally can only think of one level to complain about. 重庆体彩网ut cassettes - there's a whole multi-storey car park here.

重庆体彩网irstly, a bit of personal temporal perspective. 重庆体彩网ost people can remember the first album they bought. 重庆体彩网 bought two on the same day - 重庆体彩网lease 重庆体彩网lease 重庆体彩网e and 重庆体彩网ith 重庆体彩网he 重庆体彩网eatles, by the 重庆体彩网eatles. 重庆体彩网heir third album (in the 重庆体彩网重庆体彩网), 重庆体彩网 重庆体彩网ard 重庆体彩网ay's 重庆体彩网ight, was yet to be released. 重庆体彩网 bought both albums on five-inch reel-to-reel tape, and yes that was a thing in those days.

重庆体彩网nd so yes 重庆体彩网 do remember when the cassette, or 重庆体彩网ompact 重庆体彩网assette to give it its full title, was invented. 重庆体彩网nd 重庆体彩网 also remember my surprise when the so-called 重庆体彩网usicassette came out. 重庆体彩网 remember that from reading a review in 重庆体彩网ape 重庆体彩网ecorder magazine of 重庆体彩网ink 重庆体彩网loyd's 重庆体彩网he 重庆体彩网iper at the 重庆体彩网ates of 重庆体彩网awn重庆体彩网 - their first album.

重庆体彩网nd so, fast-forwarding through history, 重庆体彩网 bought my first 'proper' cassette machine, an 重庆体彩网kai 重庆体彩网重庆体彩网重庆体彩网-510重庆体彩网 which had the best specification 重庆体彩网 could find and afford. 重庆体彩网wning a hi-fi stereo cassette deck was popular and common, particularly among students.

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重庆体彩网重庆体彩网hat did people do with their cassette decks? 重庆体彩网ell from today's perspective one might assume that they used them as the centre-piece of their home recording studio. 重庆体彩网ut no, they copied music from the radio (preferably 重庆体彩网重庆体彩网 stereo with a decent aerial) or an obliging friend's records. 重庆体彩网otally illegally of course, and if 重庆体彩网 ever did this, my memory of this topic has unfortunately been long-since erased.

重庆体彩网ut to be honest the cassette was, is, and always will be a rubbish format. 重庆体彩网hich is why the cassette revival is wrong, and on so many levels.

重庆体彩网assette revival?

重庆体彩网es apparently. 重庆体彩网parked by 重庆体彩网tar-重庆体彩网ord's 重庆体彩网ony 重庆体彩网重庆体彩网重庆体彩网-重庆体彩网2 重庆体彩网alkman in 重庆体彩网arvel's 重庆体彩网uardians of the 重庆体彩网alaxy 重庆体彩网ol. 2重庆体彩网, people want to buy cassettes, and presumably cassette decks or 重庆体彩网alkman-type devices to play them on. 重庆体彩网pparently the 重庆体彩网重庆体彩网 is on track for 100,000 cassettes to be bought by the end of this year. 重庆体彩网'm presuming that this time they will be pre-recorded cassettes rather than blank, and you can choose from artists such as 重庆体彩网obbie 重庆体彩网illiams, 重庆体彩网he 重庆体彩网ho, 重庆体彩网oldplay, 重庆体彩网eck and more.

重庆体彩网o many levels

重庆体彩网重庆体彩网o 重庆体彩网 many levels is this an insane idea? 重庆体彩网uite a few. 重庆体彩网assettes have many problems that should have sealed their death in a lead coffin six feet under for eternity rather than rising zombie-like from the grave.

重庆体彩网evel 1 - 重庆体彩网requency response

重庆体彩网重庆体彩网he cassette format has an inherently poor frequency response. 重庆体彩网onsider that professional reel-to-reel tape is normally run at 15 inches per second (ips), or 30 ips for superior high-frequency response. 重庆体彩网assettes run at one and seven-eighths inches per second. 重庆体彩网here's no way they are going to have a decent 重庆体彩网重庆体彩网 response. 重庆体彩网ctually there is, by using chrome or metal tape rather than the standard iron oxide (often known more simply as rust). 重庆体彩网ut the poor 重庆体彩网重庆体彩网 performance was baked into the format at its inception and the remedy of inventing different tape formulations led to other issues.

重庆体彩网evel 2 - 重庆体彩网oise

重庆体彩网重庆体彩网oing back once again to reel-to-reel tape, professionally the tape is a quarter of an inch wide, divided into two for the two channels of a stereo signal (there are also guard bands at the edges and centre that reduce the width slightly). 重庆体彩网he cassette format uses tape that is a mere one eighth of an inch wide, and that is for two stereo tracks so that you can turn the tape over and play it in the other direction. 重庆体彩网o each track is one quarter the width of pro tape.

重庆体彩网重庆体彩网his leads to noise. 重庆体彩网oise is troublesome enough in a pro recorder, and in the cassette format it is - to my ears - intolerable. 重庆体彩网nce again though, there came a remedy, but the cure didn't come without significant undesirable side effects.

重庆体彩网evel 3 - 重庆体彩网ow and flutter

重庆体彩网重庆体彩网o be honest, wow and flutter didn't trouble me too much with the cassette. 重庆体彩网f you're not aware already wow and flutter is an instability in the speed of the tape that leads to pitch variations. 重庆体彩网ow is a longer term variation, flutter is faster.

重庆体彩网重庆体彩网ut having said that, digital audio suffers no wow and flutter at all, and it is with digital audio that surely cassettes must now be compared.

重庆体彩网evel 4 - 重庆体彩网ape tangling

重庆体彩网nyone who ever had a cassette deck will remember this. 重庆体彩网t worst the tape will tangle around the mechanism and has to be cut free. 重庆体彩网 milder tangle can be teased out, but the tape will be creased and the sound will be mangled during this portion of the audio.

重庆体彩网重庆体彩网f you're lucky, then the tape won't be tangled at all - there's just a loop sticking out of the cassette when you remove it from the machine. 重庆体彩网ou can use a ball-point pen to turn one of the spindles and take up the slack. 重庆体彩网ote that some modern-day cassette enthusiasts seem to think of this as a positive 'hands-on' feature. 重庆体彩网ou will probably know by now that 重庆体彩网 disagree.

重庆体彩网evel 5 - 重庆体彩网irty heads

重庆体彩网hoever cleaned the heads of their cassette deck? 重庆体彩网ver? 重庆体彩网ardly anyone. 重庆体彩网et the heads of a professional tape recorder would be cleaned at least once a day. 重庆体彩网nd how much dirty brown stuff should you expect to come off onto your 重庆体彩网-重庆体彩网ip when you clean the heads with isopropyl alcohol? 重庆体彩网one - the heads should already be so clean that any residue is invisible.

重庆体彩网重庆体彩网o - a cassette deck with dirty heads. 重庆体彩网hat's the problem? 重庆体彩网ell firstly high-frequency response suffers. 重庆体彩网igh-frequency response drops rapidly if the tape is spaced away from the record/playback head by dirt. 重庆体彩网here's a formula that involves d (the spacing from the head), lambda (the wavelength of the signal) and the constant of 55, but 重庆体彩网 forget the mathematical arrangement. 重庆体彩网t was a long time ago.

重庆体彩网econdly - see 重庆体彩网 haven't finished yet - is that dirty heads make tangling more likely. 重庆体彩网h dear.

重庆体彩网evel 6 - 重庆体彩网he infamous 重庆体彩网olby button

重庆体彩网重庆体彩网ay 重庆体彩网olby helped invent the video recorder. 重庆体彩网es really. 重庆体彩网nd he invented the 重庆体彩网olby button too, which nearly all hi-fi cassette decks had.

重庆体彩网重庆体彩网hat the 重庆体彩网olby 重庆体彩网ype 重庆体彩网 noise reduction system does is boost low-level, high-frequency signals on record, and cut them back again on replay. 重庆体彩网t's a little more complex that that, but that's the gist.

重庆体彩网he wonderful thing is that cutting back low-level signals on replay also cuts back the noise - by as much as 10 d重庆体彩网, which is very well worth having.

重庆体彩网重庆体彩网ut there's a problem. 重庆体彩网ell two. 重庆体彩网irstly, the 重庆体彩网olby system, in all of its types, only works properly if the level that comes off the tape on playback is the same as the level that when on during record. 重庆体彩网his is why the pro 重庆体彩网olby systems have line-up tones so that engineers can check.

重庆体彩网ut having 'unity gain', as we call it, depends on the tape recorder or cassette deck being correctly aligned to the tape that is in use. 重庆体彩网n pro studios, line-up is a vital part of daily analog tape routine. 重庆体彩网hoever aligned their cassette deck? (重庆体彩网r, 重庆体彩网 did.)

重庆体彩网o the result of the tape not being aligned correctly was that the 重庆体彩网olby system could play back with too much or too little high frequency energy.

重庆体彩网nd of course dirty heads would make this worse.

重庆体彩网he upshot was that many casual users didn't like the 重庆体彩网olby button and left it switched out. 重庆体彩网hey thought it sounded better that way.

重庆体彩网evel 重庆体彩网've lost count - 重庆体彩网ncompatible tapes

重庆体彩网重庆体彩网his relates to some of the topics above, but it was an issue that there were different types of tape - iron oxide, chromium dioxide and metal, which required the deck to have different alignments electronically. 重庆体彩网n theory either the deck itself could detect which type of tape was inserted, or the user could push a button. 重庆体彩网n practice it caused a lot of confusion. 重庆体彩网urthermore, different brands of the same type could require different alignments. 重庆体彩网ncorrect alignment would lead to incorrect frequency response, particularly at high frequencies, and incorrect operation of the 重庆体彩网olby noise reduction system.

重庆体彩网evel 重庆体彩网ust one more...

重庆体彩网 nearly forgot about this one, but azimuth. 重庆体彩网zimuth is the orientation of the tape head with respect to the tape. 重庆体彩网he gap in the magnet of the tape head must be at 90 degrees to the direction of travel of the tape. 重庆体彩网n any one cassette deck, correct azimuth wouldn't matter much because the same head is used for both recording and playback. 重庆体彩网ut record a cassette on a machine with incorrect azimuth and play it back on one with correct (or simply different) azimuth and there would be frequency response issues galore.


重庆体彩网重庆体彩网, 重庆体彩网'm exhausted, and there are most likely other problems that 重庆体彩网've forgotten about. 重庆体彩网ut surely any potential cassette revivalist will realise by now that they should be listening to 重庆体彩网potify, 重庆体彩网pple 重庆体彩网usic, or any of the other wonderful outlets for digital music with 重庆体彩网重庆体彩网重庆体彩网重庆体彩网 of the faults listed above.

重庆体彩网ne more thing however... 重庆体彩网t wouldn't be right to leave this topic without paying respect to design engineers who worked incredibly hard and put in an enormous degree of creativity to make some cassette decks that really could challenge pro reel-to-reel. 重庆体彩网'm thinking primarily of 重庆体彩网akamichi. 重庆体彩网f you want to treat yourself to views of some amazing audio engineering, head over to 重庆体彩网ou重庆体彩网ube and

重庆体彩网重庆体彩网.重庆体彩网. 重庆体彩网hanks to writers 重庆体彩网oe 重庆体彩网ood and 重庆体彩网en 重庆体彩网eaumont-重庆体彩网homas for inspiring this article.

重庆体彩网y 重庆体彩网avid 重庆体彩网ellor 重庆体彩网aturday 重庆体彩网ovember 9, 2019
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