In the battle of the home-audio tape formats, the cassette beat the eight-track hands down. Cassettes were more reliable than eight-tracks, and their diminutive size meant manufacturers such as Sony could make portable players for them (the ubiquitous Sony Walkman, 1979, was the Apple iPod of its day). But home-audio enthusiasts also liked the format, purchasing receivers with built-in cassette decks so that tracks on an LP playing on a nearby turntable could easily be captured and recorded onto cassettes, leading to the era of the mix tape. Cassette decks were also favorites of fans of the Grateful Dead, which allowed tapers to bring microphones and small decks to its shows for the purpose of recording the music and then distributing it for free.

Every electronics manufacturer made cassette decks, but standouts include Aiwa, whose mini systems lent themselves to the small cassette format. The all-black Nakamichi Dragon, introduced in 1983, combined high quality with badass styling, while most Akai decks were content to just do quality right, although the horizontal GXC-325D, with its angled VU meters, made lots of users feel like they were running professional studio gear in their homes.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Vintage Knob

The Vintage Knob

The Vintage Knob is an extensive resource on all types of audio electronics organized by manufacturer, from Aiwa to… [read review or visit site]

Most watched eBay auctions    

Pristine Vintage Sony Tc-118 Sd Console Cassette Tape Deck Recorder Stereo HifiNakamichi 680zx 2 Speed Cassette Deck Powers Up But No Tape MovementVintage Pioneer Stereo Cassette Tape Deck Model Ct-f1250Teac R-h300 Cassette Tape Deck Dolby B/c Japan Teac Reference 300 99p No ReserveNakamichi Dr1Kenwood Kx-1030Pioneer Ct-f1250 Cassette Deck Serviced In Original Box With Manual & BrochureYamaha Kx-580se Hi-fi Stereo Cassette Tape Deck B/c/s Japan Play Trim Hx ProNakamichi Dragon - Cassete Deck - Fully Serviced And Ready To Go With ExtrasVintage Renowned Tandberg Tcd-440a 3 Head 3 Motor Stereo Cassette Deck 1970'sVintage Pioneer Kp-500 12vdc Fm Stereo Cassette Under Dash Car RadioVintage Sony Tc-k677es Stereo Cassette DeckVintage..rare Sony El-5 Elcaset Cassette Deck ...read1976 Pioneer Stereo Cassette Tape Deck Ct-f9191 As/is Vintage Phase Linear 7000 Series Two Cassette Player Powers On / Needs ServiceSony Dtc-87es Digital Audio Tape Deck Recorder Player DatAiwa Ad-f990 Cassette Deck - No ReserveVintage Nakamichi Dragon Cassette Tape Deck Broken Parts Repair ProjectPhilips Dcc 882 Tuner/dcc Combination Philips Car SystemsNice Pioneer Ct-f7272 Stereo Cassette Tape Deck ComponentWmd6 Sony Professional With Case Rebuilt By Sony Engineer Of 37 YearsSansui Sc-3330 Cassette Tape Recorder Player Ex Cond Scarce With Rack Handles Nakamichi System One Cassette Deck 600Pre-owned Alpine Eq. #3312 & Pioneer Cassette Deck Super Tuner #keh-3600Vintage 1987 Yamaha Natural Sound Stereo Cassette Deck K-540 High End DigitalNakamichi Rx-202 Cassette Duplicator 4 Tape Duplicator By RecordexSony Automotive Cassette Player Xk8dPioneer Vintage Car Cassette Deck W/ Amplifier Kph-838 & Gm-40 Super Nice WowMarantz Portable Cassette Recorder Pm221 3 Head Pro Tape Deck - Excellent Cond!Sony Tc-k707es 3head Cassette DeckVintage Harman Kardon Hk-2000 Variable Speed Cassette Deck Superscope C-104 By Marantz Professional Cassette Tape Deck Player/recorderVintage Yellow Panasonic Rq-711s Cassette Tape Player Recorder W/cordSony Tc-wr97es Dual Stereo Cassette Tape Deck Wood Cabinet For Parts/repairNakamichi 500 Dual-tracer Cassette Tape RecorderDenon Dr-m44 Rare Silver With Wood Sides For Repair As Close To Mint You'll Get Sanyo Rd 5370 Stereo Cassette Deck/recorderNakamichi Cp-1 Cd/ Full Logic Cassette Player Realistic Cassette Tape Player Scp-25 Deck. Stereo Dolby Hifi. Vintage ComponentDenon Drm-700 3 Head Stereo Cassette Tape Deck Recorder Player Works GreatNakamichi Bx-150 2 Head Cassette Untested Powers On Super Clean .99 No Reserve!Marantz Sd1015 Stereo Cassette Deck Dolby Metal Alloy Head 100+ Pcs Mix Cassette Tape Machine Square Common Belt Assorted Universal RepairTechnics Rs-tr311 Hx Pro Double Cassette Deck Player Recorder - New Old StockMarantz Sd 3000 Vintage Stereo Cassette Deck Nice Shape For Parts Or RepairSima Vhs-c Cassette AdapterAkai Stereo Cassette Deck Cs-m3 Record Phone Jack Tape Player Vintage Panasonic Vintage Rotel Rd-12f Front Load Stereo Cassette Deck Never Used In Original BoxVintage Akai Gxc-730d Auto Reverse Stereo Cassette DeckVintage Akai Gx-r60 Stereo Cassette Deck. Excellent Condition.Sony Tc-we635 Dual Stereo Cassette Auto Reverse Tape Deck W/ Pitch ControlSony Cd Player With Cassette Deck And RadioAwesome Kenwood Kx-630 Stereo Cassette DeckTeac W-518r Black Stereo Dolby B/c Auto Reverse Playback Dual Cassette DeckVintage Kenwood Kx-630 Stereo Cassette Deck Tape PlayerNakamichi Bx 150 Cassette Deck. Very Good Condition-near Mint-very Low Use. A+++Sony Tc-wr750 Stereo Dual Cassette DeckNew Vintage Tiffen Cassette Recorder-player Slideshow Synchronizer • Model 7100Jvc Vhs/svhs Mini Cassette Adaptor C-p5u