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    

∎ Vintage Luxman K-04 3-head Cassette/tape Deck. Majestic!Nakamichi Dragon Auto Reverse Cassette Deck As-is For Parts Or RepairWorking Nakamichi Dragon Cassette Deck Rm-15 Remote Control Unit Rm-20Nakamichi Cr7a Discrete Head Casette Desk With RemoteAiwa Ad-f810 Hi-fi 3-head Cassette Tape Deck Dolby B/c/ Cal Superb 99p NrAkai Reference Master Gx-f95 Audiophile Cassette Deck (not Working)Nakamichi Cr-5a Cassette Deck, Completely Serviced, Near Mint ConditionMarantz Sd4000 Cassette Deck 2-speed 3 Head Double Dolby Serviced * Superb!Nad 6300Carver Td-1700 Three Head Cassette Deck Dolby B/c And Hdx Pro - AudiophileNakamichi Cassette Deck Rx-505 Uni-directional Auto-reverseOnkyo Ta-2800 Stereo Cassette Deck With Remote And Original ManualNakamichi Dragon Cassette Deck Selling As Is For Repair Or PartsNakamichi 3-head Single Cassette Deck, Great Condition,1.5 Sony Ev-s900 Vcr Hi8 Video Cassette Recorder Pro Edit Deck 8mmVintage Tandberg Tcd-310 Audiophile Cassette Deck W/ Dolby Nr Sound - Sweden Carver Td-1700 Stereo Cassette Deck. NiceBeautiful Vintage Aiwa F660 3 Head Autodemagnatizing Cassette Deck For RepairNakamichi Zx-9 Discrete Head Cassette DeckMarantz 5010b Tape Deck - Needs WorkNakamichi Cr-2a Cassette Deck Serviced Variable Bias Dolby C * Nice!Pioneer Ct-f700 Cassette Deck For Repair/partsYamaha K-1020 Natural Sound Stereo Cassette Deck Vintage Akai Gx-f66rc Cassette Stereo Cassette Deck Super High EndPioneer Kp500 Cassette Tape Player Serial #ab127959 Made In Japan +++++Beautiful Luxman Kx-101 Stereo Cassette Deck, Plays Perfectly!Pioneer Kex900 Old School Cassette Deck,for Parts. Pioneer. Model Ct-f900. Cassette Deck/recorder. For Parts Or Repair Only. As IsSony Walkman Sports Am/fm Cassette PlayerNakamichi Zx-660 Studio Cassette Deck Vg-xlint Sweet Sounding Deck No ResProfessional Marantz 5420 Stereo Cassette Deck - Excellent/tested - Watch Demo Nakamichi Rx-202 Unidirectional Auto Reverse Cassette Deck #110Ion Tape 2 Pc Usb Cassette Deck 237596 EmartSanyo Rd-4025, Horizontal Cassette Deck Dnl Line/mic InHarmon Kardon Hd100 And Cd191Ion Audio Duo Deck Usb Turntable With Cassette DeckTascam 112r Mkii Cassette RecorderNakamichi Cr3a Cr-3a -needs New BeltsNad 6340 Cassette Deck, Budget Audiophile, Dolby Hx Pro And Dyneq, Very Good!Ac Delco Car Radio With Cassette Deck Great ConditionNakamichi 480 2 Head Cassette Deck Aiwa Ad-a70u Stereo Cassette Deck W/sr-c5 Sorting CartridgeAudio Cassette Tape Adapter To Auxiliary Cable 3.5mm Jack Mp3 Ipod Cd PlayerIon Audio Duo Deck Usb Turntable With Cassette DeckSony Tc-rx370 Stereo Cassette Deck Dolby Hx Pro SoundPioneer Stereo Double Cassette Deck Ct-w504r Tested Working Marantz Double Cassette Deck Pmd 510Ct-f900 Ct-f950 Pioneer Cassett Deck Belt Kit With InstructionNakamichi 480 Two Head Cassette DeckNakamichi Dm-10 Head Demagnetizer, In Original Box, Nr!Vintage "big"1981 Sony "boombox" Ghetto Blaster Stereo Cassette Recorder Csf-f5Vintage Radioshack Trs-80 Computer Cassette Recorder, Ccr-81, Original BoxVtg Sony Sports Cassette Tape Cfm-160 Waterproof Works! Ghetto Blaster Boombox Vintage Yamaha Natural Sound Tc-800gl Stereo Cassette Deck Nice WorkingTechnics Stereo Casette Deck 641 VintageVintage Rare Dokorder Mk-630 Cassette Stereo Tape Player Recorder, Parts RepairRca Dimensia Mtr225 Dual Auto-reverse Cassette DeckTested! Realistic Scp-32 Stereo Cassette Tape Player! Mini Tape Deck! VintageWood Sides From Pioneer Ct-f9191Sony Dat Recorder