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    

Nakamichi Dragon ♫ Professionally Serviced- 60 Day Warranty- Near Mint*nakamichi Dragon* Great Cosmetic Condition* Needs Minor Repair*Vintage Nakamichi 1000zxl Computing Casette Tape Deck Recorder No Wood CabinetNakamichi Dragon Legendary Vintage Cassette DeckNakamichi Dragon Cassette DeckJvc Kd-85 Super Anrs Cassette Deck Spectrum Eq W Manual Serviced * Mint!Nakamichi 1000zxl Computing Cassette DeckNakamichi Cassette Deck 1 Serial # A133 01824Vintage Pioneer Ct-f1000 Stereo Cassette Tape Deck Player Powers Up Not PlayingNakamichi Dragon Auto Reverse Cassette Deck Player Works Tape Deck NaacVintage Pioneer Kp-500 Car Radio Cassette Tape Deck Player W/mountWorking Nakamichi Cassette Deck Rm-15 Remote Control UnitYamaha Kx-1200u Stereo Cassette Deck, Replaced Belts, Works GreatVintage Kp-500 Pioneer Am Fm Cassette Deck Tested Lights Up Ff Rew Sold As Is Nakamichi Lx-5 Cassette DeckTeac V-8030s Casette DeckSony Walkman Wm-ii, Wm-2, Working Condition, Revised, New Belt.Rare Classic Alpine 7618 Car Stereo Radio / Cassette Deck And Cd ChangerCarver Td-1400 Cassette DeckPioneer Ct-f1000 Cassette Deck, Parts Or Repair, Plays, No ReserveTascam 302mkii Dual Prof. Cassette Deck/recorder -120v/230v-tested - Works GreatPioneer Ct-wm77r Auto Reverse 6 Cassette Changer Plus Single Well - Very Nice!!New In Box Deluxe Sony Walkman Wm-3 Seen In Guardians Of Galaxy W/ Original Box Audiophile Sony Stereo Cassette Deck Tc-k611s 3 Head Dolby S Hi-fi Tascam Portastudio, 424 Mkii, Analog Cassette Recorder Mixer.Govideo Dual Deck System Vcr Video Cassette Recorder Gv3030x Go Video Used Technics Rs-x101 Double Cassette Tape Deck Dolby B Made In Japan 99p NrVintage Sansui Sc-3110 Tape Deck Player Excellent Condition Stereo Equipment Rs Dc 10 Technics Digital Cassette DeckProfessional Marantz 5420 Stereo Cassette Deck - Excellent/tested - Watch Demo Technics Rs-m275x Vintage Cassette Deck, Dolby B, C, Dbx Works WellHeavy Metal Cassette Lot 26 Cassettes And Pioneer Ct-w504r Dual Cassette DeckHigh End Pioneer Ct-f900 Ctf900 3 Head 2 Motor Tapedeck Looks Very Nice Lot Of 11 7" Reel To Reel Tapes. Varying Brands, Plastic ReelsWestinghouse Vintage Cartridge Tape Cassette Recorder Japan Sanyo Micro Pack 35Sony Tc-fx160 Stereo Cassette Deck, Hi Density Head, Dolby C 2 Head Design JapanVintage Zenith Model A-636w Solid State Two Track Cassette Tape Player/recorderTeac A-105 Vintage Cassette DeckNew Old Stock Nakamichi Dr-10 3-head Discrete Cassette Tape Deck Very Rare GoldSony Tc-c5 Hx Pro 5 Cassette Player / Recorder Tested *works Great Rare ModelVintage Sansui Stereo Cassette Deck Player Sc-2110 Part - Dust Cover 1110Mitsubishi Da-l70 Stereo Am/fm Receiver Amplifier 7 Cassette Tape Deck F/ RepairOnkyo Ta-rw400 Dolby Sound High Speed Dubbing Dual Cassette Recorder Tdk Guide To Recording Audio Cassette Tape Reel To Reel Brochure Audiophile InfoTandberg Tcd 310 Cassette DeckSony Tc - Fx420r - Really Clean - Cassette Player/recorderSony Cassette Recorder/playerPioneer Ct-f900 Vintage Floroscan Cassette Deck Teac A-100 Cassette Deck ------- Fully RestoredAkai Tape Deck Cassette Recorder Vintage Circa 1978 Gxc-730-dVintage Pioneer Stereo Cassette And Tape Deck Ct-f2121Vintage- Magnavox 1k8868 Solid State Stereo Cassette Tape Recorder PlayerrNice! Working! Sony 5 Cassette Tape Changer Recorder PlayerGe General Electric Cassette Player Recorder 3-51554a Tape Vintage Deck Vintage Realistic Stereo Cassette Player Recorder & Am Fm Radio 368-k Nice!!Phillips 85 Pocket Memo Hand Held Tape Recorder Made Austria Tascam 202 Mkiii Dual Stereo Cassette Tape Deck U.s Only No Reserve!!Pioneer Ct-40 Tape Deck Onkyo Model Ta-2036 Stereo Cassette Deck Made In Japan Silent Mechanism Dolbyb/cPioneer Ct-w4000 Stereo Dual Cassette Tape Deck