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 - Auto Reverse - 3 Head Stereo Cassette Deck - Dolby B & CPristine Nakamichi Dragon Auto Reverse Cassette Deck With Otiginal BoxNakamichi Dragon ***pristine Condition & Perfect Working Order***Technics Rs-b765 Pxs Hi-fi Analogue 3-head Cassette Tape Deck Dolby B/c Hx-proNakamichi Cr7a Cassette Deck With Original Remote Excellent Condition Sony Wm-10 Walkman Cassette Minty With All Accessories Working Excellent 1983Revox B215-s Cassette DeckNakamichi Mr1 Professional Cassette Deck-pristine! With Orig. Manual And BoxVintage Lasonic Trc 931, Am-fm, Cassette, Dual Tape Deck, Stereo, Boombox.Spirit Of Saint Louis Field Mk Ii Am/fm Cd Player & Cassette Deck Boombox -worksTechnics Sv-p100 Digital Audio (pcm) Vhs Cassette Deck Very Rare!Akai Stereo Cassette Deck Gxc-570d IiSony El-d8 Elcaset Professional Tape Recorder For Sale - Near-mint ConditionSony Tc-k730es 3-head Direct Drive Quartz Lock Cassette Deck-wood Sides ServicedNakamichi 582 Discrete Head Cassette Deck- Parts?Nakamichi Zx-7 Discrete 3 Head Cassette Deck - Exceptional ConditionMarantz 5020 Cassette Deck Virtually New Must Read Description Mint Condition!!Pioneer Ct-9r Cassette Deck - Completely RestoredPioneer Ct-f9191 Cassette Tape Deck As IsSony El-7 Elcaset Cassette Deck Serviced Includes One Lc-90 Used TapeSony Tc-wr99es Cassette Deck Dual Cassette Player As-isTeac Al-700 Esoteric Series Elcaset Tape DeckNakamichi Rx-202 Cassette Deck For Parts Or RepairVintage Marantz Sd 4000 2 Speed Cassette Deck Excellent Condition!Nakamichi Bx-300 Cassette Tape Deck, Works, Has 1 Issue, For Parts Or Repair Jvc Td-v661 Cassette Tape Deck Player Recorder 3 Head Closed Loop Dual CapstanSony Walkman Wm-f10 - Cassette - Fm -dolby Nr - Metal / Cr02 Great ShapeSony Sb-300 Tape Recorder Selector Switching Unit For Reel & Cassette DecksVintage Pioneer Ct-f1000 Audiophile Dolby Stereo Cassette Recorder -parts/repairTeac Z-5000 Master Cassette DeckSony Xr-u882 Rds Deck Radio Cassette Player Rare Old Receiver Cd Changer ControlNakamichi 482z Cassette DeckNakamichi Dragon Vintage Cassette Recorder - Very Clean - ServicedNakamichi Dr 2 Dr-2 Vintage Stereo Cassette Deck In Great Shape W/ Original BoxSony Tc-ka3es Stereo Cassette Deck Player As-isVtg. Technics Rs M85-mk2 Professional High End Cassette Deck Working But---New Ion Audio Cassette Adapter Bluetooth Music Receiver For Cassette DecksMarantz Sd-63 Three Head Cassette Tape Deck .99 Cents/no Reserve!!!Heathkit Fm Stereo Hi - Fi Amplifier Model Aa-32Vintage 1988 Fisher Price Pocket Rockers Cassette Deck Player Toy - TestedTechnics Rs-tr555 Dual Well Cassette Deck Dbx Encoder, Dolby Hx Pro Plays Great!Marantz 2220 As Is Parts/repair UnitVintage Pioneer Ctf-9191 Works See Details On Description BellowDenon Drr-m30 Dolby Nr Stereo Cassette Deck Player Micro Component -parts/repairVintage Nakamichi Bx-150 2 Head Cassette Deck. Project!Nakamichi Mr-2 2-head Professional Cassette Deck Vintage Recorder *Akai Gxc-735d Cassette Player/deck (as Is)-Alpine 7160 Shaft Am Fm Cassette Deck In Dash Car Stereo Vintage Rare Vw Mk1Jvc Kd-v6 Cassette DeckSony Dtc-700 Dat Digital Audio Tape Deck Vintage Bang & Olufsen StereoSony Stereo Cassette Deck Tc-we475 Never Used Has Original BoxAkai Gxc-706d Vintage Stereo Cassette Deck Player Excellent Condition Super CleaPioneer Ct-1280wr - Stereo Cassette Tape Deck (lot 2900)Vintage Pioneer Stereo Combo Receiver Radio Cd Cassette Equalizer Record Player Nakamichi St-7 For Parts Or Repair - Great ConditionPioneer Ct-m50r 6-cassette Changer Super Rare Onkyo Kenwood Technics Vintage STeac W-890rmkii Double Auto-reverse Cassette Deck (black)Pioneer Ct-w604rs Dual 'auto Reverse Dual Cassette Deck Dolby B, C, SVintage Panasonic Portable Cassette Recorder/player