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    

Tandberg 3014 3 Head Cassette Deck, Working ConditionNakamichi Zx-9 Great Working Condition No Reserve Free ShippingLasonic Trc-920 Stereo Vintage Boom Box 1985 Tape Deck Plays (ghetto Blaster)Akai Gx-r99 Top Line Auto-reverse Ln Cro2 Metal Tape Deck Free Delivery*Vintage Nakamichi Cr-2a Digital 2 Head Cassette Tape Deck Player AudiophilePioneer Ct-f9191 Cassette Deck Cleaned, New Belts And Tire, Beautiful!Marantz 5220 Vintage Stereo Cassette Player/recorder Nakamichi Bx-300Aiwa Ad-f770 Vintage Cassette Deck,all Functions Work,beautiful!!!! No Reserve!!Teac A 2300sd 7" Reel To Reel Tape Recorder - DolbyTechnics Rs-630us Cassette Deck Dolby Serviced In Original Box W Manual Superb!Teac Z5000 Master Casette Deck With Original Manual And Warranty Teac Z 5000Vintage Marantz 5030b Stereo Cassette DeckRevox B215 Direct Drive 3 Head Cassette Tape Deck, Good Shape, Works But As-isTandberg 3034 Cassette DeckNakamichi 550 Portable Cassette DeckVintage Nakamichi Cr-1a Cassette Tape Deck 2 Head Audio Classic Vg-nm -org. Box!Tps-l2 Sony Walkman, Manual & Case. Needs Belt. Seen In Guardians Of The GalaxySony Mhc-3300cd - Mini Component Stereo Vintage Pioneer Ct-f7171 Stereo Cassette Tape Deck Needs Work No Reserve!Onkyo Integra Ta-2058 Cassette With Rosewood Side PanelsTeac A-360s Cassette Deck Serviced W Dolby Mpx Filter Walnut Cab * Nice!Nakamichi Rx-202Onkyo Integra Stereo Cassette Tape Deck Ta-2066 Sony Gv-d200 Digital 8 Recorder Player Video Cassette Deck Hi Hi8 Gvd200 Vintage Pioner Ct-f1250 Stereo Cassette Tape Deck Tape Deck Selector Switch, Works With Teac, Akai, Nakamichi, Pioneer, & OthersTascam Cd Recorder/cassette Deck & Sony Mds-je480 Mini Disc Deck In Skb CaseHarman Kardon Cd401 3 Head Full Logic Uniplane Transport Cassette Tape DeckSansui Sc-2110 Cassette Deck Teac A450 Cassette DeckClassic Teac R-919x Stero Cassette Deck Boxed Clean & Works VintageUsed Technics Rs 631 Casstette DeckVintage Teac Stereo Tape DeckDenon Dn-780r Hx Pro Dolby B-c Rack Mount Stereo Dual Cassette Tape DeckSony Gv-d200 Digital 8 Recorder Player Video Cassette Deck Hi Hi8 Gvd200 Legendary! Nakamichi Cr-7a 3 Head Top Of The Line Audiophile Cassette Deck Mint!Vintage Jvc C-p3u Compact Video Cassette Adapter For Vhs Never UsedSony Ev-c100 Hi-8 Video Cassette Deck *as Is* For Parts Or RepairNakamichi Bx-125 2 Head Casette Deck (barely Used)Vintage Pendleton Blanket, Oregon Green, Original Box - No Reserve Nakamichi Dr-2 3h Cassette DeckTascam Cd-a500 Combo Cd Player/cassette DeckPioneer Ct-f900 Stereo Cassette Tape DeckSony Dual Stereo Cassette Tape Deck Tc-w365Teac E-1 Head Demagnetizer NosVintage Hifi Maxell Cassette Tape Deck Recorder Head Cleaner Care Cleaning KitNakamitchi Dr-1 - 3 Head Cassette Deck - For Parts Or Repair - May Need New BeltAiwa Digital Audio System Cx-na303 With Remote, Cd Changer, Dual Cassette DecksVintage Sony Wm-f1 Fm Stereo Cassette Player Walkman F1Philips Ecg Ar40 Audio Torque Meter Cassette (made In Germany)Onkyo Auto Reverse Dual Cassette Deck Model Ta-rw344Nakamichi Bx Cassette Deck Tape Head Erase Play No Reserve!Rare Vintage Jvc Kd-a7 Stereo Cassette Tape Deck Player Works EucGeneral Electric 3-5284 Miniature Stereo Radio Cassette Vintage Boombox 1980'sRadio Shack Trs-80 Tandy Computer Cassette Recorder Ccr-81 New Never Opened Magnavox D8300 Dual Deck Stereo Radio Cassette RecorderDenon Dr-f6Vintage Nos Sansui Sc-3110 Cassette Deck Dust CoverVintage Sony Stereo Cassette-corder Tc-126 Bundle With Mic & Case. Free Shipping