Everybody wants to save the earth, nobody wants to help mom do the dishes.  --P.J. O'Rourke

Monday, March 30, 2009

Nakamichi Cassette Decks

Cassette tapes where at the apogee of their popularity around the time I was in High
School.  The bane of the cassette was "hiss", that incredibly distracting high frequency
noise present during playback.  Attempts to rid the tape of hiss and thus gain market
share lead to a technological arms race amongst manufacturers of the day.  Predictably,
this lead to a byzantine array of competing technologies and standards.   We had "Chrome"
(Cr02) ,  "Metal", TDK "Avylin"(my favorite) tapes, various incarnations of Dolby noise
reduction and of course increasingly costly and sophisticated tape decks.  The most
sophisticated decks where made by Nakamichi.  As black and high tech as a stealth
fighter, and costing nearly as much, these decks were THE ones to have.  I can vividly
remember going to the local stereo store (remember those?) and seeing the model
below on display.  I think my head exploded when the sales guy demonstrated the flip
mechanism pictured in this ad.  It seems like a simple thing, but it was soo damn cool.
I swear to god we would go into the store regularly just to hit the reverse button to
see the tape door open, the tape spin around, close and resume playback.   Even today
these tape decks are collectors items with a huge fanboy following and numerous
discussion forums. 


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