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Cassettes….why ?

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sunand777

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Amarendra

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Perhaps none of us who wax eloquent about cassette (or even vinyl) sound today had a second thought on moving over to CD back then. :) Each one of us had some convincing reason to do so, most of which are listed in this thread. Most of us junked our cassette decks, Walkmans, turntables, and respective media while some with collector/hoarder (both are different) mindsets had boxed and kept them aside, but never used for years together. There’d be an exceptional one who continued listening to them in the intervening period. It’s only when the vinyl revival started few years ago, did some get back to dusting/refurbishing and trying out the older equipment and media and discovered an again-found love. Did any of those reasons to move to CD become inapplicable now? I don’t think so. We just found newer reasons to go back.

Just goes to say how human mind (individual as well as collective) is fluid and nothing can be taken for granted for ever. :)
The reasons this time around are different. The move to CDs was due to perceived superior sound quality, easy availability, low maintenance (no fungus like cassette) and declining prices. Today we are witnessing the disappearance of CDs from brick and mortar shops as well as online retailers. The shift is now to streaming which some people feel loses on two counts- the lack of physical media (some of us preferred physical media) and the perceived degradation in quality. Hence the reverse shift in gear to cassettes/ LPs/ CDs- just IMHO.
 

square_wave

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Hence the reverse shift in gear to cassettes/ LPs/ CDs- just IMHO.
Hmm.. From an industry context, there is no industry " shift " to cassettes. No one is making decks or cassettes anymore. For audiophiles, tapes are only valid if you plan to look at "reel to reel " tapes. And that is very expensive hobby.

There is a revival of the LP medium. This is not a shift. It is a sizeable demographic who always liked Vinyl due to various reasons. Many people mix digital and Vinyl because some of their music actually sounds better on Vinyl releases. In fact Vinyl never went away. It is a very valid medium from an industry standpoint.

CDs have now morphed into "digital downloads" That is the only shift.

From what I have read so far in this thread, I can see the following reasons for cassettes.

1. Obscure recordings which are not available in other mediums.
2. Some rare recordings which actually sound better on cassettes than the cd counterpart.
3. Convenience factor if you still keep a cassette deck in your car.
4. Impress a girl by flaunting an alien contraption that was delivered from outer space along with a bottle of red wine.
 
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SachinChavan

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Hmm.. From an industry context, there is no industry " shift " to cassettes. No one is making decks or cassettes anymore. For audiophiles, tapes are only valid if you plan to look at "reel to reel " tapes. And that is very expensive hobby.

There is a revival of the LP medium. This is not a shift. It is a sizeable demographic who always liked Vinyl due to various reasons. Many people mix digital and Vinyl because some of their music actually sounds better on Vinyl releases. In fact Vinyl never went away. It is a very valid medium from an industry standpoint.

CDs have now morphed into "digital downloads" That is the only shift.

From what I have read so far in this thread, I can see the following reasons for cassettes.

1. Obscure recordings which are not available in other mediums.
2. Some rare recordings which actually sound better on cassettes than the cd counterpart.
3. Convenience factor if you still keep a cassette deck in your car.
4. Impress a girl by flaunting an alien contraption that was delivered from outer space along with a bottle of red wine.
Another shift that’s happening is from radio (esp. FM) to streaming audio. FM radio is getting largely relegated to car audio and as internet-enabled cars become norm, they’d lose even that market.
 

COOLDUDE7808

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In case u have the First edition of cassette and CD ...then CD will beat the SQ of cassette hands down ......when u buy new editions of CD's ....the quality of recording is not that good .....hence sometimes the cassette may sound better than a CD ...

I have experienced this in many ARR and Ilaiyaraja Soundtracks in Tamil and in Hindi i can recall ...Gupt , Dil to Pagal hai and many of the Saregama soundtracks ....Even in case of T-series ....some tracks like Sadak , Tezaab etc sounded better on a cassette .

Sometimes a 320 kbps MP3 ripped from a Vinyl or First Edition CD sounds better than new CD versions ....Karma (Subhash Ghai ) is one such example which comes to my mind.

Those rs 500 or Rs350 CD's had a certain quality ...both in terms of thickness of the disc and sound quality ....now CD's are not of the same quality ..
 
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sandeepss

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square wave, There is another fundamental subconscious pull all humans have, which expresses its need for forming groups and having allegiance so that we can define our identity. This is evident in social behavior like patriotism, strong political beliefs, religion, sports etc
In our hobby, it can end up with strong affiliations to the music formats, product brands, music genre, bands etc with intense debates which can end up in a scuffle. Cassettes are also one among them.
 

jmascreen

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Why people adding tube to audio chain? isnt tube too obsolete and new mosfets/IC's far superior than valve/tube?
 

square_wave

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square wave, There is another fundamental subconscious pull all humans have, which expresses its need for forming groups and having allegiance so that we can define our identity. This is evident in social behavior like patriotism, strong political beliefs, religion, sports etc
In our hobby, it can end up with strong affiliations to the music formats, product brands, music genre, bands etc with intense debates which can end up in a scuffle. Cassettes are also one among them.
Yes, Lets add that also as a reason for cassettes. Nothing wrong there :)
 

jmascreen

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Agreed. I have Reel to Reel, Vinyls, Tapes, CD's and itune/spotify premium subscription. I find the reel/vinly/tapes are cucumber some too much maintenance associated and streaming is just a click away.
Today I was searching for a 90's hindi album (purani jeans) which I couldnt find the orginal song on spotify. I took out my cassette and played, moreover over the time I created many play list on itunes where some songs are missing or getting not available..
 

SachinChavan

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square wave, There is another fundamental subconscious pull all humans have, which expresses its need for forming groups and having allegiance so that we can define our identity. This is evident in social behavior like patriotism, strong political beliefs, religion, sports etc
In our hobby, it can end up with strong affiliations to the music formats, product brands, music genre, bands etc with intense debates which can end up in a scuffle. Cassettes are also one among them.
Why people adding tube to audio chain? isnt tube too obsolete and new mosfets/IC's far superior than valve/tube?
Are we straying from the original post which is about choice of media, not amplification.
 

reubensm

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another angle to the debate is: anything analog is cool these days, especially in audio enthusiast circles (deliberately avoided the word "audiophile"), if you meet someone and say to him/her that you're into digi stuff, you'd hear a laugh, but if you say that you play your cassettes on a NAK, spin your records on a Garrard 301, and relax in front of a pair of horn loaded vintage Altecs, you'd get the respect, envy and bragging rights :)

the gear involved also has good investment potential :)
 
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