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Naka

Wharfedale Speakers

deba

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I was a great Naks lover and had the following Nakamichi Cassettte Decks :
480
582
CR2
ZX9
DRAGON

Sold all of them except the Dragon whose Playback Head got damaged. But who listens to cassettes anyway.

Nakamichi lost all its charm the moment CD became popular and now its a Chinese Grande Holding Company as Niro Nakamichi the main person behind the Company left the company and formed Niro Audio though his brother Ted Nakamichi is still in the company.

Now it is very difficult to get good service for their cassette decks as all production stopped.Last was the DR series.
 

moserw

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Depends...
One of my earliest tape decks was a Nak and man was it good especially compared to the BPL and other local stuff we got in those days. Of course my dad also got an Aiwa Hi-Fi which actually held its own against the Nak. Unfortunately all lost their "heads" due to wear and tear and I suppose me most of all...

Have to agree with deba here, no one listens to tapes anymore. I still have some good 300-400 tapes and mostly imported ones, but sadly they hardly ever get used.
 

Kamal

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Well , I've quite a lot of my favourite music on cassettes & listen to them regularly thru my onkyo( which I picked up precisely for the availability of parts/service).
As to "who listens to cassettes", plz remember that cassettes do represent analugue sound & are still available here as compared to LPs. On a good deck & withgood quality tapes you do get to hear analogue magic.
 

Asit

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Well, believe it or not, I still have a lot of music in cassettes, about 1000 hours. I used to have a very high quality Aiwa deck with 3 heads and bias control, bought in 1989. After that gave up recently (probably could have gotten it repaired, because the heads were alright, but could not get any body to repair it in Kolkata), I got one from Onkyo (a small form factor single cassette deck, decent one, but no match to the Aiwa which was about five times costiler). Let me just say, I have cassettes from as early as 1981, and they are still in top condition. I have always used high quality cassettes from TDK, Maxell, Denon and Sony. Bulk of my cassettes have chrome bias and recorded with dolby B. Some are metal and some are normal. I still do have a few blank metal cassettes (still original packing) left with me. Last year when somebody was looking for blank metal cassettes in this forum, I thought long and hard, but still could not part with them, because I still intend to use them.

To give you a a particular example:

There is a live recording of Ali Akbar Khan (Sarod), L. Subramaniam (Violin), Zakir Hussain (Tabla) and Ramnad Raghavan (Mridangam) playing together two ragas: Raga Nattai (or rag Jog as known in Hindustani nomenclature) and Raga Sindhi Bhairavi. I have this recording in cassette, got it some time in later half of the eighties in the US. Recently I bought the CD of the Raga Nattai (same performance) now available in India in CD. To tell you the truth, the quality of the cassette is FAR FAR better than the CD even in my Onkyo (which albeit a decent one does not take care of the biasing in the most appropriate fashion I think, because a cassette recorded with dolby C for example loses too much of db and hence dynamic range in dolby C, which a better deck would do proper justice to).

However, I agree there are only a handful of people, still using cassettes as one of the main sources, I suppose.
 

Kamal

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Asit, I do hope you've not thrown your Aiwa away-there ARE electronic repair wizards in existence, you only need to unearth them.
For example, In Delhi ,near LSR college, there exists a shop which revels in the name of " Beauty Electronics"
That guy fixed a 3 head Denon for a neighbour of mine who was unable to get it repaired from many sources he'd tried, incl the authorised Denon service centre.
Just look/ask around, I'm sure you'll find someone resourceful in Cal too-Indians are famous for their Jugaad .
 

Asit

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Hi Kamal,
I know we are drifting away from the original theme of this thread, I'll still answer your question (I have never owned a Naka deck. Considered it quite seriously at the time of buying my Aiwa deck, but at DM200 less I was getting exactly identical spec and almost same sound. May be I made a mistake. If I bought the Naka, it could still have lived.).

I have so far thrown away three expensive electronic devices and the Aiwa was one of them. I know ... it's pretty sad. But as far as I understood, there was no way it could be repaired. This unit had soft-touch electronic push buttons for most operations, and actually what I was told, these completely gave up on arrival in India with the tropical heat and humidity. Repairing these was impossible.

I have thrown away another cassette deck, almost as expensive as the Aiwa, perhaps a bit more expensive (don't remember now). This was a Sony Professional Walkman, tremendous quality almost matching a Naka deck for its small size (although much bigger than the usual consumer walkmans). I made a mistake of putting batteries inside and then forgot about it when we came back to India. In Europe and America, there was never a problem, here the batteries melted and I took it to a newly set-up Sony Service Centre. They kept it for nearly one year (have no idea what they did) and then returned it unrepaired.

I feel very down at the moment, remembering about these great products I had to throw away. There is another even much much more expensive item I had to throw away. But enough for a morning, for now.

Sorry, everybody for the out of thread talk.
 

brejeshvarma

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Well, believe it or not, I still have a lot of music in cassettes, about 1000 hours. I used to have a very high quality Aiwa deck with 3 heads and bias control, bought in 1989. After that gave up recently (probably could have gotten it repaired, because the heads were alright, but could not get any body to repair it in Kolkata), I got one from Onkyo (a small form factor single cassette deck, decent one, but no match to the Aiwa which was about five times costiler). Let me just say, I have cassettes from as early as 1981, and they are still in top condition. I have always used high quality cassettes from TDK, Maxell, Denon and Sony. Bulk of my cassettes have chrome bias and recorded with dolby B. Some are metal and some are normal. I still do have a few blank metal cassettes (still original packing) left with me. Last year when somebody was looking for blank metal cassettes in this forum, I thought long and hard, but still could not part with them, because I still intend to use them.

To give you a a particular example:

There is a live recording of Ali Akbar Khan (Sarod), L. Subramaniam (Violin), Zakir Hussain (Tabla) and Ramnad Raghavan (Mridangam) playing together two ragas: Raga Nattai (or rag Jog as known in Hindustani nomenclature) and Raga Sindhi Bhairavi. I have this recording in cassette, got it some time in later half of the eighties in the US. Recently I bought the CD of the Raga Nattai (same performance) now available in India in CD. To tell you the truth, the quality of the cassette is FAR FAR better than the CD even in my Onkyo (which albeit a decent one does not take care of the biasing in the most appropriate fashion I think, because a cassette recorded with dolby C for example loses too much of db and hence dynamic range in dolby C, which a better deck would do proper justice to).

However, I agree there are only a handful of people, still using cassettes as one of the main sources, I suppose.

I very much agree with you Asitji..I have A.cassettes from 1977.Even though the CD,s seem to be better clarity (Am I using the right term ?!).I have converted several of those oldies to CD..Many you don't get a CD release at all.I can confidently say that those converted CD,s sound much richer ...more analogue sound perhaps.
 

deba

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Long time back Sony use to manufacture the famous WM-D6 walkman cassette recorder and it had a wonderful specification, I agree that cassette decks do give very warm sound but once it needs service after years of use thats when the problem starts because getting service for them is very difficult.I presently own two Sony DAT decks (DTC-60ES and 5ES) and two MD Decks, and the DAT decks require service but I am getting no reliable service center in Kolkata to get it repaired. Sony India Service Personnel are not trained to service DAT when I approached them.

Thanks.
 

Asit

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Long time back Sony use to manufacture the famous WM-D6 walkman cassette recorder and it had a wonderful specification
Thanks.

Yes, that's the one I had. Mine was most probably WM-D6C, the added "C" is for dolby C. This was a product of Sony Professional. This was an excellent deck, on par on recording, playback and advanced features with full-fledged top rated decks.

Do not go to Sony for servicing of your DATs. They would not be able to help you at all. You have to find some other people. I have seen your thread on that, unfortunately I do not know of anybody who can help. There is a guy who repairs amps in Kolkata, if I find his number, I will let you know. See if he can help you. Otherwise talk to the audio stores in Kolkata if they know of anybody.
 

dinyaar

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Hi guys,
Legin thanks for the info on the site. Have been a member of the same for years and even got heads for a fellow Nak user thru that forum.

Moser i am stunned that the "aiwa HIFI' held its own with the NAK. I owned a Nak (bought used in the early 80s ) when tapes were extensively used then a Sony 3 Head, Technics 3 Head, Denon, marantz, and finally bought a new DR 10 from UK. This DR series are the last tape decks made by Nak and not a patch on the older ones but even then this will take on and comfortably beat most machines out there. There were some other machines in that era that were also very well built but the nakamichi was the best.

Lastly i still listen to tapes. I too like Asit have tons of new chromes/metals and wont give them away and even now when i record from a quality CD the results are good. Problem is almost all the music that i listen to i have on CD and hence the poor NAK is neglected at times.
Rgds
 

dinyaar

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Hi Dinyaar:

Can you please share where you got DR10 in UK and for how much ?

Hi Vinod,
Well i went to Tottenham court road as a friend had mentioned seeing some new Nakamichi DR 8 and DR 10s. Cant recall the name of the shop but it was right next to a shop called SHASONIC. I remember this store as he is the dealer for SUpra in central London and i have gone and bought stuff regularly. This was in 2004 . I was lucky as the sindhi man had two decks on the shelf and offered them at 160 and 200 GBP. Both did not look new to me so i hesitated and expressed my concerns. The man got out a brand new DR 10 (BOXED) and i just grabbed it for the 200 GBP that he was demanding. Junked the carton and carried the deck + Manual as hand luggage.
This deck last sold in bbay for 65 K new.
Vinod you seem to really want a Nak as u have asked me similar earlier too. I will check if any of my fellow Nak owners want to sell and if yes i will PM u and Venkatcr as he seemed to be interested too. Actually with the minimal I listen i too am tempted to sell but i know if i Do i will never get something similar again and am hence refraining and run it at least once a month for a few hours.
Rgds

Rgds
 

venkatcr

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Vinod you seem to really want a Nak as u have asked me similar earlier too. I will check if any of my fellow Nak owners want to sell and if yes i will PM u and Venkatcr as he seemed to be interested too. Actually with the minimal I listen i too am tempted to sell but i know if i Do i will never get something similar again and am hence refraining and run it at least once a month for a few hours.

I am actively looking in the market. I have an offer for a CR4 at 4,500 that I will check out. I am little hesitant to buy from the market unless I am very sure as I don't want my tapes to be unwound due to bad transport mechanism. I have already lost a few tapes like this.

I would any day prefer to buy direct from a user who has used it sparingly and is ready ti dispose it off.

The other day I was really surprised to see new movie songs being sold in tapes. That medium is not dead as yet.

Cheers
 

Asit

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Dinyaar,

I agree with your words on the Nakamichi decks, but would like to add a bit of my own observations.

I have heard a Nakamichi Dragon cassette deck continuously for about 2 years every evening 1986-88. This was at a friend's place and he had a huge setup inclusive of Naka CDP and man-sized electrostatic speakers. Before I graduated, for the final few months, I also shifted to his place to save on the expenses.

So when I was first assembling a decent system for myself in 1989, one of my first targets was a Naka deck. I auditioned extensively the entry level Naka decks for nearly two months and compared with some of the Aiwa decks. I do not know if you are aware, Aiwa was also very very famous for their tape decks at that time and although they do not have the cult-like reputation as Naka, they were very very good. I did this comparison many many times, and I would say my Aiwa deck would give very stiff competition to the comparably priced Naka decks (Nakas were just a bit more expensive, by DM 200). The site Vintage Cassette - Aiwa Cassette Decks lists most cassette decks from that time.

I do not know what "Aiwa HiFi" moser was referring to, but I am talking about a separate Aiwa 3 head, dual capstan deck. It was a bulky and heavy piece and quite expensive.

Another cassette deck I listened to extensively was actually a NAD deck from 83-88 at an American household where I was a frequenter in weekends and the family was a big music lover. However, I did not like that as much as the Naka and also my Aiwa. In addition, I have heard cassette decks from Marantz, Denon and a lot of other brands, but not as extensively as I heard the Naka Dragon and the Nad. The Nad tape loading had the peculiarity that it did not have any transparent cover, so you could actually touch the cassette even after loading. Head cleaning was easier, but also attracted dust. I do not why Nad had it this way.

Also, as much as we know about Sony as a mass-market giant, the Sony Professional makes some very very stunning products. They have a different website. My Sony Professional walkman deck I had was used for live recording of music with a Dutch stereo microphone (called "Prefer") and a little pre-amp that goes with it. Although much larger than the consumer version of the walkman, because of its smaller size, it could not quite match the big decks in all aspects, but it would beat average quality big decks. After its demise, last year in my US trip, I got the Sony Professional PCM D 50 digital recorder and player.
 

vinod_david

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Hi Dinyaar:

Thanks for sharing lots of information. Yeah, am checking online too in UK websites for any good and cheap Nak tape decks, but can't find any; all I see is Ion, Sony and Onkyo. Hope to find a cheap and good condition Nak deck soon from your side.
 

Asit

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Actually with the minimal I listen i too am tempted to sell but i know if i Do i will never get something similar again and am hence refraining and run it at least once a month for a few hours.

Dinyaar, if you ever want to sell your Naka deck, please do consider me too. I am sure Venkat would not mind, because I have a HUGE collection in cassettes, besides whenever Venkat visits Kolkata he can come over to my place and listen to cassettes on the Naka :D.
 

moserw

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Moser i am stunned that the "aiwa HIFI' held its own with the NAK.

I do not know what "Aiwa HiFi" moser was referring to, but I am talking about a separate Aiwa 3 head, dual capstan deck. It was a bulky and heavy piece and quite expensive.

Actually even I'm not sure what model/make it was. It was like the Philips Powerhouse System with AM/FM and dual tape and also with aux that I later connected a Sony CDP to. It was bought in the 80s and from Europe. It really sounded great and served me for years even when the tape heads ran out I just used it as an amp connected to the Sony CDP and it was still a blast. Of course this was way before I was introduced to even the term audiophile and the only other system that was better than mine (at least in my world) was with an older relative whose son sent him a Bose system from Australia that came with satellite speakers and CDP and which actually did sound great. At least in those days Bose was the ultimate I guess since we were kids and did not know any better.
 

dinyaar

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Haha Ok Moser. I too owned and really liked my old Bose 301 speakers.

Sure will keep in mind (asit, vinod and venkat) if i intend selling though i doubt i will sell. Guys dont get me wrong, Its not that i am being pricey but the fact is i cant ask for more than 10/12K for it and that 10/12K has no value left in HIFI. Most Interlinks cost more!!!!!!
Venkat I dont know what market u are referring to but please be patient and buy a geniune Nak(not mutilated) from an end user. There are places in bbay where one got Used gear (chor bazaar) but almost all of it is JUNK.

Asit ya am aware of aiwa and had heard a few Tape decks of the brand earlier. I did not know they made 3 Head machines though. I remember my technics 3 Head was a superb unit and the worst i had was a Denon DRM something. The damn thing was the worst tape deck in History. Sony made some SUPERB 3 HEAD DECKS. Problem was i could not lay my hands on a new one at the time.

rgds
 

Asit

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I did not know they made 3 Head machines though. I remember my technics 3 Head was a superb unit and the worst i had was a Denon DRM something. The damn thing was the worst tape deck in History. Sony made some SUPERB 3 HEAD DECKS. Problem was i could not lay my hands on a new one at the time.

Well, dinyaar, Aiwa had about 30 different 3 head tape decks in the 80's and early 90s. In fact the cassette loading and automatic stabilization of the cassette was better than the entry level Naka's. Actually Germans I knew at that time were serious people, and my salesman who would have made more money if he sold the Naka to me actually recommended the Aiwa deck for the price. From the Naka, he recommended a more expensive one and I did not want to spend so much. Naka decks started from around USD 400 -500 at that time. But the real good ones were around USD 700 -800. I was in Germany and bought my Aiwa for around DM 650 and was comparing with a Naka of around DM 800 and most people (other stores) voted for the Aiwa at that time in that price range. In fact some body even asked me why I was so hell bent on buying a Naka.

Just go to the site I mentioned in my earlier post and you would discover all the Aiwa decks (that site lists all cassette decks from all major brands from that time). Actually, in 1980s they were the most well-known 3 head cassette deck makers along with Nakamichi. As far as I knew, Aiwa was a sister-concern of Sony's, dedicated to this sort of thing. Unfortunately, later they became more known as an all-in-one kind of compact solutions and I guess that is the impression that has stuck.

1986-88, I owned an all Technics set-up of stereo separates including a cassette deck too. However, that particular one was a budget set-up and on top of that at that time I was hearing on a daily basis the Naka Dragon at my friend's place, so no contest there. At that time I was just a poor student, and could not afford any thing more than the Technics budget separates.
 
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