A short guide to cassette collecting

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1967 original release
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1967 original release

The beginning

In the US the first music cassettes were released in 1966 . In 1967  they reached the UK.  At the time they were a novelty format as playback mechanisms were unreliable.
In 1971 the first good quality cassette deck was released. This was the Advent 200 using a Nakamichi mechanism.
This machine also boasted Dolby noise reduction and the capability to use Chrome tape to boost the high frequency response.
Advent 200
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Advent 200
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The middle

Cassettes rapidly ousted 8 track machines and became the format of choice for home recording. With the advent of the Sony Walkman in the eighties, cassettes dominated music releases overtaking vinyl at one point
To enhance sound quailty advances included a brief forray with ferrochrome tape, metal type tape and HX pro. Three head machines offered off tape monitoring, Dolby B.C and S and adjustable bias.
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The end - or was it?

In the 1990s a format war  broke out with cassette ,mini disc, and digital compact cassette slugging it out for supremacy. In the end none of them survived the arrival of the internet.
The last mainstream commercial releases were in 2001.
In 2016 tape is making a comeback with current artists again releasing on this format.
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Collecting

There are still sixties original tapes around to collect. we have them in our Ebay shop - Media Maverick -.
They usually have a paper label, no Dolby symbol and no Barcode. They can sound a bit muffled as the duplication in those days was a bit hit and miss!
From 1971 onwards you will usualy find they are Dolby encoded.
Bar codes appeared in the early eighties.
The cassettes to look out for are those on Chrome tape or the later ones that used the XDR system of mastering.
Cassettes are fascinating and inexpensive to collect and still provide excellent listening quality with a good playback deck.
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