The Cassette Comeback Continues—New Series Due June 17th From RecordingTheMaster and ThinkIndie Distribution

Press release: April 26, 2022—RecordingTheMasters—the worldwide leader in reel-to-reel tape manufacturing—is set for the release of their latest cassette-only music series in conjunction withThinkIndie Distribution. The series of releases features a new full-length album from Patty Griffin comprised of demos and home recordings titled TAPE, alongside a number of reissues available on cassette for the first time ever: Built to Spill Plays the Songs of Daniel Johnston, John Prine’s The Tree of Forgiveness, Suzanne Vega’s An Evening of New York Songs and Stories, Mother Nature’s SZNZ and Versus’ Ex Voto. The cassettes will be available at participating indie record stores beginning June 17.

Why this? Why now? Cassettes are the fastest growing physical music format. Did you know that? Of course statistics can play mind games: sell one cassette this year and two next and sales have DOUBLED! Vinyl resurgence doubters played that game for years but no longer. What are the cassette sales numbers? Not sure, but if a company and these artists are doing this, the numbers must be encouraging.

The albums will be released on RecordingTheMasters’ RTM C-60 high quality audio cassette tape, offering best-in-its-class sound quality in an analog cassette. This series will also be the first from RecordingTheMasters to feature environmentally-friendly packaging.

In addition to the album releases, RecordingTheMasters’ B-1000 Portable Cassette Player will also be available via select indie retailers. With electronics by RecordingTheMasters, the cassette player features a built-in microphone and external microphone recording.

My Nakamichi BX-300 says "feed me"!

COMMENTS
anodyne jones's picture

Has this turned into Press Release central?

Paul Miller squeezing you for page views?

Michael Fremer's picture
I post what's interesting especially while I edit AXPONA videos
OldschoolE's picture

is start making cassette players again. I have not seen a "new modern" cassette player in 30+ years. One can't even find old vintage players in good working order now either with any definition of ease.
It is kind of sad, because I liked the ol' cassette deck. Back in the day I used them a lot to make mix tapes. At one time I owned a Naki R202 "the tape flipper".

infohou's picture

eBay, Reverb, SkyFi Audio, & others have cassette decks for sale. TASCAM has continued making cassette decks, albeit without Dolby noise reduction. I have several working decks, including a serviced Nakamichi Dragon.

Once again folks posting concerning things about which they no little to nothing.

Robert

Intermediate Listener's picture

ca. 1978, with helpful reviews of what is now vintage classical vinyl, also includes mention of cassettes when available for a given release. Evidently sound quality was highly variable, depending on the title.

mraudioguru's picture

...cassettes either. Still have a bunch of tapes and quite a few decks. Play them all the time...

KLW's picture

The Bx-300 is a fine deck (had one too)....Now have a Nak 680 that I completely recapped, changed all belts, demagnetized mech, lubed, and changed idler tire....Sounds ridicously amazing. (Some claim it's the best sounding Nak deck ever)
Will be tracking down these new tape releases...Thanks for the Article!

Tom L's picture

The best cassette sound I have heard is from my old Technics deck with dbx noise reduction. The format never caught on, it used double-ended encoding so the tapes sound terrible on regular decks. I had the deck serviced and still have about 100 cassettes. They still sound great! Much better than Dolby B and slightly better than Dolby C.

firedog's picture

The Vinyl resurgence has some logic behind it.
But Cassettes? Give me a break.
Unless you have a really good deck like one of the old Nakamichis, the sound is decidedly second rate. And even then it isn't nearly as good as vinyl or lossless/hi-res digital.
Beyond that, you don't have the advantages of vinyl over discs with the big cover, etc.
Just no good reason for this, sorry.

anodyne jones's picture

Cassettes are and always have been the MP3 of analog. Far from SOTA performance. Don't get me wrong, we used to make hundreds upon hundreds of mix tapes, LP dubs, and FM radio recordings. They were a convenient format.

But now the Hipsters have grabbed hold of it. No good reason is right. Thanks but no thanks.

arcman67's picture

Vinyl, watches, cars, Baseball cards, postcards, stamps, intage photos, art, .....why not cassettes? It's not for me...however, if there's a market, why not take advantage if you have the capabilities?

Steelhead's picture

Hey old school,

I did a double take as I saw "new" cassette decks for sale at a Boscov's department store. I was kind of floored and although they were definitely not bespoke and more in the cheap category I was very surprised to see them for sale.

I just had my Nak ZX7 refurbished by Mr. Hermann. It was and is a total delight and I still enjoy it on occasion. It was trouble free for over 30 years and doubt you can get much better quality than Nakamichi.

I have a dbx decoder 21 and a couple of dbx albums and a Nak hi comm standalone decoder. All that in the closet as I have dbx decoder built in the Teac reel to reel and dolby C works for me on cassettes

Pretty sure the kids must be driving the market as most of us mossbacks have seen cassettes come and go.

Glotz's picture

It's what the industry is noticing and it's worth hearing about.

I still have 500 Maxell cassettes in excellent quality, though I have zero desire to play them, unless it's a Grateful Dead boot.

My Nak deck's drive mechanism took a crap and I really couldn't care less. Digital does things well beyond cassettes ever could do, no matter how well I transferred audio.

Kudos to Michael on letting us know what's going on...

Russo7516's picture

In Brooklyn USA , most every shop has a cassette section . They do sell! RSD even puts stuff out.

Paul Boudreau's picture

Tried my Nak DR-1 deck the other day and it didn’t cooperate, boo. Off to the repair shop it must go. By the way, “K7” is French slang for cassette, or at least it used to be (Ka-sept).

Montpier's picture

Okay, as an ex-NY'er now residing in TN town which thankfully just got permission to remove the Confederate flag from it's county seal, I'm generally aligned with initiatives to re-consider imagery or insensitive terms that potentially reinforce racist stereotypes or whitewash the horror of slavery.

It's really not that hard to now refer to Fender guitar amplifiers of a certain vintage as "black panel" rather than the unfortunate descriptor "black face"...

But, this kinda strikes me as a bit overboard: "Why the Music Industry Must Remove the Racist Term ‘Master Recording’ From Its Vocabulary — Now"

https://variety.com/2022/music/opinion/remove-master-recording-slave-123...

Thoughts?

If recording format terminology has ethnicity connotations, well then what do we do about "colored" vinyl?

MHzTweaker's picture

I got back into audio about a decade ago after a 15 year vacay. Six years ago I got back into the Compact Cassette format in a BIG way. I enjoy the music, the format, collecting and servicing the machines also. Amazing machines to me. I had used cassettes from my youth in the mid 70's and into the late 80's. I did not know just how good these little tapes could be until the 2nd time around. Thanks for posting Mr. Fremer

Toshido's picture

Cassette resurgence? Give me a break! This more a hipster trend instead of a thing you do for true audio quality. And whats next... the (SA)CD comes back and then we co back to mp3?!

Frank Sumatra's picture

Time to fire up the Dragon.

Trevor_Bartram's picture

ANA[DIA]LOG on YT has been promoting cassette use. However he has a top of the line Nakamichi deck, so of course his recordings on NOS tapes from high resolution sources sound good. For me tapes were all about economy and portability. Recording friends LPs and from FM radio provided a steady stream of music back in the 70s & 80s. When CD came along, tapes were used in the car (up until 2005) and around the pool (until 2010) then I moved to MP3s.
It's good to hear cassette decks are scarce. I still have two JVC decks that may actually be worth something, hooray!

TooCooL4's picture

People dismiss the cassette revival due to lack of better than average decks etc, they are correct to an extent. If the revival gains some traction, better decks will probably be produced down the line. No one is going to start producing better decks if the software is not there, that be just gambling with their money companies are not in business to lose money.
It’s all got to start from somewhere, like have been said Tascam are still making decks.
I still use cassettes on a daily basis on my Walkman for my commute to and from work. At home I have a Nakamichi CR-7 it’s always serviced to keep it in tip top condition. So for me I never stopped using them.

stargeezer's picture

Funny the negative comments are all about sound quality yet nobody commented on their passion because of superior sound. You don't pay 10's of thousands of dollars for a Big Block Camaro because it gets better mileage or handles better than your turbo Audi. People have passion for things for different reasons. I have plenty of Digital, Vinyl but I also have a huge collection of reel to reel and cassette decks as well as tapes. My main cassette deck is a Pioneer CT-F1250 that I restored and retrofitted Tascam heads. It sounds pretty good to my ears and like the Camaro... It's damn pretty to look at.

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