Cassette deck as a headphone amp
Oct 21, 2008 at 8:03 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

Vicca Tito

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Has anyone considered using some of great tape deck designs such as Akai GX85, 95 or some Sony ES models as a dedicated headphone amp? Nowadays one could buy some brutally good tapedecks for a bargain.
If someone has any experience which one could be the best sounding?
Does anybody know about the electronics behind the phone amp section.
As supposed, we count only the models with phone level controler.
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Oct 21, 2008 at 8:21 PM Post #2 of 14

obobskivich

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well, in my experience, the amplifier in a source component is rarely as capable as an actual headphone amp or good integrated amp/receiver/etc at driving demanding phones

although, this is a very interesting idea, as the cassette deck could take an input and pass it through to the headphone amp, to monitor the input, and just ignore the cassette stage

I'd love to hear results of this if someone does try it
 
Oct 22, 2008 at 2:02 AM Post #4 of 14

Ross

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Most cassette deck headphone outputs are designed for low impedance headphones. However, I have used the headphone output from a Sony TCK-611s and more recently on my Nakamichi CR-7 with great success, and I think you would be surprised how good these sound compared to a dedicated headphone amp (of which I have quite a few). I wouldn't use them for your 600 ohm Beyers, but for Grados, the low impedance Denons, A-Ts etc, a good tape deck (high end Sony, Nakamichi etc) is a very good alternative. And you may also be shocked by how good some of these can sound playing cassettes instead of MP3s!
 
Oct 22, 2008 at 2:34 AM Post #5 of 14

wuwhere

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ross /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Most cassette deck headphone outputs are designed for low impedance headphones. However, I have used the headphone output from a Sony TCK-611s and more recently on my Nakamichi CR-7 with great success, and I think you would be surprised how good these sound compared to a dedicated headphone amp (of which I have quite a few). I wouldn't use them for your 600 ohm Beyers, but for Grados, the low impedance Denons, A-Ts etc, a good tape deck (high end Sony, Nakamichi etc) is a very good alternative. And you may also be shocked by how good some of these can sound playing cassettes instead of MP3s!


In my library, analog would always win against digital. A wise man once said 'To enjoy digital don't ever listen to analog'. I think he's got a point.
 
Oct 22, 2008 at 12:39 PM Post #6 of 14

Vicca Tito

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ross /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Most cassette deck headphone outputs are designed for low impedance headphones. However, I have used the headphone output from a Sony TCK-611s and more recently on my Nakamichi CR-7 with great success, and I think you would be surprised how good these sound compared to a dedicated headphone amp (of which I have quite a few). I wouldn't use them for your 600 ohm Beyers, but for Grados, the low impedance Denons, A-Ts etc, a good tape deck (high end Sony, Nakamichi etc) is a very good alternative. And you may also be shocked by how good some of these can sound playing cassettes instead of MP3s!


Well, that's exactly the point.
I know I am going to be more than pleased to listen to cassettes instead of mp3s.
Also, I have already heard of Sonys being the leaders amongst tapedecks in the field of headphone amplification, particularly ESPRIT series.
 
Oct 22, 2008 at 12:52 PM Post #7 of 14

Vicca Tito

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ross /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Most cassette deck headphone outputs are designed for low impedance headphones. However, I have used the headphone output from a Sony TCK-611s and more recently on my Nakamichi CR-7 with great success, and I think you would be surprised how good these sound compared to a dedicated headphone amp (of which I have quite a few). I wouldn't use them for your 600 ohm Beyers, but for Grados, the low impedance Denons, A-Ts etc, a good tape deck (high end Sony, Nakamichi etc) is a very good alternative. And you may also be shocked by how good some of these can sound playing cassettes instead of MP3s!


Well, that's exactly the point.
I know I am gonna be more than pleased to listen to cassettes instead of mp3s.
Also, I have already heard of Sonys being the tapedecks leaders in the field of headphone amplification, particularly ESPRIT series.
 
Oct 22, 2008 at 12:55 PM Post #8 of 14

Vicca Tito

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I am using Sennheiser HD-959 phones, which are not so hard to drive, aren't they?
 
Oct 22, 2008 at 1:55 PM Post #10 of 14

1UP

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Really interesting idea - yeah I wonder how a Nakamichi Dragon would do, or a Sony Pro WMD6c Walkman - I remember guys using the Sony as a source in high-end systems through its lineout

ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.

 
Oct 22, 2008 at 2:39 PM Post #11 of 14

Jolida302

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wuwhere /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You should be able to. Nakamichi used to make some really good cassette decks but I'm not sure how good their headphone output was.


I've got a 1000 (I). Not too bad, but it doesn't compete with any good head amp.
 
Oct 22, 2008 at 2:42 PM Post #12 of 14

Jolida302

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Quote:

Originally Posted by 1UP /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Really interesting idea - yeah I wonder how a Nakamichi Dragon would do, or a Sony Pro WMD6c Walkman - I remember guys using the Sony as a source in high-end systems through its lineout

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I do it sometimes with the WMD6 and a mini/RCA ALO cable on my home system and it's quite nice. Of course, it doesn't compete with a big home tapedeck but it smokes many digital suffs in the mid/highs!
 
Jan 5, 2011 at 11:50 PM Post #13 of 14

googleborg

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necro!
 
scooped a dennon dr-m24hx off ebay for £8.50 and decided to (jokingly) use it as a headphone amp, and it is working shockingly well as one!
 
Jan 6, 2011 at 12:13 AM Post #14 of 14

estreeter

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I'm sure there must be premium versions, but the cassette tapes sold commercially here in Oz were abysmal - really cheap and nasty. When I think of 'tape', I think of reel-to-reel masters :)
 
On a lighter note, I had a workmate who had an eight-track in his car and kept going on about how great the thing sounded. It was one of the worst backyard installs I have ever seen, and remains to this day the vision I have when someone tells me how fantastic their 'tape deck' sounds.
 

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