Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cassettes are still a great format

I know, call me crazy, but I think there is still a lot to like about cassettes. People complain about the sound quality and durability and, fair enough, they don't approach the sound of a good LP. But I've owned some tapes that sounded pretty darn good, and found a lot of them in cutouts bins for about three bucks. Like a bunch of Frank Zappa tapes...Uncle Meat, Burnt Weeny Sandwich, Absolutely Free, Sleep Dirt, One Size Fits All...these cost me next to nothing, and not only is the music great, they sound good! I remember years ago when suddenly all of David Bowie's Ryko cassettes were showing up in the 3 dollar bin and I was in heaven.

And that's just pre-recorded tapes. Boy, I'll tell you...I recorded some great TDK SA-90s in my day. Man, if you got the levels just right...hoo boy! You ended up with one good sounding copy of your favorite LP or radio broadcast. There was something so satisfying about the process, and then when the final result made it all worthwhile...just pure magic. You just can't have the same experience burning a CD, I'm sorry. I mean, I still do it, and I'm not a total anti-CD audio purist, but I can really get into cassette culture.

Plus, the blank cassettes just looked so cool. How many blank CDs look cool? I can't think of one. Check out tapedeck.org and if you're not drooling over the array of beautiful multi-colored audio artifacts from yesteryear...well, then I guess you're on the wrong blog. ;-)


  1. My only complaint is that when I step on them, they break. Otherwise, I dig tapes!

  2. And who doesn't love that magical moment when you turn on DNR, and the hiss goes away, but so does most of the high frequency? What I wouldn't give for some tape hiss right now.