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BUYING GUIDE & REVIEWS - CASSETTE DECKS - UNDER £300
PRICES SHOWN ARE THOSE AT THE TIME OF REVIEW
Cassette Decks
£
Year
Verdict
Aiwa AD-F580 £150 Apr 98 No Dolby S, but three heads and two capstans make the Aiwa a bargain.
Denon DRM-550 £160 May 96 Good enough for the price and no worse than the competition.
Denon DRM-555 £150 Jul 99 Its slant towards features prevent the Denon taking the audiophile honours at the price
Denon DRM-650S £230 Aug 96 Top sound quality with ferric and chrome makes this deck a steal.
Grundig CF4 £250 Jan 95 Fair on pre-recordeds, OK when recording, but speed stability isn't great.
JVC TD-V662 £300 Sep 98 Only the lack of Dolby S conspires against the otherwise excellent JVC.
Kenwood KX-5080S £200 Jan 97 Stable transport gives fine results on metal and chrome. Rough on ferrics.
NAD 613 £230 Jan 96 Decent playback and good recording when used carefully
NAD 614 £270 Sep 95 Excellent electronics are let down by a low-grade transport.
Rotel RD-960BX £230 Oct 95 A solid, competent machine which is reasonable value for money.
Sony TC-K311 £150 Dec 93 Auto-tuning is mediocre and the general results are unexceptional.
Sony TC-K490 £170 Jan 93 A mix of average heads and electronics doesnít make for happy taping.
Sony WM-D6C Walkman Professional £N/A Jun 00 Sony's very best high-end hi-fi cassette transport, squeezed into a box and run from batteries.  About £200 S/H for a mint, low use example.
Teac V-610 £100 Apr 97 The V-610's performance matches its price well, but audiophile it isn't.-
Teac V-600 £150 Sep 94 Satisfactory for in-car recordings, but the low price shows.
Yamaha KX-580 SE £250 Sep 97 The '580 lives up to its SE tag with a fine performance in all areas.
CASSETTE DECKS - £300+
Aiwa AD-S950 £300 Feb 95 Vice-free playback is mirrored by impressive recording.
Denon DRS-810 £300 Jan 92 On the right tapes, the Denon repays with delightful sound quality.
JVC TD-V1010 £400 Sep 92 Disappointing on replay but recording is another kettle of fish altogether.
Kenwood KX-7060S £330 Dec 94 Convincing all-rounder except for heavy-handed noise reduction.
Nakamichi 1.5 £500 Jan 92 The Cassette Deck 1.5 has no rivals in its ability to recreate a realistic performance
Nakamichi DR-1 £780 Jun 93 Not perfect but as close as you can get for the money.
Nakamichi DR-3 £300 Mar 93 Unfortunately keeping the price down keeps performance below Nak's norm.
Nakamichi DR-8 £550 Jan 00 A good product that is worthy of the Nakamichi title. It could be the cassette's last stand!
Onkyo TA250 £350 Oct 94 Top transport but the electronics aren't on a par.
Pioneer CT-95 £1000 Mar 97 On chrome and ferric, the '95 is smooth and natural. Not so good with metals.
Pioneer CT-S550S Precision £340 Feb 99 Three heads, ease of use and high quality make the Dolby S equipped Precision a strong contender
Pioneer CT-S740S £430 Jun 96 Complex but superb in every important area
Sony TC-K611S £330 Feb 94 A little muffled on pre-recordeds but pulls out all the stops on recordings, esp. with metal tape.
Teac V-6030S £550 Nov 97 Solid build and solid sounds. Top-notch at the price.
Teac V-8030S £650 Aug 95 One of the highest quality Dolby S decks available
Technics RS-AZ7 £300 Jul 96 Excellent bass but mid and treble lack dynamics. Auto-tunes poorly on metal.
 

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