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May 26, 2013

Comments

Ken K. in NJ

Interesting article, thanks for linking to it. One comment puzzled me, why would he say a reel-to-reel tape recorder was an unusual gadget for 1970? I had one, many of my friends had them. And we all did what he did...tape albums on them.

Unless he was thinking that cassette recorders had started to take over. But my recollection is that it was more like the mid-70's when people started shifting to cassette decks.

Angelo

Ken: My brother had a portable reel to reel tape recorder in the 1960s---but I think by 1970, he "upgraded" to a Bell and Howell cassette recorder. I was a kid at the time----and I have no recollection of new tape recorders (any being sold after 1070) as reel to reel----seems as though everyone was buying portable cassette players. Your timeline is basically right----though I'd say late 60s or early 70s instead of mid 70s. But you're right that in 1970, a lot of people should have had the reel to reels in good working condition.

Ken K. in NJ

Angelo, thanks for the response. I've now been thinking about this and I'm pretty sure my timeframe is correct. In fact, I bought a new Sony Reel to Reel in about 1973 (replacing my mid 60's era Norelco which was a hand-me-down from my Dad), and I remember at the time that the cassette options were not nearly as reliable as what reel to reels offered, so I'm pretty sure reel to reel was still the "norm" as late as 1973.

I still have that deck, but haven't used it in years (in the mid 80's I converted all my reel tapes to cassette). Last time I tried it, it still worked fine.

I found a video of it on You Tube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejhEfDagrV8

StarHalo

Columbia House offered nearly all their albums on reel-to-reel from 1960 to 1984. You can find some of them on eBay..

Gary

For what it's worth, according to Wikipedia, the first hi-fi cassette deck wasn't introduced until 1970, by Advent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassette_deck

Angelo

Well----I actually wasn't thinking of hi-fi decks (i.e. separate components) but little portables you could carry around----ran on batteries or AC.

Drive-In-Freak

Open reel simply blows any kind of cassette deck away, as long as the deck isn't complete junk. As cassette decks got better, and walkmans came about the format fell out of favor, but it was very much alive into the '80s. Back in the '70s people had cassette and 8-track decks mainly for use in playing and (mostly) recording tapes for their car stereos...especially if they had a good stereo.

It wasn't sound quality, but rather portability that really made the cassette popular, and that really didn't kick in until the boombox and walkman days (the '80s). Yes the decs and tape did get a lot better as time went on, but it was always a compromise. There's only so much you can do with tape running at a very slow 1⅞ i.p.s.

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