Playing 50 YEAR OLD cassette tapes!

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  • Published on Jan 27, 2018
  • I've collected some of the oldest cassette tapes from the 1960s and early 1970s. Do they even still play, and how good (or bad) do they sound? Let's find out!

    Review of the Pioneer CT-W616DR cassette deck with Digital NR: www.youtube.com/watch?v=v14AE...
  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 1 371

  • VWestlife
    VWestlife  4 years ago +246

    FYI: The equalizer's spectrum display is not that flickery in real life. That's just a camera effect, exaggerated by iMovie's single field de-interlacing.

    • Big Teddy Bear
      Big Teddy Bear 6 months ago

      @Grizzly Addams whatever dude. Get a life!

    • Big Teddy Bear
      Big Teddy Bear 6 months ago

      DUDE!!! I found a cassette from GERMANY. From 1949!!! Can't find it ANYWHERE ONLINE!!! Help me assess it's monetary value. As to me it's PRICELESS! However, I just can't say!

      Edited for: IT STILL SOUNDS AMAZING!!!

    • Jason John Cruz
      Jason John Cruz Year ago

      Prerecorded Cassett the paper insert is a Cassett jacket it was talked about years ago store bright Cassett played clearer

    • clemsonbloke
      clemsonbloke Year ago

      Sure wish we lived closer, would love to hang out and drink coffee over tech talk. Sure miss the company of another man, LOL!

    • VWestlife
      VWestlife  Year ago

      I still am today!

  • Cigar Obsession
    Cigar Obsession 4 years ago +41

    Holy crap I remember the snap cases when I was a kid but completely forgot about them!

  • the66volks
    the66volks 4 years ago +210

    My mother recently gave me all of her cassettes that she recorded in 1968 to 1970 they all play perfectly well with no distortion at all!

    • EX::PG Retail
      EX::PG Retail 6 months ago +1

      Thats cool! You still got them??

    • TJS
      TJS 2 years ago +4

      She must've taken great care of them.

    • The Postal Teenager
      The Postal Teenager 2 years ago +3

      What types of cassetes your mom has?

  • mrflashport
    mrflashport 4 years ago +89

    The cassette is an example of technology that excels because of it's simplicity. The 1980's and cheapo boomboxes are what stained it's reputation as a serious music format. Despite advancements like Dolby S, DSP like your Pioneer, and simpler and cleaner transports, it's time was up when digital came into widespread use.

    I do find it amazing how your new VERY OLD STOCK Norelco can sound so good. Let's see how a 20 year old CD-R will be in another 10 years, if there is anything left to play them! that's where cassettes are still viable today: plenty of playback equipment in circulation and cassette players are still in current production. BTW like many I have 30-35 year old cassettes, some pre-recorded but most I've made, and hundreds of plays later they still survive and sound pretty damn good.

    • Jerome Glick
      Jerome Glick 3 days ago

      @Rob Ricci Nowadays I do the same thing with an "MP3 recorder Walkman". It's a pocket-sized AM/FM stereo/SW radio with digital tuning & presets, plays and records radio to MP3! It's actually a very decent receiver for its size. The built-in speaker is not tinny-sounding at all and the recordings come out quite decently as well. AM & SW in particular don't sound so dull and muffled like on many radios. It's a Retekess V115 that I bought on eBay for $20. Highly recommended.

      Only one problem with this model -- the headphone output is too shrill and lacks bass. So for headphone listening I use another similar model (Kaito KA29), available for a similar price on eBay & Amazon. But on the Kaito AM & SW reception sounds dull. You can't quite have it all!

    • Impara BICI e COMPUTER con Gabriele
      Impara BICI e COMPUTER con Gabriele 5 months ago +1

      I have plenty of CD-Rs of 1999 (so 22 years old) that sound perfectly. You have just to store them away from sunlight, and keep themi in their case, obviously. Furthermore, the high quality manufacturer that cost a bit more, have always granted a longer durability. (Kodak, JVC, Sony, Verbatim, Philips)

    • Paul Taylor
      Paul Taylor Year ago +1

      The thing we've learned, I guess, is that convenience trumps literally everything else when it comes to mass adoption. My old vinyl and tapes sounded pretty bad in the 80s when I had no money for good equipment. I could have saved up and upgraded everything, but then along came CDs and I didn't have to. Of course, the big companies wanting to encourage everyone to re-purchase all their music every ten years also had a lot to do with it...

    • J Ark
      J Ark Year ago

      @Rob Ricci dc bias i guess...

    • Rob Ricci
      Rob Ricci 2 years ago +1

      I had a Walkman-type recorder with a built-in radio back in the 90s. I was happy that I got it (especially that I could record off the radio while on the go)...until I realized that the recorder part was garbage. The radio and playback were fine, but recordings made on it sounded like I recorded a transistor radio through a telephone.

  • freibier
    freibier 4 years ago +93

    The greatest thing (as an old guy) about getting back into tapes is going through that box of old cassettes and finding out what you recorded on them 30 years ago when you were young. All those feelings coming back ("oh yes, that was the tape I recorded for that party where I met that one girl" etc.).

    • SilentKnight43
      SilentKnight43 Year ago +5

      So very, very true. I still have a cassette that an old GF and I sent back and forth through the mail in the mid-70s. We'd record ourselves talking (instead of writing letters). Haven't played it in decades, but still have it. It'd be so weird to hear my early-teens voice again, lol.

    • Rob Ricci
      Rob Ricci 2 years ago +1

      Those feelings can go both ways. How about that song that brings up bad memories, like a former love that broke your heart or a former job where you had to hear that song over and over?

    • Philbert Chow
      Philbert Chow 3 years ago +4

      I am only 37 years old and I did that today, just sitting in my car listening to tunes from 20 years ago.

    • Roger A. xyz
      Roger A. xyz 3 years ago

      Yessss!

    • James
      James 3 years ago +1

      freibier tru dat!

  • verastaki
    verastaki 2 years ago +19

    I got tapes as old as 1968, and they still play and sound fantastic. Been playing my tape collection since I was a kid and they still sound great. Tapes do last a very long time. That's why they still remain my #1 choice for music. Plus over the years I collected so many different types and styles of them. Cassettes are awesome.

    • Bradley Mccreary
      Bradley Mccreary 2 months ago

      Excellent, same with me. Started collecting casette recordings from 1968 as well. My 2004 Rover and 2005 Citroen were equipped with CD and casette players- the CD players dont work but the casette players are fine ( touch wood!)

  • GAME OVER "WE HAVE EVERY PIXEL COVERED"

    Holy crap, that sounds good from that old cassette at the end.

    • Brij Lal
      Brij Lal 2 years ago +8

      That deck has analog to digital converter. It then processes the sound, removes hiss, corrects tonal balance and much more. Finally it converts digital signal to analog before giving the output. Just check the model details over the net.

  • CeeStyleDj
    CeeStyleDj 4 years ago +236

    I'm curious to the mentality of the 14 people that thumbs down this video. No seriously, why would you thumbs down the video? It was made well, it wasn't rude, it didn't make any outlandish claims. It's just review of old cassette tapes and their cases and also how they still play.

    • MrNaufan
      MrNaufan 3 hours ago

      Now you can't see those anymore. No worries

    • Discord Guy
      Discord Guy 10 months ago

      Because they weren't interested? No need to sperg out because of it. Tell me, is there any video from any at least somewhat popular TheXvidr with no dislikes?

    • Areful Eeslam
      Areful Eeslam 11 months ago

      Some people just dont like joy

    • AltRockLover
      AltRockLover Year ago

      @Stony P maybe it’s because there wasn’t any auto tune in any of these great songs lol.

    • Siddhanth Bhattacharyya
      Siddhanth Bhattacharyya Year ago

      Maybe because the guy purchased a Justin Bieber cassette

  • Moshe ben Asher
    Moshe ben Asher 4 years ago +20

    The tapes I recorded (from new vinyl) on a three-head Nakamichi nearly 40 years ago still sound top-notch today when played on my current Nak. Even early pre-Dolby commercial tapes sound very good.

    • Bart Honhoff
      Bart Honhoff 3 years ago +1

      Moshe ben Asher My first tapes from the late 60’s from a stereo deck still sound great on my Nak’s as well.

  • Jax Nean
    Jax Nean 4 years ago +226

    I actually loved the music you tested here!

    • Rob Ricci
      Rob Ricci Day ago +1

      @Jerome Glick There are 2 alnu,s you should listen to since you like this music.

      The first one is Lawrence Welk's Winchester Cathedral. I do like the music, though the album is pretty short, under 23 minutes in length. For some reason, my favorite track onm this album Cuando. Has a "cowboy" feel to it.

      The other album I like is Herb Alpert's Warm album. No Tijuana Brass here. Herb goes onwhat I would say is an experimental route here. I think it works. My favorite track here is "Pretty World". Here on TheXvid, there are faster, more peppier versions of Pretty World, but I just like Herb's take better.

      Let me know what you think.

    • Jerome Glick
      Jerome Glick 3 days ago

      @Rob Ricci I've loved this kind of music for as long as I can remember, even before I was a teenager. In the days before TheXvid and online streaming I could only catch snippets of such music, perhaps a few seconds used as transition on a radio show, TV documentary or commercial, background music in a small-town shop, or other random places here and there... the quest for lost gems! Any radio station that plays this kind of music (which are few and far between nowadays) is my station!

    • EC1999
      EC1999 2 years ago +1

      11:27 This just inspired me to make a mixtape about Tom Jones! hehe. :)

    • Rob Ricci
      Rob Ricci 2 years ago +1

      I thought it was just me that liked this music (I even liked when I was a teenager even though it was considered "uncool").

    • Neil Mansfield
      Neil Mansfield 2 years ago +1

      Jax Nean
      This is good music.These tapes want
      remastering and re issueing so they save the music and the tapes.

  • RetroGamingGenesis
    RetroGamingGenesis 2 years ago +135

    "Cassette tapes last upwards of 30 years"
    *I turn around to find half my library has turned to dust

    • Laser Kahn
      Laser Kahn 10 months ago +3

      Hahahahahahahaha...... So good.... My oldest tape is from 73 and my 8 year old brother listens to it all the time (I copied it onto a newer cassette of course....)

    • PkmariO64
      PkmariO64 2 years ago +15

      “Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good.”

  • Tech Gorilla
    Tech Gorilla 4 years ago +19

    I remember that my father used to buy BASF cassettes (early 70's) to record audio diaries for us kids when he was away on deployment. They used to have the first type plastic boxes, but they were clear. Brings back old memories! I think the tapes sounded exactly like I remember. Dr. Demento was my go-to party listening! Can't forget King Biscuit Flower Hours either!

    • Bradley Mccreary
      Bradley Mccreary 2 months ago

      We did the same when dad was away on TDY etc or isolated tour of duty.

    • SilentKnight43
      SilentKnight43 Year ago

      I used BASF (chrome dioxide) when I was quite young...then as I got older and had a bit more money I started buying TDK SAX in bulk (10-pac boxes). But over the years I tried dozens of different brands...sometimes found some great quality brands that were in the cheapie bin, too.

  • GloomyJD
    GloomyJD 4 years ago +13

    Very impressive, they seem to have held up almost perfectly in terms of playability and holding the recordings. That blank tape at the end as well, extremely good! The fact that even though little bits broke off but you were able to repair them so easily is just one of the things that makes me love this format.

    And hey, I see you picked up a smartphone too. You'll be posting all the great thrift store finds on Instagram before you know it ;)

  • Tomsonic41
    Tomsonic41 4 years ago +44

    Wow, and I thought I had an old cassette... full of radio recordings made in 1978 that still plays perfectly today. This collection puts it to shame though!

    • Jerome Glick
      Jerome Glick 3 days ago

      At a record shop once I picked up a bunch of radio recordings made on cheap cassettes. When trying to play one, the leader immediately broke off at the splice point. Since the cassette shell didn't even have screws, I had to carefully break it open with a screwdriver then re-splice the tape back to the leader before transplanting the reels to a spare shell! But in the end I was rewarded by being able to hear WMAL's "Music Free Hour", an hour-long compilation of back-to-back commercials (some dating to the 1930s) voted in by listeners. As of this writing Google only pulls up two results regarding this rare 1981 stunt.

    • Generic First Name Generic Last Name
      Generic First Name Generic Last Name 3 years ago +3

      I'd recommend digitizing a back-up. Just in case the tape gets damaged.

  • Pope-Eye
    Pope-Eye 4 years ago +7

    Oldest cassette I own is from 1968 and I still play it regularly in my car. Sounds great, not as good as cassettes from the 80s and 90s but still very decent quality.

  • Pidde Bas
    Pidde Bas 4 years ago +14

    The recording of Anders song on that 50 year old tape was flawless! Amazing

  • Gilbert Arciniega
    Gilbert Arciniega 4 years ago +19

    I own cassettes I recorded in 1981! They still sound as good as the day I recorded them!!!!! 37 years old!

    • superlink235
      superlink235 Year ago +3

      Hey Gil! Good to see you on other channels I enjoy! King of the retro!

  • dunebasher1971
    dunebasher1971 4 years ago +30

    As long as they've been kept in dry conditions at a relatively stable temperature, audio cassettes (and reel-to-reel tapes) will last indefinitely. In fact the older the tape, the more likely it is to be of a higher-quality formulation that will last longer.

    I've got cassettes from the late 60s that still work just fine, and reel-to-reel tapes from the 1950s that still sound perfect.

    • Peter Fitzgerald
      Peter Fitzgerald 3 years ago +1

      High end cassette decks had a feature called AMSS or Automatic Music Search System which listened for the silence between tracks as one fast forwarded or rewinded to locate where the song you wanted to hear began. It could also be set to skip a specified number of tracks to get to the the song you wanted even if it was near the end of the tape.

    • Jack Fetter
      Jack Fetter 4 years ago +6

      They won't last indefinitely, the magnetic particles on the tape are continually fighting to return to their natural state of alignment, which is dictated by the magnetic properties of the tape and field around the tape (Earth). That combined with the fact the tape touches the head each time it's played, the medium itself is also slowly degrading. Never play it, it will certainly last longer but those magnetic particles are on the move no matter what! Time is the enemy!

    • pauljs75
      pauljs75 4 years ago +3

      Natural Mystic: If your tape player has a working counter it's easy enough to find a song using the card that comes with a tape. Most usually show the start times for each song.

    • Haze Anderson
      Haze Anderson 4 years ago

      "I've got cassettes from the late 60s that still work just fine" but they sound like wooOOOOOoooo woooOOOOooo

  • Matthew Richards
    Matthew Richards 4 years ago +6

    Hey vwestlife. Wonderful demonstration. I have a Phillips demo musicassette from 1965(it isn't in the best shape, but I kept it as it has a booklet and info). I 100% agree, cassettes can last 50+ years and more.

  • Clint Thompson
    Clint Thompson 4 years ago +6

    That's fantastic, I had no idea about the other styles or varieties of cassette cases. Thanks for sharing!

  • Samsulumma Samsulumma
    Samsulumma Samsulumma 4 years ago +19

    Wow, dude... I was born in the 70s and still had no idea such cases ever existed...

    • Ollie Crow
      Ollie Crow 2 years ago

      Same here

    • Larry Magee
      Larry Magee 3 years ago

      I do remember the old plastic snap cases, but not the cardboard slipcases, with the tray

  • Anthony Ng
    Anthony Ng 4 years ago +26

    I'm always so impressed by your methodology.

  • Germán Rodríguez
    Germán Rodríguez 4 years ago +2

    The result of that last test with the Norelco cassette was amazing! Great sound quality for such an old tape! The oldest cassettes that we had at both my family's house and my own place must be not older than 45 years, but those have unfortunately degraded a bit in quality... Actually, I have a batch of cassettes which I got at a thrift store a few years back (at a very cheap price, of course), and I got some Beatles and other rock 'n roll tapes which must be from the mid 70's, but I'm not really sure...

  • 12voltvids
    12voltvids 4 years ago +38

    Those pioneer decks are great. I was given an Elite model to fix. I'm keeping it. Best sounding cassette deck I have heard.

    • SS Jay
      SS Jay Year ago

      Very true . They are 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

    • dm9542
      dm9542 4 years ago +3

      The Kenwood decks from the early 90's were great as well.

  • taketimeout2
    taketimeout2 4 years ago +11

    You are educating me on stuff I should have known about 40 years ago. I never knew it was called a J card. Please could you, if you have the time of course, do something on VHS stuff. There are a lot of VHS releases of concerts and they are disappearing fast. If you alert people to how awesome they are people might start saving them.Thank you.

  • Tape Master82
    Tape Master82 4 years ago +3

    Fantastic video,I own the same tape deck, it needs servicing though, for anyone who reads my comment looking into buying a cassette deck you also need an equalizer to have true hi-fidelity comparable to today's digital sound. I have cassettes that are 30 years old and still sound brand new and recording digital streams sounds as good as open reel machines, happy recordings to all:-)

  • SilentKnight43
    SilentKnight43 Year ago +3

    I still have a Philips cassette I recorded as a kid in 1972 - holding a microphone to a speaker at the time. Still works. That's my oldest recording. I still have literally thousands of cassettes I recorded throughout the 1980s. They've been mostly stored in a very dry, cedar-lined room with almost no humidity.

  • Stuart Davis
    Stuart Davis 4 years ago +4

    Wow! Amazing sound from those...appreciate the demonstration

  • Jerome Glick
    Jerome Glick 3 days ago +1

    I was blown away by your demo of recording onto the blank 50-yr-old tape at the end. Great choice of music with ample high-frequency energy and detail. I did not expect such crisp reproduction! It really goes to show that the characteristic "dull tape sound" has less to do with the tape itself and more to do with the source signal, the equipment used to record and play it back, and of course, azimuth alignment!

    The main bottleneck in fidelity for those 1960s/70s pre-recorded tapes was the practice of many overdubs in production (because 32-track machines weren't available at the time) and of course multi-generation dubs from the master down to the cassette release. Today we take for granted the ability to make endless digital copies with no fidelity loss!

  • code beat
    code beat 4 years ago +3

    Good one, especially the beginning (y) ;-) My dad have reel to reel tapes that date back into the 60's en 70's, they also sounds plausible. Not great because the equipment was not that great, but hey, they still survived. I also have cassette tapes, good quality tapes from the 80's and 90s, especially the 90's tapes sounds still awesome. Alot of metal tapes, chrome tapes. For good storage, you need to wind the tapes after a year or so. There is a change of ghosting, magnetic layers will affect each other over the years. I didn't this, sounds still great.

  • Stephen Dobbins
    Stephen Dobbins 4 years ago +4

    I'll tell you what. That 50 year old Norelco blank cassette sounded great on that tape deck you used in the video. I am so impressed.

  • tak178
    tak178 4 years ago +2

    That is impressive. I've been watching your vids for the past couple of years now, and it is amazing what you come up with for topics. Those tapes sound extraordinary for their age.

  • UK RPGFan
    UK RPGFan 4 years ago +35

    Will you be doing another video in 50 years time to see if it still works and sound good?

    • H Man
      H Man 2 years ago +2

      @NEWTheOswaldMovie more like 5 years

    • NEWTheOswaldMovie
      NEWTheOswaldMovie 2 years ago +4

      @Rob Ricci TheXvid is at this point killing itself so I doubt it would even survive 20 years from now

    • Rob Ricci
      Rob Ricci 2 years ago +5

      How about a video 50 years from now to see if TheXvid videos have held up good?

    • Vitasoy Malt
      Vitasoy Malt 2 years ago

      Best comment so far, lol😆

    • VWestlife
      VWestlife  4 years ago +21

      Maybe!

  • KRAFTWERK2K6
    KRAFTWERK2K6 4 years ago +1

    Snapcases were always my favorite design for Commodore 64 Datasettes, like for most Sega titles "Zaxxon" and "Space Harrier". However those had the benefit of having the paper cover being behind a clear sheet of plastic on the outside and not glued onto the case. I think some Tape Supply websites are even selling brand new cases like that again, like Tapeline in UK.

  • Monaural $2.98
    Monaural $2.98 4 years ago +4

    As a lifelong tape collector & aficionado, thank you so much for this insight. I'm getting so sick of the format wars overall, so many people claiming "This or this or THIS is what you should be reaching for if you want to honestly hear music". Well, I've got news for ya, bunko; NOTHING really is indestructable. Everything from the very first Edison cylinder to whatever you're streaming out of your computer can become garbage if you have zero brain matter on learning the twin bugaboos of STORAGE & HANDLING. Like Stevie Wonder once sang; "Do Yourself a Favor....Educate your mind".

  • roachtoasties
    roachtoasties Year ago +5

    I have many very, very old, 1960's/1970's/1980's cassettes. They're rarely played, but when they are, they play well. Just make sure they're stored in the proper environment. If you leave them in a box in your garage, you can forget about them. VHS tapes are another story. I have a ton of those that are a combination of purchased movies, stuff recorded off the air, and a bunch of movie studio screeners. I don't even bother pulling them out to watch, because more often than not, they're unwatchable, especially the stuff recorded off the air.

  • jherwynne
    jherwynne Year ago

    I never expect that an old tape can record this much good sound quality. Thanks for sharing!

  • Bruce Lester
    Bruce Lester 3 years ago +3

    A most interesting video. Much of the music reminds me of what I played when I worked at an "easy Listening" FM station in the late 60's. Also was very impressed at frequency response when recording the old tape on the modern machine. Great job VWestlife.

  • Tj Nickles
    Tj Nickles 3 years ago +3

    I got cassette tapes from 1982 and 1983 and they still sound pretty good even after almost 40 years they still sound good

  • AlphaMax
    AlphaMax 4 years ago +3

    My parents have a huge collection of old tapes I think 30-50 plus years. Its amazing how good they really sound when played on one of those machines!

  • Oli K
    Oli K 4 years ago +3

    the biggest quality differences in my "collection" are not due to age or wear but to the actual quality of the recording/ the cassette - I have a few 90s tapes that seem to be licensed (or not licensed) releases in the Czech Republic or Poland and so on- they sound terrible but that's how they came in the first place

  • Dr Loco
    Dr Loco 3 years ago +3

    Thanks for the video. Tape really doesn't get the respect it deserves. I have (almost) the same tape deck, the Pioneer CT-W606DR. I love it. It changed my whole opinion of tapes. My favorite thrift store find is a $0.50 copy of the 1969 tape "The Moog Strikes Bach." I didn't expect much, but I was shocked by how good it still sounds.

  • Andy Palm
    Andy Palm 4 years ago +2

    Impressive. I've been trying to convince folks for years that my old tapes (70's) Maxell,TDK,are still good enough to enjoy. well done.

  • Dan O'Connor
    Dan O'Connor 4 years ago +8

    That Norelco tape you record on at the end isn't the earliest one. It has removable anti-erase tabs. The original tapes Philips made in 1963 didn't have them either because the first generation EL-3300 recorders didn't have the anti-erase system including the little lever in the back left of the cassette well. The original Norelco Carry-Corder 150 kits from late 1964 included the straight flat-black cassettes without the tabs badged Norelco.

    • VWestlife
      VWestlife  4 years ago

      Still, it's at least 50 years old. The Compact Cassette logo wasn't as huge on later tapes.

  • The Shadow Man
    The Shadow Man 4 years ago +7

    The recording sounds brilliant.

  • A Floyd
    A Floyd 4 years ago +11

    I have the cassette soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Original 60s release. The media still retains a signal. Late 1950s color videotape is also still playable!

  • Matthew Palmer
    Matthew Palmer 4 years ago +14

    Despite the stereo overdub, Hank was definitely my favorite part of the video.

  • Len Costello
    Len Costello 11 months ago +2

    Great Video!!!! I have over 150 of these snapcase / slipcase cassettes from 1967-1976 when they were made, most were bought by my me when they were first sold.. All play just fine as well. I also use the Pioneer deck you have with the Digital NR which really brings out the sound without the hiss. Love your electronic reviews!!!

  • TN0wl
    TN0wl 4 years ago +127

    I just remembered that the Black Sabbath - Paranoid tape that I just got is almost 50 years old. Goddamn.

    • mhmrules
      mhmrules Year ago +1

      My record store has Fireball by Deep Purple in the slip case.

    • Michael Szczys
      Michael Szczys Year ago +2

      I have Black Sabbath Paranoid on 8-track. Plus pretty much all the rest of them. (Master of Reality etc. )

    • ChevyCaprice90
      ChevyCaprice90 2 years ago +3

      If that cassette in 1970's snap-case, its really first release.

    • alex1307
      alex1307 2 years ago +4

      Paranoid came out on cassette in 1970

    • PassCookie
      PassCookie 2 years ago +2

      only because that album came out in 1970 doesn't mean that the cassette were produced in that year.

  • Bob Zwolinski
    Bob Zwolinski 4 years ago +1

    OMG! THIS bring me back to the late 60's when I had I had amassed quite a few pre-recorded Ampex cassettes for my mono machine. Thanks for putting this video together!

  • ciprianwiner
    ciprianwiner 4 years ago +1

    Finally a video that proves what I was thinking for a lot of time. I have some pretty old tapes myself and they still sound good. I tried to record on them on my Yamaha KX-10 with auto calibration and they all sound quite great even without dolby B or C. Keep up the good work :)

  • Stephen Dobbins
    Stephen Dobbins 4 years ago +1

    WOW! I didn't realize how good tapes can still sound. Great video.

  • clemsonbloke
    clemsonbloke 4 years ago +1

    Great video. I have some of those old cassettes and I too found they were decent to listen to. I think that a lot of people get them and leave Dolby engaged and don't realise that these are not Dolby encoded. That would squash the fidelity a lot. I actually don't find those old pre-recorded tapes that hissy, they seem to have very good midrange.

  • Alexandros A Lavdas

    Great video! I have cassettes from the 70s and 60s (and open reel tapes even from the 50s). They are just fine. They are mostly classical music, and all but one have a standard plastic case. Obviously pre-recorded cassettes were never as good as the ones you could record at home with a good deck, because of high-speed dubbing.

  • Stacey Nash
    Stacey Nash Year ago

    I’ve always looked at the “30 year rule” as a safe date, kind of like the expiration on a Twinkie. If we’ll taken care of, they’ll last for a lot longer than that (as you have shown). I think that what brings that number down is that a lot of cassettes took a lot of abuse, especially those that were left in cars in hot summer days. I have tapes that are 40 years old, were the ones that rarely left the house sound great.

  • Father to goldador 1
    Father to goldador 1 3 years ago

    Great video ! Still playing with my akai 1730ds. Some of the tape I have has degraded a bit, but some has not. I think it just depends on the quality of the the materials it was made from. And yes some are 50 yrs. Old. Thanks for the video and enjoy !

  • Paul Marsh
    Paul Marsh 4 years ago +1

    The tapes I have from the 80's still play well, though a couple have started to deteriorate - probably due to cheap ferric used. I usually find the cards between the case and tape causes friction and causes the tape mechanism to cut, due to sticking.

  • WierdSpookyDude
    WierdSpookyDude 10 months ago +1

    WOW! I'm impressed with the sound you're getting from those pre-recorded factory tapes. But what I'm really impressed with is that Pioneer Cassette player. It really is excellent. Now to be fair, if you played those same factory cassettes on a 1966 to 1969 machine, it would no doubt be very disappointing. So the technological advances of the newer cassette players is worth the price if you really want to listen to 50 year old recorded music on cassette. I am looking at spending up to $700 dollars on a new one which is about 5x what I spent on an entire stereo system back in the 1960s. LoL

    • Jerome Glick
      Jerome Glick 3 days ago

      I've heard that the Library of Congress uses Nakamichi CR-7 decks for digitizing cassettes. Why? Because the CR-7 is one of the very few that has an azimuth adjustment knob. Tapes recorded on different machines often have different azimuth alignments. If the playback head is out of alignment with the tape tracks, it's not picking up the full bandwidth of the signal that's on the tape.

      Tweaking the angle of the playback head has a drastic effect on sound quality and can result in the biggest gains in performance when playing any old tape. Nakamichi CR-7s were made in the late '80s and early '90s, originally cost over $1,800 I think. I was lucky to get one off eBay for only $900 in fully-working condition.

  • Albert Loan
    Albert Loan 3 years ago +1

    Very well done video on the history of cassette tapes. Thanks for taking the time to make and share this.

  • Matt R
    Matt R 4 years ago +35

    Audio cassettes are fun to use, I went to a goodwill and tapes are selling out faster than vinyl records.

    • harold alexis
      harold alexis Year ago +1

      Alan Elam i disagree with you they 're classics! You got rid of a lot of treasures which are hit! I miss them dearly, our stereos today are dead without components 8 tracks , CDs DAT's. Turntables i welcome them all. None of my collections are going anywhere! They're museum history in the present! 😃

    • Zach the Sports Guy
      Zach the Sports Guy 3 years ago

      That's cause records at goodwill are always trashed

    • Alan Elam
      Alan Elam 3 years ago

      I grew up with tapes as well. But I got rid of all mine nearly 15 years ago, whilst continuing with my love for vinyl (which carries on to this day). Needless to say, I personally don't miss cassettes and have no desire to get back into them.

    • Alan Elam
      Alan Elam 3 years ago

      Don't get me wrong....I've found LOTS of oddball gems on vinyl (i.e., Mantovani), as well as classic traditional pop by Nat, Tony, Frank and the like, all in PRIMO condition for a pittance. However, I do agree that in at least 8 out of 10 cases, the records that are often found in thrift stores are in the most DEPLORABLE junk condition. Not to mention that half the titles are not worth even buying. And alas, especially nowadays, whenever thrift stores get in any good rock or pop records from the 60's, 70's and 80's, they usually never last long in the bins before someone comes in, sees them, swipes them and then jacks them up for stupid prices on eBay!

    • mercurialmagictrees
      mercurialmagictrees 3 years ago

      I find some near mint condition classical records from the 1960s but yeah most of the stuff I passed on.

      I found some good 80s and 90s rock cassettes before.

  • PeaceArch WA
    PeaceArch WA 2 years ago

    Great video, although like others have said I would have liked to also hear some of those old tape samples played without Pioneer's digital processing. I have some 40 to 50-year-old cassettes, some of which play OK, and many of which have the pressure-pad issue you've described. FYI although Philips was not allowed to offer its consumer electronics and electrical goods in the USA under the Philips brand name (per the "Philco" issue), for many years starting in 1962 Philips DID successfully make and distribute recorded music in the USA under the Philips Records label.

  • flibberdipper
    flibberdipper 4 years ago +3

    All things considered those really don't sound bad. I'm fairly impressed.

  • MarkUKInsects
    MarkUKInsects 4 years ago +18

    My sister had one of those old philips cassette players in the late 1960s, sounded crap, Same tapes in a descent player 10 years later sounded great. It wasn't the medium that was the problem.

    • Brent Fisher
      Brent Fisher 3 years ago +4

      The frequencies that are recorded on a magnetic recording tape are less limited by the size of the gap on the recorder as on the player. So in the later years the tapes reveal high frequencies that contemporary people of the time could not play back.

  • watershed44
    watershed44 4 years ago +5

    VWestlife
    The quality of the sound on the 1964-65 Philips Norelco cassette is amazing!
    Also shows that the media can hold up nearly perfectly if stored correctly.

    • Peter Lamont
      Peter Lamont 4 years ago +2

      watershed44 I think that 30 year guideline is worst case. Like say if you live in a desert and store them in wild swinging temperatures. I have seen cases of digital data being pulled from cassettes that are 40 years old with no issues. I have also seen tapes that became sticky due to bad storage, like excessively hot climates with no temperature control.

      These same people say disks last about 7 years...but i myself have read disks over 30 years old which work just fine. In fact, i make use of writing on them as well, and they store the data just fine. Even magnetized media can be degaussed and used again. The storage density is so low on those that i would be amazed if they didn't work 100 years later and beyond.

  • virgilgray
    virgilgray 4 years ago +1

    Awesome! I have over 500 cassettes and am slowly bringing them around to put on CD.

  • Andrew Hollis
    Andrew Hollis 8 months ago

    Excellent video Kevin. Unfortunately I tried to record on a 45 year old, well stored TDK D60. The tape had completely degraded giving high levels of distortion and a severe loss of signal on one of the channels.

  • MacCoinneach
    MacCoinneach 2 years ago

    Thank you for a brawly good and objective test.
    Here at home, I often use tapes, hear a more smooth an rounded analog sound than, for example, what a CD or MP4 can deliver.
    In addition, I enjoy a larger amount of high quality original recorded tapes, for sale in second hand stores.

  • Tommy B.
    Tommy B. 3 years ago

    Cassettes sound awesome when well recorded and played back on rock solid equipment. And my own opinion, Dolby isn't much necessary for music with more or less quiet parts in it. As long as the bias on the recording side is set propely and all the dynamic raged used at its maximum just before clipping /fuzzing, even ferric tape is awesome. I have some factory chrome tape at home poorly made and some well made ferric ones sounds way much better.

  • Hankfan Hankfan
    Hankfan Hankfan 8 months ago +2

    Hank Williams' Greatest Hits would have been at the earliest 1968. I don't know if you're familiar with him beyond the basics, but in 1968 MGM started overdubbing albums that had previously been in mono so as to tout them as being in stereo. The mono LP would have been issued in 1963. That sounds amazingly good. I enjoyed the Dean Martin as well-Jim Reeves did an excellent version of that song.

  • David Jamison
    David Jamison Year ago

    I never saw any of the old ones - interesting. All of mine have always been the clear plastic. What is weirder is the tapes that weren't maxed out in loudness during the recording process sound better.

  • StudioF
    StudioF 11 months ago

    Im so impressed by the quality of those 50 year old tapes. i have CD' s that sound crappy compare to these tapes. Great video.

  • MTN - A Rainbow Pastures Company

    Great find! I have some cassettes that are about 50 years old or less which dates back to the 1970's and it still sounds good without any problems. Ampex has been doing fine with these pre-recorded cassettes in 1967, and the quality isn't too bad for its age, and it was due to the lack of fidelity. Columbia also putting out with "Stereo Cassettes" started around 1969 or 1970, same goes with Capitol with a series of pre-recorded albums. Later on, Columbia and Capitol did put out blank tapes for recording. I have not seen the two record labels put out blank media, but I've seen many on eBay and they were quite interesting. Ampex on the other hand made blank media like cassettes, reel-to-reel and 8-track tapes.

    The tapes are all type I normal, and there was no Dolby on the tape, because Dolby did not started Noise Reduction until the mid 1970's, and type II chrome didn't not come out earlier on.

  • William K
    William K 3 years ago +1

    Great! The cassettes sound wonderful, really punchy and atmospheric. Bravo, sir.

  • steelers6titles
    steelers6titles 5 months ago +1

    The age of the recordings, of course, affected the fidelity. The oldest recording here is the Hank Williams. Hank died in 1953, so that track is much older than anything else on here, and sounds like it. (No remastering, either, as the cassette is an old one.)

  • Martin D A
    Martin D A 3 years ago

    That was a great video. Loved hearing those. I also never knew Philips went to the States as Norelco? But I am European. I have in my collection of tat an original 1963 Philips recorder. I love the funky play switch.
    Also I'm fairly sure in Europe we had the standard style cassette cases from the mid 60s - though I can't be sure. I certainly have some from around 68 / 69 or so various branding..

  • Martin Willms
    Martin Willms 3 years ago

    Hi! First of all the music still is great and timeless! :-) And secondly the sound of these old tapes still is perfect inside the pioneer player. I'm myself still using a Pioneer CT-S410 to hear my old cassettes from time to time. (Lots of chrome dioxide cassettes from the early 80ies in my collection, mostly self recorded from radio stations at that time.) ;-) Good old days!

  • Jérémie Faucher-Goulet
    Jérémie Faucher-Goulet 4 years ago +6

    What an amazing theme music you chose for the test recording ;-)

    (y) Definitely approve of 8-bit guy stuff!

  • Helderhugo
    Helderhugo Year ago +1

    All the tapes sound great. And the final recording too. The tapes were well made after all. And that music sounds good. Nice.

  • MegaWayneD
    MegaWayneD 4 years ago +1

    It's difficult enough to get a CD-R to last 5 years, let alone 50 years! Great vid, thanks for this.

  • silvio fisicaro
    silvio fisicaro 2 years ago

    Very nice video. This is what I've always said. A cassette will always be playable. I recorded cassettes from the seventies about one year ago and they just sound wow. And they had already been recorded before.

  • moviebod
    moviebod 4 years ago +2

    Loved your video. I first started buying cassette tapes in 1973 and I still have them, So that is 45 year. Just shows, you can't always trust (a) Google.

  • jk Hippie
    jk Hippie 4 years ago +1

    Keep up the good work. I love cassettes and vinyl

  • si1nyc
    si1nyc 4 years ago +3

    Amazing sound quality.

  • Willy G Music
    Willy G Music 3 years ago

    I'm amazed how great these tapes sound for their age.

  • UnlimitedFilmMakers
    UnlimitedFilmMakers 3 years ago

    Fantastic.
    I just miss some moments of hearing the original without digital sound fx, to compare.
    I guess it would be amazing for everyone.
    - Also, on the last experiment of recording, another suggestion:
    To record also from an old tape, showing original quality and that through FLEX and BLE and DNR and so, to the same 50 y.o. tape.
    At least, with you, I could find someone that tests this Pioneer sophisticated decks in ancient tapes that need this restoration.
    Thank you very much for your illustrating video.

  • helloandsoforth
    helloandsoforth 4 years ago +1

    I bought a Panasonic RX-C36 boombox yesterday at Sunrise with a cassette player, and then I bought ten cassettes at another Sunrise. I'm genuinely impressed with the audio quality--the boombox sounds great for its size and the sound quality of the cassettes is crisp. There's also the benefit that ten cassettes cost $1. Thanks for making me look into cassettes, I'm going to have to build myself a collection.

  • Yan Moura
    Yan Moura Year ago

    Those cassettes played pretty well in my opinion, actually they sounded exactly how those vinyl records from the same age used to sound.

  • SS Jay
    SS Jay Year ago +1

    This is one awesome Pioneer cassette deck with digital NR for playback 😍😍👍🏻 Very nice.. The equalizer display looks great too 😍👍🏻👍🏻 your lastly mentioned cassette recording sounded really good too on that deck👍🏻

  • B1SCOOP
    B1SCOOP 3 years ago

    Oddly enough, I always assumed cassetes went into production around same time as walkmans. The tracks you have shown here sound not much different from classic movie reissues on bluray.

  • martytoo
    martytoo 4 months ago +1

    The Advent 200 was OEM'd by Nakamichi. This was similar to a Fisher unit and the Harmon Kardon CAD-5. All 3 introduced Dolby noise reduction.

  • wildbilltexas
    wildbilltexas 4 years ago +2

    I think that style of cassette box that fully enclosed the tapes has kept them in good condition. I bet most of them were stored inside the house or in a good tape case. BTW My parents bought that Lawrence Welk LP when they bought their RCA Vista Console stereo in 1966. (It was on Dot Records and had a different cover). I instantly recognized "Copy Cat" when you played it. BTW that tape probably needs to have the slip sheets replaced.

  • RJC 72
    RJC 72 8 months ago

    It all depends on how the tape is stored over the years. Keep it away from long-term exposure to sunlight and huge swings in temperature, and the tape should hold up for quite a while. I have a Norelco tape from 1972 in my collection that my dad made mere months before I was born. It's just shy of 50 years old, and what he recorded on it sounds just as fresh today as it did way back then.

  • akerockstar
    akerockstar 3 years ago +1

    super awesome video! they all sounded pretty good! the treat was hearing something recorded on an old cassette!

  • steviebboy69
    steviebboy69 Year ago

    One of my oldest cassettes is a Neil Diamond one I got when I was about 10, and now im 53, it is pretty worn these days probably from untold playings over the years. That tape at the end sounded excellent for the age. Just does go to show you cassette still sounds pretty good.

  • evilgrows
    evilgrows 3 years ago +2

    If anyone cares to know, the reason that there are many Cassette Tapes from the mid to late 1970's and early 80's that will not play and "severely slow down, screech & squeal" and are UNplayable is because they started using a certain inferior binder in the tape oxide that absorbed moisture over the years (which it is not supposed to do) and now renders the tapes completely unplayable. This also caused the named "Sticky Tape Shedd Syndrome". This does not usually affect prerecorded Cassettes from 1966 (when they first were issued by Philips/Mercury) till about 1978 or so... Then around 1984 they seem to still play right, as they discovered this "bad binder" and corrected the problem of it absorbing moisture... This problem may have given Cassette Tapes a bad rap and people saying that they won't last or only play for 30 years? (lol) But as shown in this great video presentation, Yes the real old early cassettes still can play fine - as well as later 1980's and 1990's ones! If they had not used that bad binder, most ALL pre-recorded Cassettes would still play fine to this day.

  • Brads Tech
    Brads Tech 4 years ago +3

    i find your videos very interesting keep making them please

  • Jesús Ramírez
    Jesús Ramírez Year ago

    Yo conservo todavía mi colección de cassettes, su sonido es diferente, único y aunque tengo mis equipos que reproducen otros formatos mas modernos, CD's, mp3, ACC, que reproducen también un sonido de calidad y único de cada uno; nunca dejare a mis cassettes de lado... Yo amo los casettes, así como los vinilos.

  • HDXFH
    HDXFH 4 years ago +2

    I find the leader tape comes off with age with some old tapes too, ended up having to splice it back together, definitely a delicate bond with age

  • KRAFTWERK2K6
    KRAFTWERK2K6 4 years ago +1

    This Norelco Tape sounds magnificent. It probably must have had more than 35 years of pre-magnetization by earths magnetic field :]

  • James Slick
    James Slick 4 years ago +1

    Audio tape is amazingly durable if good tape was used and stored properly. I have some O.R. family tapes that were recorded in the mid 50s to early 60s. The thinner stock suffers from some "print through", but still listenable, The thicker tape stock doesn't even display that. They're all 3M "Scotch" brand tapes of different types.