March 21, 2011

The End Of The Road, Vis-A-Vis Hipster Cool...

by Chris Randall

My main purpose in putting this up, aside from strictly historical interest, is to make James from RetroThing wet his pants with jealousy. Jeff Laity from TASCAM (who posts as synthetic here) sent me this little gem completely out of the blue, because he knows this is the sort of thing that makes me all giggly like a little girl.

What it is: the TEAC Open Reel cassette system. Check it. You've got an empty shell of a cassette, and you can swap out the reels of tape as if it was a reel-to-reel. There's a take-up reel included with the system, and each roll of tape has its own little plastic case that screws apart. I think, from a commercial standpoint, that it's interesting this was ever released at all.

The construction quality of the reels themselves, and their little holders, is top notch, just as nice as a roll of Quantegy 2" or some such. The cassette shell thing is kind of not-as-awesome, but it'll get the job done. There's a slot in the side of the shell that you slide the reel in to, and then you spool the tape over to the take-up reel, and Bob's your uncle.

As far as I can tell, the point of this system is to be able to just leave the shell in your Walkman (or TEAC-branded version of same) and then you've got these little spools instead of a rucksack full of cassettes. They're much, much tinier, of course. A pretty cool concept all in all, but I wish (oh, how I wish) there was a tiny little 1/8" reel-to-reel deck they went with. No such luck.


Page 1 of 3

Mar.21.2011 @ 8:23 PM
Holy cow that looks super cool! Reminds me of this: link []

Always wanted the Nagra SNST-R.

- Hugo

Mar.21.2011 @ 8:39 PM
That is just sexy as hell.

Mar.21.2011 @ 9:02 PM
But does it sound better than vinyl?

Mar.21.2011 @ 9:13 PM
Chris Randall
If I owned a cassette player, I'd be able to answer that question. My money's on "nope."


Mar.21.2011 @ 9:16 PM
Fun, huh? Surely a labor of love for some TASCAM engineer. I love how the plastic cases screw closed, such a nice little quality detail you rarely see today.

Mar.21.2011 @ 9:20 PM
Chris Randall
It actually took me a little while to figure out how to get them open, because in this day and age it would be exceedingly unusual to come across a piece of mass-market product with a detail like that.


Mar.21.2011 @ 10:04 PM
@Huggie - Nagra IV-S...ahhhhhhh

Mar.22.2011 @ 12:47 AM
G-ds do I love the cassette format. Fuck the question of sounding better or not, but there is no better interface of portability and analog sound than the cassette. For me it's probably an age thing. Cassettes are the sound of my childhood. I had plotted out the designs for an open reel cassette years ago, but did not know that it was actually produced. I would shack a motherfucker to get my hands on something like this. This is about the coolest thing that I have ever seen.

Fucking A, man... Fucking A...


Mar.22.2011 @ 1:12 AM
this would be amasing to make a casette tape looper with... a tiny Frippertronics looper

like mapmap aka. Marcus Fischers link []

Mar.22.2011 @ 1:17 AM
of course a frippertronics machine based on such quality hardware needs a cassette player that is as finely made... any suggestions?

Page 1 of 3



Sorry, commenting is closed for this blog entry.