No vintage audio collection would be complete without a section dedicated to Compact Cassette and Cassette Deck recorders. Here at 1001 Hi-Fi we have aproximately 200 cassette decks in our collection covering models from the early years right up to the last few manufactured. In order to make them more accesible, informative and entertaining in the same time, we decided to group them in 3 distinct decades. Please select one of the decades below and enjoy.
The 1001 Hi-Fi Cassette Deck Collection
50 years of compact cassette (1963-2013)
The Compact Cassette (called Musicassette - MC - when it came with prerecorded material) is an analog magnetic tape sound recording format. It all began with the invention of the magnetic tape in 1928 which led to the first reel-to-reel recorder made by AEG in 1935. These were big machines used in recording studios, radio stations and later by Hi Fi enthusiasts at home.
To make home recording more popular, with smaller machines, there were a few cartridge type tapes introduced to the market but they all failed in short time.
It was at the Berlin Radio Show on 30 August 1963 that this new cartridge format was presented by PHILIPS. The name of this new medium was "Compact Cassette" and it was intended to be used for dictation machines. However there was a competition with another format presented by GRUNDIG, but the PHILIPS Compact Cassette became dominant as a result of PHILIPS's decision in the face of pressure from SONY to license the format free of charge.
With the introduction of new tape formulations (first the chromium dioxide (CrO2), improvements in the cassette player mechanism and the introduction of prerecorded music cassettes made this format a succes.
The introduction of the "3 Head" configuration in 1973 by Nakamichi, SONY and other major manufacturers turned this medium into a competitive Hi-Fi analog recording solution.
This would be the story of the Compact Cassette in a nutshell on the 50th anniversary of it's introduction by PHILIPS on august 1963. Read more about other devices that used a Compact Cassette as storage.
PHILIPS EL 3302 (1967) (click image for larger picture)
This is not a Hi-Fi machine. It is not even Stereo. So why it is here? Simply because there wouldn't be Hi-Fi cassette recorders without this PHILIPS invention. The PHILIPS EL 3302 is the 3rd. version of the World First "Compact Cassette" recorder, the PHILIPS EL 3300, that was introduced in 1963.
In the pictures you can see the PHILIPS EL 3302 battery operated mono portable cassette recorder. Being a portable recorder and player it also has a built in amplifier and speaker. Making recording was easy. As a portable recorder there was included a wired microphone with an integrated Start / Stop switch for remote operation.
The sound quality of such a cassette player is similar to the sound...............of your average laptop's built in speakers.