PHILIPS N2521 (1977)
The N2521 was the top-of-the-line model (High Fidelity International) in the 1977 range of cassette recorders from Philips. Inside this vertical standing front loading hi-fi cassette deck we can find a one motor (Tacho controlled DC motor) solenoid-controlled tape transport. This type of transport was called "Magno Control" by Philips. The record/playback head is an "FSX" long life head that can handle normal, chrome and ferrochrome tapes that can be either manually or automatically selected. For tape noise reduction the deck is equipped with both Dolby B circuit and DNL-Dynamic Noise Limiter. DNL is a Philips noise reduction circuit for playback only. Recording level can be manually adjusted while the signal level has individual left and right illuminated meters with LED overload indicator. The front panel DIN standard headphone output has both volume and balance controls. To eliminate unwanted passages from an existing recording the N2521 is equipped with manual post fading facility with lock. (The lock is a safety measure as post fading is performed during playback). The output level of the deck can also be adjusted via line output controls located near the back panel output sockets. Another interesting feature is the head cleaning indicator. This indicator works as a timer, measuring the time the deck has been used, with the indicator warning when head cleaning must be performed. Technical data: Frequency response 30-14000 Hz Normal, 30-16000 Hz Chrome, 30-17000 Hz Ferrochrome | Wow&Flutter 0.15% | Dimensions 360x300x130 mm | Weight 4.8 kg | Original sale price: 950 DM Germany.
PIONEER CT-F1000 (1977)
The CT-F1000 was launched with an aggressive advert campaign that would not be possible today. Here's what it said: "For years, Nakamichi has enjoyed a reputation for building the world's finest cassette deck. Now Pioneer is introducing something Nakamichi won't enjoy at all: the Pioneer CT-F1000. A cassette deck that offers all the features and performance of Nakamichi's best cassette deck, at less than half the price" (1,650 USD vs. 600 USD in 1978). The advert continues with a step-by-step comparison of the two decks but we will limit ourself to simply present the technical data of this iconic Pioneer cassette recorder. The presented data are identical for the Japanese market CT-1000 and the international market CT-F1000. The CT-F1000 features a 3-head design with Uni-Crystal record and playback head with a pair of stereo Dolby noise reduction circuitry (one for recording and one for playback) that makes possible to monitor Dolby-decoded recording, a feature not possible with decks equipped with only one Dolby circuit. The tape transport is a two-motor drive system in dual-capstan configuration. One motor for fast-forward/rewind and one for dual-capstan drive. The playback only pitch control allows you to play perfectly tapes made on inaccurate decks. The deck can handle normal/chrome and ferrochrome tapes and it features Dolby noise reduction calibration on the front panel with test tone, memory stop/memory play, logarithmic amp for large VU meters, direct logical controls, mpx filter for FM radio recordings, mic. /line mixing and recording, timer recording, tape-end warning and full auto-stop and a front panel width and height machined to EIA (Electronic Industries Association) standards for professional-type rack mounting. The Pioneer JA-R102 handle adaptors are available option. Finally, the advert concludes: "You can buy a Nakamichi 1000II and get an incredibly expensive cassette deck. Or you can buy a CT-F1000. And get one that's simply incredible". Technical data: Wow and Flutter: 0.05% (WRMS) | Frequency Response: Normal 20 to 17,000 Hz, Chrome 20 to 19,000 Hz, Ferrichromium 20 to 19,000 Hz | Dimensions: 420x187x362 mm | Weight: 11.8 kg. | Wooden case is optional.