Analogue tape useage

Hello. I know that using analogue tapes is not recomended but how about type 4 metal tapes as there formular is not same as type 1 or type 2 tapes.

Hi Paul, welcome to the forums.

The reason that I personally recommend not using analog tapes with DCC equipment is because if you compare an analog deck (especially a top-of-the-line deck such as a Nakamichi or Akai) with a DCC deck, the analog deck will usually have aged better over the last 30 years or so than the DCC deck. You can’t play DCC cassettes on an analog deck so it makes sense to reserve the DCC deck for DCC cassettes and use an analog cassettes.

When you play analog cassettes on a DCC deck, it’s possible that the cassette will shed some of its magnetic material onto the head and the mechanism, and cleaning a DCC recorder is usually more difficult than cleaning an analog deck.

Furthermore, some DCC decks (especially the later models) are more susceptible to wear, because they were made with a lot of plastic in the mechanism. Plastic may shrink, and some kinds of plastic may become brittle and break. The second generation recorders have a gear that breaks because it was originally made of soft plastic (to reduce mechanical noise) and becomes brittle. Aging in a DCC deck (again, especially in later generations) also causes excessive wow and flutter, and because wow and flutter isn’t as critical for DCC playback and recording as for analog cassettes, they were never designed with top quality wow/flutter in the first place.

The bottom line is: Yes, analog cassettes (of any type) will work but “your mileage may vary”. It’s great that DCC recorders all have an excellent built-in digitizer that you can use with an SPDIF digital solid state recorder to make a great quality digital version of your analog cassettes. And because the DCC heads are constructed differently, the chance of azimuth-related problems with analog cassettes is much less likely. But when you play analog cassettes on a DCC recorder, you’re causing unnecessary wear, you may cause the recorder to get unnecessarily dirty and you may get a worse result than playing it on an analog deck which likely causes less wow & flutter. And of course, an analog deck is likely easier to repair than a DCC recorder.



Thank you very much.