jazzcorner

Cassette tape production revival?

37 posts in this topic

It's nostalgia, plain & simple. I understand it too. But don't conflate nostalgia with "everything's going to shit". That's what got us MAGA.

I had a 1965 Chevrolet Impala when I was in high school and college. I loved that car. I experienced some great things in that car. Great memories. I have a nostalgic love for that car. In the late 80's, I fell into some money,  so I decided I would get my 1965 Chevy Impala convertible that I always wanted. It showed up on a flatbead and I gleefully jumped into the driver's seat and started it up. Ahh, there was that sound of the 283 V8. Man, did that bring back memories! I was in heaven.

Then I drove it.

What a dog!! You could move the steering wheel back & forth for several inches and the car would still go straight. You turn and the whole front end nose-dives into the corner. No road feel. You float along. Hit a bump and almost bite you tongue. Put the top down and forget to unzip the glass rear window and it shatters. Snapping on the tonneau cover was a joke. Most of the snaps wouldn't snap and every other one ripped out of the vinyl. And then run out to the car in the sun with the top down and jump in with shorts onto that black vinyl bench seat. Mother %$##$!!!! The worst was those frickin' bias ply tires! You go into a corner on an exit ramp and hit a bump and the car walks off the road. Scared the crap out of me. Radials went on within days.

Worst car i ever bought.

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On 1/19/2020 at 0:01 PM, bresna said:

It's nostalgia, plain & simple. I understand it too. But don't conflate nostalgia with "everything's going to shit". That's what got us MAGA.

I had a 1965 Chevrolet Impala when I was in high school and college. I loved that car. I experienced some great things in that car. Great memories. I have a nostalgic love for that car. In the late 80's, I fell into some money,  so I decided I would get my 1965 Chevy Impala convertible that I always wanted. It showed up on a flatbead and I gleefully jumped into the driver's seat and started it up. Ahh, there was that sound of the 283 V8. Man, did that bring back memories! I was in heaven.

Then I drove it.

What a dog!! You could move the steering wheel back & forth for several inches and the car would still go straight. You turn and the whole front end nose-dives into the corner. No road feel. You float along. Hit a bump and almost bite you tongue. Put the top down and forget to unzip the glass rear window and it shatters. Snapping on the tonneau cover was a joke. Most of the snaps wouldn't snap and every other one ripped out of the vinyl. And then run out to the car in the sun with the top down and jump in with shorts onto that black vinyl bench seat. Mother %$##$!!!! The worst was those frickin' bias ply tires! You go into a corner on an exit ramp and hit a bump and the car walks off the road. Scared the crap out of me. Radials went on within days.

Worst car i ever bought.

Hence the popularity of restomods - you still get the looks and basic structure of a classic car, but with updated engine/suspension/brakes/etc. so you can actually drive it daily without experiencing many of the shortcomings you described. 

Reminds me of the people who continue to insist that cars of the 50s and 60s were safer than modern cars, because, well, all that heavy-gauge steel just gotta be better than these newfangled plastic shitboxes. When all other attempts to disabuse them of this notion fail, I like to point them at this video:

Don't get me wrong, I love classic cars, but I'm also not under any illusions as to the compromises that are invariably involved when it comes to driving one on anything approaching a regular basis. 

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At least nostalgia for vinyl and cassettes is safer then the one for sixties’ cars.

Edited by porcy62

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12 hours ago, Dave Garrett said:

Hence the popularity of restomods - you still get the looks and basic structure of a classic car, but with updated engine/suspension/brakes/etc. so you can actually drive it daily without experiencing many of the shortcomings you described. 

Reminds me of the people who continue to insist that cars of the 50s and 60s were safer than modern cars, because, well, all that heavy-gauge steel just gotta be better than these newfangled plastic shitboxes. When all other attempts to disabuse them of this notion fail, I like to point them at this video:

Don't get me wrong, I love classic cars, but I'm also not under any illusions as to the compromises that are invariably involved when it comes to driving one on anything approaching a regular basis. 

You are way off with that link. Obviously it has been discussed within the classic car fraternity when it made the headlines a couple of years ago and while everyone who is halfway sensible will agree that car safety has made enormous progress and to have that spike of a non-collapsible steering column point at you in a head-on crash is no fun at all they also agree that this crash test "comparison" was a fake. Expert eyes who look closely at the 59 Chev will notice that car was a patched-up and glossed-painted-over dog in the best tradition of most U.S. "restorations" up to, say, the 80s or sometime in the 90s. I.e. there are many moments where it is evident that rust has taken a hold at and deep inside the seams, and this DOES weaken ANY car's structure.

FWIW, and not wanting to get too off-topic, but I feel safe enough in my own 1958 to 1960-MY European classics even in today's traffic because they teach you to drive carefully, defensively and with perspicacity - and yet you can advance well in modern-day traffic on the typical European city streets here where most others in their rounded, potato-shaped and more and more inflated modern motor gizmos just have no clue whatsoever where their car starts and ends and therefore come to a dead stop in situations where you - in your 50s car that not only has a comparatively narrow track width but ALSO enables you as the driver to actually see ALL of your FOUR fenders - will be able to just whiz through (in all carefulness, of course). :P

P.S. Nothing against some thoughtful mechanicals/electrics updates to improve reliability, but restomods of the kind that you describe are an abomination. Just for posers ... 

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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I wouldn't too much blame nostalgia because, cassette a part, it has a lot to do with collecting and therefore preserving valuable stuff, think about ancient books or postcards for example. I think that collecting and listening to old records has an implication in preserving our cultural heritage, what about if all the Blue Note records were dumped in favour of downloads? The art of Reid Miles would be just a tag on the screen of a digital streamer or an illustrated book forgotten in a library. I have a young friend who's a designer, he buys records, mainly reissues, for covers. Maybe all these is nostalgia but exposing young people to the art and beauty of the past it's some sort of an investment for the future. And yes, the very very few times I spot a classic Porsche 911 Targa or a Citroen DS around the city, I don't think "look at the bastard who burns the planet" but I think "Those damn guys knew how to make a wonderful car!".

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9 minutes ago, porcy62 said:

I wouldn't too much blame nostalgia because, cassette a part, it has a lot to do with collecting and therefore preserving valuable stuff, think about ancient books or postcards for example. I think that collecting and listening to old records has an implication in preserving our cultural heritage, what about if all the Blue Note records were dumped in favour of downloads? The art of Reid Miles would be just a tag on the screen of a digital streamer or an illustrated book forgotten in a library. I have a young friend who's a designer, he buys records, mainly reissues, for covers. Maybe all these is nostalgia but exposing young people to the art and beauty of the past it's some sort of an investment for the future. And yes, the very very few times I spot a classic Porsche 911 Targa or a Citroen DS around the city, I don't think "look at the bastard who burns the planet" but I think "Those damn guys knew how to make a wonderful car!".

But you're missing something here - most of us did dump all of our records. Sure, not for downloads, but for CDs. LP covers can be nice but even these old LP covers are mostly nostalgic and usually because at some point, our eyesight goes to shit.. LP covers get dings by simply putting them down wrong and ring wear from simply putting them away. Seams split on your favorite records because you made the mistake of playing it too many times. To make matters worse, they are often the main reason your records got scratched. You have to buy special liners or vinyl sleeves for the covers, which of course makes them even harder to store and look at and in the end, sterilize the look. Nothing ruins an old LP more than haveing to look at it through a 4 mil vinyl sleeve.

Yes, the CD artwork was smaller and took away from the "art" aspect of the LP cover, but you have to admit that the jewel case protected the CD and the artwork much better than the LP cover - an amazing concept! :) 

But this thread is not about LPs. It's about cassettes. You want to talk about tiny artwork? Cassette artwork had to be unfolded from under the cassette because it was so tiny. Even when my eyes worked well, I sometimes needed a magnifier for the printing in these things. I can't see anyone getting nostalgic about cassette artwork.

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11 minutes ago, bresna said:

But you're missing something here - most of us did dump all of our records. Sure, not for downloads, but for CDs. LP covers can be nice but even these old LP covers are mostly nostalgic and usually because at some point, our eyesight goes to shit.. LP covers get dings by simply putting them down wrong and ring wear from simply putting them away. Seams split on your favorite records because you made the mistake of playing it too many times. To make matters worse, they are often the main reason your records got scratched. You have to buy special liners or vinyl sleeves for the covers, which of course makes them even harder to store and look at and in the end, sterilize the look. Nothing ruins an old LP more than haveing to look at it through a 4 mil vinyl sleeve.

Yes, the CD artwork was smaller and took away from the "art" aspect of the LP cover, but you have to admit that the jewel case protected the CD and the artwork much better than the LP cover - an amazing concept! :) 

But this thread is not about LPs. It's about cassettes. You want to talk about tiny artwork? Cassette artwork had to be unfolded from under the cassette because it was so tiny. Even when my eyes worked well, I sometimes needed a magnifier for the printing in these things. I can't see anyone getting nostalgic about cassette artwork.

In the US and UK maybe, but over here I'd bet it was far from "most". A certain percentage of collectors - yes, and many in the field of classical music, but in pop, rock and jazz? Nah, not that many. Many may have stopped buying vinyl at some point in favor of CDs (and some may have ruefully started again later on) but they did not dump wholesale what they had - the way this apparently happened in the US or UK - or else the secondhand record shops or record fairs would have had to bust at their seams (like Mole Jazz did in the 90s for a while).
Anyway ... I don't really get the cassette nostalgia either. I never "embraced" the prerecorded cassette format and cannot recall having ever bought any prerecorded cassettes.
I did dub a huge lot of music onto cassettes (off the radio) to preserve interesting music I heard on the radio, but this was just for consumption (just like the cassette mixes I made for my players in my cars). And in maybe one or two dozen cases I actually copied the contents of LPs owned by friends onto cassette when no vinyl copy was to be found anywhere. But this was a not very satisfying stopgap measure from the start and I was VERY glad to dump them as soon as an affordable vinyl copy turned up.

Which is why the cassette resurgence among youngsters today does baffle me. But for "nostalgia" reasons I see it with some fondness anyway (a bit on the premise that "anyone who is into cassettes cannot be a bad person at heart" :D).

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I did not dump most of my records, nor did the real music people I know. I thought that those who did were suckers, because other than having no surface noise, those early CDs mostly sounded like shit compared to the LPs. Things are different now, of course, but for my money, I'm fine with listening to analog recordings in the analog domain.. Natural beauty and "perfection"...one without the other, again, that's for suckers.

To all the suckers out there who did ditch all your LPs, hey, thank you very much. Y'all made it much easier than it should have been!

Cassettes, though...hmmmmm...

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Reminiscing about the vinyl treasure troves I unearthed in London in the 90s I do think that these LPs ended up in the shops because there were quite a share of (probably older) collectors out there who, for example, dumped all their swing vinyl as soon as they were able to replace them by buying the entire Chrono(lo)gical Classics series instead. But his may have been a niche among collectors too.

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1 hour ago, bresna said:

But you're missing something here - most of us did dump all of our records. Sure, not for downloads, but for CDs. LP covers can be nice but even these old LP covers are mostly nostalgic and usually because at some point, our eyesight goes to shit.. LP covers get dings by simply putting them down wrong and ring wear from simply putting them away. Seams split on your favorite records because you made the mistake of playing it too many times. To make matters worse, they are often the main reason your records got scratched. You have to buy special liners or vinyl sleeves for the covers, which of course makes them even harder to store and look at and in the end, sterilize the look. Nothing ruins an old LP more than haveing to look at it through a 4 mil vinyl sleeve.

Yes, the CD artwork was smaller and took away from the "art" aspect of the LP cover, but you have to admit that the jewel case protected the CD and the artwork much better than the LP cover - an amazing concept! :) 

But this thread is not about LPs. It's about cassettes. You want to talk about tiny artwork? Cassette artwork had to be unfolded from under the cassette because it was so tiny. Even when my eyes worked well, I sometimes needed a magnifier for the printing in these things. I can't see anyone getting nostalgic about cassette artwork.

The jewel case became matte and scratched after ten times you play the cd, are fragile as hell and the "artwork" of the cd is just like a small photo of a painting, you can go to an art exhibition or a museum and look at the real thing on you can buy a catalog from Amazon. You could put a record's cover in a frame and you have something worth to look at on your wall. Anyway I never bought a prerecorded cassette in my life, since they weren't cheaper then records. I tried to expand the "nostalgia" issue you raised.

And yes like JSangry, I did not dump my old records, I started to buy all those "Complete Recordings" box sets that were really something back then. What I found irreplaceable about cd, after they discovered how to do a mastering in the digital domain, are those box sets of Armstrong, Bix, Ellington and the 78 rpm and shellac era.

Edited by porcy62

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I remember I put together a whole series of comps on cassette in the 80s. Some of which I still have (only a handful), like one called Welcome to the 70s, made in the 80s, long before the 70s revival that came in the 90s. What now would be called mixtapes, to hear on the beach or on any other excursions with my friends or by myself. I also multitracked songs on my father's Revox A77 machine when I was just 14 years old in the 70s. He would have killed us kids had he found out. It was forbidden to us kids to fiddle around with his equipment. Because he had bought it expensively in Germany and smuggled it in past customs. You have to consider that that was a different time from the present free circulation UE. With maybe 100% customs fees. And cars and all baggage were searched exhaustively.

Edited by Bluesnik

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I started knowingly/consciously collecting Blue Note as a label (as opposed to just getting the records because I was a fan of an artist) ca. 1977-78. When CDs started gaining traction, all of a sudden there were a big buttload of "rarities" suddenly available. You think I was going to walk away from that? Hell no!

And not just Blue Note, all of a sudden, people who couldn't hear past no surface noise didn't want ANYTHING on vinyl. Me, otoh, I A-B-ed the first CD of Aretha's Gold with an older LP I had, heard zero surface noise on the CD but at least as big of a zero punch as compared to the LP, and realized right there that I was not gonna be that sucker.

So yeah, thank you, suckers, all over the world!

 

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