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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Nakamichi 600 Mk II


I paid $ 30 for this machine in minty conditions decades ago… everyone was crazy about CDs at the time and reel to reel and cassette recorders were sold for peanuts.

These days - in a personal grunge mood - I’m using it a lot and, believe it or not, I’m enjoying cassette sound a lot, so raw and with a primitive punch which makes vinyl disc and silver disk to sound a bit “effeminate”, too polished and educated.

A nice picture of a 600 Mk I

Today a friend made my day as he offered to me a spare plexiglas dust-cover for my trusty Nakamichi 600 - a machine he also owns and appreciates - and he added an interesting statement supporting my feelings about the old Nakamichi’s:

 I have had so many Nakamichis’ over the years. The 500 and the 600 were my favorites. It’s a beautiful, elegant machine.

The one micron head is the reason it sounds so good and performs so well.  A dear friend from Nakamichi expressed that this tape head was so expensive to make that they lost money on each 500 and 600 series tape deck!

It was later replaced in 1980 with the BX-1 Sankyo head and transport that nearly everyone used. To me that was the end of Nakamichi.”

Strange or not, I today enjoyed a mighty Nakamichi Dragon in mint conditions and, while undoubtedly the frequency range was more extended and refined on top, the overall sound (I asked for a “Cheap Thrills” cassette which I enjoyed yesterday on Gotorama) was - someway and to my surprise - missing the “magic” I quoted in recent Blog’s posts, this fabled @time machine@ feature.

My pal system was “only” playing magnificent, detailed and tonally correct… what the Dragon did was delivering the perfect “audiophile” sound.

Like a ‘70s Fender Twin Reverb sounds more right for blues and rock, Nakamichi 600 is more right for ‘60/70s rock, unpolished and “bad” sounding as rock deserves!

A question: is so called “audiophile sound” less “musical”?

Mumble-mumble mode 😳

Thanks to Norman and Arnaldo 🥇🎶🥂🥇🎶

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