Surprising news? After all, countless bands and solo artists have been incorporating cassettes into their release packages in recent years, and music fans are clearly taking up the option by snapping them up in their thousands. If this resurgence continues, then, might we see the same kind of universal revival that vinyl has enjoyed in recent times being applied to the humble cassette tape?
But fun accessories are okay! So with the news that cassette sales have doubled in the past year, we want to know: who still buys cassettes in ? Not for me. I find them soothing. Sales of pre-recorded music cassettes in the US dropped from million in toby The last new car with an available cassette player was a Lexus SC In India, music continued to be released on the cassette format due to its low cost until Although portable digital recorders are most common today, analog tape remains a desirable Vengeful Divinities - Decerebration - Pure Hatred (Cassette) for certain artists and consumers.
Even among major-label stars, the form has at least one devotee: Thurston Moore claimed in"I only listen to cassettes. InBotswana-based Diamond Studios announced plans  for establishing a plant to mass-produce cassettes in a bid to combat piracy.
It opened in In South Korea, the early English education boom for toddlers encourages a continuous demand for English language cassettes, as of [update]due to the affordable cost. National Audio Company Vengeful Divinities - Decerebration - Pure Hatred (Cassette) Missouri, the largest of the few remaining manufacturers of audio cassettes in the US, oversaw the mass production of the "Awesome Mix 1" cassette from the film Guardians of the Galaxy in Inretail chain Urban Outfitterswhich had long sold LPsstarted selling new pre-recorded cassettes both new and old albumsblank cassettes, and players.
Sincecassette sales have seen a modest resurgence, with, and all showing increases. The cassette was a great step forward in convenience from reel-to-reel audio tape recordingalthough, because of the limitations of the cassette's size and speed, it initially compared poorly in quality. Unlike the 4-track stereo open-reel format, the two stereo tracks of each side lie adjacent to each other, rather than being interleaved with the tracks of the other side.
This permitted monaural cassette players to play stereo recordings "summed" as mono tracks and permitted stereo players to play mono recordings through both speakers. The tape is 0. In stereo, each track is further divided into a left and a right channel of 0.
Cassette tapes are made of a polyester-type plastic film with a magnetic coating. The original magnetic material was based on gamma ferric oxide Fe 2 O 3. Circa3M Company developed a cobalt volume-doping process combined with a double-coating technique to enhance overall tape output levels. This product was marketed as "High Energy" under its Scotch brand of recording tapes. For this reason, some low-grade IEC Type I tapes have been marketed specifically as better suited for data storage than for sound recording.
In  DuPontthe inventor of chromium dioxide CrO 2 manufacturing process, began commercialization of CrO 2 media. The first CrO 2 cassette was introduced in by Advent and later strongly backed by BASFthe inventor and longtime manufacturer of magnetic recording tape.
Cobalt - adsorbed iron oxide Avilyn was introduced by TDK in and proved very successful. The tape coating on most cassettes sold today as either "normal" or "chrome" consists of ferric oxide and cobalt mixed in varying ratios and using various processes ; there are very few cassettes on the market that use a pure CrO 2 coating.
Simple voice recorders and earlier cassette decks are designed to work with standard ferric formulations. Newer tape decks usually are built with switches and later detectors for the different bias and equalization requirements for higher grade tapes.
The recording bias levels also were different. The quality normally is reflected in the price; Type I cassettes generally are the cheapest, and Type IV are usually the most expensive. BASF chrome tape used in commercially pre-recorded cassettes used type I equalization to allow greater high-frequency dynamic range for better sound quality, but the greater selling point for the music labels was that the Type I cassette shell could be used for both ferric and for chrome music cassettes.
Notches on top of the cassette shell indicate the type of tape. Type I cassettes have only write-protect notches, Type II have an additional pair next to the write protection ones, and Type IV metal have a third set near the middle of the top of the cassette shell. These allow later cassette decks to detect the tape type automatically and select the proper bias and equalization.
An exception to this standard were mechanical storytelling dolls from the s e. These toys used the Type IV notches to detect that a specially coded tape had been inserted, where the audio of the story is stored on the left channel and various cue tones to tell the doll's servos how and when to move along with the story on the right channel.
Tape length usually is measured in minutes of total playing time. The most popular varieties sometimes sold with a capital letter C prefixed are C46 23 minutes per sideC60 30 minutes per sideC90, and C The C46 and C60 lengths typically are 15 to 16 micrometers 0. Even C tapes were available at one time,  but these were extremely thin and fragile and suffered from such effects as print-throughwhich made them unsuitable for general use.
All of these were discontinued - Maxell simplified its cassette offer to 10, 20, 60 and minute lengths, [ when? Most manufacturers load more tape that a label indicates, for example 90 meters feet rather than 86 meters feet of tape for a C60 cassette, and or meters or feet rather than meters feet of tape for a C90 cassette, providing an extra minute or two of playback time per side.
Some companies included a complimentary blank cassette with their portable cassette recorders in the early s. Panasonic 's was a C14 and came with a song recorded on side one, and a blank side two.
Except for C74 and C, such non-standard lengths always have been hard to find, and tend to be more expensive than the more popular lengths. Home taping enthusiasts may have found certain lengths useful for fitting an album neatly on one or both sides of a tape. For instance, the initial maximum playback time of Compact Discs was 74 minutes, explaining the relative popularity of C74 cassettes.
The full tape width is 3. For mono recording the track width is 1. In stereo mode each channel has width of 0. The head gap of a tape recorder is the space, along the tape path, between the ends of the pole pieces of the head. Without a gap the head would produce a "closed" magnetic field and would not interact enough with the magnetic domains on the tape. A narrower gap would give a higher frequency limit but also weaker magnetization.
Separate record and playback heads were already a standard feature of more expensive reel-to-reel tape machines when cassettes were introduced, but their application to cassette recorders had to wait until demand developed for higher quality reproduction, and for sufficiently small heads to be produced. Most cassettes include a write protection mechanism to prevent re-recording and accidental erasure of important material.
There are two indentations on the top of a cassette corresponding to each side of the cassette. On blank cassettes these indentations are protected with plastic tabs that can be broken off to prevent recording on the corresponding side of the cassette. Occasionally and usually on higher-priced cassettes, manufacturers provided a movable panel that could be used to enable or disable write-protect on tapes.
Pre-recorded cassettes do not have protective tabs, leaving the indentations open. If later required, the cassette can be made recordable again by either covering the indentation with a piece of adhesive tape or by putting some filler material into the indentation. On some decks, the write-protect sensing lever can be manually depressed to allow recording on a protected tape.
Extra care is required to avoid covering the additional indents on high bias or metal bias tape cassettes adjacent to the write-protect tabs. In most cassettes, the magnetic tape is attached to each spool with a leader, usually made of strong plastic. This leader protects the weaker magnetic tape from the shock occurring when the tape reaches the end. Some leaders are designed to clean the magnetic heads each time the tape is played.
Leader also enables to record over an existing recording cleanly, without a blip of sound that otherwise would be left from the previous recording. Leaders can be complex: a plastic slide-in wedge anchors a short fully opaque plastic tape to the take-up hub; one or more tinted semi-opaque plastic segments follow; the clear leader a tintless semi-opaque plastic segment follows, which wraps almost all the way around the supply reel, before splicing to the magnetic tape itself.
The clear leader spreads the shock load to a long stretch of tape instead of to the microscopic splice. Various patents have been issued detailing leader construction and associated tape player mechanisms to detect leaders. The disadvantage with tape leaders is that the sound recording or playback does not start at the beginning of the tape, forcing the user to cue forward to the start of the magnetic section.
For certain applications, such as dictation, special cassettes containing leaderless tapes are made, typically with stronger material and for use in machines that had more sophisticated end-of-tape prediction.
Home computers that made use of cassettes as a more affordable alternative to floppy discs e. Some cassettes were made to play a continuous loop of tape without stopping. Lengths available are from around 30 seconds to a standard full length. They are used in situations where a short message or musical jingle is to be played, either continuously or whenever a device is triggered, or whenever continuous recording or playing is needed. Some include a sensing foil on the tape to allow tape players to re-cue.
From as early as various patents have been issued, covering such uses as uni-directional, bi-directional, and compatibility with auto-shut-off and anti-tape-eating mechanisms. One variant has a half-width loop of tape for an answering machine outgoing message, and another half-width tape on spools to record incoming messages.
Cassette tape adapters allow external audio sources to be played back from any tape player, but were typically used for car audio systems. An attached audio cable with a phone connector converts the electrical signals to be read by the tape head, while mechanical gears simulate reel to reel movement without actual tapes when driven by the player mechanism. This feature each includes a rail to guide the tape to the spool and prevent an unclean roll from forming.
The competition responded by inserting additional deflector pins closer to the coils in the lower plastic case half.
Some low-priced and pre-recorded compact cassettes were made without pulleys; the tape is pulled directly over the capstan drive. Cassette playback suffered from some flaws frustrating to both professionals and home recording enthusiasts. Tape speed could vary between devices, resulting in pitch that was too low or too high. Speed often was calibrated at the factory, and could not be changed by users.
The slow tape speed increased tape Vengeful Divinities - Decerebration - Pure Hatred (Cassette) and noise, and in practice delivered higher values of wow and flutter. Different tape formulation and noise reduction schemes artificially boosted or cut high frequencies and inadvertently elevated noise levels.
Noise reduction also adds some artifacts to the sound which a trained ear can hear, sometimes quite easily. Wow and Flutter, however, can sometimes be added intentionally to recordings for aesthetic reasons.
See Lo-fi music. A common mechanical problem occurred when a defective player or resistance in the tape path causes a failure to keep sufficient tension on the take-up spool. This would cause the magnetic tape to be fed out through the bottom of the cassette and become tangled in the mechanism of the player.
In these cases the player was said to have "eaten" or "chewed" the tape, often destroying the playability of the cassette.
The first cassette machines e. Early machines required attaching an external dynamic microphone. Most units from the s onwards also incorporated built-in condenser microphones, which have extended high-frequency response, but may also pick up noises from the recorder's motor. A portable recorder format still common today is a long box, the width of a cassette, with a speaker at the top, a cassette bay in the middle, and "piano key" controls at the bottom edge.
Another format is only slightly larger than the cassette, known popularly as the "Walkman" a Sony trademark. The markings of "piano key" controls soon converged and became a de facto standard. They are still emulated on many software control panels. These symbols are commonly a square for "stop", a vertically pointed triangle with a line under it for "eject", a right-pointing triangle for "play", double triangles for "fast-forward" and "rewind", a red dot for "record", and a vertically divided square two rectangles side-by-side for "pause".
Stereo recorders eventually evolved into high fidelity and were known as cassette decks, after the reel-to-reel decks. Hi-Fi cassette decks, in contrast to cassette recorders and cassette players, often didn't have built-in amplification or speakers.
Many formats of cassette players and recorders have evolved over the years. Initially all were top loading, usually with cassette on one side, and VU meters and recording level controls on the other side.
Older models used combinations of levers and sliding buttons for control. A major innovation was the front-loading arrangement. Pioneer 's angled cassette bay and the exposed bays of some Sansui models eventually were standardized as a front-loading door into which a cassette would be loaded.
Later models would adopt electronic buttons, and replace conventional meters which could be "pegged" when overloaded [ clarification needed ] with electronic LED or vacuum fluorescent displayswith level controls typically being controlled by either rotary controls or side-by-side sliders. BIC and Marantz briefly offered models that could be run at double speeds, but Nakamichi was widely recognized as one of the first companies to create decks that rivaled reel-to-reel decks with frequency response from the full 20—20, Hz range, low noise, and very low wow and flutter.
Unlike typical cassette decks that use a single head for both record and playback plus a second head for erasing, the Nakamichilike the better reel-to-reel recorders, used three separate heads to optimize these functions. Other contenders for the highest "HiFi" quality on this medium were two companies already widely known for their excellent quality reel-to-reel tape recorders: Tandberg and Revox consumer brand of the Swiss professional Studer company for studio equipment.
Tandberg started with combi-head machines, such as the TCDand continued with the TCD 3x0 series with separate playback and recording heads. All TCD-models possessed dual-capstan drives, belt-driven from a single capstan motor and two separate reel motors.
Frequency range extended to 18 kHz. After a disastrous overinvestment in colour television production, Tandberg folded and revived without the HiFi-branch these came from. Both cassette units possessed double capstan drives, but with two independent, electronically controlled capstan motors and two separate reel motors. The head assembly moved by actuating a damped solenoid movement, eliminating all belt drives and other wearable parts.
These machines rivaled the Nakamichi in frequency and dynamic range. A last step taken by Revox produced even more-advanced cassette drives with electronic fine tuning of bias and equalization during recording.
Revox also produced amplifiers, a very expensive FM tuner, and a pickup with a special parallel-arm mechanism of their own design. After releasing that product, Studer encountered financial difficulties. It had to save itself by folding its Revox-branch and all its consumer products except their last reel-to-reel recorder, the B While some [ who? Technically, both camps in this debate were still within the original cassette specification as no tolerance for frequency response is provided above Decreasing noise at 16 kHz also decreases the maximum signal level at 16 kHz, the HighFrequency-Dynamics stay almost constant.
HX Pro was adopted by many other high-end manufacturers. As they became aimed at more casual users, fewer decks had microphone inputs. Dual decks became popular and incorporated into home entertainment systems of all sizes for tape dubbing.
Although the quality would suffer each time a source was copied, there are no mechanical restrictions on copying from a record, radio, or another cassette source. Even as CD recorders are becoming more popular, some incorporate cassette decks for professional applications. Another format that made an impact on culture in the s was the radio-cassette, aka the " boom box " a name used commonly only in English-speaking North Americawhich combined the portable cassette deck with a radio tuner and speakers capable of producing significant sound levels.
These devices became synonymous with urban youth culture in entertainment, leading to the nickname "ghetto blaster". The boom box also allowed people to enjoy music on the go and share it with friends, contributing to cultural practises such as breakdancing. Applications for car stereos varied widely. Auto manufacturers in the US typically would fit a cassette slot into their standard large radio faceplates. In the s and s, as the cost of building CD players declined, many manufacturers offered a CD player.
The CD player eventually supplanted the cassette deck as standard equipment, but some cars, especially those targeted at older drivers, were offered with the option of a cassette player, either by itself or sometimes in combination with a CD slot.
Most new cars can still accommodate aftermarket cassette players, and the auxiliary jack advertised for MP3 players can be used also with portable cassette players, but was the first model year for which no manufacturer offered factory-installed cassette players. Although the cassettes themselves were relatively durable, the players required regular maintenance to perform properly.
Head cleaning may be done with long swabs, soaked with isopropyl alcoholor cassette-shaped devices that could be inserted into a tape deck to remove buildup of iron-oxide from the headstape-drive capstan, and pinch-roller. Some otherwise normal recording tapes included sections of leader that could clean the tape heads. One of the concerns of the time Vengeful Divinities - Decerebration - Pure Hatred (Cassette) was the use of abrasive cleaning tape.
Some of the cleaning tapes actually felt rough to the touch and were considered damaging to the heads. The main thing to consider is the spread of gears on the cassette. The smaller the difference between the highest and lowest number of teeth, the smaller the jump between gears; facilitating a smoother gear change.
However, having closer-geared sprockets will normally decrease the size of the largest sprocket on the cassette, leaving you with a gear ratio that may be less suited to climbing and tough terrain. The largest sprocket on a road bike cassette is generally smaller than those on mountain bikes, providing smaller jumps between gears. Most road bike cassettes have an 11, 12, or tooth smallest sprocket, then between 21 and 32 teeth on the largest sprocket.
The vast majority of road bikes come with a cassette, which is suitable for most cycling terrain when paired with a compact or standard chainset. If you ride a lot of hills or struggle with hill climbing, a cassette with a lower ratio largest sprocket 27 or more teeth may be beneficial.
It will allow you to keep spinning for longer, rather than grinding. When Vengeful Divinities - Decerebration - Pure Hatred (Cassette) a cassette for your road bike, ensure your derailleur can accommodate the largest sprocket.
A longer cage rear derailleur is needed for larger sprockets because more chain is required to go around the greater number of teeth. Use a small cage derailleur with a large sprocket cassette and you'll risk over-stretching the derailleur. You may also see the chain becomes slack when riding in the smaller sprockets on the cassette. View our full range of road bike cassettes at Wiggle. Mountain bike cassettes have a larger range of sprocket sizes due to the wide variety of gradients encountered on an off-road trail.
Riding a flat forest track and then hitting a steep technical climb requires a major jump in gears. To accommodate this, the sprocket sizes on mountain bike cassettes require bigger gaps, which means sacrificing some of the smooth, tight shifting enjoyed by road versions. The creation of 11, 12, and now even speed cassettes was a significant development for mountain biking. The larger number of sprockets means the biggest gear can have a huge number of teeth - providing easier gears for impossible climbs Vengeful Divinities - Decerebration - Pure Hatred (Cassette) while reducing the scale of the jump between each gear.
This evolution allowed mountain bikers to do away with their triple chainsets, including the small get-out-of-jail chainring, often derided as "the granny ring". Instead, mountain bikers can run double or even single chainsets, reducing weight, clutter, and the frequency of mechanical problems. Now, speed mountain bike cassettes come in sprocket ranges such as, and Meanwhile, speed mountain bike cassettes come in even larger sprocket ranges, providing an even greater gear ratio choice, such asand even
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