I still have a 3 head Denon deck with closed loop capstan drive, adjustable bias, dolby c and HXpro. I have loaned it to my step dad has he has many audio cassettes he wants to convert to CD and I never used it anymore. I even still have 5 brand new metal Maxell tapes that are probably way over 10 years old.
Once I got a CD burner I pretty much gave up on analog tape but still wanted the option should a need to transfer something or listen to it arise.
Back when I started building my very first stereo system for myself the first thing I bought was a Akai 4000ds MK II reel to reel back about 77 while I was in High School, That was the best sounding tape system you could get then, at least the format was. I didn’t have a car yet and I wanted the best dubs of records and FM I could get. Later Cassettes finally became good enough for me to consider so I started doing both formats, cd was not even a glimmer on the horizon yet. After a while I quit using the R to R and went to the smaller format, it sounded about as good and was way easier to store and use because of size, then we got cars…
I finally traded the Akai and all the tapes I had away and used the cassette machines after about 89 exclusively. I got a PC about 90, a cd burner about 98, and after that the tape units were done.
Just recently I picked up a few Akai Glass headed reel to reels as my step dad found a bunch of 30 to 50 year old tapes he forgot about and I converted all of the working ones to cd for him. Now I remember the cool part about tape, it’s huge, it’s heavy, and if the machine is working right and is tuned to the tape it still sounds great. BUT you can’t hardly find new blank tapes, and the ones that are made cost about $35 each for the top qaulity ones, used tapes are a crap shoot as they are so old there may have turned to sticky goo by now and wont play or record, the good brands and types are well known and can cost as much as a new tape sometime… I was paying about 5 each for top quality Maxell ud-3590 tapes, and maybe 2 bucks each for the same thing or close on cassettes.
Now everybody listens to records again, I don’t miss the snaps, pops, and general noise on a typical record, though my lil sisters hubby has a maga dollar turntable that can make vinyl sound awesome, but it still sounds like a record…
Anyways been playing with audio for a long time, so just had to throw all that in