Nakamichi DR-10 Tape Decks

DR-10

3 Discrete Heads Cassette Deck

User Reviews (14)

Showing 1-10 of 14  
jayhawks   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 10, 2002]
Strength:

Dynamic range, frequency response, sonic imaging and separation, build quality

Weakness:

Rewind/fast-forward a bit slow

A very solid, warm-sounding machine; an absolute pleasure to use and listen to. With cassettes in the bargain bin at record stores now, this machine gives a real alternative to spending $12-$15 per CD. An A/B comparison between identical Miles Davis tunes on CD and tape, for example, revealed only a slight difference in sound quality, not what I would call inferiority. I haven''t recorded anything of my own with the deck yet but expect excellent results from high-quality blank tape.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
David Seeker   AudioPhile [Mar 22, 2002]
Strength:

Simply, the finest cassette deck in the world. The best from any other manufacturer doesn''t come close.

Weakness:

Not quite as good as it could be! Slight upper-mid emphasis, slight very low bass roll-off. Irritating necessity of having to manually select tape type - but you get used to it!

A little update - I''ve now used this thing for about 4 months, and it does get used every day! It is superb, but flawed. If the audio electronics were as good as they should be it would be near perfect (within the limits of the medium). The most astonishing thing about this deck is the quality of the heads, which are, without doubt, the best in the world. Forget Aiwas, Akais, Sonys etc., I''ve heard them all and none come close to the quality of this machine, even allowing for its slightly dodgy audio side. My good friend has an Akai GX95 II Reference machine. I used to think that cassette reproduction couldn''t get any better than that - but I have been proven wrong by this amazing beast. It is in a different league, despite the fact that the electronics on the Akai are more transparent! Strange, but quite obviously true, when you listen to them both. Basically, what it loses to the Akai in transparency it more than compensates for by being able to make near perfect recordings (apart from a little hiss, which is almost unnoticeable - the music sounds so good), even on ferric tape. This brings me to another incredibly impressive aspect of this machine. You can use cheap ferrics (TDK D, Maxell UR - I even tried some REALLY cheap Sony mulitpack tapes) and make recordings that are fundamentally better than those made with TDK SA on other decks. This is due to the superb heads and transport. You might think I''m exaggerating, but ask any other Nakamichi user and they''ll know what I mean. That''s not to say that using SA isn''t worthwhile - it is - but it''s amazing what you can achieve with such cheap tapes, and it makes you realise that the limiting factor with other machines is not the tapes, but the machines themselves. Using SA it is virtually impossible to tell the difference when switching from source to tape during record. I''ve had many three head decks over the years, and none have been able to achieve such remarkable performance. The DR 10 doesn''t use Dolby HXPro either. It just doesn''t need it. The frequency response goes up to 21Khz, even with ferrics - and it sounds it - there isn''t the usual ''cassette sound'' top-end roll-off that you get with other decks. At £299 this machine is an outstanding bargain. It seems rock solid and very well built. You will not regret buying it.

Similar Products Used: Aiwa, Akai, Sony, Yamaha, TEAC etc.....
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
David Seeker   AudioPhile [Mar 22, 2002]
Strength:

Simply, the finest cassette deck in the world. The best from any other manufacturer doesn''t come close.

Weakness:

Not quite as good as it could be! Slight upper-mid emphasis, slight very low bass roll-off. Irritating necessity of having to manually select tape type - but you get used to it!

A little update - I''ve now used this thing for about 4 months, and it does get used every day! It is superb, but flawed. If the audio electronics were as good as they should be it would be near perfect (within the limits of the medium). The most astonishing thing about this deck is the quality of the heads, which are, without doubt, the best in the world. Forget Aiwas, Akais, Sonys etc., I''ve heard them all and none come close to the quality of this machine, even allowing for its slightly dodgy audio side. My good friend has an Akai GX95 II Reference machine. I used to think that cassette reproduction couldn''t get any better than that - but I have been proven wrong by this amazing beast. It is in a different league, despite the fact that the electronics on the Akai are more transparent! Strange, but quite obviously true, when you listen to them both. Basically, what it loses to the Akai in transparency it more than compensates for by being able to make near perfect recordings (apart from a little hiss, which is almost unnoticeable - the music sounds so good), even on ferric tape. This brings me to another incredibly impressive aspect of this machine. You can use cheap ferrics (TDK D, Maxell UR - I even tried some REALLY cheap Sony mulitpack tapes) and make recordings that are fundamentally better than those made with TDK SA on other decks. This is due to the superb heads and transport. You might think I''m exaggerating, but ask any other Nakamichi user and they''ll know what I mean. That''s not to say that using SA isn''t worthwhile - it is - but it''s amazing what you can achieve with such cheap tapes, and it makes you realise that the limiting factor with other machines is not the tapes, but the machines themselves. Using SA it is virtually impossible to tell the difference when switching from source to tape during record. I''ve had many three head decks over the years, and none have been able to achieve such remarkable performance. The DR 10 doesn''t use Dolby HXPro either. It just doesn''t need it. The frequency response goes up to 21Khz, even with ferrics - and it sounds it - there isn''t the usual ''cassette sound'' top-end roll-off that you get with other decks. At £299 this machine is an outstanding bargain. It seems rock solid and very well built. You will not regret buying it.

Similar Products Used: Aiwa, Akai, Sony, Yamaha, TEAC etc.....
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Gary Fryer   AudioPhile [Feb 02, 2002]
Strength:

Nakamichi discrete heads, stable transport. ''Lust factor''.

Weakness:

Remote available ONLY via Nakamichi receivers. Corners cut in audio stages. Not as well built as previous Naks.

This deck cost me £299 sterling. It was originally priced at £799. I considered this purchase carefully, compact cassette is after all soon to be ''laid to rest''. After much soul searching and a re-count of my tape collection (itself collecting dust in the ''junk room''), I finally took the plunge and bought one (fulfilment of a childhood dream to own a Nak). This deck sounds fab. Solid transport, good heads - though as previously mentioned it is let down slightly by the quality of its audio stages (It doesn''t even have gold-plated RCA''s). Yes it''s true, the linear tape counter is next to useless, there are no frills and no uneccessary logos or paragraphs of marketing ''techno-nonsense'' silk-screened to it''s subtle exterior. Bottom line is simply, if you''ve got some old tapes you''d like to play or transfer to a digital medium, at this price you can''t go wrong. You simply have to pay more now to get similar performance from another manufacturer.

Similar Products Used: AV Engineer - too many to mention!
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Will   Audio Enthusiast [May 18, 2001]

Just want to let you people out there to know that this player is on sale for $299 anywhere. I am seeing a lot of geniuses out there bidding at over 3 to 4 hundred $$ for a new or refurbuished one at ubid.com!!! Be smart!

Anyway, I heard this player is good and I am planning on getting one if people stop bidding this thing up crazy.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
ashraf qashoqa   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 22, 2001]
Strength:

build quality,the most important features,sound quality,no decoration in the shape.

Weakness:

slow forward and rewind,very sensitive heads,

I bought this deck for around 750$ from California,usa (you can get it cheaper)on 20-4-20001. this deck is made for people who are really intrested in recording cassettes whom dont like digital technology. after opening the box of the deck I was surprised for the heavy weight because nakamichi says it weights 5.4kg in fact Ididnt put it on a balance, any way I had alow end two head onkyo 6310 which was written on it 5kg but the dr-10 weights twice.
build quality is very high that you cant imagine it is made in Malysia, there is many Japanese decks which dont come close to him in build quality. I have seen many high end decks(pioneer ct-93,teac v8030) but none of them was made classicaly I mean without unneeded features for example motor open door, automatic bias adjustment, music search so this deck is much professional than others.
despite the numbers of the technical specification are low abit comparing other high end decks the sound says not, it is very clear in all the frequences.
The head of the deck is some thing strang there are 5 skrwes to adjust the azmuth which is something you can see in cassette duplicators. the head reads things that others dont,this makes aproblem when you find that most of your cassettes are not well recorded, finally this deck is something hard to find in these days so buy it if you are only intrsted in analog audio.

Similar Products Used: none for the same price
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Les Howard   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 12, 2001]
Strength:

Sound quality, stable transport, good build quality

Weakness:

operation, no remote,tape tuning, tape counter

I was in 2 minds whether to buy this machine, the Aiwa machine still works quite well, but I had always wanted a top rate tape machine, and always ended up with cheaper types.
I was also aware that the Mini-disc has a lot of advantages but I suppose the huge discount price persuaded me.

Initial impressions are favourable,I'm was very impressed by extended top end response with pre-recorded tapes, this also indicated that the azimuth had been accurately set up,so many machines aren't. There is also a tremendous insight into the music the detail is most impressive.Another thing that stands out is the stability of the transport which gives a near cd like solidy, the soundstage is wide with very good depth, focus and ambience.The only possible failing is the possibility of excessive sybilance on voice, and as the previous writer said, possibly a slightly shrill upper mid, but I need more listening to other tapes to see if this is a real problem.

It's on the recording operation taht i think the machine is let down.The machine does not come with i,t,s own oscillator so the bias has to be adjusted by ear, not an easy thing to do as one has to constantly listen for cymbal type sounds to readily perceive any change.This brings me on to the bias control itself.The action of this seems very slight and a greater range would be better. To really set up tapes the sensitivity needs to be adjusted to allow the Dolby NR to operate correctly but this adjustment is missing.
The tape counter is near useless, or is counting in seconds I have yet to check this out.The meters are fast but i like the Sony type which are fast and also show peaks held for a second to make it easier to see.
No remote control is a real let down,if off air recording is being done then a remote allows the user to sit comfortably and not wait crouched at the machine, finger poised on the rcord buttons.As said by others, the tape winding is painfully slow.
Summing up..Good sound quality, but dissapponted by the exclusion of some very useful controls.The build quality is good but not as good as older real Japenese
machines..I would be dissappointed if i had paid £800.

Overall it makes me wonder if Nakamichi produced this machine cheaply to cash in on it,s name, knowing that cassette recording is dead for the majority of the public on it,s shift to digital, and it won't be making anymore tape machinem..Just a thought....


Similar Products Used: Sony, Aiwa, nakamichi.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
David Seeker   Audiophile [Dec 11, 2001]
Strength:

Heads, transport, build.

Weakness:

Audio electronics, ease of use.

A great mechanism and the best cassette deck heads in the world. What lets it down somewhat is the quality of the audio electronics, which are not transparent. You lose some very low end and the upper mid becomes a little shrill.

Playback of old/pre-recorded tapes is excellent. Speed stability also fine. Fast forward/rewind irritatingly slow. Manual tape type selection is a pain.

I bought this deck heavily discounted (299 UKP) and feel that it was a good deal. However, if I'd paid the full 800 UKP list price I would have been a little unhappy with the quality of those electronics.

The rest of my system btw is Naim pre/power/hicap/Tannoy floor standing monitors, which is very revealing and makes obvious the deficiency mentioned earlier.

Similar Products Used: Sony,Akai,Yamaha.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Jamil Taylor   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 19, 1999]
Strength:

Sound reproduction

Weakness:

None

This tape deck replaced my DR-3 (which is now labeled DR-8). It offers three tape heads instead of the two that my old Nakamichi had. This allows monitoring of tape audio as it is being recorded. Other than that, it has identical features that the old DR-3 had.

I like the convience of casette recordings, and I record and playback often. Regardless of the source I record from, I cannot distinguish differences in sound quality with this tape deck. Of course the type and brand of casette used makes a difference. One thing I have noticed is that the instruction manual for Nakamichi tape decks no longer include casette brand recomendations (they used to list a few brands and type of tapes their units were tested with).

If you compare this unit with other current tape decks available, none seem to even come close. Just take a look at the frequency ranges of sound for the different model decks for an example of this.

Similar Products Used: Nakamichi DR-3
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Haroon Rashid   Audiophile [Jun 02, 2001]
Strength:

Recording controls -- very clear sound, makes bad recordings sound better, and good really great -- nice look

Weakness:

Bias Control for recording doesn't make much difference -- No Remote -- No search for selecting a particular track

My Sony cassette deck broke down (thankfully) and I needed to get a new one. I still have over 500 or so tapes from the good old days, and would be very reluctant to trash such a valuable collection.

I've always known about this product but it was always too expensive for my pocket. Now, thanks to the Nakamichi close-out sale, their dealers are offering this product at 1/3 of the original price.

I like to make recordings from CDs -- kind of compilations, and I really like the controls this product gives you for recording. The recording levels, balance, Dolby, and tape monitor work really well. The Bias Tune doesn't do much though.

My old cassettes of over fifteen years which I had not listened to for a while, now sound really good. It's not correct to say that this deck makes bad recordings sound worse. Actually, it's exactly the opposite.

I still like the sound of analog sources and for anyone who likes to make recordings from vinyl onto a metal bias tape on a Nakamichi deck, I say, it's a shot worth making.

Similar Products Used: Sansui, Sony, Akai
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 14  

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