I have moaned in this space before about the end of the golden age of home audio, and the tyranny of compressed digital files, as played through ear buds linked wirelessly to smartphones, serving as modern civilization’s default option for listening to music. I do go on and on, and I know what I sound like. I sound like a superannuated fossil-in-waiting, looking askance at a shiny new Tesla and waxing eloquent about his old Duesenberg.
To which I say:
a) your smartphone is in no way to high fidelity audio what a Tesla is to automotive transportation: and,
b) Tesla or not, have you ever seen a Duesenberg?
Well, this is a Duesenburg:
…and this is a Nakamichi RX-505 cassette deck, one of a legendary series of high-end analog masterpieces that included the Dragon, ZX-9 and CR-7:
…very much the Duesenberg of the stereophile set, and quite apart from how marvellous these things sound, which don’t even get me started, this particular model, as demonstrated by the example now resting in my home office stereo rack, does this when it reaches the end of a tape side:
Yup, it flips the tape for you. “Unidirectional auto reverse”, they called it. Tell me that isn’t cool.
You can get a nice used 505 for about $4,000.00, or less if you just go on eBay and buy one from some rando who says “powers up and the lights come on” in the product description. The car is a little more. The one pictured above is going for a very reasonable $US 455,000, but it’s only that cheap because it’s a replica built in 1988. The real ones are harder to come by – I remember one that went for three million in 2016, so you can see why I stick to vintage electronics, which, relatively speaking, aren’t a very expensive hobby at all. That’s what I tell Kathy, anyway.