Decks and plugs and rock and roll: Tascam CD-A750 cassette and CD combo

I'll give you my tapes when you pry them from my cold, dead hands

Legacy issues

I was pleased that the CD player lived up to its billing and handled non-CD audio discs without complaint. It will also replay MP3 and .WAV files on disc. I tried out an MP3 compilation which featured over 140 tracks. The remote control comes in handy here to type in track numbers for playback. You can also see track names and artist and dive into different folders both the remote and the front panel.

Tascam CD-A750 compact cassette deck and CD player combo

Apparently there a 55 buttons on this remote – it's a bit on the big side

A neat feature adorning both the CD player and the tape deck are their separate pitch control (varispeed) knobs. You can vary the CD playback by ±12.5% and the cassette playback by ±10%. I had hoped I could get a super slow playback effect by setting the CD to its lowest speed and recording with the tape deck set to its highest speed. Afterwards, normal playback on the cassette deck would then sound slower still. However, it seems that varispeed tape recording is not permitted, perhaps with good reason.

That aside, varispeed is useful for tuning purposes and, in non-pitch critical situations, enables playback duration to be tailored to fit. Got an archived sermon tape to get through for a restless congregation? The varispeed could be a godsend.

Remote access

The Tascam CD-A750 remote has a number of other features for cueing, repeat playback and even a continuous playback alternating between the CD player and the tape deck. A dubbing mode automates CD recording and sets a default level which can be adjusted too. The remote is absolutely littered with buttons and destined to become a constant companion.

Tascam CD-A750 compact cassette deck and CD player combo

The transport control layout isn't the most obvious on the cassette side of things

I say this because the biggest jolt when using the tape deck was the layout of the transport controls. The tiny fast-forward and rewind buttons defied logic and I was frequently tapping the forward and reverse play buttons by mistake. The remote makes it all a lot clearer.

Overall, the CD-A750 acquitted itself well and it has a number of useful features that you’ll be hard pressed to find elsewhere. I wondered if Tascam had any bespoke apps or suggestions for the RS-232 and parallel interfacing but the best it could come back with was that “it should work with any third-party controllers via the RS232 port.” Well that was an insightful response, thanks guys. Those Crestron and Extron links earlier give an idea of what can be done, iPad control is probably an option through various means.

Tascam CD-A750 compact cassette deck and CD player combo

Sellers' market? With so few alternatives, there's a price premium on these Tascam and Teac offerings

The Reg Verdict

It's probably fair to say that Tascam's main focus is on other products that are more of the moment. Its tape deck portfolio sales are no doubt rather niche these days, which may well explain the price. The CD-A750 costs £699, which seems extremely high given that this is no audiophile tape deck and the CD unit is a player only.

If you’re happy to forego the balanced XLR interfacing and the serial and parallel connections, the CD-A550 is the otherwise identical alternative for £525. And if the CD isn’t important either, then the double deck 202 mkV is probably your best bet at £415.

Whatever your preference or intended purpose, there’s not a lot out there to choose from regarding alternative manufacturers. So if you’re after new compact cassette equipment that’s more than a toy, then it seems Tascam and Teac have got it taped. ®

Tascam CD-A750 compact cassette deck and CD player combo

Decks and plugs and rock and roll: Tascam CD-A750 cassette and CD combo

Compact cassette recorder and CD player combo with balanced audio interfacing featuring parallel and serial transport control.
Price: £699 (CD-A750), £525 (CD-A550) RRP

Other stories you might like

  • Zuckerberg sued for alleged role in Cambridge Analytica data-slurp scandal
    I can prove CEO was 'personally involved in Facebook’s failure to protect privacy', DC AG insists

    Cambridge Analytica is back to haunt Mark Zuckerberg: Washington DC's Attorney General filed a lawsuit today directly accusing the Meta CEO of personal involvement in the abuses that led to the data-slurping scandal. 

    DC AG Karl Racine filed [PDF] the civil suit on Monday morning, saying his office's investigations found ample evidence Zuck could be held responsible for that 2018 cluster-fsck. For those who've put it out of mind, UK-based Cambridge Analytica harvested tens of millions of people's info via a third-party Facebook app, revealing a – at best – somewhat slipshod handling of netizens' privacy by the US tech giant.

    That year, Racine sued Facebook, claiming the social network was well aware of the analytics firm's antics yet failed to do anything meaningful until the data harvesting was covered by mainstream media. Facebook repeatedly stymied document production attempts, Racine claimed, and the paperwork it eventually handed over painted a trail he said led directly to Zuck. 

    Continue reading
  • Florida's content-moderation law kept on ice, likely unconstitutional, court says
    So cool you're into free speech because that includes taking down misinformation

    While the US Supreme Court considers an emergency petition to reinstate a preliminary injunction against Texas' social media law HB 20, the US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday partially upheld a similar injunction against Florida's social media law, SB 7072.

    Both Florida and Texas last year passed laws that impose content moderation restrictions, editorial disclosure obligations, and user-data access requirements on large online social networks. The Republican governors of both states justified the laws by claiming that social media sites have been trying to censor conservative voices, an allegation that has not been supported by evidence.

    Multiple studies addressing this issue say right-wing folk aren't being censored. They have found that social media sites try to take down or block misinformation, which researchers say is more common from right-leaning sources.

    Continue reading
  • US-APAC trade deal leaves out Taiwan, military defense not ruled out
    All fun and games until the chip factories are in the crosshairs

    US President Joe Biden has heralded an Indo-Pacific trade deal signed by several nations that do not include Taiwan. At the same time, Biden warned China that America would help defend Taiwan from attack; it is home to a critical slice of the global chip industry, after all. 

    The agreement, known as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), is still in its infancy, with today's announcement enabling the United States and the other 12 participating countries to begin negotiating "rules of the road that ensure [US businesses] can compete in the Indo-Pacific," the White House said. 

    Along with America, other IPEF signatories are Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Combined, the White House said, the 13 countries participating in the IPEF make up 40 percent of the global economy. 

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022