Cassette Comeback and Where To Buy Used Tapes

In 2020 cassette sales were up about 100% from 2019 and continues to grow. Countless bands and artists have been incorporating cassette tapes into their release plan even though mainstream audience have turned digital. Physical media is still preferred by some and provides a different kind of listening experience.

For one, cassette tapes are easy and simple to put into the cassette deck to play. Having a physical media is also a feeling a lot of us can connect with as there is something to touch and feel. It’s also great to listen to music that you can’t easily skip, forward or rewind. While being able to easily select tracks are advantages of digital source and streaming services, it also adds layers of complicated decision making. Cassettes force you to listen to the whole album and that’s a good thing.

Then there is this thing called analog warmth. While by specs, tape quality isn’t better than CD or even high bitrate digital audio files, some people love the analog sound. The imperfections that give tape playing its warmth is not something a digital file can replicate, kind of like listening to guitar notes coming out of a live amp.

Where to buy cassette decks?
While manufacturers are not producing cassette decks anymore, you can still find them at any thrift store. But buying online is your best bet. Sites like Ebay, Craigslist local for sale pages and Shop Goodwill have plethora of people selling used and good quality cassette decks. Just search any brand cassette decks and you’re sure to find many available options. Some common affordable vintage decks are made by Sony, Onkyo, Denon, TEAC, Technics, Pioneer, Kenwood, JVC, and Aiwa just to name a few. More premium decks are also made by Onkyo, Sony, Nakamichi, Marantz and NAD. You need to read the descriptions carefully as many vintage decks are 20-30 years old. Some parts may not be functioning properly and you need to know what you are paying for.

There are also vintage cassette deck sites that you can do your research to look up specs. They include these sites as an example when searching for Onkyo TA-RW244 cassette deck information:

Where to buy used tapes?
Ebay is also a good place to find used music tapes from your favorite artists. If you need some cheap tapes to get your collection started, what you want to do is search for cassette lots. A lot of sellers allow you pick what you want from their lots. They will also combine shipping so you end up paying $2-$5 each for a cassette depending on the album. Etsy is another place you can find used tapes from different artists. Just do a search for cassettes and you’ll see many vendors await your business.

It’s highly advised that you dive in and enjoy one of the best part of the 80s- Cassette Culture!