hifi engine

The Original Near Hi-Fi Cassette Deck



The Original Near Hi-Fi Cassette Deck

The Harman Kardon CAD-4 received accolade upon accolade when it was first manufactured back in 1969, but cassettes were in their infancy so many more advancements were on the way. The original specs of this machine touted a then (1969) amazing flat frequency response of 20 to 12.5 Khz and a S/N ratio of 45db (no Dolby yet), it was still only capable of recording on Type 1 tape, as CrO2 tape was still in development. Dupont Crolyn, the predecessor of Type II tapes, was to be released soon and other manufacturers like Advent and Fisher offered machines that took advantage of the better S/N ratios. The original CAD-4 had rotary knobs for input level but a later update, the CAD-4A had sliders. The CAD-5 had built in Dolby and a sort of backwards way of being type II capable. Instead of taking advantage of CrO2's natural ability to raise frequency response, thereby using a 70 microsecond eq on playback, the CAD-5 went backwards and altered the record curve for CrO2 tapes so the standard 120 microsecond eq was still used. The normal/ chrome select switch didn't affect the playback curve, as the standard later stated, but kept the 120 microsecond for both tape types.