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Nakamichi 500 Dual-Tracer

Two Head Stereo Cassette Deck (1974-78)

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Nakamichi 500 Dual-Tracer


The Nakamichi 500 is the most advanced two-head cassette deck ever made.

At the heart of this outstanding system is Nakamichi's unique head, a technological breakthrough that closely approaches the performance capabilities of our world famous three had cassette decks.

Nakamichi Research Inc, whose meteoric rise to global renown stems from the new technology used to enhance the two Nakamichi three-head cassette deck Tri Tracer systems (1000 and 700), now takes pleasure in presenting a two-head cassette system which in every way echoes Tri Tracer originality and reliability.

The new Nakamichi 500 is of special significance because of newly-developed Focused-Gap type record/playback heads designed by Nakamichi to give a far better head-saturation level than is found in other two-head systems.

Consequently, the Dual Tracer's dynamic range is greatly extended, and in fact in terms of two-head cassette technology it offers a frequency response and signal-to-noise ratio that put it well out in front, even though it arrived late on the scene!


Type: 2-head, single compact cassette deck

Track System: 4-track, 2-channel stereo

Tape Speed: 4.8 cm/s

Heads: 1 x record/playback, 1 x erase

Motor: DC servo

Tape Type: type I, CrO2

Noise Reduction: B

Frequency Response: 40Hz to 17kHz  (Cr02 tape)

Signal to Noise Ratio: 63dB  (dolby B)

Wow and Flutter: 0.13%

Total Harmonic Distortion: 1.5%

Input: 70mV (line), 0.2mV (mic)

Output: 1V (line)

Dimensions: 15 x 4.5 x 10 inches

Weight: 15.5lbs

Year: 1974


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Reviewed Jun 09th, 2017 by audionut69

Fantastic machine. Reason it is so hot is that the head material used is far more efficient magnetically. Ergo, it uses less recording equalization and can be driven harder (more of a signal can be recorded without overloading the tape) when recording . Conversely, on playback it needs less playback rolloff.

Negatively, tapes made on this machine must be played back on a Nak or it will sound like it is lacking in the high end. Conversely a tape made on another machine will have a rising high end on playback due to the different equalizations used.

Signal to noise ratio and dynamic range is awesome and the deck comes close to matching the best reel to reel decks out there..

Reviewed Mar 31st, 2012 by Palko

Superior 2 head unit



re: 500 Dual-Tracer

I am not a cassette fanĂș but got this Nak 500 was not impressed reproducing Decca pre recorded tapes but did get highly impressed recording and playing back the recorded material,this unit made me forget my Advent 201 from back in the 70s,far superior ,nice two heads unit.The mechanical transport is very tough but reliable.

This website is not affiliated with or sponsored by Nakamichi. To purchase 500 Dual-Tracer spares or accessories, please contact the company via their website or visit an authorised retailer.