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Nakamichi CR-1

Two Head Stereo Cassette Deck (1988-90)

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Nakamichi CR-1


The CR-1 cassette deck incorporates many aspects of the sophisticated technology developed for Nakamichi's upper range models.

In a simple and compact package, this deck delivers sound quality that rivals many of its peers.

Specifications are guaranteed, as each deck is painstakingly adjusted at the factory.

Outstanding basic recording and playback performance is complemented by attractive design and exceptional ease of use.


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: 1 x reel, 1 x capstan, 1 x mechanism

Tape Type: type I, CrO2, Metal

Noise Reduction: B, C

Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz  (Metal tape)

Signal to Noise Ratio: 70dB  (dolby C)

Wow and Flutter: 0.06%

Total Harmonic Distortion: 1.0%

Input: 50mV (line)

Output: 0.5V (line)

Dimensions: 430 x 100 x 265mm

Weight: 5.4kg

Year: 1988


Related Catalogues

Home Audio


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Reviewed Nov 30th, 2019 by

Playback is amazing on this simple, little machine. Clean heads and normal maintenance should keep it running smoothly throughout the years. There aren't any bells and whistles, and it is straight up just a cassette deck - but it is solid, and sounds great. My only issue is that the peak meters aren't the most detailed or specific - but this is nothing new with many, many decks, and so not really a critique as much as a preference. In the end, not a bad thing to say about this deck. Sturdy machine.

Reviewed Jun 09th, 2019 by

What a fabulous deck. Recently upgraded from a JVC to the CR1 E and the difference in sound quality is quite incredible. So pleased I found this deck, with a decent TDK SA X tape the results are quite stunning.

Reviewed Jan 10th, 2018 by

I bought my CR-1A a couple of years ago for $60 through a local seller on Craigslist. It's my second Nakamichi—I had a 680ZX many years ago, plus a couple of other three-head, three-motor cassette decks (Tandberg and Sony), and before that a high-performing (except, of course, for noise levels) Magnecord 1024 reel-to-reel.

The CR-1A audio from tapes I recorded years ago is extraordinary. I didn't realize how much I've been missing with digital sources.

I'm also impressed with the mechanical operation of the deck. The transport is smooth and reliable, although the FF and REW operations are on the slow side. And, of course, as a two-head machine, there's no tape monitoring.

But for anyone like myself who's planning to do little or no recording, the CR-1A is a bargain-performer.

Reviewed Jun 20th, 2017 by

Excellent basic player performance is exceptional for its price range highly recommended

Reviewed Mar 01st, 2014 by

Good basic Nakamichi entry level deck. Note!!! NAKAMICHI entry level as opposed to Sony or Pioneer Akai, Technics, Yamaha, Marantz, Sanyo etc. entry level decks.
Sound and build quality is still pure Nakamichi.



re: CR-1A

Aquired this deck from a Community Television Studio (they were doing a house-cleaning, and this Nakamichi CR-1A Deck was being thrown in the garbage). I was fortunate to scoop it up before it became landfill.

I learned that this deck was a back-up deck, and had never been used more than a handful of hours. The heads have no visible wear, and the condition is immaculate.

Plugged it in, and my heart sank... the head transport mechanism didn't work. The rest seemed fine. So, disassembled the mechanism and removed the motor: put it on a DC source, lubed it, and let it run for a while. I believe it had seized from sitting so long without use.

This deck now works flawlessly, and is virtually brand new. Very good sound from an entry-level deck. Popped in a few metal tapes I had in storage, and the head alignment is dead-on! Wow... how lucky can a guy get?

It has been integrated into my home theater system, and the young people who visit are shocked when they hear it! Some have never even seen a cassette tape, let alone hear one play.

PS. I love how they designed the cassette door to be removed from the front for easy head cleaning.

re: CR-1A

amazing! I never could afford a Nakamichi!
but my last JVC dual cassette just died and I want to buy a Nak on kijiji here in Canada...

which one would you choose
A CR-1A or a CR-3A (for twice as much as the 1A) or a 480?


siouxafrican's picture

re: CR-1A

I have a cr-1a and it performs very well, great sound but.....the reel motor went out. Historically the 480 has issues and is over 10 years older than the cr-1a......I would try the cr-3a. Good luck.

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