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Nakamichi DR-1

Discrete Three Head Cassette Deck (1992)

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Nakamichi DR-1


Type: 3-head, single compact cassette deck

Track System: 4-track, 2-channel stereo

Tape Speed: 4.8 cm/s

Heads: 1 x record, 1 x 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 21kHz  (Metal tape)

Signal to Noise Ratio: 72dB  (dolby C)

Wow and Flutter: 0.035%

Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.8%

Input: 50mV (line)

Output: 0.5V (line)

Dimensions: 430 x 100 x 320mm

Weight: 5.4kg

Year: 1992

Price: GBP £780 (1992)



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Reviewed Aug 30th, 2017 by Rockoz

My DR-1 was an excellent deck until I was ff'ing a tape, stopped it & now the tape counter displays ERR. Nothing will move now. Even switching tape types is not recognized.

Reviewed Feb 03rd, 2016 by guest

I have a DR-1, bought second hand, which I was very pleased with. However, after a few months of use something went wrong with the tape transport. I had this fault repaired at a cost of about what I paid for the deck. Recently a further problem developed in the same area. Rather than spend more money on repair I replaced the DR-1 with a CR-4, which I find gives a better performance than the DR-1. Naturally I don’t know if all CR-4s are better than all DR-1s but in this case I notice in the CR-4 a definite improvement in spaciousness and a deeper, more defined bass performance. It records well too, and the manual tape calibration control is effective. Bill Wang’s comment that you don’t need the most expensive tapes I would agree with entirely. I got excellent results with basic type I tape with the DR-1 and I can say the same about the CR-4. If you make your recordings carefully you’ll be completely satisfied.

I have quite a lot of audio cassettes on which I copied records years ago. No longer having the records, a good cassette deck is important to me and I find the Nakamichis do the trick (earlier I had a DR-3 — again extremely good but not in the same league as the Nakamichi three-head jobs, of course). It is disappointing about my DR-1: they have excellent user reviews, and I guess I might have just ended up with a bad one (or maybe it was heavily used by the previous owner). I don't feel able to give top marks for this particular DR-1.

All this is necessary because digital sound turns my blood to ice.

Reviewed Jun 23rd, 2015 by Bill Wang

If you ever need a cassette tape recorder again, get this one.
You don't need to buy the most expensive tapes to enjoy the best results; any type II (CrO2) will get you to smile.
One note: if you have a big hand like mine, you may wish they put in a bigger Power button. It is a little too small, just my personal opinion, for a power button of any recorders.

Reviewed Apr 02nd, 2015 by hgturner

Supurb Deck on every level.

Reviewed Oct 08th, 2012 by majorfubar

Not as good as 'classic' Nakamichi range toppers, e.g.: for starters it has belt-driven capstans in place of DD motors, and there is no auto bias and level calibration, nor even any built-in oscillator to assist with setting the bias fine tune. However you've got to put it in perspective. When I say the DR-1 is not as good as classic range-topping Naks, it's like a sports-car reviewer saying the Aston Martin DB9 is not as good as the DBS: the DR-1 will still probably wipe the floor with anything which isn't a Nak.



re: DR-1

Here's what I own, have restored and use: Pioneer CT-93 M-, (4) Pioneer CT-F1250's, (M- to M/borderline NOS), 2 Pioneer CT-F1000, Nak Dragon, 505, DR-1, BX-300.

In absolute terms the highest record (and PB) quality can be found in the CT-93. (Dolby S and a ridiculously wide S/N ratio and dynamic range....) Followed closely by the Dragon. Then the DR-1, 505, (Photo finish) and the 300. Followed by the 1250 and in last place the 1000.

The NR systems mitigate the results quite a bit, but each machine has its own charms. Image specificity is (any) of the Pioneer's strongest points. (93 and 1250 prevail), but on the fly azimuth adjustment prevails on the Dragon and DR-1.

The RX-505 records bidirectionally. the Dragon does not.

All of these machines can outperform "factory" setup performance if one takes the time to "tweak" them. But the Naks came from the factory closer to "ideal" spec than the Pioneer's typically did. So you get more "improvement" from OCD-ing the Pioneer machines than from the Naks. In my experience the long term reliability of the Nak machines as a class outperformed the Pioneers. But I know that there is "noise" in the data on that issue. The transports of the Pioneers weren't as trouble free, but the widely regarded "Orange Cap" syndrome balances it out. With the exception of the CT-F1000 they were all within "a nose" of each other. The 1000 lacks the record bias current to stand in the tallest grass with the newer machines. Which one is "best" has everything to do with your priorities. The 1000, 1250 and 300 are the only machines with pitch control, for example. If you own any of them, I think you can basically rest assured "you're set"....buy extra belts, pinch rollers, et al. and save 'em for a rainy day, IF you can service them yourself. If not, seek out a good tech.

re: DR-1

I absolutely agree about a good project for a rainy day but...Any source for pinch rollers you can share with us? I think I' ve been abusing alcohol lately... ISOPROPYLIC!!!!!

This website is not affiliated with or sponsored by Nakamichi. To purchase DR-1 spares or accessories, please contact the company via their website or visit an authorised retailer.