Thursday, October 1, 2015

Technics RS-M45

The RS-M45 was the 1st cassette deck I own. Bought it as part of the "808-series" of slim profile components from Technics with IR remote capability, in 1980.

Do not have the actual pix as the RS-M45 was sold many years ago - hence will refer to one from the internet. I actually kept the RS-M45 for another decade after selling off the "808-series" components before letting it go. Should have kept it... (***regrets***)

Technics RS-M45 from TheHifiEngine database
Specs are available at http://www.hifiengine.com/manual_library/technics/rs-m45.shtml

In those days, Technics was one of the more affordable brands which produce decent turntables and cassette decks (Nakamichi cassette decks were "King of the Hill" then).

The RS-M45 shared the many of the important core electronics with other high-end Technics units of its time eg RS-M02/65/85, except it does not have all the "bells and whistles" available on the front panel. Nevertheless it was a great cassette deck for the price eg "best bang for the buck" back then.

One GREAT feature was the electronics ability to compensate for dropouts. When I play certain cassette on other cassette players, you would hear the dropouts eg sudden loss of volume on certain positions of a song. These dropouts can be rather annoying ... especially when listening to one of your favourite tracks. On the RS-M45, it would proceed as if nothing was wrong!

12 comments:

  1. Got one 1979 M45 today.
    Love it !!!!!!!!!! it´s like new!!!

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  2. Hi. The M45 didn't have circuitry to compensate for dropouts. It's just a better deck. More than likely the other decks you tried the tapes on and caused dropouts were lesser quality decks or had some issues (aged components or needed to have the heads and pinch rollers clean). Nakamichi decks were priced more but not necessarily better in all instances. With the exception of the earlier 1000/II and 700/II most Naks were cheaply made and therefore it's hard to find one that doesn't need some better than average repairs. Nakamichi in their heyday only made cassette decks (before making tuners and amps etc.) so they had the circuitry down to an art. The best Teacs were as good as Naks and built better.
    Technics made some exceptional quality decks ( and a lot of junk too!). The M45 is an excellent value for the money. All of the Professional Series Decks including M65, M75, M85/MKII, M88, M95, 9900US were excellent decks and there were NO competitors that could beat them in their respective price ranges. Unfortunately folks judge vintage equipment by how it sounds now without considering that the stuff was new at one time and sounded much much better. Then to top it off many of the critics weren't around when this stuff was current and base their conclusions on what their party hearty Uncle Bob told them as to what the best is. My long winded point is that Technics along with all of the major hi-fi manufacturers of 60's, 70's, 80's and into the 90's all had their major electronic art pieces and not one was necessarily better than the other. Technics and its mother company Matsushita created and R&D'd a lot of the hi-fi technology at that time that all of the major players used. They were one the best. Continue to enjoy your decks because we won't see anything in our life times that will come close to the thoughtfulness and care that went into these creations.

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    1. Sorry but I was informing on the M45 usage when it was NEW in the early 1980's. The same cassette with dropouts would not play properly on the then new Pioneer, AIWA, Sony deck.

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    2. Only non-Technics decks which would play that cassette with dropouts non-disruptively were the high end models.

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    3. To be fair to their competitors, the only Technics decks which would play that cassette non-disruptively were those with model numbers ending with a "5", the RS-M02 and their professional series.

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    4. In my youthful days I used to visit the available hifi showrooms at every opportunity during weekends, with that cassette in tow - easier than dragging heavy LP(s) all over town.

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  3. WCK. Sounds like you're a big fan of Technics decks. I am too. My very first cassette deck was the Technics RS-263US way back in 1973. I remember coming home with it, brand new in the box. Made wonderful recordings. The next year Technics improved it slightly with the RS-263AUS which added a peak level check switch. I've had several Technics decks over the years including the RS-9900US and the M95. I'll always have fond memories of these decks. A couple of my friends and I used Technics decks to record a music group that we put together. Those recordings still exist to this day!

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  4. Well, did you test in the 80´s a M45 or m95 unit? Higher end units had the same mechanism but added BIAS control, which helped...

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    1. Had the M45 till 1990. BIAS is only essential during recording, according to the manuals. Sounds just as good when I played those cassettes on RS-M245 and RS-M02 after 2010. Still have the RS-M02 somewhere in the storeroom

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    2. Jatalam. Back in my time when these decks were new the audio publications such as High Fidelity and Stereo Review had very unbiased and objective reviewers to sort those things. They weren't afraid to call out a $2000.00 deck if they felt it was warranted. The M95 and the 9900US that came before it were the cream of the crop in any manufacturers line-up but weren't without problems. The 9900US made absolutely fantastic recordings but you had to work hard to get them with all of the prerecording adjustments that you had to make. The M95 though not as technically sophisticated as the 9900US did a much better job with its fixed record and playback head by eliminating all of the azimuth adjustments that had a difficult time staying put. As WCK points out is that the bias adjustment only functions on recording as that is its purpose. I've found where it really comes in handy is for normal type tape. It really takes a very good quality normal cassette and makes it sound excellent. Most cassette decks are biased at the factory for chrome and the later chrome and metal types. It gives me another option when searching for older blank tapes at the thrift store. I use to pass on good quality normal cassettes but I will now buy them if the opportunity arises. I was also fortunate to be able to go to an actual hi-fi stereo store in my area and audition many hi-fi gear live. Nothing like today. One important thing to keep in mind though (and just about everyone makes this mistake) is that all of this stuff is 30+ years old and you CAN NOT make an objective opinion about whether one is better than the other or that this manufacturer is crap and this one isn't. The components inside have aged or out of adjustment. They are affected by environment, weather, abuse, time etc. I especially get annoyed when someone says "I can't believe something this old can sound this good". Of course it can! It's usually the older stuff that withstands the test of time and is the standard by which ALL modern equipment is measured by. Enjoy!

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  5. I own this Model, I have not serviced it yet.

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    1. U mean still using it without any issues (if you own it from new)??? WOW

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