• Pioneer CT-W601R

  • Stereo Double Cassette

  • 1992 - 1993
Pioneer CT-W601R

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CT-W601R Review
Cassette decks have come a long way and this model from 1992 shows how Pioneer attempted to overcome the tape hiss problem by introducing a measuring facility for the bias before it recorded.
Now, this works by a BLE system- which on command from the BLE switch- puts the tape into record and goes through a sequence of checking the tape and recording a signal, then playing it back- the system then enter pause mode- the idea being that you then touch the record button or play once its 'sitting' in the BLE mode and it produces the right bias for the tape its measured. This works fine- but you must still set the recording level to suit your input, in the traditional manner. I prefer to do this- to watch the VU display and satisfy myself that its not going to record an over-modulated recording- or one that's too quiet. Too quiet a recording and the result is too much his. I found that it doesn't like FE tapes- especially old ones and will result in a distorted playback with something 'missing' at either end of the spectrum. It likes chrome tapes and performs effortlessly on new Type 1 tapes. Yes , I've de-magnetised my heads! The transport mechanism is fairly robust and given the age of these machines now, replacing the belts isn't a difficult task and one that will be required on a 30-year old machine. Lack of DIN socket was a cost-saving exercise, but easy to overcome. The display is bright and attractive- especially in record. The playback display is as expected- with either digital tape position in time or count (depending on your preference) This however will be zeroed, if you switch the main from panel switch off- ie, it doesn't go into a sleep mode as would be expected on a modern-day computer-controlled deck. It is a vast improvement over the decks of the early/mid 70's.