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new cassettes I've seen are always cheap and low quality. They look cheap in this vid too. its because there's no market for higher-end cassettes.
Nevertheless, many people seem oblivious to audio quality. an mp3 at 128kb is much worse than an audio cassette, even 192kb is dubious. but the thing that makes mp3 "sound" better is low noise. a lot of people measure noise instead of fidelity.
MP3 throw away some of the sound according the levels on the Munson curves. one loud frequency will cause lower other frequencies to be attenuated or eliminated accordingly. This happens temporally too.
mp3 was good at getting 10:1 or even 20:1, but today we don't need that. Ideally we want something in the 5:1 range that doesn't butcher the sound. that or go lossless at 2:1
Having said that, never use tape. it sucks, as i'm recently discovering.
Yes I just use my 1940's Wire Recorder in my home studio. If you want to hear extraordinary audio recording try out the original Zoom stereo H4 recorder with twin angled mikes (not the newer H4N)
Leviset, I have one of these Zoom products but there seems to be a large amount of 'hiss' when using the internal mics you mention. Do you get this?