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by Peter Familari

29th March, 2018


We know April 1st is still a way off.  But no, your eyes are not deceiving you as you read that Toshiba is about to release a hi-res cassette ghetto-blaster.

There have been several reports that Toshiba is beavering away at a new cassette format it claims will give consumers hi-res audio qualities.

We’re not entirely convinced. Part of us still thinks the Toshiba Hi-Res cassette deck may be a hoax.

Toshiba calls it a CD radio cassette player, yet citing pictures of the prototype, there’s no apparent CD mechanism or even room for one.
The reported ¥29,000 (AUD$355) price tag also seems unachievable given what the new deck is said to offer.

The respected Japanese news outfit called The Japan News published news of Tosh’s new model. Possibly, staff there might also have been fooled, but they would have been closer to the source as they are based in Japan.

If the reports are authentic and StereoNET doubts they are, Toshiba Lifestyle Electronics Trading Company might be onto a winner.

The first component to carry the new deck will be a portable boom-box that will be marketed under Toshiba’s Aurex brand.

The apogee of the Aurex range back in the 80s was a beautiful mini hi-fi stack of separate components that looked good and sounded great.

The Japan News report quoted Toshiba as saying:

...installed a mechanism in the new player that improves the quality of music data on a cassette tape to match that of a high-resolution audio source.

The Japan News also reported Toshiba would promote the new model by playing cassette tapes with music by Tomoyo Harada, a Japanese actress, singer, and lyricist, who was a popular idol in Japan in the 80’s and also used to appear in commercials for Toshiba Corp.

The Japan News does make these valid points: that CD killed the cassette off in the 1980s but that analogue is still very much in vogue among older people, and that the cassette format has recently been revived by younger people eager to hear new artists who record and release their music on cassette.

Hipsters and other cool types will lurve the idea of a hi-res cassette recorder/player that uses a repurposed C90 cassette.

Toshiba has not yet announced pricing or release date for its hi-res Aurex branded cassette portable.

While hi-res cassette may seem like a harbinger of April Fool’s day, you may need to park your doubts at the nearest kerbside. All the same, StereoNET is keen to hear what our readers think. So, don’t hesitate to comment one way or the other.

All we can say is cassette may be obsolete but not redundant. Watch this space.

Peter Familari's avatar

Written by:

Peter Familari

One of the veterans of the Australian HiFi industry, Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades. One of the most-respected audio journalists in Australia, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to StereoNET.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi
Tags: toshiba