Gear Review: Technics RS-M45 – A Sweet Sounding Slim Machine

An M45. Sounds like a tank. Sounds like a gun. Sound like something you use to lubricate something with. Sounds mean. Well, the Technics M45 is mean sounding machine that is built like a tank.

When I first saw the M45, the first thing that I that struck me is how slim the thing is. Check out the specifications below. It should give you an idea.

  • Type: 2-head, single compact cassette deck

  • Track System: 4-track, 2-channel stereo

  • Tape Speed: 4.8 cm/s

  • Heads: 1 x record/playback, 1 x erase

  • Motor: FG servo DC

  • Tape Type: type I, FeCr, CrO2, Metal

  • Noise Reduction: B

  • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz (Metal tape)

  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 68dB (dolby B)

  • Wow and Flutter: 0.035%

  • Input: 60mV (line), 0.25mV (mic)

  • Output: 0.7V (line)

  • Dimensions: 430 x 98 x 345mm

  • Weight: 6.1kg

  • Finish: black, silver

  • Year: 1980

Tape decks released during the late 70’s to the early 80’s was still thick as a rhino’s mid-section. So, this Technics M45 was one of the few that started to move away from the thick body type.

At first look, the M45 seems light (weight wise). However, don’t the looks fool you. The thing is heavy and quite solidly built, if I might add. The parts are all neatly flushed in place and the silver colour adds to its allure.

On a previous article, I mentioned that the M45 has a silky smooth eject mechanism. It does. One of the smoothest or perhaps the smoothest I had ever encountered. The tape bay is flush and does not protrude. The buttons and dials offer zero resistance and smoothly performs.

The M45 is regarded by a lot of collectors as one of the best two-head decks ever to be put on the market. Some collectors say that it is better than a lot of three-head decks because the transport mechanism used by the M45 surpasses that of three-head decks that were released in the 80’s. Others had fancy circuitry to compensate for dropouts. The M45 had none of these fancy circuitries but dropout is practically zero. This is because the M45 was designed then built well.

Playing the Eagles Unplugged on the M45 was quite a treat. The sound quality was quite amazing. It is neither bass heavy nor treble heavy. The audio came out quite balanced. I paired it with the Marantz AVR that I used in an earlier test. Same Dual speakers. The BIC T-2 sounded fantastic but the M45 wins the race between the two. As you can hear from the one-minute video above, the Eagles sounded like the Eagles when (their cassette recording) are played on the M45. They don’t sound like a mumbling rapper full of thump and bass. While I am a fan of analog VU meters, I cannot help but admire the nice, LED VU meter on the M45.

Sometimes, big things come in slim packages. The Technics RS-M45 certainly will not disappoint any discerning cassette tape deck collector.

It will deliver and do so in loads.

Interested in getting your hands on this thing? If you are, head on to Plaka Express #50 Palawan St., Bagong Pag Asa, Quezon City and look for Sam. For only PhP 7,500.00, this slim baby can be yours.

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