Introduced around the mid 1990s in upmarket high-end cassette tape decks, does the Play Trim facility qualifies as a high-end cassette deck necessity?
By: Ringo Bones
High-end cassette decks circa 1995 might see like an oxymoron to us audiophiles but it became a buzzword to audio product retailers and tenured hi-fi reviewers during the period. But does the 1990s era compact cassette innovations during the time managed to give the humble Philips compact cassette a few more years worth of reprieve from being phased out?
In practice, the Play Trim facility in upmarket cassette tape decks was hailed by those who still use the compact cassette as their primary music recording and listening medium during the 1990s as a very useful facility to get the best – or was in most – from prerecorded music cassette tapes. Play Trim eliminated the associated dullness of record store bought prerecorded music cassette tapes by acting as a specialized treble control placed in front of the cassette deck’s built-in Dolby noise reduction system.
To casual listeners, most Play Trim equipped cassette decks introduced in the 1990s allowed prerecorded music cassette tapes to sound well enough – in comparison to the compact disc during that period. And also, most Play Trim facilities offered plenty of adjustment to counter the inherent dullness – i.e. rolled off high frequencies – that afflicts many prerecorded music cassette tapes released by major music labels at the time, especially if the listener opts to switch the Dolby noise reduction on to reduce tape hiss.