ONKYO TA-2760: A Honest Onkyo

I like Onkyo decks for their display: large, nice color, and very informative… maybe TOO informative after all. But it gives all the user needs… well not just everything as we will see later, but let’s stick to this right now. Onkyo TA-2760 was a top model, I suppose, I don’t have it in my Onkyo catalogs (scanned or hard copy) and looking at it I would think it had a list price of 400-500 EUR.

Almost everything is done right on this machine: a nice fascia with well laid buttons, transport ones made of metal and the deck is easy to use. The counter is a nice pseudo real device.

What it doesn’t have is oscillator for calibration purposes nor sensivity calibration: it only has one knob for bias adjustment. The other thing that is missing is tape type on the display. TA-2760 has automatic tape selector but tape type is not shown on the display. Important or not? Well, on the TA-2760 I bought one of switches (the one used for metal tape) stopped working and I couldn’t see it since there was no information on display to show if the deck was prepared for the right tape type.

Inside, TA-2760 uses some anti vibration measures (a soft material on the chassis) and has a good transport – three motor closed loop dual capstan Sankyo mechanism with gears instead of idlers. The base of this transport is made of die cast aluminium and it behaves well. The capstans are belt driven from DC motor… standard solution exactly like TEAC V9000, Nakamichi Cassette Deck 1 etc. I am sorry for not publishing any pictures from the deck interior, I forgot to do it while I was fixing it.

Of course, Onkyo TA-2760 is a three head machine, using PC-OCC wires used for heads.

The sound:

Onkyo TA-2760 sounds very good: clean and clear sound together with good dynamics and soundstage that is not hidden from the listener. Details are not as good as, for example, JVC DD-99 has, nor is the musicality but overall it is quite OK. HX Pro is definitely trying to put this in a high class, but it doesn’t achieve it: good mid frequencies and solid bas are the best TA-2760 can offer to a meticulous listener. High frequencies are reproduced very good if you use low or mid class system but using higher class system will expose TA-2760 limitations. These are: not enough transparency on upper extreme comparing it to a standard high class decks like most Nakamichis and similar.

But, to be honest, everything is in place for Onkyo TA-2760: taking into account its list price and listening to Lorde (“Royals”) it seems the music is just fine. My opinion is that the deck (and any other audio component) is better when the sound is crystal clear and the limitations of the device are obvious instead to mimic soft and warm picture, hiding details etc.

In general, Onkyo TA-2760 resembles of Yamaha KX-670 but with a little warmer sound and less agile sound: it is good for vocal and acoustic presentations. Using just one word, its sound could be described as honest – TA-2760 doesn’t do less than it promises on a first look and could be a good solution for a cassette deck collectors who doesn’t want to give a huge sum of money for a really good and expensive deck.

On the other side, you will always know that this is a cassette deck, not CD, turntable or a streamer.

PLUS:

– Good sound in its price class
– Very good overall quality
– Very good display

MINUS:
– I would like sensivity calibration
– The position of some buttons is hard to see (bias, balance)

EQUIPMENT:

Naim ND5XS

Lyngdorf CD1

T+A PA1530R

ELAC FS210 Anniversary

WAY Cables Silver 1, Silver 3

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