DOLBY NR: A question I should have asked 30 years ago really.

So Dolby NR, always an enigma for me. It was a switch they started fitting to cassette decks ,and when I bought my first deck with one on board I expected the earth. Got it home and blasted out Rebel Rebel by David Bowie and with huge anticipation hit NR. I was mortified, it made David sound as though he was locked in the bathroom with full face helmet on.

As I went through various cassette decks until I stopped using them in the early nineties I tried all sorts to get this function to work, I had Dolby NR recorded cassettes, I bought stupidly priced metal/chrome tapes but to no hit that switch and all goes tits up.

Anyway I'd forgotton all about that disappointing feature until this week when I rescued a 40 year old tank like Technics cassette deck from oblivion. I cleaned its heads as recommended on here and spruced it up to as new condition. I then hooked it up to a system and it worked perfectly. Problem was it did sound very muffled and I just put it down to the old cassette media being worse than I remembered.
I cleaned the heads one more time but it was still muffled.

Eurika, I then saw its Dolby NR switch set to "ON" and the bad memories came flooding back.
Switched to "OFF" and the deck bounced into life and sounded very decent indeed.

So guys, quite serious here. Had I misunderstood what Dolby NR does? Had I not been using it right? Or is it indeed just a switch you flick that makes everything sound shit?


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