Edit Note to member: member removed for deleting content, titling and wasting our time.
Anybody else get some decent sound out of a tape deck without using effects?
You're not getting a decent sound. It's nowhere close to a decent sound... unless you're defining said "decent sound" as including little gems like tape warble, hiss, an extremely limited bandwidth and next to no frequency response as "decent".
Unless you are using that deck to transfer old ideas to digital in an effort to archive or add to the original ideas, I'm curious as to why you are using an ancient relic like the Tascam to record with, when you mentioned that you have an audio interface for your computer - and I'm assuming that since you have an audio interface, that you must have some kind of production software at hand, otherwise, why would you need the audio I/O?
You are working with a format that is ancient, archaic... and even when these decks were brand new, they were never designed to be anything other than just an "idea" tool. And for that, they were great. Many songwriters and road musicians used them to get ideas down so that at a later time, they could take those ideas into a real studio and re track them onto a professional format.
It's not that the process of recording to tape was bad, thousands of classic albums were recorded with tape... but we're talking about very pro spec tape machines; 1" and 2" 8/16/24 track machines running at speeds of 15" and 30" ips, with bandwidths and electronics far superior to that of the demo 4 track cassette machines, using nice mics, pre amps, and tracked and mixed through professional consoles operated by skilled engineers.
None of these manufacturers, whether it was Tascam/Teac, Audio Technica, Yamaha or any of the other brands of "porta studios", ever gave one the impression that these units were meant to be for anything other than an idea or demo tool.
For a couple bucks, since you already have a PC and an audio I/O, you could get into a brand new arena of recording that will make you throw that 4 track into a closet and forget you ever thought it was decent.
So to answer your original question... no... not many people still use these decks to record with. You are in the minority.
edited for privacy reasons. thanks for the response.