RPI with Volumio hidden in old Marantz cassette deck

The thing started back in 2011 if I recall correctly,

My father had a crappy laptop (like Pentium II and such) and needed a proper computer as he only used to browse internet with his smartphone.

Long story short, I built him a PC … yet since this was supposed to go in his the Living Room and he wanted a stealthy case. Since he had some Hifi laying around, I had the idea of integrating it in an old Hifi related case.

A phone call to a friend who collects old Hifi and 45 minutes later, I started hacking this Marantz Cassette Deck (which was 70+% toasted, I mean “caught fire” toasted, the main board was pierced and some mechanical parts were almost burnt aswell), since it was just an “empty shell”, I started the PC conversion.

I lost most of the pictures I did back then concerning the build, but it was mostly “tear down everything except lights and mechanical parts” (I wanted to keep the buttons) and make adapter plates for the motherboard, the power supply, hard drive and cut here and there for cooling and such.

Here are some pictures from the teardown :

So right now, you must be wondering “how does his Cassette player even look like ?” / “What is he talking about this ?”

Well six months ago, a friend wanted a similar case, my father’s PC needed an upgrade and as I watched classified ads for broken/oldschool Hifi junk, I stumbled across the matching amp and tuner. As I always loved the look of the cassette player, I purchased those.

After a few repairs & maintenance, they were back to life and I kinda fell in love with the sound (alongside with period correct Cerwin Vega speakers, can’t remember the exact model, 1978 IIRC), . As I found another great “case” for my dad, took back the cassette player and this brings us to why am I posting here :

I really wanted a way to “play” music from this amp, I mean from Spotify, Webradios and sometimes Youtube … So I guess by now you get why I’m here :smiley:

Bought a RPI 3B alongside with a Justboom DAC …

… found a way to integrate a small HDMI screen in the cassette window …

… and boom, there it was !

I really LOVE this setup and, despite its age, the sound quality is really decent (I really love the warm grain of the amp & speakers) and it really brings back a proper use for the cassette deck.

It’s not done yet, I’d love to wire the VUmeter in the future and why not add a use for the 4 buttons under the VUmeter (with GPIO).

Volumio-wise, I’m currently using TouchScreen plugin, I’d love to rework the current display to enlarge / remove a few things but that’s far beyond my knowledge.

Looks really cool. I also stuck my RPi in an old Denon cassette deck. But mine is very much DIY

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk

Hi Fosco,

i’m stunned on how you got along with the original design. thumbs up :smiley:

this is real artificial

  • Josef

Dear Fosco,
your new tape window is looking great with the Volumio cassette!


Do you have a step by step picture how you fir the screen as well as powered the pi. Did u tear down completely the tape deck?

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Cool Idea, the Tape Deck looks great!