Alpine AL-80

1 9 8 1 1981
1 9 8 2 1982

Although the AL-300 was the big beast from this lineup, the AL-80 was just second to it - another rare deck from cassette's heyday, and from Alpine's heyday, too, still named ALPAGE.

Here used were Sony's PPM meters, inaugurated in... 1974 - maturity did you say ?
Funny they chose to use the "old" system, though, instead of Sony's then-available LCD meters found on the TC-K8B (1977) or 1979's pre-Esprit TC-K88B...

The FL counter functions with an IR sensor which counts each quarter of a turn the take-up reel makes ; the PPM meter has a 1:4 logarithmic scale and displays levels between -30dB and +10dB.

The AL-80's play head has a super-narrow gap of , the record head a gap ; both are made of laminated ferrite. The smaller AL-60's has a rec/play combi head made of "Sendust Core" with a hyperbolic shape.


The Luxman takeover was just around the corner in 1981, and there were plenty of projects for that luxurious brand : cassette decks were selling like hotcakes because their technology was reaching maturity.
Alpine was then developing high-end CD players (both for itself and for Luxman) as well as PCM processors (both for itself and for Luxman) and even attempted to impose a CVC-based video/PCM recorder (DAT-8200) but none of these grand designs ever reached the market.

Alpine was since the 1970s the major OEM provider of cassette mechanisms (and of pots and switches) and remained that until cassettes faded as prefered recording format.


The AL-80 was superceded by the AL-85 (aka Luxman K-04) and AL-90 (aka Luxman K-05), perhaps better but much less good-looking in boring black and non-sculptured, non-backlit front design. Sans PPM meters either.

Alpine, aka ALPS is still around and the tag "ALPS potentiometer" still means crème de la crème :)

Alpine AL-80, image 1 Alpine AL-80, image 2 Alpine AL-80, image 3
Alpine AL-80 specifications
Title Value
Wow & flutter : 0,035% (WRMS)
Frequency response
Metal (TDK MA) : 20Hz...21Khz
20Hz...20Khz (±3dB)
CrO2 (TDK SA) : 20Hz...20Khz
30Hz...19Khz (±3dB)
FeCr (Sony) : 20Hz...20Khz
30Hz...19Khz (±3dB)
Normal (TDK AD) : 20Hz...19Khz
30Hz...18Khz (±3dB)
S/N ratio : 60dB
67dB (Dolby B)
73dB (Dolby C)
THD : 0,7% (1Khz, 16mM)
Bias : 105Khz
Inputs : 0,25mV / 600 Ohm (MIC)
75mV / 50kOhm (line)
Outputs : 1V / 50kOhm (line)
2mW / 8 Ohm (headphones)
PC : 30W
Dimensions : 43,5 x 11,6 x 25,4cm
Weight : 5,6kg.
Alpine AL-80 : 0 topic
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page online since : 2006
page updated : march 2010
page type : LGT / KNB
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