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lakecat

Any reel to reel experts here?..Akai GX-650D

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Hi.....was just given this Akai GX-650D reel-reel unit. Just more stash from a hoarder house that a friend is going thru. I know very little about these units but looked it for info and found it sold for over $1300 in 1979!....so know it's a good one. I downloaded an owners manual to try to understand some of the functions. I will probably take it to my tech to look over. My question is.....

Does anyone here have any experience with this machine? Is it worth repairing as it looks in excellent shape? Has one tape with it but wanted to wait to play it until the tech looks it over. I see there is many little things you do to these machines to make them sound right. JUst looking for any advice....thanks.

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I am FAAAAAAR from being an expert but I have owned a few and spent some time with various tape formats in my system(s) and it sounds as if you've pretty much got a plan already (assuming you "tech" truly knows tape machines)

There are many things to do to them to keep them "right" - and if this unit has been in long time storage it definitely needs a good going over to ensure it will be reasonably reliable

AT MINIMUM, clean, lubrication and not a bad idea to have the heads checked and aligned if necessary (nothing will tun you off of tape quicker than a poorly aligned machine - this applies to cassette decks as well)

That's if you are fortunate and the machine was well cared for and in decent shape - there are also a number of rubber parts that have the POTENTIAL to be problematic (not trying to go negative here on R2R, just saying I think anyone considering one should be realistic about how much they're actually going to use the thing)

On the plus side your new machine has one of the better transports AKAI used in this series

On the down side it uses only 4 track heads so if you accumulate or want to work with any two track only material a modification is required (this is informational only, I doubt seriously it will be an issue, ever, for you as an end user)

Decent machine with a decent to good + transport

If you get it up and running well the biggest challenge you will face is sourcing blank tape of any thing close to good quality at a REASONABLE price

I recently sold off some very basic but still sealed reels of 1/4" 3M/Scotch for $10 a reel!  40 reels and one odd man out BASF in a large box I think I payed $10 bucks for at my favorite thrift - only bought them because they were all new (BUT, shortage conditions and condition period were unknown) - and obviously the former property of a serious Music lover, probably Classical

But 'em on craigslist for a lark, never expecting to sell (and kind of wishing I had my $10 bucks back : - ) but within an hour a nice Japanese man was at my door happily taking them off my hands

I think it would be wise to have done (or do yourself) at minimum, a good clean and lube, listen to it for a while and then decide if it's something you want permanently in your system based on sonics  

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This model is a few years older than yours but the article will give you an idea as for what you may be getting into:

http://www.vintageaudioaddict.com/akai_gx220d/akai_gx220d.htm

It all depends on how much you want a R2R whether it's "worth" refreshing/servicing or not, but to answer the original, yes AKAI is a worthwhile well made machine to restore

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On ‎1‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 10:57 AM, Analogman said:

This model is a few years older than yours but the article will give you an idea as for what you may be getting into:

http://www.vintageaudioaddict.com/akai_gx220d/akai_gx220d.htm

It all depends on how much you want a R2R whether it's "worth" refreshing/servicing or not, but to answer the original, yes AKAI is a worthwhile well made machine to restore

Thanks for replies. My tech didn't want to look at it until I dragged him out to the truck to look at it....lol. Just didn't want to mess with any cheap RTR's. When I showed him the Akai, he smiled and said, "Bring it in." A week later he called and said it is all ready and only cost me $75. Aligned and cleaned.....changed a cap. Ceramic heads cleaned.

It came with a Maxwell ten inch tape and have been recording on it at 7.5. It gives me an hour and half of music on each side and sounds awesome. So many of my sons friends have never seen a RTR and are fascinated by it! 

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