Defective Hitachi Brand Transistors

Here’s something to be aware of… We’ve known that a number of Akai reel to reel tape decks suffer from bad 2SC458 transistors, and up until recently, we thought that only Akai decks were affected.

For those that are not aware, Hitachi made a transistor with the 2SC458 part number. Depending on the Akai model, they were used in various circuits, usually in the play and/or record circuit, and in the case of the later higher end models such as the GX635, they were found in the forward and reverse play and record circuits. The transistor is a low voltage preamplifier transistor, and is found in the head and mic/line amplifier sections.Continue reading

Reel-to-Reel Head and Tape Path Cleaning

The most fundamental, necessary part of owning a reel-to-reel tape recorder of any kind is to clean the heads and tape path regularly. Here is our guide to Reel-to-Reel Head and Tape Path Cleaning.

The rule of thumb at a recording studio is to clean the tape path before every recording session – and that is with usually using new tape! Even a new tape can shed a tiny bit of oxide, which can affect tape performance. With most people, running used tape that can be up to 60 years old, it’s mandatory that the tape path be cleaned often.Continue reading