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 Service

We service all makes and models of reel to reel tape recorders, ranging from 1950 mono tube machines to the last generation 2” 24 track studio decks. We have 30 years of experience servicing reel to reels and other vintage audio equipment, and have all the necessary tools and test equipment to bring your machine back to life.Continue reading

Akai GX-77 Tech Info

The Akai GX-77 was Akai’s last, and top of the line 6 head auto reverse 7” reel to reel machine. It was manufactured roughly from 1981 to 1985, and is a unique tape deck in that it has a loading/roller mechanism that loads the tape to make contact with the heads. Over time, this mechanism fails due to a main worn drive belt and/or sticky white lithium grease that hardens over time. There are other unique features that may turn into problems with this deck that we will try and cover based on the decks that we’ve seen come through our shop. The deck comes apart in a unique way as well. At first glance it may appear like a daunting deck to work on, as access appears to be very limited, but once you know the trick to get at the mechanism and belts it’s not as difficult as it seems.Continue reading

Repairing stuck pinch roller on all Teac/Tascam models

One of the most common problems with many versions of Teac and Tascam models is a seized or slow moving pinch roller bearing assembly.

This causes the pinch roller to engage very slowly or not at all to the capstan. The tape may not move at all in the play mode, or it may zip through the machine quickly, depending on the type and size of reel on the deck. This affects many Teac models, but the repair is very similar on all decks.

The cause of the problem is common to all models; the white lithium grease that Teac used when assembling the machines hardens over time, seizing the sleeve bearing that the pinch roller pivots on. Fortunately, it’s a relatively easy fix, with a minimum amount of tools needed.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