Recorders

Richard Dane posted:

Very nice, Elbow.  I no longer have my WM-D6C - It never lived up to the good rep, in my opinion. Sony replaced it too but there was always detectable wow on piano notes that should not have been there and unacceptable tape path wander on anything longer than a C-60.  It still have my DC2 and D3 though but rarely use them these days. 

I had a WM-DC2 and had endless issues with speed stability - Sony didn't feel it was an issue and wouldn't replace it.

I have no idea where it or my TCD-D3 ended up...

Phil

Phil, weirdly I had problems with (both) my Walkman WM-D6C pros, which Couldn't be fixed, but my DC2 was fine. The "mini Pro" WM-D3 was fine too. Both the DC2 and D3 are still rolling, albeit not very much these days. I do wonder if Sony had a strange bad batch of rubber pinch rollers in the 90s. They invariably need changing as a matter of course on their '90s cassette decks, whereas on earlier vintage Sonys they have lasted well. 

A bit of a recorder update; on the digital front the last few 6 months has seen the arrival of a Sony PCM-D100 to replace my old PCM-M10 and maybe also the PCM-D50. The latter does sound really good though, and I'm still not totally convinced that the D100 improves on it sound-wise, so I'm hanging on to it for a bit longer.  Then again, I haven't yet tried the 24bit 192kHz or DSD recording capability of the D100, so either may well move things up a gear.

On the analogue front my Nak ZX-9 has now returned from a rather lengthy stay down in Worthing. The bill was a bit more than I expected but plenty was done, including new capacitors, and I'm assured that it's now tip top and well within spec.  It's still wrapped up and in the box though because while it was away I decided to give the BX-300E a belt and idler service and also I finally got around to putting my old and rather sickly Pioneer CT-A9 on the bench.  I bought this about 10 years ago for about £80 as it had stopped working and since then it had just sat on the shelf gathering dust.  Sending the ZX-9 to Bowers & Wilkins was just the spur to try to fix the Pioneer. 

So, I purchased a replacement belt kit (although direct drive, the second capstan drives from a belt and so does the mechanism) from the States and a replacement idler tyre from Germany.  That was the easy part... 

Anybody who has worked on one of these Pioneers with the Reference mechanism will know the problems you face when trying to work on these decks.  Partial or complete removal of the mechanism is a must on this deck as it's so packed inside access is otherwise impossible.  On the CT-A9 a belt change means effectively opening up the direct drive motor so there are plenty of pitfalls and things to go wrong. And then, to cap it all, there's a geared drive for the powered door mechanism and unless you know the trick of how to align the various cogs exactly right, it won't work properly. That's the point where you find yourself tearing out your hair.  The solution is to go and walk the dog or just walk away for a day or two, do some more online research, and then come back afresh and try again.

Another hair shredding job is getting at the idler wheel.  There's a knack to it - once you get it, fine, but up to then - "aaargh". By comparison the BX-300 is a breeze to work on.

Anyway, once I thought I had finished, the tentative moment of switch-on, and... "oh".  No display. Hmmmm...

At the back of the machine is a bank of fuses and a cursory inspection showed that one of them was blown.  Phew!  A replacement fuse fitted and all is working well.  I have only one possible issue left and that's the auto tape type selection. It seems that you can have Normal lit up, Normal and Type II lit up together, or all three with Metal.  It doesn't seem quite right so I need to double check that.  However, it all seems to be working well, including the A.B.L.E. tape tuning system, and makes some excellent recordings.  The meters are probably the most discriminating (and green) of any ever put on a tape deck.  

All in all, at times a fun yet also frustrating job, but very rewarding to now have this TOTL deck back and working again.  Horrifying to think that it could well have gone to the skip instead.

Here are a few pics..

If you wish for one of your threads to be re-opened then you can just ask.  Unless there's a specific reason why it's best left closed - i.e. it was closed for good reason other than just no replies after two months - there shouldn't be any problem.  I've done it for many members and their threads in the past.

Richard Dane posted:

If you wish for one of your threads to be re-opened then you can just ask.  Unless there's a specific reason why it's best left closed - i.e. it was closed for good reason other than just no replies after two months - there shouldn't be any problem.  I've done it for many members and their threads in the past.

Thanks for clarification, Richard - nice to know for the future.

Some nice looking equipment there Richard, I may have mentioned before in another thread about the mint condition TEAC A-800 cassette deck I found in the loft of my ( now ) wife's house. It's on display in my "man cave" and I sometimes think it would be nice to have it serviced and get it up and running. Such a nice thing to look at with all the big toggle switches and VU meters.

I am incredibly fortunate to own the "ground zero" Nakamichi Dragon, on which all the IEC tape formulations were agreed. The very item. 

(the iec group (tech directors of Sony, BASF, TDK etc) met in the lounge of my old boss Angus McKenzie at his house in north finchley. Angus's Dragon was a little special and came direct from Nakamichi in japan. I was able to buy it from his estate when he died, and it recently was serviced by B&W, who somewhat wet themselves at getting their hands on The One after all these years. Ah... memories...)

I also have Angus's Studer/Revox cassette deck and his reference Studer/Revox FM tuner

jon honeyball posted:

I am incredibly fortunate to own the "ground zero" Nakamichi Dragon, on which all the IEC tape formulations were agreed. The very item. 

(the iec group (tech directors of Sony, BASF, TDK etc) met in the lounge of my old boss Angus McKenzie at his house in north finchley. Angus's Dragon was a little special and came direct from Nakamichi in japan. I was able to buy it from his estate when he died, and it recently was serviced by B&W, who somewhat wet themselves at getting their hands on The One after all these years. Ah... memories...)

I also have Angus's Studer/Revox cassette deck and his reference Studer/Revox FM tuner

Wow!

Jon, it was in the 1983 Cassette Deck digest edition of Hifi Choice where I first read Angus McKenzie's glowing review of both the ZX-9 and Dragon that I fell in love and knew I had to have one of them one day. At the time, all i could afford was a BX-2, which was a revelation compared to the Technics deck it replaced. Then, helped by a very strong pound and weak yen at the time, the BX-2 was joined by the new RX-202. The 202 lasted many years in spite of a number of repairs that were required to keep the flipping cassette mechanism in good working order (it used to get a case of the jitters).  My last new Nak deck purchase was a Cassette Deck 1.5, and that only went when the opportunity to buy a lovely ZX-9 came up.

Thanks for the story about Angus' Dragon.  Please post any pictures you may have.

DBS-Al posted:

Some nice looking equipment there Richard, I may have mentioned before in another thread about the mint condition TEAC A-800 cassette deck I found in the loft of my ( now ) wife's house. It's on display in my "man cave" and I sometimes think it would be nice to have it serviced and get it up and running. Such a nice thing to look at with all the big toggle switches and VU meters.

A very handsome looking deck, the A-800.  One deck that has passed me by but I'd like to try out is the similar looking Teac C-1.

This evening I removed the protective plastic that Bowers and Wilkins had wrapped around the ZX-9.  Paul had obviously given it a clean as it emerged looking like new. The service bill was rather more than usual - I'd had the works, including new caps, all rubber replaced, full recalibration etc.. - but the first test recording showed that it was money well spent. The ZX-9 is an incredible recorder.  It just transcends the medium - it sounds more like a really good  reel to reel deck.  I also use a BX-300, which is by any standards a superb cassette deck, but when compared to the ZX-9, you begin to hear its limitations.  And as smooth to operate as the BX-300 undoubtedly is against the competition, the ZX-9 is smoother still.

Which leaves me in a quandry.  I had originally thought I would have the ZX-9 serviced and then eventually let it go - values of top Naks like the ZX-9, Dragon etc..  have enjoyed a bit of a bump in recent years - but now it's back on the rack, and sounding so good, I'm not sure I can ever bear to part with it.  Damn.

You sound like a man in cassette deck heaven tonight Richard well pleased for you.

I agree about your comments about the BX 300 E as I use one myself also a CR 7E which had a similar service to your ZX 9 three years ago.The BX 300 E has a much different voicing more warmer but in a very relaxing reel to reel way.My CR 2 E and CR 7E are great decks but don't have the magic of the BX300 E.

Out of interest how does the 1000 ZXL rate in the top Naks over the years ?

Happy listening and hang onto it......I would !

TC, I'm told that the 1000ZXL is superb and is up there with the very best, but only after modification - essentially grafting on some ZX-9 improvements like the DD motor.  The 1000ZXL and ZX-9 share transport and heads but whereas the ZXL is aimed more at luxury, with lots of calibration automation, the ZX-9 is totally manual, albeit with indicators so you know when things are just right.  The earlier decks like the 1000ZXL also varied EQ along with level and bias.  This can be done on the ZX-9 but it's an internal adjustment - only level and bias can be adjusted from the outside. It's not such a drawback as with the more modern tapes available from the mid '80s complying more closely with IEC standards adjustment of EQ wasn't needed so much.  However, being manual, and also with each channel being individually adjustable, the ZX-9 can "tune-in" just about any tape you care to use. The only issue you can find is that with some very poor tapes it's almost impossible to get a steady azimuth adjustment. But that's OK as you wouldn't really want to be using such tapes on a deck like the ZX-9 anyway.   

Yes, the BX-300E is something of a "hybrid" in that while it uses the Sankyo transport of the later CR and DR series, the sound is not as clinical as those later series - indeed, it's closer to the ZX series, which I guess makes sense, as in Japan it was called the ZX-5. 

Here in the states,I keep hearing (a bit any way) that tape is making a come back. I have a tandberg tcd-340 for many years and had it serviced and recently picked up a tandberg td-20, working but in need of service. Both are fun but basically useless. The cassette does not have the advantage of portability after a tape is made no cassette even in  the car,and the r to r ,almost impossible to find tape and even a take-up spool can't be found at a fair price. But both part of a dream system. Between the green glow of my naim, and the clear light and red from the tandberg - visually stunning at least. And one last advantage - headphone socket.

Thanks for your detailed reply with regard to the 1000 ZXL Richard makes alot of sence being the top Nak of the day.There so rare these days as they should be after 40 years only ever seen the gold plated limited edition on auction and dealer sites changing hands for £ 3000 +.    As a teenager I remember seeing pics of it and thinking that's a serious deck and it sowed the seeds for wanting a Nak in my system.

Must get my BX 300E to B@ W next year for a service - thanks you have inspired me

The BX 300 E is in some ways all the Nak you need just packs so much into a smaller Nak.

It's just FM - CD' s on my Nagra  and viny and of cause Cassettes ! Here.

Find streaming a bit souless ..... But each to their own.Take more comfort in looking at a wall of vinyl and tapes.

Gianluigi Mazzorana posted:
Richard Dane posted:

For TC and Phil, I took some pics for you of the Aiwas (AD-F660 and AD-F770) in action.  Spot the differences...

 

Fantastic machines!

Those are just HiFi porn! Sorry though - only the fluorescent meters will do - the LED meters on the 600 just don't cut it for me.

Phil

Tabby cat posted:
james n posted:
Richard Dane posted:

I finally got around to putting my old and rather sickly Pioneer CT-A9 on the bench.

Nice work there Richard !

Phil......put these up there in my sexy V.U 's        !

OHHHHHHHHYEAH!

(...and tell me that mentally you didn't hear a "chickentikkaaaaaa" after reading that. )

Actually I was watching the series of "Dirk Gentley's Holistic Detective Agency" on NetFlix the other evening and just behind the sisters drumkit over her left shoulder I'm sure that I saw the twin-deck Akai tape deck that I used to have when I was 16 ... I'm sure I recognised the two purple "dubbing" buttons on the right hand side of it.

Phil

Sadly my Aiwa (which looked akin to the above - I think mine an AD-R550) was scrapped, as the tape head kept jumping in to auto-reverse in the midst of a tape. It was repaired under warranty and then again post - but it just wouldn't behave and the bill for further repair was a very large % of the new cost, and just not worth it for me. 

Brings Back Memories, Recording secessions from LP 12 to The Nak, I think it was a 680 ZX, but anyway nice deck! 

Pre-Loved Naim ain't cheap had to Sell My LP 12 & Nak. 

My Model, if you don't use it, Loose it!  

Downsize, Life Style, etc....

I was hoping this was an spill-over Thread,  as to Recording The Analog Vinyl  to Digital Mode. 

Perhaps the next Thread! 

The Good Old Days! 

Enjoy Your Music! 

PS.  I still have about 80 Pristine Albums, and Maybe 50 CDs that are done properly. 

Easing in to Digital Streaming > Core, combined with a device use to capture Meta-data!  

I think! 

 

Glad to see other tape supporters amongst Naim society. In 1991 I sold my Aiwa cassette deck and tapes and switched to CDs. Until recently when the tape nostalgia catch me. So here is my retro gear based on Pioneer and 2 x Nakamitchi. 

Thanks for this thread Richard and the resurrection.  As a result of reading this earlier in the year, I set up a search on the local (NZ) online auction site for a Marantz PMD and picked up a PMD670 W1B for $50 NZD including a memory card (without mains adapter or rechargeable battery) I've just found out as result of this thread jogging my memory, that I can buy the mains adapter new for $59 US + post.

All in all, great value, even using AA batteries. I've been using it to record vinyl, to listen to in FLAC (although now considering WAV) on my Fiio X1, while out and about. The recordings sound rather good.

Richard Dane posted:

I love those big Pioneers Ivo.  Is that a CT-F1250 on the left?  And maybe a CT-F900 or CT-F950 at the bottom?  And the RT-707 is very cool indeed...

Thank you Richard! On the left - CT-F900. On the right down - CT-F 1250. On top of RT707 - NAK BX300e. The look of these Pioneer components is a catcher for me, the sound of the "poor man's Dragon" is a delight. I miss the CT-F 950 but there is no place. I have invaded too much my daughter's room already. The TT PLC590 is a killer but it's not mine unfortunately. 

ATB, 

Ivo

 

If you want a recommendation of a truly cracking piece of kit, the Zoom F8 recorder is astonishing value for money. 8 mic/line preamps, 10 channels of recording at 192k/24bit. Beautiful build quality. Like a mini Sound Devices 788T (which I also have) or a Nagra (which I also have)

Just 800 quid or so. 

Richard re - reading this thread tonight got me thinking about the LX series.Having never seen one except in photos.I know the LX 5 was the top in the the LX series.I remember in systems pics years ago a member had got a LX 5 and it looked gourgous a departure styling wise from the black facia with the silver front.

Have you heard one before ?

An advert by a London dealer back in the flat earth years I always remember in HiFi Answers went Nak is to Black what Ferrari is to Red...... beautiful !

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