well at least i have enough to do now that i'm stuck at home. i'm the person that always get's these "i was going to throw this away/i found this and thought maybe you want it" calls, and this is what accumulated over the last months. while most of these things are pretty much worthless (probably 10, 20€ if they work and i sell them), some of these sell for >300€ (if i get them working), and that would be great, my other jobs are canceled right now...
started with this one, akai cs-732d. used to be a pretty decent deck back then, and they are still sought after. the reason it looks that terrible: a really thick layer of nicotine combined with basement dust. ew. frontplate is soaking in hot water now, i started with the rest and reached a dead end for now: one of the potis is broken beyond repair, and i don't have a matching replacement. :(
i found some stereo potis! wrong value, and for horizontal mounting (they came from a mixer), but i have a file and a schematic, so whatever. of course the deck had mechanical problems as well, one slipping belt, one broken lever, one stuck hinge. and i replaced most lightbulbs, which is not that easy as two of them are mounted inside the vu-meters. polished the glass, found a replacement for the missing knob, and...it works! and looks kinda nice!
yet another day, yet another tape deck. nothing really interesting about that one, had a bent spring that was making noise, a switch not making contact, and the dirtiest tape paths i've seen in a long time. it's quiet now and works fine again. i really don't like these plastic decks from the 90s, not my style at all, they always look and feel really cheap, even when they're not.
not another tape deck today, but the same as before. the akai still had some problems, autostop was unreliable (which meant autoreverse, the main feature of this deck, also wouldn't work), motor control was kinda fucked (tape would be way slower in reverse, that should not happen), and it threw a belt and rewind/ff stopped working. realigned the reed switch, disassembled & cleaned the motor, replaced belt, and cleaned a bunch of switches. and painted the replacement knob. better now.
i really love the design on this deck. oversized vu-meters, huge glass panels, glossy black metal switches, lots of lights, that's so my style. i'm wondering if i should keep this and switch out my current tape deck (which is a fancy but boring high-end 3-motors 3-heads sony deck, that's also in better condition (the heads and the motor on the akai are pretty worn) but it's terribly 90s, and the 70s akai just looks way nicer)
oh wow, just realized that "quick reverse" is not just an euphemism. i thought they meant the 4-track head (as opposed to sonys autoreverse mechanism with the mechanically rotating 2-track head), but no, this actually has a infrared light barrier right in front of the head, and switches sides as soon as the (transparent) leader tape starts, which is really quick: https://audio-database.com/AKAI/player/cs-732d-e.html the break is >2s. my test tapes use solid leader tape, so i didn't notice before. awesome.
more tape fangirling
ok, so this deck really must have been used a lot. sound was a bit dull, kinda missing the heights. so i tried demagnetizing the heads. i don't really do that anymore, as i've never seen an audible difference, but this time it really did help - heights are back, sound is better, 10/10, would disassemble again.
more audio hardware
i'm out of cassette decks, so i did this thing today. not much wrong with it, had to replace the lcd lightbulbs (my bulbs were too small for the original blue bulb condoms, so instead i used orange ones in the right size) and cleaned the laser. it's a philips cd210, and for complicated reasons these still sell for around 40€.
more audio hardware
these early models use a decent mechanism and good DACs and are supposed to "sound better" and lots of "audiophiles" use them as a basis for extensive mods to make them even better. apparently if you sink a lot of money into caps and opamps your digital media will sound "warmer" and "richer". right. i think you might as well glue crystals on it (yes, people do that for better audio quality, and no, you don't want the details), but hey, you do you.
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