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Tape recorder received
Tape recorder received
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Old 24th December 2011, 05:34 PM   #1
dario54 is offline dario54  Israel
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Israel
Default Tape recorder received

Hi all,

I just received 2 used tape recorders to add to my current system.

I'm new to this, even if I have and use currently a cassette player.

The problem is: I do not know which one to keep and which to dump.

The recorders are:

AKAI X201D (with removable cover)

SONY TC 377 (with removable cover)

I also received lot of NOS tapes still in box...

I could find online user's and service manuals for both.

I cannot keep both main because I do NOT have enough space, and more, because of wife complaints.......

Can someone tell me which one is better and why??
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Old 24th December 2011, 08:52 PM   #2
dchisholm is offline dchisholm  United States
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: St Louis, Mo
I suspect that "in their day" (circa early 1970's), these were both mid-to-hi end consumer machines. You may get a good answer in the Yahoo group "reeltoreel" at < reeltoreel : reeltoreel >.

I have no familiarity with the AKAI X201D. I used some TC377's at a college dorm radio station. They performed well when new, but the performance deteriorated as the moving parts (bearings, pinch rollers, tensioners, etc) experienced mechanical wear. Based on that you may want to make your choice by "guesstimating" which machine has the fewest hours of actual use.

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Old 24th December 2011, 11:49 PM   #3
stratus46 is offline stratus46  United States
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Los Angeles
If the Akai has GX heads, they do not wear anything like was advertised. The glass wears down faster than the ferrite and renders the head unusable with 'dimples' in the glass.

The Sony (and I owned one of these many years back) was capable of excellent performance but the ferrite heads fail RAPIDLY like in the low 100s of hours. The Sony heads developed 'potholes' around the gap. Under a microscope you'll see the 'pits'. My theory is the heat gradients of the tape friction causes micro 'explosions' that blow holes in the ferrite.

The transport mechanical wear issues are manageable with cleaning and re-lubricating. Sony has always used CRAP lubricants even on $100,000 broadcast machines. I recommend Nye Oil II for light machine oil and Nye 368AX for metal on metal. Nye 363F can be used in place of Sony SGL. Both of those machines should first get a 'disassemble / clean / lube' before you use them.

The tapes have likely absorbed moisture over the years and likely should be 'baked' in a food dehydrator for 8 hours at 120F. Look up tape baking. It does NOT ruin the tape or make it good for just 1 more pass.

The only way to really choose is to test both and keep the one that works better and then do the clean / lube. My bet is on the Sony. When they were new they would routinely do 30-17000 Hz at 3.75 IPS and reach 30 KHz at 7.5 IPS. (less than 1 dB level spread) You have to measure this at -20dB to avoid HF overload.

Merry Christmas

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