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Vintage Room Projects

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  • godzilla56@sbcglobal.net
    I know several RCAS with very nice vintage rooms featuring gear they have collected over many years. Just for fun here is my room, finally completed after
    Message 1 of 17 , Mar 25, 2014
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        I know several RCAS with very nice vintage rooms featuring gear they have collected over many years. Just for fun here is my room, finally completed after several weeks of moving & hooking stuff up. Special thanks to RCAS member Townsend Bowling for the great cabinet between the Focals that holds the Clearaudio table, Audio Research Integrated Amp (Stereophile A rating) , Olive server (with custom woodwork by Luther), Sony CD Player (Stereophile "A" rating) and Sony DAT recorder. I originally had three sets of speakers for each of the three systems but found it better to use the two best pairs and switch between them when needed. Three speakers in one room do not complement each other sound wise and are impossible to position correctly for the most part. Any other members care to post pictures? We would like to see them.
      And yes, 90% of the gear is fully functional. The quadraphonic gear is difficult to keep up and very old tape machines also seem difficult with the exception of my Nakamichi which just goes and goes and goes.

      Bob
    • redbeemer01
      Hi, Bob: I saw the pictures you posted on FB yesterday of your vintage room and it all looks great! Some very nice pieces among that gear, but then you don t
      Message 2 of 17 , Mar 25, 2014
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        Hi, Bob:

        I saw the pictures you posted on FB yesterday of your vintage room and it all looks great! Some very nice pieces among that gear, but then you don't buy junk and apparently never did! I would love to hear it some of these days, although most of in the RCAS have heard at least a few of these pieces such as the Focal monitors and the Clearaudio turntable in past club meetings.
        Thanks for posting the pictures so that we all can enjoy your collection.

        Don
        ---- godzilla56@... wrote:
        > I know several RCAS with very nice vintage rooms featuring gear they have collected over many years. Just for fun here is my room, finally completed after several weeks of moving & hooking stuff up. Special thanks to RCAS member Townsend Bowling for the great cabinet between the Focals that holds the Clearaudio table, Audio Research Integrated Amp (Stereophile A rating) , Olive server (with custom woodwork by Luther), Sony CD Player (Stereophile "A" rating) and Sony DAT recorder. I originally had three sets of speakers for each of the three systems but found it better to use the two best pairs and switch between them when needed. Three speakers in one room do not complement each other sound wise and are impossible to position correctly for the most part. Any other members care to post pictures? We would like to see them. And yes, 90% of the gear is fully functional. The quadraphonic gear is difficult to keep up and very old tape machines also seem difficult with the exception of my Nakamichi which just goes and goes and goes.
        >
        >
        > Bob
      • godzilla56@sbcglobal.net
        Thanks Don. Yes some of the gear has been to meetings but most is too heavy to lug around. Also it seems I have an emotional attachment to a lot of it and
        Message 3 of 17 , Mar 25, 2014
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          Thanks Don. Yes some of the gear has been to meetings but most is too heavy to lug around. Also it seems I have an emotional attachment to a lot of it and can't bear to sell it, even if I could. Im sure you know vintage gear, especially speakers, is a tough sell for a fair price. Everyone wants used gear for next to free and I just can't bear to do it. So, it starts adding up. But I would rather keep it than give it away to someone who wouldn't even appreciate it. If you would like to listen  "old school" style most Saturday afternoons are open. Just let me know.
          Bob
        • redbeemer01
          Bob: I know where you are coming from. Neither of my Nakamichi decks work anymore, but I can t stand the thought of junking them because I lusted after them
          Message 4 of 17 , Mar 25, 2014
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            Bob:

            I know where you are coming from. Neither of my Nakamichi decks work anymore, but I can't stand the thought of junking them because I lusted after them for so long before I was able to purchase one.
            By the way, I picked up a "new" Parasound Halo P5 pre-amp from John this past Saturday and have it hooked to the new Oppo 105 and the new Golden Ear Triton 7 speakers. I must say it all sounds excellent!
            I hope to find a Saturday soon where we can get together for some vintage gear listening. I have been and will be pretty busy until the end of August when I plan to retire. Then I should have plenty of time for audio stuff!

            Don
            ---- godzilla56@... wrote:
            > Thanks Don. Yes some of the gear has been to meetings but most is too heavy to lug around. Also it seems I have an emotional attachment to a lot of it and can't bear to sell it, even if I could. Im sure you know vintage gear, especially speakers, is a tough sell for a fair price. Everyone wants used gear for next to free and I just can't bear to do it. So, it starts adding up. But I would rather keep it than give it away to someone who wouldn't even appreciate it. If you would like to listen "old school" style most Saturday afternoons are open. Just let me know. Bob
          • Robert Guerin
            Hey thats good news….retirement! Bob  ________________________________ From: ddisbennett@satx.rr.com To:
            Message 5 of 17 , Mar 25, 2014
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              Hey thats good news….retirement!
              Bob 


              From: "ddisbennett@..." <ddisbennett@...>
              To: rivercityaudiosociety@yahoogroups.com
              Cc: godzilla56@...
              Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 2:12 PM
              Subject: Re: [rivercityaudiosociety] Vintage Room Projects

               
              Bob:

              I know where you are coming from. Neither of my Nakamichi decks work anymore, but I can't stand the thought of junking them because I lusted after them for so long before I was able to purchase one.
              By the way, I picked up a "new" Parasound Halo P5 pre-amp from John this past Saturday and have it hooked to the new Oppo 105 and the new Golden Ear Triton 7 speakers. I must say it all sounds excellent!
              I hope to find a Saturday soon where we can get together for some vintage gear listening. I have been and will be pretty busy until the end of August when I plan to retire. Then I should have plenty of time for audio stuff!

              Don
              ---- godzilla56@... wrote:
              > Thanks Don. Yes some of the gear has been to meetings but most is too heavy to lug around. Also it seems I have an emotional attachment to a lot of it and can't bear to sell it, even if I could. Im sure you know vintage gear, especially speakers, is a tough sell for a fair price. Everyone wants used gear for next to free and I just can't bear to do it. So, it starts adding up. But I would rather keep it than give it away to someone who wouldn't even appreciate it. If you would like to listen "old school" style most Saturday afternoons are open. Just let me know. Bob



            • Charles Peterson
              I have working excellent condition Nakamich RX-505. It really sounds great, often better to me than digital sources in casual listening, more dynamic and
              Message 6 of 17 , Mar 25, 2014
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                I have working excellent condition Nakamich RX-505.  It really sounds great, often better to me than digital sources in casual listening, more dynamic and lively.

                I got that on eBay a few years back, one of my luckier purchases--particularly of Naks.  There's a NakTalk chat list I'm on if you are interested.  I've never gotten around to having my RX-505 recalibrated or refurbed, but it has kept on working anyway and sounds fine.  I have another Nak that needs complete repair (but worth it, as it's one of the few with actual playback head user adjustment…typically Naks adjust the record head, not playback head, except for Dragon which adjusts playback head continuously).  I bought a Dragon on eBay once but it was broken (tape eating) and rusty and I managed to get the seller to take it back.  And I have my original Nakamichi 600 I bought new in 1976 which still works now, but only after I hacked the circuitry in 2000 to disengage the tape protector.  For the longest time I used the Nakamichi 600 as a system level meter, because it has the nicest peak reading analog meters I've ever seen, unlike slow VU style meters.  Unfortunately that caused some difficult to repair part inside to dry out, rendering it inoperable in 1988.  I know a fair amount about Nakamichi's so if you want to know more just ask.

                I've had very mixed experiences recently buying used turntables.  I had planned to buy a new belt drive, but heard so much about older idler or direct drives possibly sounding better I wanted to try those instead.  Plus I wanted an automatic table of some kind for my bedroom.  My first purchase, an Mitsubishi LT-30 linear tracking automatic table, worked out ok (though I originally thought the turntable had too much wow, it turned out to have been caused by my old cartridge, from 1985, having lost it's damping and/or internal tension so as to cause very bad tonearm-cartridge resonance so bad it sounded like bad turntable wow and flutter).  Once I started putting new cartridges on the LT-30, it has sounded fine.  I now have a very nice sounding Dynavector 17D3 mounted on it.

                I then got a Lenco L75 idler drive table, the new darling of many audiophiles who often spend thousands modifying them to sound even better (for example, LencoHeaven.com).  It did ineed impress me with very dynamic and musical sound.  However, the original tonearm is shot, I wouldn't want to put a good cartridge on it now.  I've just acquired a custom base which will allow me to mount a 12 inch arm.  Next I need to buy the arm.  This is intended to be one of my main system tables and is still a work in progress.

                I got a pair of old Miracord 50H turntables when it seemed like the LT-30 wasn't sounding good.  The best 50H was said to be fully tested and working.  In actuality, it was very squeaky and the bearing sounded like sandpaper.  Luther did a very nice job lubricating it, and I used it for a week, but by then I discovered it also had broken motor mounts which were causing noticeable rumble, which a nice 50H should not have.  But worse, an earlier owner had done something like spray WD40 on the whole thing.  It stinks like an oily garage, so definitely not good for the bedroom.  Possibly with a new wood base it will be OK, but meanwhile I'm back to the LT-30 after discovering the LT-30 sounded fine with new cartridges and has safer automatic action.  (One of my biggest disasters was a stinky Marantz 2130 tuner which I had to move outside the house and into climate controlled storage.  I tried for a month in 2012 unsucessfully to eradicate the smell, which is either tobacco or mold.  It's going to require complete disassembly for that.  I'm going to have to get rid of it someday, proabably at considerable loss.  I paid $1000 and would gladly sell for $300.  Pity because it looks and sounds great, some think it's the best Marantz tuner ever, and the scope is very cool.  I learned a lot from watching that scope.)

                Sometime in there I got really inspired and decided to buy a Technics SP 10 Mk2a, in SL1000 configuration with Obsidian base and EPA-100 tonearm.  One of the ultimate direct drives from the 1980's, and somthing I'd long wanted.  I negotiated with the seller in Pennsylvania about the packaging.  He agreed to do everything the best possible way, and I said I would reimburse him for that.  I bought a motor bracket and sent it to him.  He said it would ship that week.  He said he would get foam-in-place.  Five weeks later, after lots more discussion and lack of discussion, it did finally ship and I received it yesterday.  It wasn't packed anything like he said it would be, just with too little bubble wrap and single boxing, though 3 separate boxes.  Only the flimsiest recycled box was used for the base and motor, AND the dustcover was put in the same box, underneath everything, with just 3 layers of bubble wrap loosely around it.  The dust cover is now fractured and in 3 pieces.  I've seen these original SL1000 dustcovers listed for $500, and custom (but not as good as original) dustcovers can be manufactured for $250.  Fortunately the base and motor seem ok now, though not yet tested.  The tonearm was wrapped in 2 layers of thin bubblewrap and packed in the same box as the 20 pound power supply.  The tonearm now apparently has broken gimbals, so it can't safely be used, and I have no idea who could fix it properly.  Something of this caliber, similar to a $3k SME arm now, needs examination by a real tonearm guru.  I'm not sure if it can be repaired and even then, it wouldn't be good as the original, which had ruby gimbals and the lowest operating friction ever.  I like the fact that it has magnetic damping and auto lift, which very few quality arms have.  It's too late to file for buyer protection on eBay and perhaps that was the seller's whole plan, just to make it seem he was going to be extra careful.

                One of the greatest websites to learn about vintage equipment is AudioKarma.  Another great resource for turntables is VinylEngine.  Usually, though, I just start with a web search.

                In retrospect, it would have been far less hassle to buy a new belt drive, and I do know that belt drives typically have the best isolation and lowest rumble.

                Charles



                On Mar 25, 2014, at 2:12 PM, <ddisbennett@...> wrote:

                 

                Bob:

                I know where you are coming from. Neither of my Nakamichi decks work anymore, but I can't stand the thought of junking them because I lusted after them for so long before I was able to purchase one.
                By the way, I picked up a "new" Parasound Halo P5 pre-amp from John this past Saturday and have it hooked to the new Oppo 105 and the new Golden Ear Triton 7 speakers. I must say it all sounds excellent!
                I hope to find a Saturday soon where we can get together for some vintage gear listening. I have been and will be pretty busy until the end of August when I plan to retire. Then I should have plenty of time for audio stuff!

                Don
                ---- godzilla56@... wrote:
                > Thanks Don. Yes some of the gear has been to meetings but most is too heavy to lug around. Also it seems I have an emotional attachment to a lot of it and can't bear to sell it, even if I could. Im sure you know vintage gear, especially speakers, is a tough sell for a fair price. Everyone wants used gear for next to free and I just can't bear to do it. So, it starts adding up. But I would rather keep it than give it away to someone who wouldn't even appreciate it. If you would like to listen "old school" style most Saturday afternoons are open. Just let me know. Bob


              • godzilla56@sbcglobal.net
                I have 2 Nak s that work, 700ZXL & baby version of it LX5. I have 2 600 s (slant face & great db meters) in my overflow area (garage) that may or may not work.
                Message 7 of 17 , Mar 28, 2014
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                   I have 2 Nak's that work, 700ZXL & baby version of it LX5. I have 2 600's (slant face & great db meters) in my overflow area (garage) that may or may not work. I may put there 700ZXL back into my main system as I now have more rack space thanks to fellow RCAS member Townsend. Some of the premium tapes that Nak sold (prerecorded) still sound very good (certainly better than many cd's or any compressed files) and the machine has stood the test of time. At the time it was the most money I ever spent on a piece of gear. I once sold a Nak 700ZXL for $500 more than I paid for it! Of course, I later regretted even that profit mongering and bought another years down the road although prices had dropped so I got a good deal. BTW that preamp you picked up has a very good reputation & stellar reviews from everyone who has used it. John's loss is your gain!
                  Bob
                • godzilla56@sbcglobal.net
                  Interesting info. I posted a Nak update today on my various machines. if you need a 600 I have two and at least one may still work. Bob
                  Message 8 of 17 , Mar 28, 2014
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                     Interesting info. I posted a Nak update today on my various machines. if you need a 600 I have two and at least one may still work.
                    Bob
                  • Charles Peterson
                    Wow, 700ZXL is an incredible machine! Automated adjustment of everything (azimuth, bias, level, eq)! Double capstan drive, extended frequency response to
                    Message 9 of 17 , Mar 28, 2014
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                      Wow, 700ZXL is an incredible machine!  Automated adjustment of everything (azimuth, bias, level, eq)!   Double capstan drive, extended frequency response to 25kHz.  Only more expensive machine was 1000ZXL (and 1000ZXL limited), which also adjusted playback head, like Dragon--which was cheaper.  The 700ZXL and 1000ZXL are incredibly rare and high end.

                      Not to be confused with first generation 700.  I preferred my 600 to 700, but ymmv.  700 and 700ZXL are worlds apart.

                      Here's one expert's ranking:

                      1. 1000ZXL
                      2. 700ZXL
                      3. ZX-9
                      4. CR-7
                      5. Dragon
                      6. 680 Series

                      (I can tell this guy is into clear highs, hence low ranking for Dragon.)

                      However, many other people say Dragon is the best sounding ever, particularly for tapes made on other machines, and noted for warm midrange, if less extended highs than the more expensive ZXL's.  Nakamichi sold a lot of Dragons compared with 1000zxl and 700zxl, and decided to use the name Dragon for all top products after that.  But Dragons are very expensive to maintain and repair (same as 1000zxl, but 1000zxl owners were usually more careful with their very pricey machines).

                      Here's NakTalk list:


                      Charles

                      On Mar 28, 2014, at 8:50 AM, <godzilla56@...> <godzilla56@...> wrote:

                       

                       I have 2 Nak's that work, 700ZXL & baby version of it LX5. I have 2 600's (slant face & great db meters) in my overflow area (garage) that may or may not work. I may put there 700ZXL back into my main system as I now have more rack space thanks to fellow RCAS member Townsend. Some of the premium tapes that Nak sold (prerecorded) still sound very good (certainly better than many cd's or any compressed files) and the machine has stood the test of time. At the time it was the most money I ever spent on a piece of gear. I once sold a Nak 700ZXL for $500 more than I paid for it! Of course, I later regretted even that profit mongering and bought another years down the road although prices had dropped so I got a good deal. BTW that preamp you picked up has a very good reputation & stellar reviews from everyone who has used it. John's loss is your gain!

                      Bob


                    • Robert Guerin
                      Hi Charles  I think I agree with that rating. While the Dragon seems to have a very loyal following I looked at both machines back in the day. I liked the
                      Message 10 of 17 , Mar 28, 2014
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                        Hi Charles

                         I think I agree with that rating. While the Dragon seems to have a very loyal following I looked at both machines back in the day. I liked the 700ZXL for a variety of reasons, but in the end, the styling, features and performance seemed better to me. The store near San Francisco in Mill Valley had both. I played and recorded music on both and then made my choice. But it does seem the Dragon gets more respect from the posts I read. But I also think you are right about the service needs. My 700ZXL only went back to Nak once for some issues with the lights, although I didn't know it at the time it turned out to be the last one they serviced before they closed shop. I had a friend in Torrance who drove it to the service center and told me later things didn't look good there. The gold version of the 1000ZXL was for sale in a Monterey shop back in the 1990's I could have bought it…but it just wasn't worth the money they wanted for a largely cosmetic change from the standard 1000ZXL. I also later owned Nak preamps & amps, particularly when nelson pass designed an amp for them. Although later Nelson was quite upset that they he didn't get paid properly and they largely took credit for his work. Not good. Im sure you remember the Nak turntable, a weird design that shifted around for off center holes in the vinyl.  It is quite sad how everything came apart for the company. Recently I saw the ultimate indignity of a Nakamichi logo on a cheap plastic sound bar at Sears for $129. What a horrible fate.
                        Bob


                        From: Charles Peterson <charlesp@...>
                        To: rivercityaudiosociety@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Friday, March 28, 2014 5:34 PM
                        Subject: Re: [rivercityaudiosociety] Nakamichi Stories

                         
                        Wow, 700ZXL is an incredible machine!  Automated adjustment of everything (azimuth, bias, level, eq)!   Double capstan drive, extended frequency response to 25kHz.  Only more expensive machine was 1000ZXL (and 1000ZXL limited), which also adjusted playback head, like Dragon--which was cheaper.  The 700ZXL and 1000ZXL are incredibly rare and high end.

                        Not to be confused with first generation 700.  I preferred my 600 to 700, but ymmv.  700 and 700ZXL are worlds apart.

                        Here's one expert's ranking:

                        1. 1000ZXL
                        2. 700ZXL
                        3. ZX-9
                        4. CR-7
                        5. Dragon
                        6. 680 Series

                        (I can tell this guy is into clear highs, hence low ranking for Dragon.)

                        However, many other people say Dragon is the best sounding ever, particularly for tapes made on other machines, and noted for warm midrange, if less extended highs than the more expensive ZXL's.  Nakamichi sold a lot of Dragons compared with 1000zxl and 700zxl, and decided to use the name Dragon for all top products after that.  But Dragons are very expensive to maintain and repair (same as 1000zxl, but 1000zxl owners were usually more careful with their very pricey machines).

                        Here's NakTalk list:


                        Charles

                        On Mar 28, 2014, at 8:50 AM, <godzilla56@...> <godzilla56@...> wrote:

                         
                         I have 2 Nak's that work, 700ZXL & baby version of it LX5. I have 2 600's (slant face & great db meters) in my overflow area (garage) that may or may not work. I may put there 700ZXL back into my main system as I now have more rack space thanks to fellow RCAS member Townsend. Some of the premium tapes that Nak sold (prerecorded) still sound very good (certainly better than many cd's or any compressed files) and the machine has stood the test of time. At the time it was the most money I ever spent on a piece of gear. I once sold a Nak 700ZXL for $500 more than I paid for it! Of course, I later regretted even that profit mongering and bought another years down the road although prices had dropped so I got a good deal. BTW that preamp you picked up has a very good reputation & stellar reviews from everyone who has used it. John's loss is your gain!
                        Bob




                      • Don Disbennett
                        Guys: I own both the Nakamichi 700 and a 500 and am the original owner of both. Neither one works anymore, although the 700 transport still works fine in all
                        Message 11 of 17 , Mar 28, 2014
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                          Guys:

                          I own both the Nakamichi 700 and a 500 and am the original owner of both.  Neither one works anymore, although the 700 transport still works fine in all directions and the meters light up.  They were both in storage for many years while I moved around, so were not used for quite some time.  I first unpacked the 700 and the playback was fine for a while, but the record function didn’t work.  Now, neither function works, just the transport.  The 500 was in storage for some time after the 700 was unpacked and the first time I tried to power it up, nothing happened at all, so it is DOA.  I used them both for some amateur on-site recording with some quality mics and they worked well in that regard.  I thought the 700, when it was working sounded quite good, but that was by the standards back in the day.  Anyway, I think the 700 was/is one of the most beautiful pieces of audio gear ever made and certainly the nicest looking cassette deck ever.  It went back to the factory one time for a new head block, but that was the only repairs.  I think it mainly needs repairs to the electronics now as the motors seem to work fine.
                           
                          Don
                           
                          Sent: Friday, March 28, 2014 6:46 PM
                          Subject: Re: [rivercityaudiosociety] Nakamichi Stories Pt2
                           
                           

                          Hi Charles

                          I think I agree with that rating. While the Dragon seems to have a very loyal following I looked at both machines back in the day. I liked the 700ZXL for a variety of reasons, but in the end, the styling, features and performance seemed better to me. The store near San Francisco in Mill Valley had both. I played and recorded music on both and then made my choice. But it does seem the Dragon gets more respect from the posts I read. But I also think you are right about the service needs. My 700ZXL only went back to Nak once for some issues with the lights, although I didn't know it at the time it turned out to be the last one they serviced before they closed shop. I had a friend in Torrance who drove it to the service center and told me later things didn't look good there. The gold version of the 1000ZXL was for sale in a Monterey shop back in the 1990's I could have bought it…but it just wasn't worth the money they wanted for a largely cosmetic change from the standard 1000ZXL. I also later owned Nak preamps & amps, particularly when nelson pass designed an amp for them. Although later Nelson was quite upset that they he didn't get paid properly and they largely took credit for his work. Not good. Im sure you remember the Nak turntable, a weird design that shifted around for off center holes in the vinyl.  It is quite sad how everything came apart for the company. Recently I saw the ultimate indignity of a Nakamichi logo on a cheap plastic sound bar at Sears for $129. What a horrible fate.
                          Bob
                           

                          From: Charles Peterson <charlesp@...>
                          To: rivercityaudiosociety@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Friday, March 28, 2014 5:34 PM
                          Subject: Re: [rivercityaudiosociety] Nakamichi Stories
                           
                           
                          Wow, 700ZXL is an incredible machine!  Automated adjustment of everything (azimuth, bias, level, eq)!   Double capstan drive, extended frequency response to 25kHz.  Only more expensive machine was 1000ZXL (and 1000ZXL limited), which also adjusted playback head, like Dragon--which was cheaper.  The 700ZXL and 1000ZXL are incredibly rare and high end.
                           
                          Not to be confused with first generation 700.  I preferred my 600 to 700, but ymmv.  700 and 700ZXL are worlds apart.
                           
                          Here's one expert's ranking:
                           
                          1. 1000ZXL
                          2. 700ZXL
                          3. ZX-9
                          4. CR-7
                          5. Dragon
                          6. 680 Series
                           
                          (I can tell this guy is into clear highs, hence low ranking for Dragon.)
                           
                          However, many other people say Dragon is the best sounding ever, particularly for tapes made on other machines, and noted for warm midrange, if less extended highs than the more expensive ZXL's.  Nakamichi sold a lot of Dragons compared with 1000zxl and 700zxl, and decided to use the name Dragon for all top products after that.  But Dragons are very expensive to maintain and repair (same as 1000zxl, but 1000zxl owners were usually more careful with their very pricey machines).
                           
                          Here's NakTalk list:
                           
                           
                          Charles
                           
                          On Mar 28, 2014, at 8:50 AM, <godzilla56@...> <godzilla56@...> wrote:

                           
                          I have 2 Nak's that work, 700ZXL & baby version of it LX5. I have 2 600's (slant face & great db meters) in my overflow area (garage) that may or may not work. I may put there 700ZXL back into my main system as I now have more rack space thanks to fellow RCAS member Townsend. Some of the premium tapes that Nak sold (prerecorded) still sound very good (certainly better than many cd's or any compressed files) and the machine has stood the test of time. At the time it was the most money I ever spent on a piece of gear. I once sold a Nak 700ZXL for $500 more than I paid for it! Of course, I later regretted even that profit mongering and bought another years down the road although prices had dropped so I got a good deal. BTW that preamp you picked up has a very good reputation & stellar reviews from everyone who has used it. John's loss is your gain!
                          Bob
                           
                           


                        • Charles Peterson
                          ... I ve become very interested in the Nak tables, since I ve discovered that the wow and flutter created by a *good* record is about 10 times higher than a
                          Message 12 of 17 , Mar 28, 2014
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                            . Im sure you remember the Nak turntable, a weird design that shifted around for off center holes in the vinyl.

                            I've become very interested in the Nak tables, since I've discovered that the wow and flutter created by a *good* record is about 10 times higher than a *good* turntable.  I tried to measure the wow of my LT-30 that sounded bad, and found that it measured the same as all my other turntables--because I was really measuring the off centered test record.  (It turned out the bad sound came from arm and cartridge resonance--caused by 18 year old bad cartridge.)  However I've pretty much used up my spare change on other "project" turntables now, including the SL1000Mk2 (SP10) that has broken EPA-100 arm (so I'm faced with both arm repair and motor refurb costs, when I had only anticipated the latter), so I probably won't be buying a Nakamichi turntable soon (and then thinking about refurbing it!).

                            Now many turntable users (me included) obsess about speed accuracy.  Direct drives, despite superb measurements, are alleged to have audible cogging.  Belt drives were once the ultimate standard--zero cogging and very low rumble, but now some say idler drives, when properly restored and modified, have better dynamics (because of better motor load response).  And so on the obsessions go, when most of *these* effects cannot be measured except by ear.

                            But very few obsess about the #1 cause of measureable speed variation in vinyl playback, which is the fact that it's simply impossible to press perfectly centered records.  There is always a tiny amount of error.  And even if invisible, it's still more wow than than from the turntable.  You can read about the math here from the original (and now only original) The Absolute Sound reviewer REG (who is also a professional mathematician):


                            As REG points out, even if you buy a device (no longer made) to repunch record holes after adjusting for the perfect center by eye, you still cannot get close enough to make it lower than other souces of speed variation.  What is needed is a computerized device using lasers to do the job automatically and nearly perfectly.  And ONLY Nakamichi has ever responded to the challenge.

                            Now he pictures the TX-1000, the far more expensive one.  But the cheaper (and later) Dragon CT is claimed by many to actually be better sounding:


                            According to one service engineer, the Dragon CT was much more reliable and better sounding than the bigger TX-1000. I wouldn't know but the goal was basically the same 

                            Nakamichi spent a fortune developing these turntables, just as the original age of vinyl was coming to a close.  Nakamichi took on and succeeded in conquering the biggest measureable problem in vinyl playback.  They hoped to create a revolutionary product, just as the original 1000 Cassette Deck had been, that redefined what was possible from the Compact Cassette (originally developed for dictation, though already somewhat shown to be musical by the Advent 201--but no where close to the Nakamici).  It was something the small but intrepid and perfectionistic company could do better than anyone else, involving a computerized correction system.

                            But the market yawned, then thinking more about those smaller discs, as well as (allegedly) much better belt drive tables (I think it would be hard to beat a Dragon CT at $1750 in 1983, but who knows).

                            Nakamichi did come out with other high end products after that (such as the Dragon CT and DAC).  But the auto centering turntable was something they were uniquely qualified to do better than anyone else.  So a great opportunity was missed, for them and for us.

                            Note that record holes are pretty well perfectly punched in the center of the record.  The problem seems to occur in the pressing.  The pressing machines don't perfectly press the groves around the center of the record.  Thus you can't simply align the outside of the record.

                            Charles

                            PS, just noticed my to-be-repaired Nakamichi deck is a Cassette Deck 1, one of the only ones to allow user adjustment of the *playback* head.  The Sanyo-sourced gear drive dual capstan mechanisms were not as robust as the previous Nakamichi-made belt and direct drive dual capstan models (most famous models), but still considered OK if properly serviced (small internal rubber wheel tends to go bad starting to cause flutter).  Mine is worse, it doesn't run at all.




                             It is quite sad how everything came apart for the company. Recently I saw the ultimate indignity of a Nakamichi logo on a cheap plastic sound bar at Sears for $129. What a horrible fate.
                            Bob


                          • Steve Surbaugh
                            I ve regretted not buying a Nak 505 at a Pawn Shop on Blanco. The 505 was the one that rotated the cassette verses rotating the heads to play the other side.
                            Message 13 of 17 , Apr 1 10:35 AM
                            • 0 Attachment
                              I've regretted not buying a Nak 505 at a Pawn Shop on Blanco. The 505 was the one that rotated the cassette verses rotating the heads to play the other side.
                              ss
                              On Friday, March 28, 2014 9:53 PM, Charles Peterson <charlesp@...> wrote:
                               
                              . Im sure you remember the Nak turntable, a weird design that shifted around for off center holes in the vinyl.

                              I've become very interested in the Nak tables, since I've discovered that the wow and flutter created by a *good* record is about 10 times higher than a *good* turntable.  I tried to measure the wow of my LT-30 that sounded bad, and found that it measured the same as all my other turntables--because I was really measuring the off centered test record.  (It turned out the bad sound came from arm and cartridge resonance--caused by 18 year old bad cartridge.)  However I've pretty much used up my spare change on other "project" turntables now, including the SL1000Mk2 (SP10) that has broken EPA-100 arm (so I'm faced with both arm repair and motor refurb costs, when I had only anticipated the latter), so I probably won't be buying a Nakamichi turntable soon (and then thinking about refurbing it!).

                              Now many turntable users (me included) obsess about speed accuracy.  Direct drives, despite superb measurements, are alleged to have audible cogging.  Belt drives were once the ultimate standard--zero cogging and very low rumble, but now some say idler drives, when properly restored and modified, have better dynamics (because of better motor load response).  And so on the obsessions go, when most of *these* effects cannot be measured except by ear.

                              But very few obsess about the #1 cause of measureable speed variation in vinyl playback, which is the fact that it's simply impossible to press perfectly centered records.  There is always a tiny amount of error.  And even if invisible, it's still more wow than than from the turntable.  You can read about the math here from the original (and now only original) The Absolute Sound reviewer REG (who is also a professional mathematician):


                              As REG points out, even if you buy a device (no longer made) to repunch record holes after adjusting for the perfect center by eye, you still cannot get close enough to make it lower than other souces of speed variation.  What is needed is a computerized device using lasers to do the job automatically and nearly perfectly.  And ONLY Nakamichi has ever responded to the challenge.

                              Now he pictures the TX-1000, the far more expensive one.  But the cheaper (and later) Dragon CT is claimed by many to actually be better sounding:


                              According to one service engineer, the Dragon CT was much more reliable and better sounding than the bigger TX-1000. I wouldn't know but the goal was basically the same 

                              Nakamichi spent a fortune developing these turntables, just as the original age of vinyl was coming to a close.  Nakamichi took on and succeeded in conquering the biggest measureable problem in vinyl playback.  They hoped to create a revolutionary product, just as the original 1000 Cassette Deck had been, that redefined what was possible from the Compact Cassette (originally developed for dictation, though already somewhat shown to be musical by the Advent 201--but no where close to the Nakamici).  It was something the small but intrepid and perfectionistic company could do better than anyone else, involving a computerized correction system.

                              But the market yawned, then thinking more about those smaller discs, as well as (allegedly) much better belt drive tables (I think it would be hard to beat a Dragon CT at $1750 in 1983, but who knows).

                              Nakamichi did come out with other high end products after that (such as the Dragon CT and DAC).  But the auto centering turntable was something they were uniquely qualified to do better than anyone else.  So a great opportunity was missed, for them and for us.

                              Note that record holes are pretty well perfectly punched in the center of the record.  The problem seems to occur in the pressing.  The pressing machines don't perfectly press the groves around the center of the record.  Thus you can't simply align the outside of the record.

                              Charles

                              PS, just noticed my to-be-repaired Nakamichi deck is a Cassette Deck 1, one of the only ones to allow user adjustment of the *playback* head.  The Sanyo-sourced gear drive dual capstan mechanisms were not as robust as the previous Nakamichi-made belt and direct drive dual capstan models (most famous models), but still considered OK if properly serviced (small internal rubber wheel tends to go bad starting to cause flutter).  Mine is worse, it doesn't run at all.




                               It is quite sad how everything came apart for the company. Recently I saw the ultimate indignity of a Nakamichi logo on a cheap plastic sound bar at Sears for $129. What a horrible fate.
                              Bob




                            • Robert Guerin
                              Yes another unique Nakamichi solution. I don t think any other company ever offered that feature. In a pawn shop? Wow, probably cheap? Bob
                              Message 14 of 17 , Apr 1 11:25 AM
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                                Yes another unique Nakamichi solution. I don't think any other company ever offered that feature. In a pawn shop? Wow, probably cheap?
                                Bob


                                From: Steve Surbaugh <stevesurbaugh@...>
                                To: "rivercityaudiosociety@yahoogroups.com" <rivercityaudiosociety@yahoogroups.com>
                                Sent: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 12:35 PM
                                Subject: Re: [rivercityaudiosociety] Nakamichi Stories Pt2

                                 
                                I've regretted not buying a Nak 505 at a Pawn Shop on Blanco. The 505 was the one that rotated the cassette verses rotating the heads to play the other side.
                                ss
                                On Friday, March 28, 2014 9:53 PM, Charles Peterson <charlesp@...> wrote:
                                 
                                . Im sure you remember the Nak turntable, a weird design that shifted around for off center holes in the vinyl.

                                I've become very interested in the Nak tables, since I've discovered that the wow and flutter created by a *good* record is about 10 times higher than a *good* turntable.  I tried to measure the wow of my LT-30 that sounded bad, and found that it measured the same as all my other turntables--because I was really measuring the off centered test record.  (It turned out the bad sound came from arm and cartridge resonance--caused by 18 year old bad cartridge.)  However I've pretty much used up my spare change on other "project" turntables now, including the SL1000Mk2 (SP10) that has broken EPA-100 arm (so I'm faced with both arm repair and motor refurb costs, when I had only anticipated the latter), so I probably won't be buying a Nakamichi turntable soon (and then thinking about refurbing it!).

                                Now many turntable users (me included) obsess about speed accuracy.  Direct drives, despite superb measurements, are alleged to have audible cogging.  Belt drives were once the ultimate standard--zero cogging and very low rumble, but now some say idler drives, when properly restored and modified, have better dynamics (because of better motor load response).  And so on the obsessions go, when most of *these* effects cannot be measured except by ear.

                                But very few obsess about the #1 cause of measureable speed variation in vinyl playback, which is the fact that it's simply impossible to press perfectly centered records.  There is always a tiny amount of error.  And even if invisible, it's still more wow than than from the turntable.  You can read about the math here from the original (and now only original) The Absolute Sound reviewer REG (who is also a professional mathematician):


                                As REG points out, even if you buy a device (no longer made) to repunch record holes after adjusting for the perfect center by eye, you still cannot get close enough to make it lower than other souces of speed variation.  What is needed is a computerized device using lasers to do the job automatically and nearly perfectly.  And ONLY Nakamichi has ever responded to the challenge.

                                Now he pictures the TX-1000, the far more expensive one.  But the cheaper (and later) Dragon CT is claimed by many to actually be better sounding:


                                According to one service engineer, the Dragon CT was much more reliable and better sounding than the bigger TX-1000. I wouldn't know but the goal was basically the same 

                                Nakamichi spent a fortune developing these turntables, just as the original age of vinyl was coming to a close.  Nakamichi took on and succeeded in conquering the biggest measureable problem in vinyl playback.  They hoped to create a revolutionary product, just as the original 1000 Cassette Deck had been, that redefined what was possible from the Compact Cassette (originally developed for dictation, though already somewhat shown to be musical by the Advent 201--but no where close to the Nakamici).  It was something the small but intrepid and perfectionistic company could do better than anyone else, involving a computerized correction system.

                                But the market yawned, then thinking more about those smaller discs, as well as (allegedly) much better belt drive tables (I think it would be hard to beat a Dragon CT at $1750 in 1983, but who knows).

                                Nakamichi did come out with other high end products after that (such as the Dragon CT and DAC).  But the auto centering turntable was something they were uniquely qualified to do better than anyone else.  So a great opportunity was missed, for them and for us.

                                Note that record holes are pretty well perfectly punched in the center of the record.  The problem seems to occur in the pressing.  The pressing machines don't perfectly press the groves around the center of the record.  Thus you can't simply align the outside of the record.

                                Charles

                                PS, just noticed my to-be-repaired Nakamichi deck is a Cassette Deck 1, one of the only ones to allow user adjustment of the *playback* head.  The Sanyo-sourced gear drive dual capstan mechanisms were not as robust as the previous Nakamichi-made belt and direct drive dual capstan models (most famous models), but still considered OK if properly serviced (small internal rubber wheel tends to go bad starting to cause flutter).  Mine is worse, it doesn't run at all.




                                 It is quite sad how everything came apart for the company. Recently I saw the ultimate indignity of a Nakamichi logo on a cheap plastic sound bar at Sears for $129. What a horrible fate.
                                Bob






                              • Charles Peterson
                                The RX-505 is the one I have. And of course the auto-reverse is very convenient, found only on a few Naks, either the tape flip method (RX505, RX305, RX205)
                                Message 15 of 17 , Apr 1 3:22 PM
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                                  The RX-505 is the one I have.  And of course the auto-reverse is very convenient, found only on a few Naks, either the tape flip method (RX505, RX305, RX205) or the NAAC (Nakamichi Automatic Azimuth Correction) as in the Dragon.  Nakamichi refrained from ever making a reversing deck without such features, feeling that the head positioning error is one of the biggest problems in cassette tape systems, rolling off the highs severely, and thereby also preventing Dolby systems from working properly.  Accurate head positioning was one of the things Nakamichi wanted to stand for.  If you play around with anyone else's auto reversing deck, you will likely find the two sides of the tape sounding different and neither one right.

                                  They did make some Dragon decks for cars too, and non-reversing decks for those who couldn't afford the Dragons. Most of the models featured double capstan drives.

                                  Sonically even the RX505 is not among the very best Naks, having electronics and similar to other 5 series models (just below 6xx, 700, and 1000 models) and no special azimuth fine tuning like the 700zxe, etc.  But it does have the wonderful asymmetrical double capstan drive mechanism, the classic one, which makes a huge difference compared with most cassette drives.  Just yesterday I found out that it was Niro Nakamichi, brother of Etsuro, who designed the golden age Nakamichi decks.  He split from the company in the 2000's to design MRC and Niro electronics, which feature special damping properties.

                                  But many experts think RX505 good enough, and rank it just above the top ones.  I remember reading about some studio that had both RX505 and Dragon and the RX505 got more use.

                                  Charles



                                  On Apr 1, 2014, at 12:35 PM, Steve Surbaugh wrote:

                                   

                                  I've regretted not buying a Nak 505 at a Pawn Shop on Blanco. The 505 was the one that rotated the cassette verses rotating the heads to play the other side.
                                  ss
                                  On Friday, March 28, 2014 9:53 PM, Charles Peterson <charlesp@...> wrote:
                                   
                                • Robert Guerin
                                  Getting back to the chat about turntables I was surprised to see there are two Nakamichi Dragon tables on Audiogon. It seems there is a guy who services &
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Apr 2 6:09 AM
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Getting back to the chat about turntables I was surprised to see there are two Nakamichi Dragon tables on Audiogon. It seems there is a guy who services & modifies them. Prices seem to be in the 5-6k range. Many years ago I looked for one of these tables without any luck, but now it seems you can find anything if you are patient. However, the price that is being charged once again puts them beyond reach except for the very affluent audiophile or collector. It would be interesting to see how they sound compared to a "standard" table today such as a VPI scout. I wish our audiophile press would give us these type ot articles…..The British hi fi magazines often have features on vintage equipment and test and rate items using current standards. In many instances the vintage gear is quite competitive.

                                    Charles does that Nak site you referenced have reviews posted on nak gear?

                                    Bob


                                    From: Charles Peterson <charlesp@...>
                                    To: rivercityaudiosociety@yahoogroups.com
                                    Sent: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 5:22 PM
                                    Subject: Re: [rivercityaudiosociety] Nakamichi Stories Pt2

                                     
                                    The RX-505 is the one I have.  And of course the auto-reverse is very convenient, found only on a few Naks, either the tape flip method (RX505, RX305, RX205) or the NAAC (Nakamichi Automatic Azimuth Correction) as in the Dragon.  Nakamichi refrained from ever making a reversing deck without such features, feeling that the head positioning error is one of the biggest problems in cassette tape systems, rolling off the highs severely, and thereby also preventing Dolby systems from working properly.  Accurate head positioning was one of the things Nakamichi wanted to stand for.  If you play around with anyone else's auto reversing deck, you will likely find the two sides of the tape sounding different and neither one right.

                                    They did make some Dragon decks for cars too, and non-reversing decks for those who couldn't afford the Dragons. Most of the models featured double capstan drives.

                                    Sonically even the RX505 is not among the very best Naks, having electronics and similar to other 5 series models (just below 6xx, 700, and 1000 models) and no special azimuth fine tuning like the 700zxe, etc.  But it does have the wonderful asymmetrical double capstan drive mechanism, the classic one, which makes a huge difference compared with most cassette drives.  Just yesterday I found out that it was Niro Nakamichi, brother of Etsuro, who designed the golden age Nakamichi decks.  He split from the company in the 2000's to design MRC and Niro electronics, which feature special damping properties.

                                    But many experts think RX505 good enough, and rank it just above the top ones.  I remember reading about some studio that had both RX505 and Dragon and the RX505 got more use.

                                    Charles



                                    On Apr 1, 2014, at 12:35 PM, Steve Surbaugh wrote:

                                     

                                    I've regretted not buying a Nak 505 at a Pawn Shop on Blanco. The 505 was the one that rotated the cassette verses rotating the heads to play the other side.
                                    ss
                                    On Friday, March 28, 2014 9:53 PM, Charles Peterson <charlesp@...> wrote:
                                     


                                  • Charles Peterson
                                    While I think the $1875 Dragon CT would have been a great value product in 1983, while many famous belt drives were still far from being perfected, and idlers
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Apr 2 8:16 PM
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      While I think the $1875 Dragon CT would have been a great value product in 1983, while many famous belt drives were still far from being perfected, and idlers were relegated to garages, I'm not sure about a refurbed CT for $6k today.  There's a lot of competition, and most other aspects of vinyl playback have been substantially improved.  My refurbed SP10/SL1000 (which sold for considerably more in 1983) will likely have a better motor, plinth, and arm, when I am done with it.  Freedom from low frequency wow is only one thing of many, and though typical record mis-centering is one of the biggest easily measureable errors in vinyl playback, it may be less audibly harmful than others--we seem to be able to tune the large 0.5 Hz wow out of our perception better than you would expect, but not so much other problems related to higher frequency resonances.  I don't know, I'd just love to hear one in comparison with other tables, and I wish the idea had caught on so that many other turntables had the same feature by now.

                                      Naks.com has a complete list of classic Nakamichi products, including the turntables.


                                      No reviews, just well known information, and links to selected models on eBay.

                                      Funny when I checked the site last week, the page of Naks was not working, but now it's back.  Also funny, when I bring up the page for 1000zxe, it shows listings for Nikon cameras.

                                      Charles

                                      On Apr 2, 2014, at 8:09 AM, Robert Guerin wrote:

                                       

                                      Getting back to the chat about turntables I was surprised to see there are two Nakamichi Dragon tables on Audiogon. It seems there is a guy who services & modifies them. Prices seem to be in the 5-6k range. Many years ago I looked for one of these tables without any luck, but now it seems you can find anything if you are patient. However, the price that is being charged once again puts them beyond reach except for the very affluent audiophile or collector. It would be interesting to see how they sound compared to a "standard" table today such as a VPI scout. I wish our audiophile press would give us these type ot articles…..The British hi fi magazines often have features on vintage equipment and test and rate items using current standards. In many instances the vintage gear is quite competitive.

                                      Charles does that Nak site you referenced have reviews posted on nak gear?

                                      Bob


                                      From: Charles Peterson <charlesp@...>
                                      To: rivercityaudiosociety@yahoogroups.com
                                      Sent: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 5:22 PM
                                      Subject: Re: [rivercityaudiosociety] Nakamichi Stories Pt2

                                       
                                      The RX-505 is the one I have.  And of course the auto-reverse is very convenient, found only on a few Naks, either the tape flip method (RX505, RX305, RX205) or the NAAC (Nakamichi Automatic Azimuth Correction) as in the Dragon.  Nakamichi refrained from ever making a reversing deck without such features, feeling that the head positioning error is one of the biggest problems in cassette tape systems, rolling off the highs severely, and thereby also preventing Dolby systems from working properly.  Accurate head positioning was one of the things Nakamichi wanted to stand for.  If you play around with anyone else's auto reversing deck, you will likely find the two sides of the tape sounding different and neither one right.

                                      They did make some Dragon decks for cars too, and non-reversing decks for those who couldn't afford the Dragons. Most of the models featured double capstan drives.

                                      Sonically even the RX505 is not among the very best Naks, having electronics and similar to other 5 series models (just below 6xx, 700, and 1000 models) and no special azimuth fine tuning like the 700zxe, etc.  But it does have the wonderful asymmetrical double capstan drive mechanism, the classic one, which makes a huge difference compared with most cassette drives.  Just yesterday I found out that it was Niro Nakamichi, brother of Etsuro, who designed the golden age Nakamichi decks.  He split from the company in the 2000's to design MRC and Niro electronics, which feature special damping properties.

                                      But many experts think RX505 good enough, and rank it just above the top ones.  I remember reading about some studio that had both RX505 and Dragon and the RX505 got more use.

                                      Charles



                                      On Apr 1, 2014, at 12:35 PM, Steve Surbaugh wrote:

                                       

                                      I've regretted not buying a Nak 505 at a Pawn Shop on Blanco. The 505 was the one that rotated the cassette verses rotating the heads to play the other side.
                                      ss
                                      On Friday, March 28, 2014 9:53 PM, Charles Peterson <charlesp@...> wrote:
                                       




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