View Full Version : Akai x-355?


kowalski
09-26-2011, 12:09 PM
What do you know about them...I didn't get any dedicated threads back on the search:no:

vfr800fiman
09-26-2011, 03:54 PM
I own one, what's the question?
Glenn

EDIT:
Here's my thread http://audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=230696

kowalski
09-27-2011, 09:44 AM
I own one, what's the question?
Glenn

EDIT:
Here's my thread http://audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=230696

Is it a good first reel to get, are there common issues with them, is it possible to fix them - are parts readily available? The one I'm looking at has some sort of reel extension to accommodate larger reels...

vfr800fiman
09-27-2011, 10:37 AM
It was the first reel to reel I bought that had solenoid controls. My other RTR's were Sony's with the lever type control for play, ff, rew, etc.

I'm not sure how the specifications are on these decks. I know one thing, they are extremely heavy. Nice to have built-in speakers if you need them.

I haven't had to replace any Akai specific parts, so I can't answer that. I've rebuilt things like the power supply, and replaced bad caps. I will say that there are a LOT of relays in this deck, and I understand they are not available any more. I'm not sure if this deck has the glass heads, but I have a newer GX-625 that does. Those things last a long time.

One thing I don't like about this deck is that you have to manually pull the heads off the tape before REW or FF. What kind of design is that?!

Those reel adapters are VERY hard to find. The last pair I saw sold for over $100 on Ebay.

kowalski
09-27-2011, 11:33 AM
Found an Akai 7300 DSS near my house with some prerecorded reels that looks like it might be a bit more user/repair friendly......think I might go that route instead?

vfr800fiman
09-27-2011, 12:25 PM
Never heard of an Akai 7300, this is an RTR?

kowalski
09-27-2011, 12:38 PM
Never heard of an Akai 7300, this is an RTR?

I meant 1730DSS...althought I've just been reading they have noise issues later in life...

vfr800fiman
09-27-2011, 01:01 PM
I'm not familiar with that model. I tend to only buy decks nowadays that have full logic control. Nothing against levers, just personal preference.
Read this:
http://homerecording.com/bbs/general-discussions/analog-only/thoughts-akai-1730d-ss-reel-reel-should-i-buy-206195/

cableguy2
09-28-2011, 07:56 PM
Yeah, the 1730 had a noisy op amp. I had one and sold it. I think I still have a couple of the amp parts.

aero_eng
09-29-2011, 11:25 PM
The Akai X-355 is a very well built machine, with a cast aluminum face plate (like the Revox) upon which all the transport components are screwed to. Transport is entirely solenoid controlled, no logic of any kind. Tape heads are standard permalloy, and the tape lifter is manually operated, which leads to worn heads (important to check!) Furthermore, while it boasts cross field bias system (i.e. a bias head is mounted opposite and offset to the main recording head) for very wide frequency response, the signal-noise ratio is rather low due to the early germanium transistors used. If you buy one nowdays, expect to have to replace almost every capacitor in it (not for the faint of heart).
Regarding your question about glass-ferrite heads, only the GX- series machines (1971 thru 1986) have them. The X- series machines (X-345, -355, -360, -4, -5, and some of the others that escape memory right now) all have cross field bias.
As a side note, when Rheem imported them under the name "Roberts", they used the trademark "X-Field" to denote the cross field head bias system.

srinath
09-29-2011, 11:54 PM
I have a gx365d I literally bought off the side of the road. Works great from the get go, and I think it hasn't been used much. I'd put it up against the best of the decks for sound and how well it winds etc.
A 355 - I dunno, but vintage akai has my vote, solid decks.
Cool.
Srinath.

aero_eng
09-30-2011, 12:13 AM
Another important point to note: the X-345 and X-355 use 4 pole inside rotor induction motors for the reels. Very, very fast FF and REW! Whatever you do, do not use your hand to brake the reels!
Starting with the X-360 and subsequent GX series Akai machines, they use a 6 pole outside rotor motor. Much better controlled, smoother, slower FF and REW (still sufficiently fast for most purposes).

eclectik
09-30-2011, 07:00 AM
I have an x-355. I've never seen another like it, not even close in fact, for solidity of build - seriously, this thing is Heavy Metal. Looks military, not least because of the battleship grey of the face and case!

The heads are metal, and can suffer wear.
As noted, a recap (at least of the audio i/o stages) will be almost essential - but most are located on cards which slide out the bottom, it is user-serviceable in that regard.

Also the capstan belt will probably need changing, it is quite fussy about the exact type. Too thin and the speed won't change properly as it rides the pulley.

The brakes on mine need attention, which is partly why it is out of use at the moment.

The solenoid controls are nice, and responsive. I am not a fan of Akai's clumsy 2-lever designs on their cheaper models. Like vfr800fiman, I prefer electronic controls.

The relays' contacts may need cleaning, but these relays do not generally go bad. They are easily reachable thru the rear.
And yes, I found the winding speed to be absurdly fast, and there is no tacho or anything measuring spool pulses to slow it down, so beware. Not one to use your triple play 0.5 mil tapes on!

So, in short, worth considering as it has a great sound and build, but due to age it will need a fair bit of work. One for the techs amongst us.

And, if anyone happens to have a manual....;)

vfr800fiman
09-30-2011, 07:05 AM
I'll PM you later about the last sentence :)