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  #1  
Old 09-26-2005, 08:05 AM
1420-1503 1420-1503 is offline
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AKAI M8 M-8 Cross Field Reel to Reel any good?

I can by above mentioned professional tube reel deck for €200 and wonder if it's a deal to be taken or not? It's being offered for sale locally so there won't be an extra shipping cost to add to the price.

I'm asking the question in the hypothese that the unit is in excellent technical condition.
Of course I don't know that is the case so, therefore my second question:

Is it worthwhile to buy such a vintage tubed unit versus a transistor consumer grade but newer unit? I say 'professional' unit because if I'm not mistaken I think the Akai M8 actually records at 15 ips!

Thank you.
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Old 09-26-2005, 08:07 AM
1420-1503 1420-1503 is offline
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an example

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Old 09-26-2005, 10:45 PM
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Well, if it's anything like my M-9, the 15ips speed is reached by use an of optional capstan adapter-that is easily lost. Also make sure the lever switches work smoothly as they are a friction fit screw. That is, they screw to the shaft without any special receiving area so if the levers are hard to operate they loosen and gouge the shaft. It's a nice performer but mine developed a problem with the sound on one side. As I have an Akai 77 and Revox A-77 looking into theM-9 is not of great urgency.
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Old 09-26-2005, 11:00 PM
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I used to have one slightly older than that, m6 maybe? Anyway it had a lot of wear and wasnt that great. It could have been a lot better when it was new. I wish I had had kept it and rebuilt it. I would really like to know what a good one sounds like. Please let us all know how it sounds if you get a chance to audition it.

Mine didnt have the capstan for 15ips.

John
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Old 09-26-2005, 11:17 PM
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BTW. I don't know relative costs over there and I'm guessing that's about $225.00US which seems rather high to me.
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Old 09-26-2005, 11:50 PM
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goldear goldear is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1420-1503
I can by above mentioned professional tube reel deck for €200 and wonder if it's a deal to be taken or not? It's being offered for sale locally so there won't be an extra shipping cost to add to the price.

I'm asking the question in the hypothese that the unit is in excellent technical condition.
Of course I don't know that is the case so, therefore my second question:

Is it worthwhile to buy such a vintage tubed unit versus a transistor consumer grade but newer unit? I say 'professional' unit because if I'm not mistaken I think the Akai M8 actually records at 15 ips!

Thank you.
I have an old Roberts 997, which I believe was virtually identical to the Akai M-7 tube unit. I have owned LOTS of open reel decks (Akai, Ampex, Revox, Sony, Tandberg, Teac). IMHO, about the only tube units worth messing with are the old Revox G-36s. Now those are beautiful machines!

Here is my take on the M8: $200 is not a good buy, unless this thing looks like it just came out of the factory. And even then, it is poabaly only worth this to a collector. I believe that others are correct who say that you need to place a little sleave adapter on the capstan to make it run at 15 ips. That certainly was true with my 997 (M7). And even when you run it at 15 ips, its transport is so primative that the flutter can be audible. Worse still is that you can't bias it high enough to run anything even resembling a modern tape.

And lastly, this is a effectively a two-head deck (I'm not counting the cross-field head here, so as not to confuse matters any more). So, in all candor, you are NOT going to get anything resembling studio-quality performance out of this deck, even if you modify it greatly. And frankly, even an old modest Sony TC-377 will completely embarrass this unit int terms of its performance. And I say this as a registered level 4 bottlehead!

If it is the tube-factor that has you all excited, you might see if you can find a Revox G36 (I think it was called the 736 in Europe). These are REALLY nice tube decks with a modern 3-motor transport, and 3 heads. The only other tube based units that I would consider might be the Tanberg 64, or 64x. But they do not have the professional 3 motor transports like the Revoxes. Those are decks that are worth the effort to fixup and modify.

Good Hunting!
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  #7  
Old 09-27-2005, 02:33 PM
1420-1503 1420-1503 is offline
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Hello, thank you very much, it's been of great help to me. What am I going to do, may you ask? Well, I'll pass this one and I hope to find an Akai 'GX' unit or of the tube players mentioned one day.

I'm the owner of a Beocord deluxe player made by bang & olufsen in the 60's; a transistor portable player that sits horizontally and has a built in amplifier so you can hook up your speakers (which I don't do.), this originally came with a set of speakers which I don't have. Fortunately it gives you the possibility to hook up to an external amplifier. The sound is great (taken the tape is well recorded) but I have not had another deck to compare it with; so it could be that relative to another deck say it's not so great, I don't know.
It does not accept the bigger type of tapes, and that's the problem.
The issue with the connections is that they are the DIN standart, so I'll have to find a quality adaptor.

Thanksi!
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Old 09-28-2005, 07:53 PM
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I have an X-150D & X-200D with the crossfield heads, while digging around for info on older Akai's, the M-8 came up quite a bit. Mine are all SS, but someday I'd like to play with some tube stuff. If it's in good shape, think about it.
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  #9  
Old 09-28-2005, 08:54 PM
HadYourPhil HadYourPhil is offline
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The twin of that machine is the Roberts 770x. I have one I have owned since 1968. I have replaced the head, however all the tubes are original. It's big selling point was fairly hi-fi recording at 1 7/8 ips, and quite decent recording at 3 3/4 ips. I never bought the 15 ips capstan for mine.
It is a heavy boat anchor, but it is also an old friend.
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Old 09-28-2005, 10:23 PM
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Where on earth did you find a head for it? I toyed with the idea of making mounts for a standard head, but never did it.
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Old 11-10-2005, 06:54 AM
HadYourPhil HadYourPhil is offline
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I bought the head years ago from Nortronics. As I recall, it was a standard quarter-inch tape stereo head. I had lapped the old one once or twice before it got too worn.
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Last edited by HadYourPhil; 11-10-2005 at 06:54 AM. Reason: typo
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  #12  
Old 11-10-2005, 11:43 AM
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seems over priced, yust based upon the fact that i have seen 'em sell for ~$100 or less on ebay. but then i dunno the condition of *any* of 'em.

that said, i "overpaid" - ~$60 shipped - for a pair of amps & the power supply transformer outta one of these - i am yust about ready to try 'em, driving my 97db-efficient speakers. supposed to be pretty nice amps. the ones i got look brand-new - truly amazing...

doug s.
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  #13  
Old 11-11-2005, 03:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HadYourPhil
I bought the head years ago from Nortronics. As I recall, it was a standard quarter-inch tape stereo head. I had lapped the old one once or twice before it got too worn.
Interesting... Mine was not a standard head, in fact back then I was toying with the idea of replacing it with a Nortronics head. The original head was about 3/4 the width of a standard one, and had a screwball mounting that allowed it to slide up and down with a cam and spring. Then there was that screwy cross field stuff. I would have had to make parts to do it, and I would have had to give up the various modes. That wouldnt have been a problem, because I only used it for 4-track stereo.

The motors were noisy on mine, and it had excessive wow and flutter. I figure it was just worn out. Probably would have taken quite a bit of machine work to make it right. I have always wondered how good they were when they were new.

The amplifiers in mine looked extremely well built, but sounded just average. WIth 20-20 hindsight, it probably needed recapping.

John
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  #14  
Old 11-11-2005, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue_lateral
...The amplifiers in mine looked extremely well built, but sounded just average. WIth 20-20 hindsight, it probably needed recapping....

John
i read somewhere that someone thought the amps, even stock, were far better than the amps in his vintage fisher 500c receiver. that's what got me tempted w/them. what was the efficiency of your speakers?

doug s.
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  #15  
Old 11-12-2005, 03:13 AM
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That may very well be true. I suspect mine needed work. It was sitting in the rack next to an Eico HF-81, usually playing through the Eico. It was pretty easy to a/b. The Akai lacked low end, and was less clear in the midrange when compared with the Eico.

It was a long time ago, and back then I wouldn't have even considered replacing the capacitors in something wholesale. A lot of tube equipment was still dong just fine with the original caps, including the Eico I was comparing it with. That Akai must have had a lot of hours on it. It had some slide switches actuated by some funky levers. They were dirty and I never could get them clean. That probably contributed.

In short, I suspect you will have a lot better luck than I did. I can't wait to hear what you think of them.

I dont remember what speakers.

John
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