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Akai X-1800SD

Discussion in 'Tape' started by thebeez85, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. thebeez85

    thebeez85 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Messages:
    2,071
    Location:
    Beaumont, Texas
    I have an old Akai X-1800SD in decent shape with all original parts.

    My main problem is with New FULL tapes...seems after a certain point, the take up reel side struggles to take up the rest of the tape and stops.

    Since these are tapes I've made myself, should I just cut the tapes, and keep the recordings shorter and put the rest of the blank tape on another empty reel?
     

     

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  2. dhnash

    dhnash Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    509
    Location:
    Wildwood, MO
    You might want to take a look at the service manual for this unit which is available for free download from HiFi Engine after registering with them which is also free:

    https://www.hifiengine.com/manual_library/akai/x-1800sd.shtml

    On page 7 of the manual there is a description of the recording an playback functions. It's possible that the problem you are experiencing is caused by deterioration of the rubber on the idler or improper/incomplete actuation of the linkage that moves the idler into contact with the take-up reel spindle base. If the idler is an original part, it can be rebuilt with new rubber by Terry Witt (www.terrysrubberrollers.com). The latter cause could be the result of deterioration of the linkage lubricant. This mechanism can be diassembled, cleaned and lubricated with a lithium based grease such as Lubriplate 105.
     
  3. thebeez85

    thebeez85 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Messages:
    2,071
    Location:
    Beaumont, Texas
    Thanks for the reply dhnash!

    I honestly don't think I'm brave enough to open it up..too chicken-sh!t :biggrin:

    Would he be able to repair other issues, if it's not the idler? (edit: ignore this. realized he only sells parts)


    Also, Would it be possible to replace the built in speakers with new ones? I usually just hook it up to my receiver, but figure that'd be something I could actually do myself lol
     
  4. dhnash

    dhnash Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    509
    Location:
    Wildwood, MO
    I believe that would be possible but you would need to identify appropriate replacement speakers that have the proper physical dimensions and electrical specifications (impedance). The service manual does not seem to provide much helpful information about this.
     
  5. thebeez85

    thebeez85 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Messages:
    2,071
    Location:
    Beaumont, Texas
    Question:

    I know I can do different tape speeds...

    If I set the speed switch to “high”, and use the little capstan (original one luckily), would I achieve 7.5ips or 15ips?
     

    Attached Files:

  6. dhnash

    dhnash Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    509
    Location:
    Wildwood, MO
    I’m not sure what you meant by “the little capstan”. The table shows three capstan configurations, 1) no capstan bushing (corresponding to the smallest capstan diameter), 2) with standard bushing and 3) with 15 IPS capstan bushing (corresponding to the largest capstan diameter). If you set the speed switch to high and use the standard bushing, the tape speed would be 7.5 IPS. To operate at 15 IPS you would need to set the speed switch to high and use the 15 IPS capstan bushing and the 15 IPS pinch roller. The 15 IPS pinch roller has a smaller diameter than the standard pinch roller because the 15 IPS capstan bushing has a larger diameter than the standard capstan bushing.
     

     

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  7. thebeez85

    thebeez85 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Messages:
    2,071
    Location:
    Beaumont, Texas
    I must be thinking of the capstan bushing (see photos)

    I’d need a smaller pinch wheel to get 15ips, correct?

    All shown in pics is what comes with it from factory
     

    Attached Files:

  8. dhnash

    dhnash Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    509
    Location:
    Wildwood, MO
    Based in the information in the table from the instruction/owners manual shown in post #5, if the speed switch is in the low position and no capstan bushing is used, the tape speed is 1.875 IPS. If the standard capstan bushing is used, the tape speed is then 3.75 IPS. This means that the diameter of the standard bushing must be double the diameter of the capstan shaft with no bushing. If the speed switch is moved to the high position and the standard bushing is used, the tape speed is then 7.5 IPS. This means that the rotational speed of the capstan shaft is doubled switching from low to high speed. In order to operate the unit at 15 IPS you would need to use the largest capstan bushing which should be double the diameter of the standard bushing (and four times the diameter of the capstan shaft with no bushing) along with the smaller pinch roller. The 15 IPS bushing and smaller pinch roller are accessories (an adapter kit) for the X-1800SD. Judging from the photo you provided, the bushing you have installed appears to be the one for 15 IPS operation. The diameter of the capstan shaft (or bushing if it is installed) and its rotational speed determine the tape speed. The diameter of the pinch roller does not determine the tape speed but it must be correct so the pinch roller pressure keeps the tape in good contact with the capstan shaft so tape speed is properly regulated.

    Incidentally, the standard bushing is frequently lost and replacements are available from various sources including this one (look for the one designed for the X-1800SD):

    http://www.oaktreevintage.com/Akai_Reel_Tape_Deck_Capstain_Speed_Sleeve_Replacement.htm

    If you look at the photos shown on this webpage you can see that the standard bushing is smaller than the one shown in your photograph. If the pinch roller you have is the one from the 15 IPS kit, you would also need the standard (larger) pinch roller to use in combination with the standard bushing. You would also need the standard pinch roller if you wanted to operate the unit without any bushing.
     
  9. thebeez85

    thebeez85 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Messages:
    2,071
    Location:
    Beaumont, Texas
    okay, so there's TWO different bushings and TWO different pinch rollers?

    So , the bushing in my picture in post #7 is for 3.75IPS and 7.5IPS?

    After re-reading numerous times, it seems the pinch roller and bushing I have are for 15IPS...

    So, with the bushing I have (which appears to be the chunkier one) and the pinch roller I have (which seems to be the smaller one), What all speeds am I capable of using?

    I know I've been able to play my CCR and Hendrix tapes, which are both 3.75 IPS..:confused:
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
  10. dhnash

    dhnash Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    509
    Location:
    Wildwood, MO
    Is this done with or without the bushing you have installed and in what position does the tape speed switch need to be to play the tape at the proper speed?
     
  11. JH Magnecord

    JH Magnecord Member

    Messages:
    91
    The problem is the felt clutch pad sandwiched in-between the take-up reel rotor is too worn thin to keep generating enough torque as the take-up reel fills and becomes heavier.
    If you took the drive section out of the case separately: you'll see the axle of the spindle is held in its seat with a lockwasher and compression spring...you might be able to fix the problem by removing the spring and stretching it -to increase tension- before re-installing (so it'll pull the whole spindle/idler assembly together tighter). If that doesn't work, you'll have to disassemble the plastic clutch idlers on the rotors -remembering the proper order of the spacers!- and take a piece of 80-grit sandpaper to rough-up the smooth surface the clutch pad is slipping against. This will fix this problem beyond all doubt.
    Regarding the internal speakers upgrade: there are decent generic 3.5" drivers with PVC cones produced by a company called Tang Band. Ones that size are about $17 and they'll deliver a response from (around) 400-12,000Hz.
     
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  12. 45rpmspinner

    45rpmspinner AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Imo, not worth the trouble to replace the drivers.
    Just a cheap mini-watt amp inside. There's only so much you can do.

    As I recall, it's a fair bit of trouble to get to anything inside that box.
    It's literally crammed with stuff and not laid out in a particularly friendly manner.
    For that matter, the oem speakers are [at least, sometimes] full-range Akai 10F3-3ap's.....somewhat sought-after items themselves.

    http://glowinthedarkaudio.com/akai10F3.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018

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