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An RTR owner again for the first time in 40 years

Discussion in 'Tape' started by Chilibrother, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Chilibrother

    Chilibrother AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Kansas
    Back in the 70's I couldn't afford many albums but I had a Sony 262D transport and an SRA-2 recording amp and copied my friends' stuff like crazy! Like a lot of audio stuff I wish I hadn't let it get away. Been kinda looking for a RTR machine and when I found this Akai GX-220 on CL for a decent price I just couldn't resist.
    One owner, in amazing condition for a 1971 model, even has the original box. Fully functional. I realize that it's not a top performer and the preamp section is noisy and needs some work - but for now it's just fun to have.

    Do need a little help. Bias is 100khz so I can't use any "new" tape and I'm not really interested in spending the money to get the bias adjusted. Any suggestions on what to look for if I want a couple of reels of NOS tape to play with? It has an SRT (Akai "Super Range Tape") setting for low noise tape and I've read on here that Maxell UD or UDXL1 fits that. I'll probably go that way unless someone tells me I'm being goofy.

    IMG_0932.jpg
     
    revox-b77 likes this.

     

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  2. audiojones

    audiojones Jonesin' for audio Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,163
    Location:
    Central NJ
    These decks are actually very good performers with that terrific heavy duty 3 motor Akai transport. IIRC these machines have a fixed bias anyway so if you wanted to change it you’d have to change capacitor values in the oscillator *EDIT* disregard that comment, the bias IS adjustable on this model. Also I think the preamp in this model uses a SIP chip in the amp stage so noise may be harder to remedy if it’s being caused by semiconductors (if it’s a huge problem there’s a build around for it though).

    These decks work very well with Scotch 206 / 207, BASF LP35LH and of course Maxell UD. Don’t be afraid of good clean used tape but do steer clear of the usual back coated sticky shed offenders like Ampex 456 / 457 / Grand Master series, Scotch 226 / 227 / Classic series and Sony PR-150 (which isn’t back coated but it tends to dry out and squeal). Maxell and BASF are always pretty safe bets for good used tape, same with Scotch 207.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
    Chilibrother likes this.
  3. dhnash

    dhnash Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    533
    Location:
    Wildwood, MO
    These instructions are in the service manual for the GX-220 for adjusting the bias.

    Akai GX-220 Bias Adjustment.jpg
     
    Chilibrother likes this.
  4. audiojones

    audiojones Jonesin' for audio Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,163
    Location:
    Central NJ
    Oh ya know what I was thinking of the cross field X series Akai decks with the fixed bias like the X-201 and X-1810 etc. The GX models have adjustable bias trimmers so that doesn’t apply here, sorry about that!
     

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