AKAI GX-230D Reel 2 Reel

Toolfan66Toolfan66 Posts: 14,591
edited August 2020 in 2 Channel Audio
So this found its way to me today, A friend of mine gave this to me, it was his dads and has been stored in his parents house for years, his dad bought it new back in the day, he’s parents have passed and they are going through the house to get it ready to sell..

Now to get my learn on..😎qxmdu6itaaa7.jpeg
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Comments

  • muncybobmuncybob Posts: 2,453
    A good friend indeed! Any tapes with it?
    Yep, my name really is Bob.
    Parasound HCA1500(indoor sound) and HCA1000(outdoor sound), Dynaco PAS4, Denon DP1200 w/Shure V15 Type V and Jico SAS stylus, Oppo BDP93, Marantz UD7007, modded Polk SDA 2B.
  • Toolfan66Toolfan66 Posts: 14,591
    muncybob wrote: »
    A good friend indeed! Any tapes with it?

    No not yet, they are hoping to find them, as am I.

    This unit is in incredible condition, almost like it's 1977-1978 and pulling it out of the box for the first time, very well taken care of.. Not a high end piece but for the price of free it will work for me, and give me something new to play with as I have never had one...
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 26,923
    edited August 2020
    The piano key transport control "probably" means that the deck does not have the potmetal cam that (forty years on) plagues the entry-level AKAI decks. That's a good thing. ;)

    Yeah, that looks like a better-than-average quality AKAI -- they made a whole spectrum of decks, but the most common were their entry level, single-motor decks, which were pretty uninspiring. Congratulations! Have fun! :)

    Not much to learn, actually -- you've got the manual, so you're ahead of the game! ;) If you can find someone who can tune the deck for your favorite tape formulation (in 2020!), that's a great thing to do... but even as is it ought to do OK.

    Some other docs at https://www.hifiengine.com/manual_library/akai/gx-230d.shtml
    (you probably knew that already, though).


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  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 7,495
    Very nice!
    "True knowledge exits in knowing that you know nothing", Socrates
  • invalidinvalid Posts: 394
    Toolfan66 wrote: »
    muncybob wrote: »
    A good friend indeed! Any tapes with it?

    No not yet, they are hoping to find them, as am I.

    This unit is in incredible condition, almost like it's 1977-1978 and pulling it out of the box for the first time, very well taken care of.. Not a high end piece but for the price of free it will work for me, and give me something new to play with as I have never had one...

    Tell us how it sounds, I'm betting it sounds pretty good even though it isn't a top of the line open reel
  • msgmsg Posts: 6,255
    Nice new toy, Larry!
    You get Pandora on that thing?
    I disabled signatures.
  • oldrockeroldrocker Posts: 2,356
    Cool, I have a 280D SS.

    Great nephew was over the other day, while he was in the storage room, he pointed
    at some cassette decks and said proudly "I know what those are" but then pointed at the RTR and said "what the heck is that?" :D
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 26,923
    msg wrote: »
    Nice new toy, Larry!
    You get Pandora on that thing?

    maybe the BBC -- with a long-wire antenna, late at night in the wintertime.

    B)

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 26,923
    edited September 2020
    oldrocker wrote: »
    Cool, I have a 280D SS.

    Great nephew was over the other day, while he was in the storage room, he pointed
    at some cassette decks and said proudly "I know what those are" but then pointed at the RTR and said "what the heck is that?" :D

    Too bad you don't have one of these :p That'd confuse him even more...

    pp0p23ni6s2v.png
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    (not to be confused with the later Elcaset)

    I actually had one of those, and some tapes, a long, long, long time ago. Kinda still wish I did, if only for the weirdness factor. Actually, IIRC the deck (stereo) had a pair of 6V6 power amps (not that I can remember if they were SE or PP, though)... those'd be nice to still have. :)
  • oldrockeroldrocker Posts: 2,356
    First one of those I've seen myself :o
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 17,912
    Holy jahebus is that a 9 track?
  • msgmsg Posts: 6,255
    Maaaaan, this brings back memories!
    I always got 90s, though. Were those thinner or did they just have more tape?
    I still have some of those mix tapes.
    I even had a bulk head tape eraser that I bought from Radio Shack after I found some money in a beat up guy's pockets in the street.
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
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    I disabled signatures.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 26,923
    presumably the C-90 has thinner tape than did the C-60... but I don't know that for a fact... and you do know I am too farking lazy to look it up! ;)

    I am fiddlin' with tapes even as I type this... that CT-F1000 which visage I posted elsewhere is goin' to a new foster home, and I am sendin' a few dump-find tapes along with it. It's next caretaker has been on a reel-to-reel kick of late, and is currently rockin' two or three Otaris he's rehabbed and modified. Now, he's got an itch to get back into the little tapes... and I am happy to be an enabler. B)

    50294837043_b85c3f49ba_b.jpgDSC_0409 (2) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 26,923
    heh - this thread... got me goin'...

    50295544823_089dd6912e_b.jpgDSC_0415 (2) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 2,971
    Just out of curiosity. Are reel to reel recordings better quality than cassettes?
    Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
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  • tratlifftratliff Posts: 1,127
    audioluvr wrote: »
    Just out of curiosity. Are reel to reel recordings better quality than cassettes?

    By far if you get the right ones. But they can be big $$$’s.
    2 Channel
    Legacy Focus SE, 2 REL Carbon Limited, McIntosh C50, McIntosh MC601's, VPI Prime w/SoundSmith Zephyr MIMC, Parasound Halo JC3, Denon DP-59l w/Ortofon 2m Bronze, Marantz SA-14s1, Oppo BDP-105, Technics RS-1500, Furman Elite 15PFi, Douglas Connection (Furutech) Alpha Interconnects, Douglas Connection (Furutech) Alpha Speaker Cables, Pangea Power Cables
  • muncybobmuncybob Posts: 2,453
    I've read(not heard) that the right tapes on premium machine are as good as it gets.
    Yep, my name really is Bob.
    Parasound HCA1500(indoor sound) and HCA1000(outdoor sound), Dynaco PAS4, Denon DP1200 w/Shure V15 Type V and Jico SAS stylus, Oppo BDP93, Marantz UD7007, modded Polk SDA 2B.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 26,923
    So -- yeah -- kinda.
    Most of the consumer decks -- no.

    but when one gets serious -- yes. Recall that many of the best sounding recordings extant were recorded on tape. :|

    ... but you're talkin' about half-track, high speed (15 ips) decks -- and the good ones... umm... get a little pricey. :)

    jbypb9j0azkx.jpg

    (to say nothing of the cost of really high quality tapes -- safety copies of masters, etc.)

    All this being said, though, there's much fun to be had with reel to reel decks. Much fun indeed.

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 26,923
    edited September 2020
    My half-track, high-speed ReVox A77 is borderline pretty good. :)
    It was painstakingly reanimated and restored for me from three organ donors by Charles "Stellavox" King. The trick is to find good program material to play on it -- in this day and age, a single master-quality tape (new or used) costs about what I have invested in the deck. :|

    15256338064_3bf36bba8f_b.jpgReVox WHRB Dead aircheck by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
  • tratlifftratliff Posts: 1,127
    Nice Revox Doc. You are correct the masters can command as much as the machines cost.

    I have slowed on my R2R search. I have the Technics and limited source material but enjoy having it in my collection.

    qthcqyomc0q0.jpeg
    2 Channel
    Legacy Focus SE, 2 REL Carbon Limited, McIntosh C50, McIntosh MC601's, VPI Prime w/SoundSmith Zephyr MIMC, Parasound Halo JC3, Denon DP-59l w/Ortofon 2m Bronze, Marantz SA-14s1, Oppo BDP-105, Technics RS-1500, Furman Elite 15PFi, Douglas Connection (Furutech) Alpha Interconnects, Douglas Connection (Furutech) Alpha Speaker Cables, Pangea Power Cables
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 26,923
    That Technics was and still is one of the best at the "prosumer" level. I forgot you had one! :(

    Speaking of "prosumer decks" -- this morning, I tried to get back to the task of "dearchiving" some of the truly miscellaneous "collection" (I use the term in the loosest possible sense) of tapes here. Fired up that TC-377 that, last night, was working fine -- and the playback was S -- L -- O -- W. :/ Thus the joys of scratch 'n' dent vintage. ;)

    It was at that precise moment* that I remembered an ancient Eskimo legend that I have a four track TASCAM deck that'll play a normal quarter-track stereo tape just fine. Dragged that sucka over to the 'test mule' apparatus, hooked it up, and (despite not having been powered up since we moved up here AFAIK) it worked and sounded great :)

    gan16l1t1lci.png

    ____________________
    * Well, actually, I remembered it last night, but I felt like quoting a snippet of Frank Zappa :p

  • msgmsg Posts: 6,255
    Man, I'd love to hear a masters type tape in comparison to a CD on the same system.
    I disabled signatures.
  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 19,503
    Very cool! Love R2R's. I had a TEAC X2000RBL back in the 80's.
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amplifier: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: PSB Imagine T2 - Cables: Kimber Hero XLR; Kimber 8VS Bi-Wire; DH Labs D-75 dig coaxial
  • jdjohnjdjohn Posts: 1,780
    Cool, man! Not sure you'll find any Tool tapes for it, but still cool B) I found a GX-266D at my dad's. I'll save you some trouble, and go ahead and tell you that for side B, you can just run the tape in reverse :# It only took me a few hours to figure that out :D
    "This may not matter to you, but it does to me for various reasons, many of them illogical or irrational, but the vinyl hobby is not really logical or rational..." - member on Vinyl Engine
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator
    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • Welcome to RTR!

    I run a TEAC A-6100 that does 4-track and 2-track. I buy old 50's-60's classical RTR tapes. They ain't cheap. But it's a fun hobby.

    Notice the remote control on the right of the deck. It's as big as a brick with a big thick cord. Has the exact same buttons as on the deck itself.

    8nppfvy1ekgy.jpg
    System
    Yamaha A-S3000 Integrated Amplifier
    Sonus Faber Cremona Loudspeakers
    PS Audio Directream Jr| Jolida JD-100A CDP | Sansui TU-9900 Tuner|TEAC A-6100 RtR
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 26,923
    jdjohn wrote: »
    Cool, man! Not sure you'll find any Tool tapes for it, but still cool B) I found a GX-266D at my dad's. I'll save you some trouble, and go ahead and tell you that for side B, you can just run the tape in reverse :# It only took me a few hours to figure that out :D

    I totally missed the direction buttons in that brochure photo!
    It is indeed an autoreverse deck -- good catch. :)
    I imagine (???) it needs a piece of foil tape to do full-auto reverse... but, as @jdjohn says strongly implies ;) If you're gettin' near the end of one side, just reverse direction and play the other one. Or, just let the tape run out and rethread with the empty reel on the left and run the tape in the 'backwards' direction.

    Unfortunately, this won't permit decoding all of the vintage satanic messages found recorded backwards in virtually all pop and rock music -- but the four track deck I mentioned earlier would let one do that.

    :#
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 26,923
    edited September 2020
    Oh -- now's a good time to mention the interesting track arrangement of so-called "quarter-track stereo" reel to reel tapes :)

    xyve99jxjb0t.png

    If you play a quarter track stereo tape on a "two-track" (or "half-track") deck, stereo or mono, what you'll hear is a weird mix of both sides of the tape - one channel of one side playing forwards, and one channel of the other side playing... backwards (see the red arrow I added to the screenshot above). Similarly, a two-sided mono tape (i.e., one recorded on a two-track mono recorder) will play oddly on a normal consumer "quarter track stereo" head configuration. :p

    A "four track" deck like the TASCAM 22-4 will let the user listen, e.g., to track 1 and 3 only (muting 2 and 4), which gives normal quarter-track playback.

    10170000416_e795144959_c.jpgdubbin by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

    It all gets, actually, slightly more complicated than this -- because the standard track widths also vary a wee bit between stereo, quad, and four track... but, in practice, the four-track deck is a pretty flexible format.

    Pro and prosumer 1/4" tape decks tend to be two track stereo (for best fidelity). The Otari MX5050, e.g., a two-track stereo record/play deck (one directional stereo) also has a quarter-track stereo playback head, which is nice for folks with feet in both camps...
    but I digress. :p
    15991720427_ca871d72a8_h.jpgOtari MX5050 010215 1 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr


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