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Bender Comments Page

These are Reel to Reel Questions, Answers, and comments, things I've posted on several discussion groups, some when people write and ask me questions.


Comment #76

FROM: Buzz

Subject: GX-255 Power Failure

Date: Sun, 1 Aug 2004 18:52:59 -0700 (PDT)

Buzz wrote:

My Akai GX-255 has been working fine since I bought it last month. I can't pay to have it serviced and I only dropped $40 on it but would love to keep it running as I've been using it and working on it consistently. As I was rewinding some tape yesterday, the motors stopped running and the unit shut off. I tried plugging it into several different circuits in the house but it's definitely the machine. It didn't seem to be running particularly hot or anything.

Do you think it could be a blown fuse? I'm trying to think of all the simple fixes first. If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Thanks much, Buzz

********** And Bender Sez: **********

Well Buzz,

Fuses usually don't blow for no reason, but it can happen. More likely there is something seriously wrong with the set, like an intermittant short. So just maybe it has been blowing fuses every so often, for some time, and that is how you got it for a measly $40. If the fuses do check out OK, then other possibilities are: it has either blown its power transformer, or some of the circuits in the power supply, or has that ocassional short.

Unfortunately, the GX-255 and the GX-266II are two of the most problematic Akai sets to fix, when they go bad. So if its not fuses, don't think you'll get it properly repaired for under $200.

While I have repaired many GX-255's and GX-266II's, I've got three GX-255's ( and also three GX-266II's ) that totally defy my repair attempts... and I'm considered the expert of experts in the GX-2xx series of sets.


Steven L. Bender, Designer of Vintage Audio Equipment

Comment #77

FROM: Vanch

Subject: Re: AKAI 360D - Capstan Motor

Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2004 13:15:59 -0700 (PDT)

Anyone have any idea on where I may be able to find replacement bearings (or new motor) for the capstan motor of an AKAI X360D ?

********** And Bender Sez: **********

Hi Vanch -

First of all, the X-360D was prior to the introduction of the GX Heads, and except for that fact, it is rather much like the GX-365D. I can provide the X-360D Service Manual, which does state that the Capstan Motor of the X-360D needed to be lubed after about 1000 ~1500 hours of operation, which was probably about 20 or 30 years ago...

The ball bearings of the nearby impedance roller can be replaced with standard ball bearings of the same size and part number. I don't think that the Capstan Motor, has any internal ball-bearings, if it does, they are likely the same as in the impedance roller. Beyond the various oiling points, maintenance is more likely a failure in the relays than of the motor, unless the motor itself is making a grinding sound.

For the X series sets, finding and replacing heads, motors (or power relays) is not a likely proposition these days. The relays are impossible to get, same with the heads. I'd say same for the motors, but I guess that you could always buy another X-360D, and maybe make one working set out of two... unless the other one needed no repairs (very unlikely!). Even if you get suitable non-Akai heads, they will likely cost way more than buying another X-360D with better heads...

And probably replavcement heads will be a compromise at best, and maybe require a ton of machining to mount and align them... Again, still best to get another X-360D or two, or three, or switch to using a better, later Akai with the GX heads... like a GX-265D or GX-266D, none of the later sets have the comput-o-matic or the 1 7/8th speed, but they were better in overall performance.


Steven L. Bender, Designer of Vintage Audio Equipment

Comment #78

FROM: Kai Kazarian

Subject: Re: Technics RS-1700 Record Problems

Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 06:45:12 -0700 (PDT)

I have a Technics RS-1700 that when in record mode is generating a high freqency pitch and recording it on tape. The frequency will vary slightly as I move the bias and equalization levels. After about 3 minuets of recording, the tone gradually gets softer and lower in pitch until it finally goes away. A second problem, that might be related, is that the deck no longer plays back when the record levers are in the on position. They have to be in the off position to play back. Don't know if this is related, but the deck used to play back with the levers in the on position.

I have the full service manual and have worked on the deck in the past. Can anyone steer me in what direction to look at to resolve this problem?

Thanks, Kai

********** And Bender Sez: **********

I couldn't quite pass this one up, but somebody beat me to it...

Kevin Kaas answered:

Hello Kai, you can start by first replacing ALL of the 10uF, 33uF and 100uF electrolytic capacitor in the lower electronic section, about 70 capacitors in all. This is due to the fact that every RS-1700 I get in for service has these capacitors leaking electroyte out of their seals and corroding the component leads, not to mention causing the caps to loose their values. Once these caps are replaced, see if it didn't fix most if not all of your problems.

This is a long and tedious tast, so be sure to pay attention to the polarities when installing the new caps!


Kevin Kaas (727)224-5736

Comment #79

FROM: Dubravka "Neno"

Subject: GX-747 Motor Power Cap

Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2004 12:55 AM -0700 (PDT)

Neno wrote:

Hello dear friends,

I have a problem with motor capacitor on Akai GX-747( C901- 4+4/250 in the power section). Can You offer me some substitute or You have original capacitor. I am from CROATIA (Europe).

Best regards,


********** And Bender Sez: **********

I believe I do have that capacitor. It is round with original 2 screw bottom mounted clamp. It has 3 flat pins on top for wirewrap or for soldering wires. Pins stand 2cm tall. Cap itself stands 9cm tall and is 3.6 cm in diameter, covered in a clear plastic insulation. This Cap has been tested to have a capacitance of at least 4.0 uF in each section, and has an equivalent series resistance (ESR) at a frequency of 100,000 hz. of around 0.35 ohms.

Rating: MP Capacitor 4 + 4 uF C. Common / 250WV.AC Price is $35. usd. plus $15. Airmail Shipping. Postal Insurance is $5. additional. I accept checks drawn on a US Bank, must have a routing number. Also Western Union International MO's; Moneygram International MO's; Western Union Money Transfers. US Currency - Series 1995 or newer sent as hidden cash. and Paypal payments sent to: (if using Paypal, add 4% additional for Paypal's International Fees).

Steven L. Bender, Designer of Vintage Audio Equipment

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Hello Steven, Thank you for your's quick respond !!!!!

In attachment you will find the exact look of the capacitor 4+4/250 (C901) according to the page 56 in the service manual for Akai GX-747. Capacitor you offer to me doesn't fit, and have 3 flat pin in oposite from the service manual where the capacitor have 4 flat pin.

Best regards,


********** And Bender Sez: **********

Hi Dubravka -

Actually, the little square C901 cap as seen in the Service Manual is hoisted up in mid-air... on a metal platform. The one I have will fit... if you remove the original cap and the metal platform... As for the 4 pins, well, it just lacks a common pin. Same two caps, but two pins are tied together, making a common point, so 3 pins or 4 pins it works the same. As you can see in the set, the 2 pins with the red wires are electrically tied together ( or at least they should be ).

The Yellow and Brown wires are on separate pins. The GX-747 schematic on page 67 shows these 2 red wire pins as common, and the C901 cap is shown having "3" pins.


Steven L. Bender, Designer of Vintage Audio Equipment

Comment #80

FROM: Gibson Netto

Subject: Akai GX 365D Pause Button

Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 09:47:05 -0700

Hi Steve,

The 'pause' button on my Akai GX-365D is missing. Its located just below the power switch. There's only this tiny shaft protruding with a threaded hole. The button that screws into it and which is to be pushed in and turned to the right for 'pause' to be locked is not there. Unit came without it. Right now I can push in the tiny bit to 'pause' the tape but it's too slippery to get a hold to turn it to 'lock' position. Please let me know if you have one.

Otherwise if there is some way something can be screwed in there to replace the original it would be okay too. Looks don't matter as long as functional while I look around for an original.

Thanks very much and have a nice day.

Gibson Netto

********** And Bender Sez: **********

Hi Gibson,

Well it does seem that on the GX-365D some small insert can be screwed into the rather dinky protruding pause control, but there are two versions. Early sets (like mine) have no indicator for turning the pause control to the right, so mine doesn't lock. Later sets have the turning arrow, and would have a add-on part that is knurled on the sides to get a grip to turn it to the right; into the locking position. Alas, not quite sure what good that part would do on my set, it's just a temporary pause.

As I always thought it was a "push and hold" pause, its nice to find out some sets can lock, just not very well. This design is not so great. While a threaded metal spacer with a protruding screw could probably do the deed, try finding one with the proper type of screw thread!!! I will try and find something, but please don't hold your breath... it might take a while.

Steven L. Bender, Designer of Vintage Audio Equipment

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