Have a customer who loves his reel to reels. A few weeks ago, he bought in a Bang and Olufsen Beocord and I reached for the razor blade box. However today was a little more kind to me and we had a nice Akai X-1800SD to check over.
Not seen one of these before, cross field machine with a 8 track player recorder built into the side. The machine had not been used for years and everything was pretty gummed up. But, looking at the heads after a polish and clean, no wear could be seen. So, a machine with few hours use. An hour or so cleaning up, lubricating etc… we were ready for a play. First results were great, popped on a 3 Khz test tape and both meters read the same, very low wow and flutter. Idler perfect. Only one channel through the internal speakers due to a broken speaker switch. Pleased with the machine. No rumbling, just a bit of brake adjustment.
Connect up a signal generator and popped it into record. Oh, I thought the lever moved too easy into record. I then looked at what was causing the rattle in the bottom of the cabinet. Yes, the Play-Record cam switch gear. Checked the recording by operating the mechanism manually with a screwdriver and recording was perfect. Now have to find a NOS or 3D printed cam. A few sold in the ‘States so will see if the client wants to spend the money. I could, if all else fails, attach a cable or actuator through the 8 track opening as a get around. Don’t shoot me for suggesting such an awful thing.