Akai X-100D

Like some of my other acquisitions, I bought this deck on a bit of a fluke. As I am prone to do, I was checking out the local CraigsList when I came across this machine. It was really a rarity in that I just don't see many reel-to-reel machines for sale in my area. The seller was asking something like $100 and I toyed with the idea of making contact but thought better of it. A week or two later, the price dropped to $75. I still did nothing. While waiting for a friend to show up at a local brewery I killed some time by checking out that ad and saw that the price had dropped to $50. Well, I couldn't let it go to someone else at that price so I made the contact.

The seller got right back to me and after a few exchanges we agreed to meet the following afternoon. The address was in a nice part of town on a street I was quite familiar with. Before heading over there, I looked up the address on Google StreetView and thought I recognized the house. When I drove up a few minutes later and saw the owner mowing the lawn, sure enough, I had been here before. I had coached his daughter in high school cross country and had been over there several times for team dinners. It's a small world here.

He had bought the deck some time ago and thought that his son would be interested in taking it off to college. When that didn't happen he decided to downsize some hi-fi equipment and this, along with some Sansui speakers, were put on the list to go. I checked out the deck and it was in fine working order so we closed the deal and I added it to my collection.

Unfortunately it did not come with the reel hold down clips. I want to use the deck in the upright position so I made two from rubber plumbing plugs. They work quite well.

Update February-March 2023

I was using this machine to transfer some tape to the computer and after some hours of service I detected a slight hiss in one channel. Not really bad but it was there and it would crop up after the machine had been on for a while. I checked the service manual and it indicated that Transistors 201 and 202 should be replaced. I looked them up in the parts list and tried to find them online but it appears they are No Longer Available. There are substitution charts but I got nowhere with those so I posted a query to a forum and got a response that suggested two replacements. I looked online for those and ended up at the NTE site whick does a good job and linking to substitutions.

Transistor 201 is a 2SB347 and can be replaced with a NTE102.
Transistor 201 is a 2SB173 and can be replaced with a NTE102A.

I ordered 2 of each and they showed up a week later. About $40 with shipping.

I pulled the boards out of the machine which was easy as they are plug-ins. Desoldering went well and the installation of the new ones was easy. I reassembled things and put on a tape to test it and it worked just fine. The only issue is that the sound output is much higher and the meters were pegging in the red. I looked in the manual and read the section on audio output gain, found the trim pots on the circuit boards, and turned them down a bit. They were a bit scratchy so I gave them a De-Oxit treatment while there. So far, everything has worked out fine.

Click on an image to enlarge it.

Created November 2020.
Updated March 2023.