Nakamichi BX-150

After I had problems with my Sankyo STD-1900, namely, the play paddle breaking off, I eventually decided to replace it with something better. As a regular visitor to Havens and Hardesty, a high-end shop in Huntington Beach, CA, I had looked over the Nakamichi decks they had there. I was really impressed with the Nakamichi RX-505 and its robot-like ability to eject, flip, and reload a cassette as a method to employ auto-reverse without azimuth errors. It was crazy expensive and, judging by online prices today, it still remains so. The sales guy suggested a less expensive Nak deck that had similar audio specs without all the extra features and directed me to the BX-150.

This was in about 1984-85 and I don't remember what I paid for (I must still have the receipt somewhere) but it listed for $495, which was pretty hefty for a cassette deck. However, after I got it home and hooked up I was impressed. My recording from vinyl with a side-by-side playback told me that I'd really taken a step up. While I did record quite a bit of vinyl for playback in the car or on my Walkman, I used this deck for archiving LOTS of my Old Time Radio show collection when I switched from reel-to-reel to cassette, which I did on 1988. I would record shows off-the-air using my Tandberg TD20A SE or my Akai GX-260D and then transfer each show to cassette.

Later, when I bought a Sony TC-WE635 because I was trading radio shows on cassette and needed a better way to copy them, the Nakamichi didn't get as much use. Additionally, it started having a problem with fast-forward and rewind which eventually effected playback. When I started hanging out in online hi-fi forums I found that the problem is the "tire" on the idler wheel. I found an online source and, for just a few bucks, got a replacement, installed it, and it's been good as new.

It's still a fine deck and is my "go to" player and recorder.

A copy of the owner's manual can be viewed in PDF here. (6.8 MB)

Click on an image to enlarge it.

Updated December 2020.