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Thread: AKAI 4000DS mkII

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    AKAI 4000DS mkII

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    yea

    i got one of those, i know nothing about it at all, cept how to run it and what not

    the tape heads are all out of alignment, and in my poking and proding i think i may have done something by using a magnetic tipped screwdriver...

    the heads may be worn anyhow, so I'd like to know where i could score new ones, i guess all three, and how much i'm gonna spend

    or if they can be demagetized or whatever.

    i'd also like to know if anyone knows how to use these features, specifically how to erase and record. it doesn't seem to want to do it, that could be because the erase out is really far out of alignment?? when i frst got i played a tape, and i heard nothing, i thought the thing was trash but i started playing with the alignment screws, sound! both channels!

    but to the best of turning screws its always muddy sounding. and when i flip tape for the b side all i get is the a side in reverse!

    the unit works perfect, inside everything looks very upkept, oiled, all the rubber bits are very new looking and full of life!

    if anyone can help me with anything i need to know about this machice that would be really cool!

    thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captain fuzz
    the tape heads are all out of alignment, and in my poking and proding i think i may have done something by using a magnetic tipped screwdriver...the heads may be worn anyhow, so I'd like to know where i could score new ones, i guess all three, and how much i'm gonna spend or if they can be demagetized or whatever.
    I have worked a bit (years ago) with an Akai 4000DB, which was an almost identical unit but with Dolby B.

    You should really demag the heads before doing anything else. This recorder is a 2 channel 4 track domestic machine, not sure if you can get alignment tapes for these or not, you may need to get a 4 track tape from somewhere to get it roughly aligned.

    Search the analogue forum here for 'demagnitize' and 'alignment' and you'll find some useful threads.

    Quote Originally Posted by captain fuzz
    i'd also like to know if anyone knows how to use these features, specifically how to erase and record. it doesn't seem to want to do it, that could be because the erase out is really far out of alignment?? when i frst got i played a tape, and i heard nothing, i thought the thing was trash but i started playing with the alignment screws, sound! both channels!

    but to the best of turning screws its always muddy sounding. and when i flip tape for the b side all i get is the a side in reverse!
    You should get a service manual for this unit - I'm pretty sure there's a company on-line who sells them, will have a look tomorrow to see if I can find the link. If you get the A side in reverse when you turn the tape over then you're playing a 2 track tape.

    Clean, demag, repeat (I think I might have stolen that quote from ARP). Clean properly - I use 100% isopropyl alcohol - with a cotton bud (q-tip) and use a good amount of pressure on the back of the bud. Scrub those things, and repeat until the bud comes off clean. Make sure you clean the tape guides under the head cover and the capstan sleeve (whatever you do don't loose the sleeve - otherwise you'll be stuck with 3.5ips). Don't clean the pinch roller (rubber roller) with alcohol - there are proprietary rubber cleaners, and I just used warm soapy water on mine.

    The other thing that you might need to do - I struck it on my GX265D - is that you need to clean the switches. I had all kinds of weird problems - no record on the left channel, intermittent reverse recording etc - until I cleaned every switch in the unit. I just used (sparingly) CRC CO contact cleaner applied with an eyedropper, but again there are propriatery solutions that other uses here can recommend. I also found that the EQ wasn't changing for 3.5ips - after cleaning that switch I found that it sounded surprisingly good with 456 at this speed.

    Quote Originally Posted by captain fuzz
    the unit works perfect, inside everything looks very upkept, oiled, all the rubber bits are very new looking and full of life! if anyone can help me with anything i need to know about this machice that would be really cool!
    They weren't really a high-end machine but were capable of a surprisingly good sound, and should be quite reliable. Dad's 4000DB gave him 10+ years of faithful service and the tapes sound just great today. The 4000 series were single motor decks with a lot of belts etc so it might pay to keep an eye on these if things start playing up. I'm not sure if the DS mk II has 'sound on sound' but if it does you should be able to do very simple tracking.

    Enjoy!

    Cya
    Andrew

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    Just thinking - if you do need something to align to I could record some tones in 1/4 track on my Akai for you to use.

    I can't guarantee levels, but they could be useful to adjust azimuth etc. You'll only get it as good as my deck, but it sounds ok to me

    PM me if you're interested.

    Cya
    Andrew

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    mmm

    ye, i do live way up yonder in the canadas, 30 min from toronto, haha

    yea, it has sound on sound, when its in the ON mode you only get your left channel, clean it you say!

    same withe EQ switch, theres no noticeable change in tone, clean it i shall!!

    ya, its just some home unit thing, but its all i got for 30 bucks, haha, its a start i suppose...

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    Quote Originally Posted by captain fuzz
    ye, i do live way up yonder in the canadas, 30 min from toronto, haha yea, it has sound on sound, when its in the ON mode you only get your left channel, clean it you say! same withe EQ switch, theres no noticeable change in tone, clean it i shall!! ya, its just some home unit thing, but its all i got for 30 bucks, haha, its a start i suppose...
    Can't remember exactly how to use sound on sound - from memory you can record on the right channel while monitoring the left - very basic tracking. It never really worked right on the 4000DB after a repair in the late 70's, and I was too young before the repair to be allowed to use the deck!

    For $30 you can't go too badly wrong, just give it a good clean and have a play! Even if you use the playback to warm up digital its a start - you may find you love the sound so much you go all out and buy a 'real' multitrack R-R. At least you're in North America where all the eBay deals seem to be...

    This deck has a weird tape selector for 'wide range' or 'low noise' - it comes from the era of Maxell UD 35-90B etc, so you're probably best to stick to Maxell tape or something like 406. There's some info about it and the right kind of cleaning products in this thread - and even better Daniel (cjacek) is practically your neighbour! (well, he's in Canada!).

    Enjoy your Akai!

    Cya
    Andrew

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    ya, I've used digital for quite the while

    I got fed up with it

    I've built my way up using cassette decks, tricks to make multitracking and overdubbs and stuff, tape phase and the sort

    even resorted to syncing up two tapes at once (bass and drums) while a third deck recorded the whole thing, then repeat with all overdubbs, it is nuts and very noisy! but cool! I took the panels off and manual touched the gears, keeping the two machines in sync, difficult! but i got the hang

    but i decided the quality wasn't there, and then i came accross this deck and wednesday i get a mystery deck thats supposedly in great running shape!

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    As I am very old indeed, I used to use a trick of my own making to get a semi-decent sound using home tape decks, everything I recorded I would boost the top end (10,000 to 22,000 htz.) obviously keeping it out of distortion, your ear should serve you well in this matter. You have to be able to work with very toppy recordings, I think you can work out the rest by yourself, you, of course, cut back the same amount of top end when you come to mix it, thus also cutting out most of the tape hiss. Clever huh? yours Mick Dorey.

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