Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Akai AA-1010 Stereo Receiver
At 15WPC it's by no means a very powerful receiver. Infact this is the baby of the series being first produced in 1976. Looking at the internals it's not awfully complex either. Taking cues from the Yamaha receivers of the day, it's brushed aluminium faceplate is complemented by a faux vinyl woodgrain veneer built on a plywood casing. It's simply a nice little performer with good looks to boot.
This unit was acquired in a bulk purchase of Akai equipment, more of which will follow their restoration journey on this site. Cosmetically it's extremely good for a near 35 year old receiver. The only down side is the wearing of the Power/Speaker selection knob. A casualty of war so to speak for most Akai amplifiers and receivers of the day. The design is based around the selection of Power off, Speaker A, Power with no speakers, Speaker B and Speaker A+B causes frequent use of this knob. If you were to have two speakers connected, the constant complete arc turn would cause your fingers to constantly rub over the somewhat delicate silk screening.
Internally this unit was in exceptional condition with only the slightest layer of dust inside. As is the norm for units of this vintage, the knobs for Volume, Bass, Treble and Input selections were quite stiff and all required re-lubrication and cleaning of the contacts.
The capacitors originally used in this unit were Elna branded. Quite a respectable brand however after this long most of them were reading +/- 20% outside of their rated values. A quick audition of the receiver prior to restoration was not awfully promising, the sound being quite bland and mid-ranged, highs and lows were nowhere to be found... it was not looking good at all.
The re-capping of the unit used my 'teacher's pet' favourite the Panasonic AM series of capacitors. All electrolytics were replaced in the power amplifier and preamplifier section. The solitary filter capacitor- A 3300uF rated part was upgraded with a Panasonic TS-HA 4700uF capacitor. All the transistors were tested and well within operating specification, the speaker and power fuses were also replaced with like for like value.
The result was much better than expected, this little amplifier could really sing! The bottom end seemed to be infinite at normal listening levels and only started to give way at a volume that would just be uncomfortable to listen at. The mids were tamed back while the highs came back out of hiding! Paired with an efficient pair of speakers this receiver will exceed many expectations of what 15 WPC can deliver. It's nothing too fancy but a very solid performer. Although I won't be swapping out my Class A amplifier I use for day to day in the office with this unit, If someone were to ask me for a good sounding receiver for a small office or bedroom with looks to boot this would be it.
So there it is, the Akai AA-1010, as always there are more modelling shots of this wonderful unit below, I hope you have once again enjoyed this restoration and writeup. If you ever have any questions or want to know more please comment below, I promise to reply!
Faceplate prior to cleanup: