Friday, February 3, 2012
Akai GX-77 reel to reel
I can't help but start with "cool". That's the word that comes in mind when I think of the GX-77. Made in the early 80's at a time where everything was starting to be 'cheapened' in order to reduce costs, this still had cues from its former generation. Although comments on the quality of the sound vary from who you speak to, I love it. Yes, there are much better made units, and much better sounding ones. But few if any that are better sounding and better looking at the same time. Did I mention it looks cool? But more importantly.. did I mention the loading mechanism? Click on "read more" to see the video.
Here's a video that I have made of my GX-77 unit in action. I'll let the video do the talking..
I purchased this unit for a very good price from a seller on eBay. To my surprise, when I took the back cover off to have a look at the condition of the belts, it looked like someone had beaten me to replacing them. The belts were fantastic, the unit was exceptionally clean, apart from some dirty buttons and a couple of pots that required a re-lubrication it was in near mint condition.
The brushed aluminum faceplate (albeit with cues of 'silver' plastic) makes this a definite winner in my book although it did come in black which for those that remember was all the rage back then. This particular unit came with an optional dust cover, which could be bolted on and hinged over the top of the unit to make it quite discrete.
The unit sports a pair recording heads and two pairs of playback heads for each direction. This was probably the only section of the unit that needed a thorough clean the heads were covered in quite a bit of ferrite buildup.
A novel spring loaded lock in mechanism keeps the reels in place, no more rubber grommets!
So that's the GX-77, I hope you have enjoyed reading this post, if you ever get the opportunity to purchase one of these units, make sure everything works, especially forward and reverse and the loading mechanism. Earlier units had different materials used in the loading mechanism that failed over time and the resistors that controlled forward and reverse tended to be under rated and burnt out.
I'll finish this with some more modeling shots for your viewing pleasure!