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Vintage Tape (Audio), Cassette, Wire and Magnetic Disc Recorders and Players Open-reel tape recorders, cassette recorders, 8-track players etc.

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Old 6th Jul 2016, 7:59 pm   #1
Robarto
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Default Aiwa deck

Hello everyone

Just a quick question. What is the general consensus on Aiwa M200 cassette decks. I'm considering buying one, but don't particularly want a lame duck. I cant seem to find much on the web but it's specs seem to fit my requirements.

What say you?

Rob
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Old 6th Jul 2016, 8:07 pm   #2
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Aiwa deck

A decent late 70s mid market cassette deck. It's not clear why you would want one of these rather than any of the very similar decks produced by other manufacturers at the time. In fact, you can buy very good cassette decks from this era and later for next to nothing now.

A deck of this era is likely to need new belts, and possibly replacement electrolytic capacitors and a relube.
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Old 6th Jul 2016, 8:07 pm   #3
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Default Re: Aiwa deck

Hi Rob,

I had one of these, given to me by the AV tech at school about 20 years ago and then passed onto Paul Sherwin, who I believe has passed it on again.

They certainly look the part and have loads of features (e.g. bias trim and peak indicator LEDs alongside the MC meters), but are actually fairly plasticy and lightweight.

Performance is very good for what was basically a relatively low-priced machine.

It will need new belts, plus the tyre on the capstan(!) which drives the TU spool replacing. Not difficult or expensive, but requires some dexterity and previous experience.

I would certainly grab one if I needed a cassette deck and it was cheap, especially if I wanted one that fitted in aesthetically with a c.1980 stacking system. I would be surprised if you had to pay more than a tenner for any basic cassette deck nowadays.

N.

EDIT: Crossed with Paul
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Old 6th Jul 2016, 8:10 pm   #4
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Default Re: Aiwa deck

These decks must be getting on for 35 to 40 yrs old and so condition will be everything, much more so in fact than where it might have figured back in the day against the competition.

Belts, clutches, in fact all the friction surface will likely be in poor shape. Lubricants will have hardened and dried out... so be realistic as to what you may be taking on. As long as you can get replacement parts (particularly pinch rollers, belts and any rubber tyres it may use) then you are in with a chance. Projects like this can be very satisfying as long as you are prepared to put the work in.
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Old 6th Jul 2016, 8:12 pm   #5
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Default Re: Aiwa deck

You are right Nick, I used it for a couple of years then passed it on. Nothing wrong with it but nothing special either.

OTOH I still have and use your Nak BX100
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Old 6th Jul 2016, 8:22 pm   #6
Robarto
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Default Re: Aiwa deck

I'm aware of the belts to change although I've not done that before. I want to put an older tape deck in my stereogram to expand it's use. I've been looking at other makes, but some of them are fetching far more than I'm wanting to pay, and then the postage. For now at least. It should be my Aunt's Toshiba, but she wants to hang on to it now. Mmmmm..... Lucky coin I think! Lol

Rob
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Old 6th Jul 2016, 8:28 pm   #7
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Default Re: Aiwa deck

If it's cheap (10 or less) or you're in a rush, go ahead and buy it. Cassette decks now fall into two categories - 'legendary' decks, which appeal to collectors and hifi enthusiasts and fetch very high prices, and everything else, which sell for next to nothing. Some very good decks fall into the latter category.
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Old 10th Jul 2016, 6:35 pm   #8
Robarto
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Default Re: Aiwa deck

Well. It's on its way to a new home. As I'm not familiar with servicing tape decks, is there a sticky on servicing like in the record player section? I've not come across one yet. Is there any recommended seller of belts?

Thanks

Rob
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Old 10th Jul 2016, 7:40 pm   #9
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Default Re: Aiwa deck

I think most people here order from CPC. The last time I changed a belt Nick added it to one of his orders as the belt itself is only a pound or two. There are generic belt collections available from eBay sellers for about a fiver, but these don't normally contain a replacement for the main capstan belt. You need to measure the diameter of the old belt and also its cross-section.

If you are lucky the original belts may still be good, or a previous owner may have changed them already.

Nick has actually refurbished one of these (the one he passed on to me) so he will be able to tell you if there are any real problems. Changing the main capstan belt sometimes involves some dismantling but it isn't difficult if you make notes and take some pictures.

Apart from belts, the things to do are:

Clean all switches and pots with Servisol 10
Clean all idler wheels and surfaces with meths
Align the tape head, ideally using a special tape (obviously after cleaning it)
Check and adjust the tape speed, ideally using a test tape and frequency counter, though there are various alternatives
Clean and relubricate any mechanisms which aren't moving freely (this often isn't necessary).
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Old 20th Jul 2016, 10:02 pm   #10
Robarto
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Default Re: Aiwa deck

After a short wait, the postie has finally delivered it. It was well packed so the casing and switches are in good order. I've checked the wiring to the plug and the fuse, all good there.
Having lifted the top off I'm not surprised to find that all four belts have perished so need replacing. everything is moving and locking re the switches and pots. I've powered it up briefly and the motor spins nicely without any noises. so, using your advice above and some new belts I should have a good chance of getting it up and running. Just need to work out how to PM Nick to see if he can remember the belt sizes, them wait for payday. I will try and upload so pictures.

Rob
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Old 20th Jul 2016, 11:50 pm   #11
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Default Re: Aiwa deck

Click on his avatar and a drop down menu will appear.
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