Akai Audio Players & Recorders - Recent Questions, Troubleshooting & Support

isopropyl alcohol only on heads with a q tip cotton swab. ive never heard of anyone cleaning a tape and i have 40 years in the manufacturing of the stuff!!! cant help you with a manual sorry

Akai Audio... | Answered on Feb 17, 2019

When experiencing sound quality issues with any reel to reel deck, the very first thing to check is just how clean the tape transport system and tape heads are. Thoroughly clean all heads, including the erase head, and all tape transport parts, i.e., the capstan and pinch roller, and the reel drive wheels or belts.
The other possibility is that the tape-to-head tension is too loose. This is a fine-value adjustment--too little tension results in your problem; too high tape tension results in drastically-shortened tape life or tape breakage. If you adjust it yourself, do so in tiny increments until the problem just goes away...then add just a hair more tension. It's like oil filter change instructions, "tighten filter to 1/4 turn beyond hand tight only". It only takes the tension being a tiny bit too tight to wear out or break your tapes.

Akai Audio... | Answered on Dec 27, 2018

Try using a tape deck cleaning solution on the pinch roller and capstan, as well as the rubber-rimmed wheels or rubber belts that operate each reel. Dirty capstan/pinch rollers will cause 'wobbly' sound; dirty reel drive rollers or belts will cause poor speed control, also resulting in funky sound. Keep in mind that if you clean everything and the problem persists, you will need to find replacement drive wheels or belts. Sometimes they are just too worn to work properly even if they are kept very clean. Wheels develop thousands of tiny age cracks, and belts typically stretch beyond the tensioner's ability to remove the slack, or they just get too old to work no matter what you try. If you clean the belts, be sure to clean the grooves on the back of the reel hubs where the belts go. If they are too dirty, you get the same problem.

Akai Audio... | Answered on Dec 27, 2018

Look for a schematic for the unit online. There are a few website services which have obtained and catalogued vintage equipment owner and service manuals. Some of these websites offer the manuals in download form free, some actually mail you an original or reproduction on-paper manual for a fee, and some charge for anything you are looking for. The ribbon cable typically carries the tape head output signals to the preamp input stage of the Akai amplifier. Most ribbon cables, the wires are all the same color, although there may be one colored red indicating that it is the power supply wire. Good luck in your search!

Akai Audio... | Answered on Dec 27, 2018

The vu meters only show that there is an input signal. The meters do not mean the deck is actually recording. If the deck will play a previously-recorded tape, how well does it sound? if the sound quality is muffled or very low, the play-back heads are dirty. If the playback heads are dirty, then the erase and record heads are too. In the tape path, the direction your tape moves from supply reel to takeup reel determines which heads are in which order. Most R-to-R decks play from left reel to right reel. The magnetic heads are in this order, with the the arrow indicating tape transport direction:
Supply Reel moves tape across > Erase head first, then across > Record head second, then across > Playback head. Some machines use the same head for record and playback, but no machine uses the erase head for anything but erasing pre-recorded material on the tape.
First, using tape recorder head cleaner or rubbing alcohol, clean the erase head (the first one the tape moves across) thoroughly with a Q-tip. If the heads are VERY dirty, use a pencil eraser AND the Q-tip. If this head is not clean, it will either not completely or not at all erase the material already on the tape. If the tape isn't erased, you either will get your new recording laid over the top of the existing one and it will sound like gibberish, or the new recording will not be recorded at all, and the original recording is all you will hear. Next, clean the second head the tape passes over. Usually this is the record head. If it is dirty, it will not record clearly or at all the material you are trying to record. Last, if there is a third head (most decks have this), clean it thoroughly as well. This is the playback head, and if it is dirty enough, you will hear nothing, although your new recording may very well have been laid down on the tape. Always clean all tape heads at the same time; in other words, don't just clean one head and not the rest of them. Clean all tape deck heads AS WELL AS the capstan (skinny metal pin that rotates) and pinch roller (the rubber wheel that 'pinches' the tape between itself and the rotating metal pin) thoroughly, rethread your tape through the head array, capstan, and pinch roller onto the takeup reel, and see what happens. If everything is clean and you still don't get any playback of your recording but you do get playback of pre-recorded tapes, then the problem is in the record circuit, and can be anything from faulty input stages to a bad head--deck heads DO go bad, although not often. If this is what happens, you have to take the unit in for repair by a qualified technician.

Akai Audio... | Answered on Dec 27, 2018

Maybe it doesn't know the words.....

Check that earthing is good.
If the unit is supplied with a 3-wire mains cord, then earth (Green or Green/Yellow) must be continuous to your DB (ie no twin flex ripcord feeds).
If its a 2 wire cord (no earth), then you could try earthing the case via one of the case screws, crimped ring lug and length of copper wire to a convenient earthing / grounding point.
A cold water pipe & hose-clamp works well.
Regards, Clive.

Interesting u have an Akai 4000DB - old or newer model?
I had an ancient Akai R/R (forgot model now), bought on a yardsale, but after battling in vain to find a missing plastic spool, eventually dumped it.
Many editing possibilities!!! :) :)

Akai Audio... | Answered on Jul 31, 2018

The last time I've used my home theatre I wanted to find out more about the civil war. And info from https://essayclick.net/blog/causes-of-the-civil-war-essay helped me even with essay writing.

Akai Audio... | Answered on Jul 23, 2018

Replace the pot if you can find one..Akai may have the part if you contact them

Akai Audio... | Answered on Mar 18, 2018

You don't.
You need to process the analogue audio signal from the Akai into digital and instal it in a file before it will be accepted by the hard drive - basically it needs to be run through a computer.

There are a few methods.
You can feed audio direct into your computer via the microphone or line-in socket, you could use a different type of sound card designed for the purpose or you could use an adaptor purpose made for converting analogue to digital that connects via the usb computer socket.

You will need to do some experimenting and take care to match the output of the Akai to the input you are using to avoid losing sound quality.

If you have a lot of audio you might prefer to have smaller files to save hard disc room - using Mp3 files a standard cd will hold a couple of hundred songs whereas wav files are so large a cd is doing well if it holds 20.

You will need to load recording and processing software on to your computer. I find Goldwave to be very stable if complicated but there are many others. Goldwave will record the audio and place it into a file and then convert it into Mp3 if you require. You can then send the finished file to your hard drive, memory stick or burn a cd or dvd.

Other studio software can remove unwanted noise...

Akai Audio... | Answered on Mar 10, 2018

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