Picked up an open reel tape deck! Akai GX-4000D

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EnochLight
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Post 18 Jan 2023

Decided to jump back into the tape deck game. After buying and reluctantly selling a magnificent Akai GX-635D about 16 years ago, I came across a vintage GX-4000D locally through FB Marketplace for a great price, so I decided to pick it up. Plays back and records great (especially now that I obtained a factory 7.5 ips capstan sleeve). Check it out:





Also ended up picking up some anodized aluminum reels from Ali Express for rather cheap. Love the look of red on silver:



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Win 10 | Ableton Live 11 Suite |  Reason 12 | i7 3770k @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | RME Babyface Pro | Akai MPC Live 2 & Akai Force | Roland System 8, MX1, TB3 | Dreadbox Typhon | Korg Minilogue XD

MuttReason
Posts: 271
Joined: 28 Jan 2021

Post 18 Jan 2023

That is a thing of beauty. Great find. I was so happy when tape was first replaced with high end computer audio gear like Sadie and Radar back when tape was the only option, around 30 years ago or so. Too many crappy experiences with tape editing under pressure against deadlines when badly maintained machines would eat the tape or otherwise crap out. Nightmares about it! But looking back, a well-maintained machine was really wonderful, and you could do things with tape that (back then) digital audio could not match. I used to create tape loops by running a section of tape out of the machine, round the base section of a mic stand then back into the machine. Or weird manual pitch shifting and flanging effects by slowing down the reel using a pencil eraser. So many creative ideas. Lots of fun.

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EnochLight
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Joined: 17 Jan 2015
Location: Imladris

Post 18 Jan 2023

Oh totally - I felt the same way back in the day. But now I realize these mechanical beasts are just an awesome thing of beauty. I also forgot how nice it was to not worry that much about redlining my VU meters - the lack of digital clipping is brilliant. Just warm tape saturated goodness.

Now, if I can just find a great condition 635D again, or Akai GX-636, I’ll jump on that. Love the 10” reels and NAB hubs…

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Win 10 | Ableton Live 11 Suite |  Reason 12 | i7 3770k @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | RME Babyface Pro | Akai MPC Live 2 & Akai Force | Roland System 8, MX1, TB3 | Dreadbox Typhon | Korg Minilogue XD

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