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Author Topic: Who repairs Nakamichi cassette decks nowadays?  (Read 4427 times)

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Offline DSatz

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Who repairs Nakamichi cassette decks nowadays?
« on: April 29, 2018, 10:40:05 PM »
Hi. I have a Nakamichi Dragon cassette deck that was overhauled by Nakamichi 15 or 20 years ago, but they have since stopped repairing their old gear. Recently the deck has developed a mechanical (transport) problem which causes tape to be handled incorrectly, resulting in very poor tape-to-head contact.

I would like to have the deck repaired if possible, but don't know who to send it to. Has anyone here had mechanical repairs done on a Dragon, or another high-ish-end Nakamichi deck, in the past few years--and if so can you recommend anyone on the basis of that experience?

--best regards

« Last Edit: April 29, 2018, 10:42:33 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Who repairs Nakamichi cassette decks nowadays?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2018, 05:51:11 AM »
sup DSatz!

i think ESL is still the go-to

https://www.eslabs.com/nakamichi.htm

Offline old and in the way

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Re: Who repairs Nakamichi cassette decks nowadays?
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2018, 06:15:25 AM »
Danny Herman.  A dragon wizard.

Offline old and in the way

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Re: Who repairs Nakamichi cassette decks nowadays?
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2018, 06:18:20 AM »
My bad it's willy herman

Offline fobstl

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Re: Who repairs Nakamichi cassette decks nowadays?
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2018, 11:01:04 AM »
I just had e-mail correspondence with Willie Hermann last week about repairing my Nak 680ZX. He is on about a 9 month waiting list, mentioned he would want to do a full service which would run $500 - $600. Seems expensive, but this deck is going for up to $1500 on ebay so I'm on his waiting list for repair. Need to get my analog masters transferred.

http://www.willyhermannservices.com/

Offline ohr

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Re: Who repairs Nakamichi cassette decks nowadays?
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2018, 08:48:41 PM »
It has been quite a few years, but Stephen Sank has done some wonderful work on my Dragons. Give him a call and let him know about the problem you're having.  He can sometimes even walk you through the diagnosis and potential solution over the phone. My experience with Stephen has been excellent with both repairs and modifications.

Offline DSatz

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Re: Who repairs Nakamichi cassette decks nowadays?
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2018, 12:32:49 PM »
Many thanks for these replies. I'm in the process of moving, but when I emerge from the other end of the long dark passageway, I'll be glad to have this information to work with.

--best regards
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline nak700s

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Re: Who repairs Nakamichi cassette decks nowadays?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2018, 05:17:59 PM »
I spoke to the guys over at Pro Digital http://www.prodigitalinc.com/ a while back about getting my NAK CR-7A repaired (as well as saving the cassette that's stuck in it!) and they told me they do the work and could easily save the show stuck inside.  My past experience with them was with a Sony DAT M-10, and they did a fantastic job on that.  I still haven't done anything with the Nak deck, but need to deal with that asap.  If anyone has a good experience, that they didn't have to wait forever to get theirs fixed and it didn't cost them an arm and a leg, please let me (and others) know.  Thanks.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2018, 05:58:07 PM by nak700s »
Normal: Nakamichi CM-700's >> SD 744T (or) Sony PCM-M10
Normal: Crown CM-700's >> SD 302 >> SD 744T
Fun times: 3 Crown CM-700's >> SD 302 >> SD744T + 2 Nakamichi CM-700's >> SD744T
Stealth: CA-14c >> CA 9200 >> Edirol R-09HR
Ultra stealth: AudioReality >> AudioReality battery box >> Edirol R-09HR
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Offline rigpimp

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Re: Who repairs Nakamichi cassette decks nowadays?
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2018, 06:31:00 PM »
Willy Hermann in Orinda, CA.  He was and is the best on the West Coast without a doubt. 

I have a CR-5A that I am about to sell and I imagine that I will pull a premium because I have an invoice from him servicing the deck.

http://www.willyhermannservices.com
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Offline DSatz

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Re: Who repairs Nakamichi cassette decks nowadays?
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2018, 02:34:34 PM »
I got an email response from Mr. Hermann today. He apparently doesn't do repairs in the usual sense; he only does complete rebuilds of decks, for which he said the usual charge would be "around $750 - $800" with a nine-month waiting period.

This deck was completely overhauled by Nakamichi about 10 or 15 years ago, and I think that its problems are relatively limited in nature. Plus I am using it for playback only. So I think I will check out the other two shops that were mentioned.

--best regards
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline rigpimp

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Re: Who repairs Nakamichi cassette decks nowadays?
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2018, 02:52:48 PM »
I got an email response from Mr. Hermann today. He apparently doesn't do repairs in the usual sense; he only does complete rebuilds of decks, for which he said the usual charge would be "around $750 - $800" with a nine-month waiting period.

This deck was completely overhauled by Nakamichi about 10 or 15 years ago, and I think that its problems are relatively limited in nature. Plus I am using it for playback only. So I think I will check out the other two shops that were mentioned.

--best regards

Well, Mr Satz, that is crappy news.  I have been using Willy for over 10 years but he has been retired the whole time I have known him.  He has become way more popular than he could have ever imagined.   

FYI, the first and only time I spoke with Jeff at ESL he wanted my CC number and carte blanche just to send him a deck, including pre-authorization to do a head re-lap if he saw fit.  These guys are incredible at what they do and if they put their name on something they are gonna do it right, and charge us for it!

You may find someone that can do a light clean up (clean, belts, lights, re-cap, etc), or walk you through your own on the Nak-talk list.  It will likely require an oscilloscope.  Good luck!

http://lists.naks.com/mailman/listinfo/naktalk
Mics: Schoeps MK5 G MP, Schoeps CCM 4 Lg MP, Schoeps MK8 MP, nBob cables > PFA, KCY 250/5 > PFA
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Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre-6, Sony PCM-M10
Playback: McIntosh MC 2105 > McIntosh MX 130 > Von Schweikert VR-4 JR
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Offline H₂O

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Re: Who repairs Nakamichi cassette decks nowadays?
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2018, 09:54:19 PM »
My DR-1 is folding tape - I am pretty sure the belts are shot - would that alone cause this?  I have been seeing costs of at least $500 to perform service on Nak's and this is well beyond what I can afford.


I have repaired a number of DAT decks myself so I can get pretty hands on - how hard is it to repair a Nak deck such as the DR-1?
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Offline rigpimp

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Re: Who repairs Nakamichi cassette decks nowadays?
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2018, 11:49:51 PM »
My DR-1 is folding tape - I am pretty sure the belts are shot - would that alone cause this?  I have been seeing costs of at least $500 to perform service on Nak's and this is well beyond what I can afford.


I have repaired a number of DAT decks myself so I can get pretty hands on - how hard is it to repair a Nak deck such as the DR-1?

That sounds like an alignment issue to me.  I had a Dragon due that.
Mics: Schoeps MK5 G MP, Schoeps CCM 4 Lg MP, Schoeps MK8 MP, nBob cables > PFA, KCY 250/5 > PFA
Pre/A>D/P48: Sonosax SX/M2, Sonosax SX/M2-LS, E.A.A. PSP-2, Naiant Tinybox, Neumann BS48i-2 (for sale)
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Offline nak700s

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Re: Who repairs Nakamichi cassette decks nowadays?
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2018, 04:55:48 PM »
My DR-1 is folding tape - I am pretty sure the belts are shot - would that alone cause this?  I have been seeing costs of at least $500 to perform service on Nak's and this is well beyond what I can afford.


I have repaired a number of DAT decks myself so I can get pretty hands on - how hard is it to repair a Nak deck such as the DR-1?

As previously mentioned, alignment could cause that, as well as pinch rollers.  Belts will usually cause speed issues, and slip causing other things like shutting off or not being able to engage play, etc.

On another note, I was just given a CR-2A, which seems to work beautifully and was searching for a shelf in my storage bin for my wall unit to include it in the system, only to find that my DR-8 is reasonably accessible.  I still need to have the CR-7A repaired, because that is the only deck I'll playback my masters to transfer, but now I have others to use too  :yahoo:
Normal: Nakamichi CM-700's >> SD 744T (or) Sony PCM-M10
Normal: Crown CM-700's >> SD 302 >> SD 744T
Fun times: 3 Crown CM-700's >> SD 302 >> SD744T + 2 Nakamichi CM-700's >> SD744T
Stealth: CA-14c >> CA 9200 >> Edirol R-09HR
Ultra stealth: AudioReality >> AudioReality battery box >> Edirol R-09HR
Simple & Sweet!

Online rippleish20

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Re: Who repairs Nakamichi cassette decks nowadays?
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2018, 05:57:49 PM »


I cleverly waited 30 years to start worrying about digitizing my (hundreds of ) cassette masters until a couple of years ago. I discovered my D10 Pro's transport was dead and my Sony home died shortly thereafter. I'm telling you this because it lead me on a search for a decent deck and I was amazed at how hard it was to find good decks, especially without paying a fortune. I talked to ESL (I think it was ESL) and CR7a's were like $1750+ (Dragons were like $3500). I'm not surprised at all that these guys are charging a lot for service or that they have such long wait times. I finally found a a DR-1 for a somewhat reasonable cost.

There is a group on FB - with a lot of people obsessed with Cassette Decks -  and it's a great resource for help repairing decks...
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