Belts and Tires

First of all I'd like to promote my line of Wireless Remote Receivers

The latest is a Nakamichi System Remote tape deck wireless remote receiver. This unit adds wireless remote capability to the Nak system remote tape decks (Cassette Deck 1, 1 Limited, 1.5 as well as the DR-series). In the past you needed one of the newer Nakamichi system remote receivers or preamps, but, now you can control it directly. No dedicated remote, use any universal remote control (programmed for Sony VCR.)

Wireless remote adapters now available for:
Teac ->
Akai ->
Studer ->
Revox ->
Tascam ->
Otari ->
Aiwa ->

Check out my new web page devoted specifically to the Nak 730 Receiver.

New wireless remote adapter for Revox & Studer
It's not Nakamichi related, but, I'm going to promote it anyway. I now have wireless remote adapter for Revox A77, A700, A710, B77, B215 B710, PR99 Studer A727, A730, A807, A812, A816, A820, D731 and D732. For more information contact me at or go to my new web site and I looks just like my Nakamichi remote receiver, but, works on the Revox. It plugs right into the 9/10-pin DIN remote connector on the back (or top) of the deck.

Wireless IR Remote Receiver for remote capable Nakamichi Tape Decks. Many of the highier end Nakamichi tape decks have a remote jack on the back. Nakamichi made wired remote controllers, but, these had a cable. Nak made two options for going wireless, but, they are still very expensive. Nak made the RM-580 which came with a remote that would just control the deck. The other option is to connect the tape deck to a Nak CA-7 preamp which has a wireless remote. I'm glad to announce that there is a third option. I have designed and built an IR Remote Receiver that uses any universal remote programmed for Sony VCR. This remote receiver with 3 in 1 universal remote is available for only $70 plus shipping. For more information go to my tape deck remote web page. Here's a picture.

I also have a remote receiver for the ST-7 Tuner. It controls the following functions: Memory 1-8, Shift/Non-Shift, AM/FM and Tuner Up/Down. Like the IR Remote receiver for tape decks this one also uses any universal remote programmed for Sony 8mm VCR, Beta VCR, TV or tuner. It is built in the same case and costs $50 plus shipping. Here is my ST-7 Remote Receiver web site.

Nakamichi PA-300II Mobile Power Amplifier Owner's Manual
NR-0001 Adjustment Procedure for New Type Head Base Block on 700 from S/N 3709323 and 1000 from S/N 3107001
NR-0002 Modification of Erase Head and Pressure Roller Arm Ass'y on 700 Tape Deck from S/N 3714701
NR-0003 Modification of Erase Head and Pressure Roller Arm Ass'y on 1000 Tape Deck from S/N 3109651
NR-0004 Modification on Erasing Head on 1000II Tape Deck from S/N 3142481
NR-0005 Modification on Erasing Head on 700II Tape Deck from S/N 3743601
NR-0006 MHX Motor Ass'y and Governor P.C.B. Ass'y Modification Procedure on 500 Tape Deck up to S/N 370140
NR-0007 MHX Motor Ass'y and MHX Governor P.C.B. Ass'y on 550 Tape Deck from S/N 3601871
NR-0008 Motor and Governor Ass'y Modification on 600 Tape Deck from S/N 3814501
NR-0009 Modification of Reel Hub Ass'y on 600 Tape Deck from S/N 3839226
NR-0010 Addition of Protector Circuit on 420 Power Amp from S/N 4504581
NR-0011 Addition of Protector Circuit on 620 Power Amp from S/N 4104902
NR-0012 Modification of Monaural Circuit on 410 Control Preamplifier from S/N 4604101
NR-0013 Modification on Usable Sensitivity of Tuner Section on 630 FM Tuner from S/N 4203553
NR-0014 Modification of Idler Pulley Ass'y on 600 Tape Deck from S/N 3840811
NR-0015 Modification of Idler Pulley Ass'y on 550 Tape Deck from S/N 3671371
NR-0016 Modification of Idler Pulley Ass'y on 500 Tape Deck from S/N 3528141
NR-0017 Modification of Idler Pulley Ass'y on 550 Tape Deck from S/N 3306101
NR-0018 Modification of Idler Pulley Ass'y on 250 Tape Deck from S/N 3206101
NR-0019 Modification of Record Amplifier on 350 Tape Deck from S/N 3305951
NR-0020 Connecting Diagram for 550 Tape Deck & ADS
NR-0021 Modification of the Capacitors on the Logic Control Circuit on 1000II Tape Deck from S/N 3145181
NR-0022 Modification of the IC501 of the Capstan Motor Governor Circuit on 1000II Tape Deck from S/N 3145181
NR-0023 Modification of NF Circuit on 620 Power Amplifier from S/N 4107852
NR-0024 Modification of Shut-off P.C.B. Ass'y (Hall IC System) on 600II Tape Deck from S/N A206.7 07601
NR-0036 Countermeasure for Unexpected Shut-Off in Playing or Recording (580/581/582) 5/16/1979
NR-0037 Countermeasure for Unexpected Shut-Off in Playing or Recording (580/581/582) 8/20/1979
NR-0038 Addition of Belt Stopper to Capstan Motor Ass'y (580/581/582) 2/16/1982
NR-0040 Elimination of Squeaking Noise (any Standard Mechanism) 2/16/1982
NR-0052 How to Replace Damaged Stud of Mechanism Ass'y (any Standard Mechanism) 5/16/1988
OOD-SI-3115 Countermeasure for Breakage of Eject Linkage Holder in Mechanism Ass'y (480 and 580 series) 11/10/1988
PRO-01 Modification of MR-1 for Non-Standard Equalization

Jeff Galin over at Electronics Service Labs (ESL), the premier Nakamichi tape deck rebuilder in the US and probably the world, is loosening his grip on genuine Nakamichi belts. They aren't cheap though. Capstan belt for BX-1, CR-2, DR-8 and all the similar transports (Sankyo 2-head single capstan decks) for $34.75. Capstan belt for BX-300, MR-1, CR-4, CR-5 and CR-7 (Sankyo 3-head direct drive double capstan decks) $44.75. 480 series, 580 series, 680series, ZX-7, RX-303, RX-505 and all similar transports (Nak P/N 0C08096) $55. <--- This is the one that must be genuine OEM to meet the published W&F spec. All other replacement belts so far are not up to snuff. Contact information for Jeff at ESL is or 860-529-3700.

Henk Schenk has created another Nakamichi web site and it's pretty good. He has a FAQ section, pictures, common problems and more. Try these two links. www.nakamichi-schenk.

I have added a wireless remote control added to a Nak RX-202. Of the three decks in the RX series only the RX-303 and the RX-505 have a remote jacks on the back. I cut a hole in the back of the deck and added a jack and then wired it into the deck. I then plugged in one of my IR Remote Receivers and it worked great. If you want your RX-202 modified to accept external remote let me know.


Nakamichi to PRB Belt Cross Reference
Nak P/N    PRB P/N  Description from Nak Parts List
OC03651    OX5.9    Counter Belt 500/600
OC03668    FRW10.1  Drive Belt (probably for 500/600)
OC05080    OA6.6    Fast Wind Belt 700
OC05081    SCQ6.7   Center Belt
OC05104    FRQ13.6  Capstan Belt (700II)
OC05139    SCX7.4   Counter Belt 1000
OC05165    ----     Indicator Belt 1000
OC05333    ----     Counter Belt A (700, 700II)
OC05334    SCX4.6   Counter Belt B (700, 700II)
OC05465    OA7.0    Shutoff Belt (700II)
OC05699    SCX7.0   Center Belt (700II)
OC08096    ----     See section below about this belt click here
OC08097    SCY4.4   Counter Belt A
OC08098    SCY9.0   Counter Belt B (ZX-7, ZX-9, )
OC08099    ----     Cam Motor Belt, Flip transport Belt (Use SBS5.0 for the cam motor and SCX5.1 for the azimuth. See note below)
OC08224    SCY4.2   Counter Belt 680
OC08334    FRW8.8   Capstan Belt ZX-9 Marrs Communication P/N OCO 80334-D3
OC08343    SCY6.5   Counter Belt (BX-1)
OC08408    ----     Capstan Belt TD-1200
OC08409    ----     F/R Change Belt TD-1200
OC08604    SCY7.0   Counter Belt (MR-2, BX-100, BX-125)
OC08621 Back Tension Belt (BX-300, MR-1, CR-4,CR-5, CR-7A/E/70)
0C80634 FRM9.2 Capstan Belt (BX-300, MR-1, CR-4,CR-5, CR-7A/E/70)

OC08781    ----     Capstan Belt TD-700 (possible replacement: (42-480 from MCM)
OC08782    FRW10.1  Capstan Belt TD-500
OC08783    SCX7.0   V Pulley Belt TD-500 (and probably TD-700 as well)
OC08784    ----     Loading Belt TD-500, TD-700
OC09145    ----     Counter Belt CR-1
OC80034    FRX6.7   Capstan Belt (BX-1?, CR-2A, DR-8?, BX-125?, MR-2?, RX-202, and other Sankyo 2-head decks?) (See note below)
OC80634    ----     Capstan Belt (BX-300, MR-1, CR-4, CR-5, CR-7) As a substitute use FRW9.2 or Marrs Communication P/N OCO 80634-D4
OC80793    ----     OMS-7II CD player belt that moves the laser assembly
OC82702    ----     Capstan Belt (Cassette Deck 1, Cassette Deck 1.5, CR-3, DR-1, DR-2& DR-10) Marrs Communication P/N OCO 82702-D1
OC84441    ----     Capstan Belt SC (TD-560)
#42-160    ----     Azimuth motor belt for Dragon, 680 series. MCM Electronics P/N 42- 160. 5.1" x 0.046"
FR - Flat Rubber Belt
SC - Square Cut Rubber Belt
O - Round rubber
Number represents the inside circumference
PRB belts and tires can be obtained from most stores that cater to VCR repair. They can also be obtained from the Russell Industries/PRB web site.
An excellent place to lookup belt information for various decks is I have not verified that there information is correct however. Beware of replacing the capstan belt on the 480 series, 580 series, 660 series, 670 series, 680 series, LX-3, LX-5,  ZX-7, 700ZXE, 700ZXL, 1000ZXL, RX-303 and RX-505.  This belt needs to be spot on or increased wow & flutter might result.  Luckily you can get an exact duplicate from Marrs Communications, P/N OCO 8096-D2 for only $25. You might be able to get an actual Nakamichi original belt from ES Labs but it's going to cost at least $55.00 if he is even selling them. Jeff said that they will soon stop selling parts in order to keep them for their repairs.

SR Components sells compatible belts.
Nak P/N    PRB P/N   SR Components
OC05081    SCQ6.7    SBQ6.7 [I.C. 6.7", Thick 0.055"]
OC05334    SCX4.6    SBX4.6 1425-22 [I.C. 4.653", Thick .047"]
OC08783    SCX7.0    SBX7.0 1407-47 [I.C. 7.0", Thick .047"]
OC05139    SCX7.4    SBX7.4 1407-161 [I.C. 7.432", Thick .047"]

0C08099 this belt is probably the most replaced belt of all. It is used in almost all the Classic Nakamichi transports for the mode change cam. On the RX series it is also used on the tape flip transport. The best way to tell if you need to replace this belt is to go from stop to play and if you sometimes hear the continual whirl of the mode control motor then the belt is slipping and needs to be replaced.  Even though this same part number belt is used in multiple locations there are different compatible belts depending on application. For the mode control motor the best belt to use is the SBS5.0 which you can get from Electronica. For the RX-series flip mechanism use the SCX5.1 which you can get from Russell Industries/PRB. The Azimuth belt is also a 0C08099 even though Nakamichi never called it out in their service manuals. For the Azimuth belt use the SCX5.1, do not use the SBS5.0

You can get them from Studio Sound.

One belt that does not have a part number and was not sold separately by Nakamichi was the Azimuth belt. This belt was sold with the azimuth motor. A suitable replacement is the SBS 5.0.

0C80634 Capstan belt for the BX-300, MR-1, CR-4, CR-5 and CR-7 (Sankyo transport decks with direct drive dual capstans). Tom Brucker recommends using the FRW9.2 (flat belt 9.1" x .16" wide x .020 thick) belt available from MCM Electronics for $5.59. Someone else had recommended the FRM9.2 also called EVG 1407.88. This belt is not that critical like the capstan belt in the Nakamichi Standard transport. Or an even closer belt can be purchased from Marrs Communication P/N OCO 80634-D4.

0C80621 The back tension belt used in the BX-300, MR-1, CR-4, CR-5 & CR-7 as well as several other Sankyo decks MCM Electronics part number 42-195 (Square Belts, I.C.: 3.027", Thickness: 0.031"). I have not verified that this is the correct belt, but, it comes from a reliable source. Also PRB SCY3.2

0C80034 Capstan Belt. I'm not sure where I got the cross between the Nakamichi 0C80034 capstan belt and the PRB FRX6.7 (probably from PRB's belt cross reference book), but, I've gotta a report that this belt will cause unusually high W&F problems. Dan measured a 0.35% W&F with this generic replacement belt and only 0.11% W&F with the 15+ year old original belt in his MR-2. Thanks Dan for the info. The original belt can be obtained from ES Labs for $34.75.

Capstan Belts, going, going, gone (0C08096)
A while back I had noted that the Nakamichi belts (P/N OC08096C) for the vast majority of the standard transport two capstan decks had become unavailable and that there was some question as to whether they would ever be re-stocked.  At the time the only source I knew of for a belt good enough to meet original factory spec was from Electronics Service Labs in Connecticut

The models that use the OC08096C capstan belt are: 480 series, 580 series, 660 series, 670 series, 680 series, LX-3, LX-5,  ZX-7 (not ZX-9), 700ZXE, 700ZXL, 1000ZXL, RX-505, RX-303 (not RX-202).  I'm pretty sure I didn't miss any. An exact original belt can be obtained from ES Labs for $55, but, now there is an exact copy available that meets factory spec.

Fred Marrs of Marrs Communication as a belt which he calls the OCO 8096-D2. This belt has been tested by a few people and they say it works in their decks and has a W&F that is within spec. You can contact Fred at You can also find him on eBay. His eBay ID is "marrscommunications". The last time I checked he was selling this belt for $25 with free shipping anywhere in the world.

>> Is there anything else I should order for my LX-5 while I'm ordering a couple of belts?
The parts one might consider ordering & keeping sealed up for the future would be the pinch rollers, P/N OC08164A, and the reel drive idler arm, P/N CA08193A.

If you have an LX-3 or LX-5 you might want to order the pinch rollers, P/N OC08164A and the reel drive idler arm, P/N CA08193A.  Store these parts since they may not be available tomorrow.

The Dragon and the ZX-9 do not use it, nor do any Sankyo-mech decks, such as CR-7, DR-1, etc.

The flywheel belt for the ZX-9 is OC08334A and for the CR-7A it's OC80634A.  But these belts don't need to be as critically "on spec" as the OC08096C, so you won't have tape skewing/chewing problems or high wow/flutter if you find a pretty close generic substitute.  Incidentally, the OC08334A ZX-9 belt is a perfect match for the flywheel coupling belt of the Tandberg 3014/3014A.

What is the Classic Nakamichi mechanism or transport
Check out this link.

660ZX Belts
0C08096-Capstan Belt; 2x 0C08099-Control Belt (1 for control motor and 1 for azimuth motor); 0C08098-Counter Belt B (back tension); 0C08224-Counter Belt

682ZX Belts - MCM Electronics 42-160 Azimuth motor belt use SCX5.1

Dragon Belts
0C08098-Counter Belt B; 0C08099-Cam Motor Belt; MCM Electronics 42-160-Azimuth motor belt use SCX5.1

MR-1, BX-300, CR-4, CR-5, CR-7A/E/70 Belts
0C80634-Capstan Belt; 0C80621-Back Tension Belt,

RX-202/RX-202E Belts
0C80034-Capstan Belt; 0C08099-Cam Belt (for flip mechanism)

RX-505/RX-505E Belts
0C08096-Capstan Belt; 2x 0C08099-Cam Belt (1 for control motor and 1 for flip mechanism)

TD-500 Belts
0C08782-Capstan Belt; 0C08783-V Pulley Belt; 0C08784-Loading Belt

ZX-7 Belts
0C08096-Capstan Belt; 0C08098-Counter Belt; 0C08099-Control Belt

ZX-9 Belts
0C08334-Capstan Belt; 0C08098-Counter Belt; 0C08099-Control Belt

Tape plays fast for the first second or two and then suddenly plays normal
This is most likely caused by hardened grease on the pinch roller pivots which plague the Nakamichi standard transport decks.  Take the cassette door off and without a tape put the deck into play.  The pinch rollers should engage the capstans without any delay.  Press down on the pinch roller.  Once you press down enough to overcome the spring it should move freely.  If this is not the case then the pivot needs to be cleaned and new oil added.  Try using 99% or greater alcohol on the pivot while moving the pinch roller to work it in.  This may or may not work depending on how hard the grease is. If it doesn't get easier after about a half hour then the whole pinch roller will need to be removed. Note: This will require realignment of the tape guides after reassembly. This is a job that requires a trip to a competant service person who has the required gauges. The pinch roller pivot pin is just pressed into the white plastic. Carefully grab the pin and gently rotate it back and forth while pulling on it. Once out you can use harder chemicals like MEK to remove the hardened grease. Clean thoughly, apply new grease like molytone or lithium grease. Reassembly by slowly pushing the pn back into the plastic of the transport.

Head and Pinch Roller Cleaning
There has been a lot of discussion on NakTalk over the years regarding head cleaning.  First I'll start with the No, No's.  Do not use drug store alcohol with a purity of less than 98%.  Standard rubbing alcohol or isopropanol is typically only 70% pure alcohol with the rest being water.  Denatured alcohol is Ok since it contains 99% ethyl and methyl alcohol with only trace amounts of water.

Just about everyone has their own ideas on what to use.  I'm not sure what Nakamichi officially says, but, when I used to go to the Nakamichi parts department in Torrance, CA they had a display on the counter for American Recorder's Intraclean S-711 head cleaning solution.  They were careful to say that they are not officially endorsing their product, but, they did say that they use it on all the decks that come in for service.  Unfortunately S-711 is no longer available because of a ban on 1,1,1 Trichloroethane.American Recorder now has Intraclean S-721H which is pure Hexane.  S-721H is $10 for a 2 ounce bottle that should last the home user virtually forever.   With some of the older high end Naks they included a small cleaning kit containing a bag of cotton swabs and a small bottle of what I believe is just isopropyl alcohol (probably 90% or better, not sure). While this kit was included with some decks it is not recommended because of the possible high water content.  The important thing is to use something that will evaporate quickly and not sit there.  The worst thing is if water sits on the metal parts.  (S.J.)

Some people like using an old Ampex head cleaning solution from the 50's & 60's.  It is basically carbon tetrachloride.  It works great, but, was banned many years ago because of it's effect on the ozone layer.  American Recorders Intraclean S-711 is no longer available either because it's ingredient 1,1,1 Trichloroethane also deplets the ozone layer and has been known to cause cancer.

Stephan Sank says he uses MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone).  It's cheap and an excellent cleaner, but, is known to cause cancer and can royally screw up plastic.  Use in a well ventilated area and don't let it touch anything except the heads and pinch roller. It will melt the plastic parts and can even cause damage to the anodized aluminum front panel.

(Thanks to Jeff Galin at ESLabs for some of the information contained above.)

Standard or Classic Nakamichi Mechanism Idler Tire
The older Nak decks with the Standard or Classic tape transport use an idler tire that is much bigger and lasts much longer than the one used in some of the Sankyo transport decks.  The decks that have this idler are the 580 series , 660 series, 670 series, 680 series, 700 series, 1000 series, LX series, ZX-7, ZX-9, RX-303,  RX-505 and the Dragon. It should be replaced about every 10 years, but, it can function for much longer without completely failing like the one in the Sankyo transport.  This idler is very Very difficult to replace.  Much more difficult than even the Sankyo idler on the RX-202.  It basically required that you removed the cassette mechanism from the deck and then SEPARATE the front and back halves of the transport.  Then you need to carefully take the e-clip off while holding down the metal washer because this thing is spring loaded and when that e-clip comes off it will go flying. The idler are available from a couple different sources. Liberman Sound sells a compatible idler tire, TIRE-N, for $10 plus about $6.50 for shipping within the continental US. SMC Electronics, P/N VCRIT32, $0.85ea. MCM Electronics, P/N 32-710, $0.57ea.
Dean Sanborn sells a compatible idler tire for $4.99 plus shipping.  His email address is  He sells on eBay too as "n4229k".  Contact him directly though.  I carefully measured the tire I got from Dean and it's 0.700" OD, 0.460" ID, 0.120" Wide.

Small Rubber Idler Issue Idler Tire for Sankyo Mechanism
Decks affected  BX series decks (BX-1, BX-2, BX-100, BX-125, BX-150 & BX-300), MR series decks (MR-1, MR-2), ZX-5, RX-202, CR-5 and CR-7 decks before S/N A130-10500.
The idler tire on the early Sankyo mechanism decks would commonly fail within 2-3 years.  There are two solutions to this problem.  Replace the idler tire every 2-3 years or get the gear idler upgrade.  It would be nice if the gear idler upgrade was cheap because this would cure the problem forever.  Unfortunately this upgrade is neither cheap ($100 plus) nor readily available.  Personally I wouldn't worry about upgrading to the gear idler.  Just buy a bunch of the replacement tires and replace it every 2 years or when the FF/Rev starts to slow down.  Jeffrey Galin of Electronics Services Labs has created a nice instruction page with picture on how to do the replacement.  He has posted it on his web site  Sonic Sense has an excellent web page concerning the gear mod upgrade  If you want to get it upgraded to the gear idler the most cost effective way is to buy a used CR-1 (like off eBay) and swap the gear idler assembly in it for the rubber idler assemblies.  It's not a trivial job (especially on the RX-202), but, it's not impossible.  The CR-1/2/3/4 were never made with rubber idlers, as they were introduced simultaneously with the "gear upgrade".
Liberman Sound sells a compatible idler tire for $10 each, plus about $6.50 for shipping within the continental US.
Dean Sanborn sells a compatible idler tire for $4.99 plus shipping.  His email address is n4229k AT aol DOT com. He sells on eBay too as "n4229k".  Contact him directly though.
HBF Electronics sells a compatible idler tire as part number IT-54 they charge $0.25 each, plus $10 for shipping within the US.
MCM Electronics sells a compatible idler tire as stock number 32-5665 for $0.57 each, but, shipping is about $7.50 minimum within the US.
PRB, now owned by Russell Industries has this idler tire as ST.536.

On the CR-7A only units with serial number below A130-10500 are likely to have the rubber tire idler (if it hasn't been done). Below A130-08677, both the gear upgrade & the record EQ correction. This was to correct mistakes made in the record EQ and has nothing to do with IEC1/2 standards. An uncorrected CR-7 sounds noticeable rolled off on the upper treble in recording. I heard that the record EQ originally couldn't compensate for tapes such as the TDK SA-X. I have not confirmed this.

The following data is only for fun. It does not point to one tire being better than another. It is only observations of the various tires that are available for the Sankyo idler tire. The genuine Nakamichi and Liberman tires is no longer available.

Source I.D. O.D. Thick
Nak Black Pulley   .401" .077"
Nak 0C80635 .536" .351" .064"
ESL Replacement Tire .554" .402" .080"
MCM #32-5665 .550" .367" .082"
Liberman Replacement Tire .554" .369" .081"
Union Electronics IT-54 .602" .392" .078"


Noise During Mode Changes (Nakamichi Standard Transport Only)
The Nak decks that use the standard or classic mechanism (not the Sankyo mechanism) are prone to developing a noise when changing modes, especially when going into stop.  This is caused by the oil on the cam drive gear drying out.  The simple fix is to add a drop of oil to the gear shaft.  Do not get any on the gear where the belt is.  Only on the shaft.  Do not put too much on.  It only needs a drop or less.  Here is a service bulletin issued by Nak NR-0040 that shows exactly were to put the oil.

Reel and mode motor on Sankyo mechanism decks
I would very much recommend, though, stocking a few reel motors, P/N CA80205A, for CR-7 or any other Sankyo mech deck worth keeping, as these eventually develop dead spots and aren't easy to overhaul.  The mode motor will do the same thing, but, it's really easy to take apart & de-carbonise, so not much point in buying spares.  If you want to get a spare the part number is CA80007A.

-Ron has a good step by step for removing the reel motor on Sankyo transport.

1. Remove top cover. How: remove two screws, 2 on each side.
2. Remove cassette well door.
3. Remove front part of the cassette case (24). How: remove 2 black countersunk head screws on the left. Hold the left side and pull forward and to the left to disengage. Note location of the spring on the left plastic bracket and make sure it's correctly positioned prior to reassembly.
4. Remove the cassette back plate. How: remove 2 black screws from the top of the plate. The plate fits into slots in the cassette guides at the bottom of the well. Pull the top of the plate forward and up to disengage.
5. Remove the left hub. How: press down on the hub. This exposes a 3.2mm plastic washer -- pull it off, then remove the hub, a metal washer, a plastic spring holder and a spring, in this order.
6. In a similar fashion, remove the right hub.
7. The reel motor plate is held by 2 screws and a nut, all accessible from the rear. For now, remove the upper left screw and loosen (do not remove) the 4mm nut. You may use a 5/32" nut driver.The plate and motor will remain in place.
8. Mark the positive terminal of the reel motor with a dab of red paint, if not already so marked. Unsolder the motor leads.
9. dismount the capstan motor. It is held in place by 4 screws, all accessible from the front. How: put a piece of plastic sleeving on each capstan, for protection. Manually lift the head block as far as it will go and use a strong rubber band hooked to the post at the top to keep it in place. Top left screw is located under the left hub hole, a bit to the left. Top right screw is located about 1/2" above the right cassette guide. Lower right screw is located under the right pinch roller. Lower left screw is located under and to the left of the left pinch roller. Its head will be hidden under a segment of an L bracket (16). To expose the head (partially), push the L bracket segment down. Use a thin Philips #1 screwdriver. Once the capstan motor standoff is free, release the L bracket. This will keep the screw captive, so it will not fall out.
10. Remove the reel motor plate with the reel motor attached. How: Move the capstan motor back so as to permit access to the lower screw holding the reel motor plate in place. Use a right angle Philips #1 screwdriver. Loosen the screw (do not remove).
11. Replace reel motor.
12. Reassemble in reverse order.

Flywheel bearing shaft
I haven't yet seen a CR-7, CR-5, BX-300 or MR-1 motors go south.  The only problem I ever seen with them is once in a while finding one needing the left flywheel shaft bearing lub'd, for which "Prolong Precision Oil" works great. The service manual lists Anderol 456 diester bearing oil, but, this is very hard to find, (Data sheet), although it does seem to be available from Skymart Specialty Fluids. The bearings on the capstan are oil impregnated bronze bearings. To do the job right you need to clean out the old oil by soaking it in something like acetone or MEK for a few days. Then dry for a day (leave it in the sun to bake it out a bit) and then soak it in the new oil for a couple days.

Oils and greases
The Nak service manuals list several types of oils and greases to be used for various parts in the machines. For example Anderol 456 diester in the paragraph above. There is also Mitsubishi Diamond EP-56 hydraulic fluid for the reel hub shafts. MSDS. Molykote X5-6020 mineral oil grease for the cam motor pulley and capstan thrust portion, Data Sheet. Floil GB-TS-1 for reel hub assembly and back tension spring.

Common Dragon tape deck problems
Dragon eats tapes. Tape skews off to one side and crinkles the edge of the tape. First clean the pinch rollers and capstan really well. If that doesn't cure the problem then the capstan motors might not be turning at the correct speed. The likely cause of this is a bad motor drive transistors on the motor drive board. If you have a scope you can monitor the motor drive waveform and compare it to the other phases. All phases should look nearly identical.

Capstan motor does not turn. Check power to the motor drive. If that is good check the motor drive waveform with a scope. It's likely that a pair of motor drive transistors on the capstan board have failed.

Differences between ZX-7 and ZX-9
The ZX-7 and ZX-9 are nearly identical decks. They look identical except for the white lettering on the ZX-7 and the gold lettering on the ZX-9 and the phrase "Super-Tuned Edition" on the ZX-9. Under the hood the biggest difference is the capstan motors. The ZX-9 uses a "FG servo, brushless, slotless, coreless, Super Linear Torque Direct Drive motor" where the motors shaft is the take-up capstan, known as Direct Drive. The ZX-9's supply capstan is driven from the take-up capstans flywheel via a belt. The ZX-7 uses a lower quality PLL servo motor that drives both the take-up and supply capstans via a single belt. This difference in motors translates into differing Wow-and-Flutter (W&F) specs. The ZX-7 has a respecable Weighted Peak W&F of 0.08% and Weighted RMS of 0.04%. The ZX-9 has a Weighted Peak W&F of 0.045% and Weighted RMS of 0.022%. The ZX-9 supposedly has highier quality components in the playback amplifiers and a slightly different EQ standard, but, all the other published spec on the two decks are the same except for power. The ZX-7 is 40 Watts and the ZX-9 is 50 Watts. Frequency Response, Signal-to-Noise Ratio, Total Harmonic Distortion, Crosstalk, etc are all the same.

I believe that the ZX-9 and Dragon are the only two decks using the Classic (non-Sankyo) tape transport to have a directly driven capstan. The Dragon actually has both capstans directly driven, but, that is because it had to to support it's auto reverse feature. These are not the only Nakamichi decks to have directly driven capstans however. When they went to the Sankyo mechanism the direct drive capstan became standard on about half the 3-head models. The followings Sankyo mechanism decks have direct drive: ZX-5, BX-300, MR-1, CR-7 and CR-4.  The following Sankyo mechanism decks did NOT get direct drive: CR-5, CR-3, DR-1, DR-10 and DR-2. I am unsure of the Cassette Deck series.

The first page of the ZX-9 owner's manual has the following to say:
You have chosen an extremely fine cassette deck. The Nakamichi ZX-9 can be called a "Super-Tuned Edition" of that tape enthusiast's model, the ZX-7, with still further improved transport mechanism and amplifier circuitry as well as generally brushed-up basic performance.
In particular, the adoption of a direct-drive principle employing a unique "Super Linear Torque" DD motor stands out among the innovations. It permits a further reduction of wow-and-flutter and modulation noise.
By improving upon these basic performance features, the high precision tape adjustment facilities for azimuth, record/playback sensitivity and bias can be put to use still more effectively for achieving perfect results.

Please take the time to read this manual in its entirety to fully acquaint yourself with the various features of this cassette deck.

Thank you.

Nakamichi Corporation.

Bleus has the brochures of the ZX-7 and ZX-9 on the web at
Here are some pictures of a ZX-7 rehab project.  Sorry it's in Japanese, but, there are a lot of good pictures.
Brief history and review of the ZX-7 and ZX-9.
ZX-7 & ZX-9 user's manual plus ZX-9 service manual

Cassette Deck 1 or 2 Won't Play
I believe starting with the Cassette Deck series Nakamichi went to a crappy motor for the capstan motor. The symptom is the deck won't play. FF and Rew work fine, but, play engages for 1-2 seconds and then goes back to stop. This problem is caused by a dead capstan motor. As far as I know they are marked SHE2L and SHU2L. Tom Brucker said that Teac used at least one of these motors and had a hell of a time with them going bad. Kenwood apparently uses the same motor. I hasn't been confirmed but the CassetteDeck 1 Limited and 1.5 might use the same motor, but, if you hear otherwise let me know. I'm not sure, but, the DR-3 ad DR-8 might have the same problem. I'm not sure if Nakamichi went to a different motor for the DR decks. The good news is the motor is still available from Encompass as a Kenwood part. for $27.65 the last time I checked.

Hi Tech Service
2934 Nolensville Rd.
Nashville, TN 37211
Attn: Tom Brucker
hitech77 AT

Willy Hermann Service
7 Beaconsfield Ct.
Orinda, CA 94563
925-376-2146 (9-5 Pacific Time only)
Web Site:

Vision Video Labs
Attn:  Jerry

Audio Lab
36 JFK St
Cambridge, MA 02138

Liberman Sound
224 Professional Bldg
El Cerrito, CA  94530
480, 730, BX, CR, LX series, Dragon, MR-1, MR-2
(they will not work on 250, 350, 500, 550, 700, 1000, TA-2, TA-3, TA-4, TA-4A, some are due to lack of parts availablity and other are because they are just crap to begin with)

Approved Audio Service, Inc.
49 Commons Dr.
Litchfield, CT  06759

Electronics Service Labs
1807 Berlin Turnpike
Wethersfield, Connecticut, 06109
These guys are, in my opinion ridiculously expensive.  They don't want to repair a unit, they was to completely refurbish it to like new or better than new condition and they charge several times what the deck is worth.  Their work is excellent, but, again very expensive.  If you cherish your Nak more than anything else in the world (and have a lot of money) then these are the guys you want to do the work.

256 Nth Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024

This guy is highly recommended for his work, honesty and reasonable prices.  Last I heard he was recovering from an accident and was not back to work yet.
Stephen Sank, Owner & Ribbon Mic Restorer
Talking Dog Transducer Company
336 East Fort Lowell, Suite 101
Tucson, AZ 8 5705

Nakamichi lists 7 service centers in the US on their web site.
Nakamichi USA Service Center List

In Canada:
All-In-One Electronics
50 Wingold Dr.
(416) 789-0668

In Europe:
Bowers & Wilkins
Several people on NakTalk say they have used these guys and would recommend them..

167, Barrack Rd
Christchurch, Dorset
BH23 2AP, UK
Tel: 01202 473901
Open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Luis Peromarta

In New Zealand try: Axent Audio, but, the last I heard they don't want to work on Naks anymore.



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