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  #41  
Old 10-08-2017, 09:16 AM
mtsaclander mtsaclander is offline
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Thank you Alex. I don't why but I like the sound of my Aiwa 950s. They are different sounding and I guess I am used to it since that was my first deck I bought new back in 1995. It's the only deck I have had for 20 years. I liked it so much that I bought another for a different room. I definitely have better decks now but the 950s get used the most. They just keep going with no fuss. I presume you are basing your opinion on build quality and internal electronics of the older Aiwas.

Niels are you referring to revox_de
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Aiwa ADS-950 USA, ADS-950E Europe, Akai GX-M50, Carver TD-1700(Aiwa AD-F780/AD-F880) Nakamichi Dragon, ZX-9, RX505, Deck 2, Pioneer CT-S920S, Revox B-215, Sony TCK1ESA, TCK717ES, Yamaha KX1200U, KX530, KX393.
  #42  
Old 10-10-2017, 10:42 AM
Deano Deano is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckouli View Post
Deano,
The AD-F1000/XK-007/S7000 and XK-009/S9000 were considered by most to be the four finest Aiwa decks. Oddly, none of these decks has DATA. Instead calibration is handled manually by external rec sensitivity and bias controls. The 009 & S9000 are further assisted by having internal test tone generators at 2 frequencies with calibration markings on the display.
There was a later Aiwa that had autocal (AD-S750) but I suspect they used the DATA acronym only for marketing purposes, and that this deck’s autocal has nothing in relation to the DATA system of the earlier Aiwas. It’s also a 2-head deck. In any case, keep away from the S750.
I can only assume that the five big Aiwas mentioned above don’t have DATA for cost cutting reasons, even though they are all Aiwa’s top end decks, though of a later generation. BTW, AD-F1000 and XK-007 are identical; the former is merely labelled F1000 for some markets.
I owned the S9000, and it is an outstanding deck. However I prefer my XK-009, and I personally don’t consider the S9000 a better deck; just a more expensive deck mainly due to the inclusion of Dolby S. It also has a built-in DAC, but by high-end standards it is a cheap DAC. It is also newer, so age has not depreciated it as much as the 009.
All five of these top decks make amazing recordings, but I have to tell you that my F990 in recording quality is every bit as good, and its complex autocal allows it to achieve a more precise matching to the tape used than the manual calibration of the above decks. Is it subjectively better? I am not sure. There is no doubt that the F770 and F990 are considerably more complex decks than the ones above, and they were designed and made during the peak era of cassette deck technology. Technologically they are superior, but they also have weaknesses: smaller power supplies, poor internal circuit board layout, messy wiring, crammed innards, and far harder to service and maintain. I personally, however, have quite a fondness for them, and the sonic performance of my F990’s are as good as my XK-009’s.
If you can get your hands on one of these (F1000/XK-007 would likely be the most affordable) in good condition I think you will enjoy it quite a lot. I hope this helps.
-Costa
Thank you Costa this was very informative and I enjoyed reading it. I have always liked the Aiwas but never new much about them. There just isn't much info out there on them.

I'm kind of confused though. You said the f800 was the last good Aiwa so where does it fit in with the XK-007 etc
  #43  
Old 10-10-2017, 12:54 PM
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ckouli ckouli is offline
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The AD-F800 was the last of the good affordable Aiwas. The Excelia decks were introduced around the same time, but were in a different class.

When I say the F800 was the last good (affordable) Aiwa made, I am referring to this series of decks, from earliest (early 1980s) to latest (around 1990): AD-3500/3700/3800, followed by AD-F640/R650/F660/F770/F990, followed by AD-F780/F880, and finally the AD-F800. Every 3-head deck after that (AD-F810, F850, F910, S950) were inferior in build, sonic accuracy, technological development, etc..). In some cases much inferior.

The only exceptions are the XK-007/S7000 and XK-009/S9000 family.
  #44  
Old 10-11-2017, 04:49 AM
Homerlovesbeer Homerlovesbeer is offline
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So IYHO what are the top 3 AIWA decks ever made?
  #45  
Old 10-11-2017, 01:50 PM
Deano Deano is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckouli View Post
The AD-F800 was the last of the good affordable Aiwas. The Excelia decks were introduced around the same time, but were in a different class.

When I say the F800 was the last good (affordable) Aiwa made, I am referring to this series of decks, from earliest (early 1980s) to latest (around 1990): AD-3500/3700/3800, followed by AD-F640/R650/F660/F770/F990, followed by AD-F780/F880, and finally the AD-F800. Every 3-head deck after that (AD-F810, F850, F910, S950) were inferior in build, sonic accuracy, technological development, etc..). In some cases much inferior.

The only exceptions are the XK-007/S7000 and XK-009/S9000 family.
Ok got it thanks again Costa. I feel like I have enough info now to make a informed decision.
  #46  
Old 10-11-2017, 07:02 PM
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Top three in what criteria? In no particular order, I have found the overall best to be XK-009, XK-S9000, AD-F990, AD-F770, XK-007 and XK-S7000. However they all have strengths and weaknesses with respect to each other.
  #47  
Old 10-11-2017, 08:42 PM
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clamsterdamm clamsterdamm is offline
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Aiwa's Digital Automatic Tape Adaptation was a great system, but there was no manual calibration for this model, AD-F770. Classic '80s Aiwa with keyboard style set up in the days where most people wanted a big stereo. The head is responsible for amplifying low noise attributes. The automatic test tone generator administers 3 cycles of signal which are Bias, Sensitivity, EQ. I'm use to doing this manually with 3 dedicated potentiometer dials on the front of the machine. Not a Dolby user since recordings go past OVU "0" dB. This model said to have good Dolby IC. No direct drive.

Last edited by clamsterdamm; 10-12-2017 at 07:41 AM.
  #48  
Old 10-12-2017, 02:47 AM
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ckouli ckouli is offline
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Correct, except for your description of the heads. This was their top model with “DX” heads which are simply hard permalloy. Moving up to the F990 gets you amorphous heads.
The “micro-grain” surface refers to the capstans, not the heads. There is a special finish to them which claims to improve tape path stability by reducing the likelihood of tape slippage as it moves between the two capstans.
Aiwa’s DATA system, along with Nakamichi’s ABLE, are the only two autocal systems I have ever used where I found them sufficiently accurate to not want nor need a manual system.
Finally, W&F is very low, at only 0.025%. This is on par or better than many direct drives, and is a testament to the excellence of this proprietary drive mechanism.
  #49  
Old 10-12-2017, 09:57 AM
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clamsterdamm clamsterdamm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckouli View Post
Correct, except for your description of the heads. This was their top model with “DX” heads which are simply hard permalloy. Moving up to the F990 gets you amorphous heads.
The “micro-grain” surface refers to the capstans, not the heads. There is a special finish to them which claims to improve tape path stability by reducing the likelihood of tape slippage as it moves between the two capstans.
Aiwa’s DATA system, along with Nakamichi’s ABLE, are the only two autocal systems I have ever used where I found them sufficiently accurate to not want nor need a manual system.
Finally, W&F is very low, at only 0.025%. This is on par or better than many direct drives, and is a testament to the excellence of this proprietary drive mechanism.

What are your thoughts on the Aiwa XK-S7000? Thank you for your correction. Yes the capstans have a polished Left and frosted Right. Frosted one is that way for grip on the tape ribbon?
  #50  
Old 10-12-2017, 12:23 PM
jethrodumont jethrodumont is offline
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Hmm. Wondering if maybe I should have grabbed an Aiwa instead of the Onkyo TA-2058. They sound really interesting. Maybe in the future when I have more time to shop I can do that.

Anyone have any thoughts on that Onkyo model vs. the Aiwa's?
  #51  
Old 10-12-2017, 01:40 PM
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The Onkyo TA-2058 is a very well built, solid, and reliable 3-head deck, as all Onkyo products of the 1980's were. Compared to the Aiwa AD-F770, however, in my view, no contest. In every way possible the Aiwa is a substantially superior machine: sonic accuracy in recording and playback, mechanical excellence and feature set.
Perhaps only in overall serviceability the Onkyo is easier. The two big Aiwas of this era - F770 and F990 - are not easy decks to service at all.
  #52  
Old 10-12-2017, 02:00 PM
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ckouli ckouli is offline
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The XK-S7000 is an excellent machine. I would rate it up with the very best overall ever offered by Aiwa. The one area where I find the F770 and especially F990 can beat it is in recording accuracy, due to the elaborate auto-cal, but whatever difference may exist would be tiny, perhaps imperceptible. XK-007/S7000 are very similar machines except for Dolby S, the DAC, and the wooden base, primarily. In a like manner, XK-009/S9000 differ from each other mainly in the same ways.
I have done numerous comparisons between XK-007 and S9000 and XK-009, but never the S7000. All in stock form, in my case.
  #53  
Old 10-12-2017, 02:48 PM
jethrodumont jethrodumont is offline
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Thanks for the info, ckouli. So my next question would be, are any of these Aiwa's available for around $200-ish USD?
  #54  
Old 10-12-2017, 08:24 PM
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An AD-F770 maybe. However this deck was made from 1983 until about 1986, so it will need a mechanical overhaul. Belts, idler. Then, the power supply may require service. These decks are so crammed inside that insufficient heat sinking with heat shortens the life span is some parts.
An F990 will run more and the four XK- machines even more...
  #55  
Old 10-13-2017, 05:06 AM
Lapis Lapis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by active View Post
Noticed Aiwa M800 has auto cal. With 4 point adjustment, bias, level, eqmid, eqhigh.
Plus bias fine manually, that is similar to nak 700zxl
Also the M-800 has 4 memory positions to store calibrations.
It is really a three point as it does have Bias, Level and Equalizer. Unfortunately not Azimuth.
  #56  
Old 10-13-2017, 08:04 AM
Homerlovesbeer Homerlovesbeer is offline
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Anybody in Australia service these AIWA's? My 990 has a broken belt and I'm sure needs a service.
  #57  
Old 10-13-2017, 08:08 AM
lucky lucky is offline
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As far as I remember my F990, it isn't a big thing to move the belts behind the capstan bearings (no DD). Keep in mind that all none DD's are sensitive for belt thickness.
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Last edited by lucky; 10-13-2017 at 08:13 AM.
  #58  
Old 10-13-2017, 12:27 PM
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clamsterdamm clamsterdamm is offline
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[QUOTE=ckouli;710370]A Sony TC-K890ES will be easily beaten in every department by an F770/F990. Believe me, I used to sell Sony ES! They are very well built machines, but sonically inferior in both playback and recording.

^ Can you please elaborate on what you mean? What makes the 890ES not sound good? I started a thread asking "Do Sony Decks Sound Bad?" Many people answered that thread stating they sound good.

Last edited by clamsterdamm; 10-13-2017 at 12:29 PM.
  #59  
Old 10-13-2017, 02:29 PM
jethrodumont jethrodumont is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckouli View Post
An AD-F770 maybe. However this deck was made from 1983 until about 1986, so it will need a mechanical overhaul. Belts, idler. Then, the power supply may require service. These decks are so crammed inside that insufficient heat sinking with heat shortens the life span is some parts.
An F990 will run more and the four XK- machines even more...
Ah. Out of my price range to do all that right now, but maybe in the future. I had to jump on the TA-2058 because I was in a hurry and needed a deck to record a batch of newly ordered tapes with. Good info though.

- J
  #60  
Old 10-13-2017, 03:24 PM
Deano Deano is offline
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I think it's worth mentioning I found a potential flaw or weakness IMHO with the Aiwa DATA system. If you intend on using it with TRUE chrome tapes forget it. It flat out refuses to calibrate them to any degree. To some this may not be an issue but I'm siting on a stock pile of both CE and CS Basf tapes which I enjoy very much and am not able to use them on the 770 which is a shame because I'm sure they would really sing on this deck.

I guess I'll keep using them with my Teac V900 as it has no problem calibrating to them although the sensitivity is down about 2db which is fine because I don't use dolby period.
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