Tapeheads Tape, Audio and Music Forums
High quality analog audio tape for professionals and enthusiasts alike.

Go Back   Tapeheads Tape, Audio and Music Forums > Tape, Taping and Tape Machines > Cassette

Cassette All discussions pertaining to cassette decks. These include general usage, recording, playback and service questions. For subjects related to tape itself, see the Cassette Tape subforum under this one. Obscure service subjects that don't quite fit go in the Help and Do It Yourself subforum.

Donate to Tapeheads!
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-01-2017, 08:39 PM
Deano Deano is offline
Serious Tapehead
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Saskatoon, Canada
Posts: 109
Aiwa AD-F770 vs my best decks

I thought what I have found out about this Aiwa 770 might interest anyone who is interested in purchasing one.
When I bought this deck a few months back it was in a sorry state. Both from natural wear and tear and from tampering hands that made a mess of the transport. The more I investigated the more I regretted buying it because of all the work it needed but what made me continue on it was the fact that it was in mint condition cosmetically and it being such a beautiful deck.
The weak points I found on these decks are firstly the fact that they are way to small for all the electronics jammed in which looks like a rats nest of wires everywhere. Also they have a very poorly designed power supply that runs far too hot for my liking. To remedy this I added extra heat sinks and a fan and have brought the temp down to an acceptable level. Also the resistors caps etc look like they were puked out onto the CB's every which way. Another problem with these decks as noted by others on the forum is they are very sensitive to have the right belts installed especially if it's the older version of the deck with equal size capstans. The newer version which I have thankfully has different size capstans and is not as sensitive but still requires good quality belts from sources such as Marrs. If you don't have the right belts you will end up with W/F figures out of spec. I ended up with .03 with the right belts.
So after sorting all these things out including stripping the transport and completely relubing relapping worn heads, and adjusting everything that needed it I started to evaluate the sound quality. Well this is where I was completely blow away. These decks sound great and record just as well. I compared it to my best decks including the Teac V-900X, Nakamichi LX-5 and Sony K679es modifyed with A.N.T 4066 chip. All these decks are as far as I can tell within factory specs. So the first deck I compared the Aiwa to was the Teac. I found the Aiwa beat it in both sound and recording quality. Second the Nakamichi, the Aiwa sounded about equal but bettered the Naka in recording. Now I know this statement is going to cause alot of controversy among the Naka lovers out there but I find that in my case the recordings on the Nak just don't sound as good on my other equipment especially my car deck. The third deck was the Sony in this case the Aiwa lost out in sound quality but may have been different without the A.N.T 4066 chip. As far as recording goes the Aiwa blows the Sony out of the water.

I know I have made some pretty bold statements here but they are what I found on my equipment and are only my humble opinions. I'm saying all this because I feel these decks deserve more respect than than they receive and are pretty darn good if you can sort out their issues and get them working properly. I can say now that I'm glad I bought this deck and it deserves to be among my best.
Id be curious to here what your opinions are.

Thanks
Deano
  #2  
Old 10-01-2017, 09:47 PM
ckouli's Avatar
ckouli ckouli is offline
Serious Tapehead
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Montreal, Que.
Posts: 895
Deano,
Your statements certainly donít impress me, in that I know all this already as do so many recording studios (back in the day when cassette decks were popular in those venues). If you look past the ratís nest of wires and the ultra-jammed components in there, the F770 and its bigger sibling, the F990, are both capable of astonishing performance. In my book there isnít one single Sony, Teac, Technics, or any other, except a big Nakamichi, that can better these Aiwas in recording. In playback they are equally competent provided the mechanical alignment matches the recorded tape, but recording is where Aiwa really leaves its mark. The DATA autocal works very well and is nearly foolproof.
The F770 and F990 are getting on in years, and this fact, coupled with the internal layout and sophistication they employed renders them as decks most technicians do not want to work on. They are quite reliable but when problematic they are often very difficult to service and bring back to spec. I own one F770 and four F990ís (three to spec) and I can tell you they record every bit as excellent as my Dragon and ZX-7. In stock form they beat my Nak BX-300, Teac V-8000S, Pioneer Elite CT-43, H/K CD491 and a host of decks Iíve owned in the past: Technics B905, Luxman K-04, Sony TC-KA3ES & 870ES, NAD 6300.
Anyone who has worked in the high end audio business and sold Aiwa during those years will know this. The company was owned mainly by Sony, and it seems they allowed Aiwa to be more ambitious with more of an experimental product range, with products that had interesting technologies and advanced features. There cassette walkmans were just as superb, but almost a nightmare to service. There is a thread somewhere on this forum where I read about another memberís nightmarish experience in servicing an F990.
-Costa
  #3  
Old 10-01-2017, 10:42 PM
mtsaclander mtsaclander is offline
Serious Tapehead
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 285
Good to hear. I recently bought a Carver TD1700. Changed the 2 belts and put some white lithium grease. I too was blown away at the sound. Only gripe I have is no headphone volume control. It came with original box and manual. No remote. Lucky I don't have to redo the heads. Previous owner only recorded 2 tapes and had about 5-10 hours on it.
__________________
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.
  #4  
Old 10-01-2017, 10:59 PM
Deano Deano is offline
Serious Tapehead
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Saskatoon, Canada
Posts: 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckouli View Post
Deano,
Your statements certainly donít impress me, in that I know all this already as do so many recording studios (back in the day when cassette decks were popular in those venues). If you look past the ratís nest of wires and the ultra-jammed components in there, the F770 and its bigger sibling, the F990, are both capable of astonishing performance. In my book there isnít one single Sony, Teac, Technics, or any other, except a big Nakamichi, that can better these Aiwas in recording. In playback they are equally competent provided the mechanical alignment matches the recorded tape, but recording is where Aiwa really leaves its mark. The DATA autocal works very well and is nearly foolproof.
The F770 and F990 are getting on in years, and this fact, coupled with the internal layout and sophistication they employed renders them as decks most technicians do not want to work on. They are quite reliable but when problematic they are often very difficult to service and bring back to spec. I own one F770 and four F990ís (three to spec) and I can tell you they record every bit as excellent as my Dragon and ZX-7. In stock form they beat my Nak BX-300, Teac V-8000S, Pioneer Elite CT-43, H/K CD491 and a host of decks Iíve owned in the past: Technics B905, Luxman K-04, Sony TC-KA3ES & 870ES, NAD 6300.
Anyone who has worked in the high end audio business and sold Aiwa during those years will know this. The company was owned mainly by Sony, and it seems they allowed Aiwa to be more ambitious with more of an experimental product range, with products that had interesting technologies and advanced features. There cassette walkmans were just as superb, but almost a nightmare to service. There is a thread somewhere on this forum where I read about another memberís nightmarish experience in servicing an F990.
-Costa
That's great to hear ckouli I'm glad you chimed in and educated me some more on these decks. I know your one of the guys on here that seems to appreciate these decks. I hear so many negative comments about them but bought one anyway mainly because of how they look and from comments such as yourself. Thanks again for all your help. I just wanted to share the joy this deck is bringing me and spread the word. Although maybe I should keep my mouth shut cause the prices may go up lol.
  #5  
Old 10-01-2017, 11:09 PM
Deano Deano is offline
Serious Tapehead
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Saskatoon, Canada
Posts: 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtsaclander View Post
Good to hear. I recently bought a Carver TD1700. Changed the 2 belts and put some white lithium grease. I too was blown away at the sound. Only gripe I have is no headphone volume control. It came with original box and manual. No remote. Lucky I don't have to redo the heads. Previous owner only recorded 2 tapes and had about 5-10 hours on it.
That's interesting I've never heard a Carver deck I know they make impressive amps so I'm sure their decks are worth a listen as well.
  #6  
Old 10-01-2017, 11:47 PM
yoganic's Avatar
yoganic yoganic is offline
Serious Tapehead
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Posts: 312
Thank you Deano,
I like it when people do their own comparisons and tell us their opinions.
The 770s are great looking machines and AIWA was really capable of making great sounding decks. Good to hear yours came back to live!
__________________
Nakamichi: ZX-7, CR-4, BX-300, CR-3, Cassette Deck 1.5 - Technics RS-B555
  #7  
Old 10-02-2017, 12:27 PM
mtsaclander mtsaclander is offline
Serious Tapehead
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 285
My Mistake the Carver is made by Aiwa but its same as the Aiwa AD-F780/880.
__________________
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.

Last edited by mtsaclander; 10-03-2017 at 01:26 AM.
  #8  
Old 10-02-2017, 02:38 PM
Lynx Carpathica Lynx Carpathica is offline
Aiwa addict
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Tiszakťcske, Hungary
Posts: 8
Are F660 decks just as good sounding?
  #9  
Old 10-02-2017, 03:32 PM
ckouli's Avatar
ckouli ckouli is offline
Serious Tapehead
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Montreal, Que.
Posts: 895
The AD-F660 shares the same heads as F770. What it lacks is the sophisticated autocal (DATA) mainly, the very detailed fluorescent display and some additional features. Calibration is handled only by a bias control in the F660.
Sonically on playback it is just like the F770. On recording it can be as good provided internal calibration is done for the specific tape, otherwise the F770 is the more accurate recorder.
The F990 pushes the limit further with full amorphous heads, but is otherwise mechanically identical. It does add some more features too. The F770 and F660 have Aiwa DX heads, which are hard permalloy heads made for Aiwa by Canon. Still excellent heads but not as durable as the F990 heads.
The secret to the recording quality in Aiwa decks is due to several reasons, including the excellent mechanics which I personally place second only to Nakamichiís classic transport. The electronics in these Aiwas was also very good in terms of design, itís just the layout and compact size that is a letdown. Finally the excellent heads contribute quite a bit too.
In my view the layout with the horizontal keypad was ahead of its time and these decks were simply a joy to use. Of course that is personal opinion.
  #10  
Old 10-03-2017, 10:53 AM
DannyDG's Avatar
DannyDG DannyDG is offline
enjoy tape !
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Poland
Posts: 499
Hi Deano,

i do not have experience with the 770 but i have experience with other, newer 3 head Aiwa's, like the AD-F800/880/XK-007...
Those AIWA deck's can be bought cheap and are among the best sounding decks out there, in playback and recording.

My two best sounding Naks CD1 (still here) and ZX-7 (sold already...) are pretty good but i like the sound of the XK-007 or the AD-F800 better ! Those Aiwa's are just great, only if those capstan belts were of better availability...


Cheers and enjoy your tape !

Daniel
  #11  
Old 10-03-2017, 11:23 AM
vince666's Avatar
vince666 vince666 is offline
frozen into the 80's. :)
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: deep south of Italy
Posts: 7,459
Actually, i don't have any direct experiences with any Naks but i have 2 AIWA AD-F880 and especially the one modded by Alex sounds just great but i have a couple other decks which are even better: a marantz SD-60 with quite a few mods by Alex (and the mods made a good difference) and my two Technics RS-B965, both modded by Alex and one of them with also the heads replaced with some better ones (mods made a day/night difference on these ones)... so, after all, speaking only about modified decks, my comparison applies only here and so the "stock" models would be rated differently and if they were all in original shape then i would say the best one here would be the AIWA AD-F880.
  #12  
Old 10-03-2017, 12:27 PM
ckouli's Avatar
ckouli ckouli is offline
Serious Tapehead
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Montreal, Que.
Posts: 895
Aiwa F880 and F780 are identical, except for remote control included with F880. I bring that up because here in North America only the F780 was available.

As good as the F880 is, and the F800, and they are great decks, the F660 and especially F770 were in a different class. The F770 was part of the last generation made with the horizontal keypad, and these decks are in a separate class when it comes to sound quality. The F990 is again a class apart, being a phenomenal machine when properly maintained.

When I used to sell these machines we often called them the ďpoor manís NakĒ. In other words, if you couldnít afford a Nakamichi, you bought an Aiwa. Many top end Aiwas were actually better than many Nakamichis, which was unexpected, but further justified the expression.
  #13  
Old 10-03-2017, 05:44 PM
vince666's Avatar
vince666 vince666 is offline
frozen into the 80's. :)
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: deep south of Italy
Posts: 7,459
If I didn't buy any other AIWA after my AD-F880 is only because of the (difficult to find) belts here in Italy/EU... the F770 or F990 are models i would have liked to have for sure (but also the decks themselves are not easy to find here... a lot easier to find an AD-F780/800/880).
  #14  
Old 10-03-2017, 06:14 PM
Deano Deano is offline
Serious Tapehead
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Saskatoon, Canada
Posts: 109
From what I've read it sounds like Fred and Alex have sorted out the belt problem as long as it's the newer version with the unequal size Capstans.
  #15  
Old 10-04-2017, 03:46 AM
vince666's Avatar
vince666 vince666 is offline
frozen into the 80's. :)
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: deep south of Italy
Posts: 7,459
Yes, but i read that there was a problem on a second/newer batch of those belts and, at now, i don't know if things were finally fixed or not (nobody gave any extra news about that, which would be very appreciated).

I was lucky to get the replacement belts i did fit on my ADF880 just from the first batch.
  #16  
Old 10-04-2017, 04:52 PM
Deano Deano is offline
Serious Tapehead
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Saskatoon, Canada
Posts: 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by vince666 View Post
Yes, but i read that there was a problem on a second/newer batch of those belts and, at now, i don't know if things were finally fixed or not (nobody gave any extra news about that, which would be very appreciated).

I was lucky to get the replacement belts i did fit on my ADF880 just from the first batch.
Oh really I didn't know that Vince. I guess a guy will have to make sure before ordering. I hope they are able to sort this out. After listening to this Aiwa more I'm finding I like it even more than my modified 679es. The Aiwa has better bass tighter and just more pronounced if this makes any sense. I think a 990 is in the cards next lol. In fact I have a 890es apart right now and am lacking the ambition to finish it because I feel it just wont compare to this Aiwa especially in the recording department. The recordings I can make with this 770 are nothing short of spectacular I'm hearing things I've never heard before on recordings of the same material on my other decks. The issues these Aiwas have are well with putting up with for the gain IMHO.

Take care
Dean
  #17  
Old 10-05-2017, 07:10 AM
ckouli's Avatar
ckouli ckouli is offline
Serious Tapehead
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Montreal, Que.
Posts: 895
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.
One thing you will discover with the way these Aiwa decks record - the tapes they make will sound excellent on pretty much any other machines you play them (assuming correct alignment of course). These decks have an uncanny ability to make excellent tapes that are amazingly compatible with other brands of tape decks when it comes to playback. No one can seem to explain it, but others have discovered that too. I own at least 15 Aiwa cassette decks, and every tape made on them sounds incredible on all my Naks and walkmans too, for example.
Like I have said many times before, servicing and maintaining these decks is really the only hard part, and it is a major pain.
  #18  
Old 10-05-2017, 07:57 AM
Homerlovesbeer Homerlovesbeer is offline
TapeHeads.Net Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 52
This thread fills me with both joy and sorrow.

Joy because I have an F990 in absolutely MINT condition I picked up for AUS $30 and sorrow because the only issue it had was a deteriorated belt due lack of use.

More sorrow......

Unfortunately only tonight I ordered a belt for my Aiwa AD-F990 from vintage-electronics!

So I imagine it will not be suitable then according to you guys........

More sorrow is Marrs wants US $37.95 to ship a few grams of rubber to Australia

Last edited by Homerlovesbeer; 10-05-2017 at 08:37 AM.
  #19  
Old 10-05-2017, 10:20 PM
ckouli's Avatar
ckouli ckouli is offline
Serious Tapehead
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Montreal, Que.
Posts: 895
If your F990 is the all-black version then chances are itís one of the earlier ones with both capstans measuring 2.5mm. In this case no one has belts that we know of that will restore the deck to its spec. However perhaps the belt from vintage electronics will at least get it working again.
If you have the later diffused resonance drive whereby one capstan is 2.5mm and the other 2.7mm in diameter then the only known source for good belts is Marrs. Iíve tried belts from Vintage Electronics for this specific deck - forget it.

Now - which belt needs replacing? Because of age Iíd bet both but if only the main belt (main motor to take up flywheel) then vintage electronics is ok. Itís the inter-capstan built that is the tricky one with this deck, and other Aiwa decks using this family of dual-capstan transport.

A mint looking F990 for $30 is an absolute steal of the century. Great find!
  #20  
Old 10-06-2017, 12:00 AM
mtsaclander mtsaclander is offline
Serious Tapehead
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by Homerlovesbeer View Post
This thread fills me with both joy and sorrow.

Joy because I have an F990 in absolutely MINT condition I picked up for AUS $30 and sorrow because the only issue it had was a deteriorated belt due lack of use.

More sorrow......

Unfortunately only tonight I ordered a belt for my Aiwa AD-F990 from vintage-electronics!

So I imagine it will not be suitable then according to you guys........

More sorrow is Marrs wants US $37.95 to ship a few grams of rubber to Australia
What are you talking about? Bob's belts are great. Never had a problem with http://www.vintage-electronics.net/ Actually I am very impatient and reading all the stories here about other belt suppliers taking their time to ship out belts, I tried Bob and have so far ordered about 12 belts. Every one of them is working just fine. Even Mr. Hermann used my supplied belts from Bob to use in my ZX9.
__________________
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.
Reply


Would you like to see your company or site here?  CONTACT US
For more Tapeheads affiliates and links, see the Links and Resources page.


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need help with Aiwa ad-f770 Deano Cassette 10 09-17-2017 01:05 PM
Problems with Aiwa AD-F770 Deano Cassette 20 09-13-2017 04:40 PM
Aiwa AD-F770 Wezzel Cassette 7 06-07-2013 08:20 AM
AIWA AD-F770 hum in the right channel Integra Cassette 2 02-15-2012 07:53 PM
Aiwa AD-F770 belts, which goes where HWTest Cassette 7 09-18-2010 05:12 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:47 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2016, Tapeheads.Net. All rights reserved, no use of any element incorporated into this site without express written permission.