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Thread: Crown CX824

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    Default Crown CX824

    Hello,
    I just got a couple of interesting tapes and needed a good quality 3 3/4IPS 1/4 track deck to play them on. This is the Crown 800 series transport with the CX series electronics. I was very lucky to get this 1971 deck with very few hours on it from a former Crown mechanic. John is a master at bringing these decks to original condition. Also, he has a friend who used to make the cabinets for Crown, so this deck has a solid bubinga (I hope I spelled that right) cabinet.
    Enjoy, Ken
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    Oh man, that is something else!
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

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    absolutely gorgeous--congratulations.
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

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    Thumbs up

    Ken, you sure do come up with some clean old toys!

    Are you sure that's bubinga? It looks unlike any I've ever worked with or seen.
    Regardless, it's beautiful. Congrats on the score.

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    Thanks, I've had the Crown for ten years, I keep rotating the decks to give them a chance to play. I checked my files and its padauk wood. I'd never heard of it when John Haines mentioned it, he had to send me a photo. The Crown is an excellent example of American audio craftsmanship. Glass rods are used as tape lifters, everything's built to very high tolerances. Large motors, heavy brakes all "tank tough". The Crown company got its start making tape machines that could be used by missionaries to send home recorded reports and "letters" to family. They had to be rugged and last in all kinds of environments.
    I just played two piano recordings and they sounded excellent. Quite a testimony for a near 40 year old highly mechanical device. Great things from Elkhart, Indiana!
    Ken

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    Ah, thanks for the clarification.
    Padauk is a beautiful wood as well, machines like a dream. Un-stained it is very orange in color.

    A gorgeous piece of history, thanks for sharing!

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    Geoff727 in Seattle finished the SDA-1C's I bought from him in Padauk and they are gorgeous. A beautiful wood and the r to r is gorgeous as well.
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    That is a beautiful work of art. . . man do you my green eyed monster to wake up with pictures of your gear.

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    Very Nice Ken, super looking deck you have sir.

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    Thank you, when I was working for Stansbury Stereo in the very early 70's I'd see these decks being put together and going to customer's homes and couldn't possibly afford one. It was really great to be able to finally own one. I think we took for granted that they would always be around. A large percentage of the showroom was occupied by open reel tape decks. There were, in just our store, Roberts (Akai), Sony, Teac, ReVox, Crown and I think Sansui. Maybe there were 25 decks on display, everything from Sony TC250 to the big Crowns. Audio guys knew about "three head vs two head" decks and auto-reverse and two speed vs three speed, dual-capstan tape drives. There were racks of blank tape, guys would argue which was better, Maxell, TDK, Sony or Scotch (not much as changed has it?). You could buy 1200', 1600' and even 2400' tape .5mil and 1.0mil. Scotch made little white plastic clips that held your tape ends in place.
    I remember customers timing how fast a deck could rewind a tape, that was their big deal, tape rewind speed. Or, pour over the lasted Stereo Review article on the newest Akai jewel. We sold a Roberts deck that had an 8-track deck built into the sides. You could go back and forth, making a tape from an 8-track or reverse.
    I'd borrow friend's latest LP and make a tape copy at 7.5IPS 1/2 track. It actually cost me more money to buy the hi bias Maxell tape and make the recording than if I just bought the album. It didn't matter, just being able to set everything up, get the record level correct, cue the record, start the deck just so I'd miss the lead in groove pop. Then nurse the VU meters so I wouldn't overload the deck's record electronics.
    Now, just a handful of old farts, like me, keep these machines around. Scrounging around dumpsters and goodwill stores looking for that tarnished treasure. Then taking a picture and putting it up on your favorite site. Thanks for letting me ramble.
    Ken

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    Ken,
    I bought the exact same model 'demo in '74 from Sound Pro on the north side of Indy.
    I was home on leave and had saved up my nickels and dimes for two years for it.
    It was a heck of a machine and rivaled good vinyl of the day. I'd buy a new album, transfer it to the Crown, and put the album back on the shelf.
    Sadly it was stolen while I was overseas.
    I've had a couple of the 700 series since but I haven't even seen an 800 in over 3 decades now.
    Your 800 is beautiful. Brings a nostalgic tear to my eye looking at it.
    Congrats.

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    I love the old Crown decks...


    ...and, yes, you did spell bubinga right!
    all the best,
    mrh

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth Swauger View Post
    Thank you, when I was working for Stansbury Stereo in the very early 70's I'd see these decks being put together and going to customer's homes and couldn't possibly afford one. It was really great to be able to finally own one. I think we took for granted that they would always be around. A large percentage of the showroom was occupied by open reel tape decks. There were, in just our store, Roberts (Akai), Sony, Teac, ReVox, Crown and I think Sansui. Maybe there were 25 decks on display, everything from Sony TC250 to the big Crowns. Audio guys knew about "three head vs two head" decks and auto-reverse and two speed vs three speed, dual-capstan tape drives. There were racks of blank tape, guys would argue which was better, Maxell, TDK, Sony or Scotch (not much as changed has it?). You could buy 1200', 1600' and even 2400' tape .5mil and 1.0mil. Scotch made little white plastic clips that held your tape ends in place.
    I remember customers timing how fast a deck could rewind a tape, that was their big deal, tape rewind speed. Or, pour over the lasted Stereo Review article on the newest Akai jewel. We sold a Roberts deck that had an 8-track deck built into the sides. You could go back and forth, making a tape from an 8-track or reverse.
    I'd borrow friend's latest LP and make a tape copy at 7.5IPS 1/2 track. It actually cost me more money to buy the hi bias Maxell tape and make the recording than if I just bought the album. It didn't matter, just being able to set everything up, get the record level correct, cue the record, start the deck just so I'd miss the lead in groove pop. Then nurse the VU meters so I wouldn't overload the deck's record electronics.
    Now, just a handful of old farts, like me, keep these machines around. Scrounging around dumpsters and goodwill stores looking for that tarnished treasure. Then taking a picture and putting it up on your favorite site. Thanks for letting me ramble.
    Ken
    Great story and great memory Ken. R2Ra like turntables make me drool with excitement. I remember all the fancy options availible on the decks. Hey, I just got to thinking did Nakamici make and R2R or did they stop at that masterpiece Dragon?

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    Hey Hearing...,
    I don't believe Nakamichi got involved with open reel machines. The first time I heard of them was that they made the transport for the Advent cassette deck. If memory serves there were two cassette decks that created the acceptance of that format for audiophiles. They were the same machine, just branded by two companies, one Advent and the other Wollensak. A real controversy at the time, can this 1 7/8IPS narrow tape really sound good enough to be considered a rival to open reel? Talk about arguments in the press and hifi guys! Remember this was a format from Phillips that was meant to be used by secretaries for taping messages, never for serious audio use.
    These decks started it all and one of the key ingredients was the transport and record/playback heads. This was made by Nakamichi, nobody had heard of them, but of course they became extremely well known after that.
    Anybody remember their turntable that automatically adjusted for off-center holes in records?
    Cheers, Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth Swauger View Post
    Hey Hearing...,
    I don't believe Nakamichi got involved with open reel machines. The first time I heard of them was that they made the transport for the Advent cassette deck. If memory serves there were two cassette decks that created the acceptance of that format for audiophiles. They were the same machine, just branded by two companies, one Advent and the other Wollensak. A real controversy at the time, can this 1 7/8IPS narrow tape really sound good enough to be considered a rival to open reel? Talk about arguments in the press and hifi guys! Remember this was a format from Phillips that was meant to be used by secretaries for taping messages, never for serious audio use.
    These decks started it all and one of the key ingredients was the transport and record/playback heads. This was made by Nakamichi, nobody had heard of them, but of course they became extremely well known after that.
    Anybody remember their turntable that automatically adjusted for off-center holes in records?
    Cheers, Ken

    Thanks Ken for the info. The Nak turntable, I remember but I don't remember the feature for adjusting for off-center holes. I believe the higher end tonearm manufacturers took care of that with their heavy silicone bath and paddle. That's what is on my SME Series V tonearm and it really does the job.

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    Hey Joe,
    Here's some info on it:
    http://www.regonaudio.com/NakamichiTX1000.html
    Enjoy, Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth Swauger View Post
    Hey Joe,
    Here's some info on it:
    http://www.regonaudio.com/NakamichiTX1000.html
    Enjoy, Ken
    WHOA!!! That's not the table I was talking about but that thing is a work of art. I like to get one just as a show piece it is so beautiful. Thanks Ken . . . right click, save as, desktop!:)
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    Last edited by hearingimpared; 07-13-2010 at 11:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth Swauger View Post
    Hey Joe,
    Here's some info on it:
    http://www.regonaudio.com/NakamichiTX1000.html
    Enjoy, Ken

    I seen that once before, I never seen one working. Looks interesting.

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    Yup, there were a few Nakamichi tts, at least one of which bore the famous Dragon name.

    I thought that Wollensak was the OEM of the Advent 201 cassette deck and not Nakamichi. Don't know that fo' a fact, though. The Wollensak and Advent versions were virtually identical, though... save for the single-meter design of the latter.

    Nakamichi certaintly did make scads of cassette decks as an OEM over the years, for the likes of (e.g.) Onkyo and harman/kardon. The early Nakamichi 500 two-head, toploading deck formed the OEM basis for many other decks - some of which were cheaper than the Nakamichi-branded version!
    all the best,
    mrh

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