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  1. #1

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    Watertown, MA, USA
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    Default It's amazing what people will throw away these days... (long)

    Mmmm. This long-ish story isn't about a Polk product. But it's about
    something I found that drives my Polks just fine...

    I was driving home last night, through Cambridge, MA, and though I don't
    usually pick up things set out on trash night, I noticed a coffee table
    in a useful size, and so pulled up to a real "basement cleanout" pile of
    stuff. The coffee table? not the best, but it'll do, so into the wagon
    it goes. On top of a broken dresser, though, was the real prize, a
    Nakamichi 600 cassette deck, vintage 1977 or so. Looked dirty, smelled
    funky, but it's all there. I tossed it in the back of my station wagon
    with the table, and headed home.

    The previous owners had left a Maxell UDS-1 90-minute tape in the deck,
    fully wound to one end. I plugged in the 600, powered it on, and the
    meters light and I test FF for a second, just to see if the motor runs.

    What appears to be about ten years in a damp and dirty basement had left
    the 600 a really dirty bird. So, off comes the case (five easy screws)
    and front panel (four easy screws holding on the handles), and clean
    clean clean.

    Useful links: Classic Nakamichi webpage http://www.naks.com
    Service for Nak decks http://www.eslabs.com
    Novus plastic polishes
    http://www.noscratch.com/novus/index.shtml

    Isopropyl alcohol, canned air for the dust and cobwebs, and (I highly
    recommend) Novus plastic polish #2 then #1 for all plastic parts,
    including the case, meters and function keys. The plastic case was
    pretty nasty, but dirt and black gunk buildup from plastic deterioration
    over time polished right off. Novus #2 also did the job for the metal
    faceplate and cassette holder, cleaning the matte paint finish and
    leaving it as close to new-looking as I think it's going to get.

    All cleaned, a final cleaning applied to the heads, and then the moment
    of truth: in goes a tape that I don't care if it survives the
    experience (a commercial tape of Dire Straits' _Brothers in Arms_), and
    I push play. And...

    The deck works, and plays perfectly. Rewind, fast forward, everything
    works. The VU meters apear to be working and calibrated properly. All
    the tape selection buttons work quietly, as do the volume and gain
    controls. In goes a TDK SA-90, and I set it up to record from a CD
    source. The gain controls are quiet, too.

    Recording appears to work well, too. The right channels seems to be
    recording a little bit quieter than the other, but I need to watch the
    VU meters some more with some other sources. It's probably a good idea
    to get the deck professionally serviced and adjusted, but it really
    sounds okay as it is.

    I found out why Nakamichi decks are so prized. A good tape in this deck
    sounds *very* good indeed.

    The tape the previous owner left in it was some medium-tempo
    bluegrass-instrumental stuff. Weirdo. :)

    I'm stunned. This deck cost $600 when new. It was stuck in a nasty
    basement in working order and left to rot. Yet Nakamichi Research Inc.
    produced a machine with many moving and delicate parts that could take
    this kind of abuse and bounce back easily, ready for more.

    I should recall from on loan the Scott 375R (75wpc) receiver that I
    found in a similar trash heap three years ago, and the set of speakers
    loaned to another friend that I found on the curb two years ago, and put
    together as an all-curbside stereo system..
    :D


    joel

  2. #2

    Member Sales Rating: (40)

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    Jul 2001
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    North Texas
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    Default Greatness Brotha....

    Cool find...pssst, don't tell anyone, but sometimes on my thrift store rounds, I drive casually by the dumpster BEHIND the thrift store.....

    Russ
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  3. #3
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    fort wayne,indiana
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    Default

    trash day was yesterday if i would have stoped to see if there anything good in it i would have to "wade" thru a foot of water
    and mud it has rained 4 out of the last 5 days here so i guess that sucks for me!

    scott

  4. #4

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    Jul 2001
    Location
    Watertown, MA, USA
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    Default

    Well, "curbside shopping" days around here follow a rotating schedule, so roughly 1/5 of each of Cambridge, Somerville and Boston residents are setting out their trash Sunday-Thursday nights.

    Even on nice nights, I only glance randomly for unusual and useful things. Somehow, audio gear has a way of catching my eye...though only rarely do I see decent audio gear that looks like it might work. And, of course, I'm not the only one out there. There are people who make a living at this; I've heard the selection of stuff is much nicer out towards the suburbs.

    But it does really burn me to see people throwing good audio gear away that could be restored to service with an hour's work and kept or sold on eBay.

    Oh yeah, I *love* the solid chunky tape controls on the Nak 600. None of that wimpy "soft touch" stuff here!
    :)

    Last edited by joelll; 10-17-2001 at 01:24 AM.
    joel

    "When I grow up, I want to be like me."

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