Akai Tape Deck

Hello tis i
I cant seem to find that email you sent me with the song you did with you emu’ could you resend me the link.

I aslo picked up an entry level reel to reel the other day for £20 its an akai 1721L.
I will send some pics soon as I’m not sure about a button that is marked 1-3/stereo/2-4.
Understand its to do with recording mode, but how and whats the difference


  1. paul( contributor ) :

    Oct 10, 2007 8:28 am |

    So the 2-4 could only be used if switch the reels around?
    Then what is the stereo mode for? Playback?

  2. Strangely( author ) :

    Oct 9, 2007 9:24 am |

    Hi Paul.
    Try https://crawlingchaos.co.uk/75/harry-secombe-back-from-the-dead-gasp/

    You’ll also find it among the streaming stuff at https://crawlingchaos.co.uk/discography/streaming-audio/

    The streaming is better as the music keeps playing even when the page has lost the focus (ie you can have it playing in the background). It’s quite good just to leave the thing playing as it does random tracks and sometimes the juxtapositions come out really well.

    We used to use an Akai GX that belonged to Wee Jimmee. When he had a huff and took it away we named the daft tune after him. We actually recorded a “George Melly” sounding bluesy tune using the information sheet from the Akai GX as the lyrics. I thought it was pretty good but we never released it!

    From a technical viewpoint, your tape’s heads aren’t as good as the GX. What they’ve done is make you record on tracks 1 & 3 one way and then 2 & 4 on the way back. This is a bit like the old cassette except that did 1-2 & 3-4 stereo pairings. The idea of keeping the tracks further apart was to cut down cross-talk and bleed across hoping that no-one would notice the very faint backwards music in the background. It was a way to increase the size of the guard tracks, effectively using another track to increase the spacing so that you get wider stereo image. However, this logic was conveniently forgotten for cassette standards which makes you wonder if it was a good or bad thing anyway!
    This page https://www.obsoletemedia.com/tapedecks/akaimodels.htm shows a few Akai models. The one you’ve got is a basic stereo two speed two head jobbie. The GX one we used was a 3 head which is much better and means you can do echo and overdubs/punch-ins etc.